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Reverse Balayage Tutorial

When you have a client looking to darken their hair for the winter months it can be tempting to use permanent colour to achieve a deep finish, however utilising toners is a great alternative for a semi-permanent option, which will allow your client to easily lighten their hair up again as we return to the warmer months.

For our client, we are going to be using a semi-permanent colour on the roots, followed by low lights throughout, toning the ends as well as foiling around the face to deepen our clients colour and give a beautifully wintery touch.

Step 1: Start by establishing your client parting, and sectioning through to the back. As our client has a side part, one section will be larger than the other.

Step 2: Starting with the back left section, take your first diagonal slice and weave out a chunky slice. Apply your bleach using foil, ensuring you fully saturate the hair.

Step 3: Take your next slice around 1-2cm above the first, and weave another chunky slice.

Step 4: Tip out the remaining hair after every second slice. To do this, take the hair that is not in the foil, backcomb towards the roots and then weave a chunky slice into the foil. This will give a beautiful depth of colour, without the hair looking chunky or stripy.

Step 5: Repeat this method throughout the hair, not forgetting to tip out after every 2 foils, and changing your angles around the face.

Step 6: Once you are halfway through the section, move onto the other side and repeat the process.

Step 7: For depth of colour around the face, layer your foils close together, for a more intense colour around the face frame.

Step 8: Now it's time to move onto the root, where we will be using RedKen Shades EQ in colours 5N, 4WG, 6WG and 6NB. Start applying your root toner, section by section along the hair starting at the top, and working your way down. When you reach the foils, lift and apply your root toner to these sections also.

Step 9: Take a brush and brush the toner through to the lengths to help with blending.

Step 10: Once you have completed the root toner, you can move on the low lights. For this, we will be using RedKen Shades EQ in colours 9AA, 6NB, 6WG, 08VB. Starting from where the bleach foils finish, use foil to apply your low light toner in a very chunky weave pattern, and layer the foil on top to prevent transfer.

Step 11: Once all of your foils are in place, check on your bleach foils and if ready, begin removing them, wiping off any excess bleach as you go.

Step 12: Once all of the bleach foils have been removed, as the basin remove all of the low light foils from the back and rinse.

Step 13: Rinse all of the bleach sections from the side also.

Step 14: Once all of the bleach has been rinsed, you can remove and rinse the rest of the low light foils, followed by a wash with Olaplex shampoo and conditioner.

Step 15: Whilst still at the basin, separate out the bleached sections of hair and apply a bleach wash. Brush the bleach through the hair so that it is applied evenly throughout.

Step 16: Rinse away the bleach and then clip the bleaches section out of the way.

Step 17: Now it's time to fill/Pre-pig. This is a method used on pre-lightened/bleached hair that is going to be coloured to a darker shade. As bleach hair is devoid of any natural pigment, it is needed to ensure the shade does not develop darker than intended or create any grey/green hues. We will be used RedKen Shades EQ in colours 9AA and 6AA.

Step 18: Apply the toner over the sink, ensuring to massage into the hair for full saturation.

Step 19: Rinse your client's hair and then wash with Olaplex.

Step 20: Now we are going to apply another toner to the roots, in shades 04NB, 06NB and 05N. Apply at the roots section by section, and work your way through the hair. Use a brush to pull the toner down and help it to blend with the lengths.

Step 21: Now we are going to tone the mid-lengths and ends using shades 9AA, 07N, 08VB, 06G and 08WG. Apply the toner to the mid-lengths and ends over the sink, and massage in to ensure full saturation.

Step 22: Now we will be toning the roots of bleach sections using 9AA, 09VG, 08VG and 06G. Apply using a brush at the basin, using a brush to comb through to the lengths. Then apply the same toner through the lengths using an application bottle.

Step 23: Wash the hair with Olaplex shampoo and conditioner and then you are ready to style