When you have a client with a dark base who is looking to go lighter, opting for a soft balayage using a Tipping Technique is a great way to transition your client from a darker colour to a lighter shade, where the blend will be soft, and the regrowth will be wearable and manageable.
Our client is looking to lighten her hair, as well as adding some face-framing highlights around the front as a very subtle money piece. As our client has a side part, we will keep this in mind when introducing our money piece sections, as we want to ensure this frames her face equally on each side, rather than falling heavier on one side. It is important that you discuss this with your client beforehand, to ensure the placement of their parting is where they intend to keep it for the duration of this style.
In addition to this, our client also has a lot of baby hairs around their hairline, so we will need to opt for a fine weave around the hairline to pick up these baby hairs.
As we will be using a “Tipping Out” method, we are going to section our hair through the middle, working with one half of the head at a time. This will help us to keep track of every third foil which we will be tipping.
For the first half of the head, we will be using 2% / 7 Volume and will be using a broken slice throughout as we want a lot of coverage, but also a lot of dimension. As we section, we keep our line thin from the front of the head, increasing to around half an inch as we reach the middle back of the head. This ensures that we get lots of colour and dimension through the back, and avoids looking at all stripy.
For each broken slice, we are backcombing the roots for a subtle blend, stroking upwards towards the roots, before painting right down to the tips.
If you have a client with a lot of shorter, baby hairs when sectioning, clip these out of the way to prevent accidentally lightening too much hair.
The key to the tipping technique is to remember that after every third foil you will tip the excess hair. This involves gathering all of the loose hair between the foils and weaving this into its own foil. This will help add additional coverage for a more dramatic effect, but also adding dimension and a better blend between the lightened hair and the original colour.
As you work your way in line with the ear, you can begin to section all the way from the hairline to the back in one section. Be sure however not to miss any sections behind the ear, as this is quite commonly done.
When you reach the hairline, use a fine weave around the hairline for the first 2-3 foils, before reverting back to the broken slice to create greater dimension around the face and give the money piece face-framing effect. As our client parts her hair on the side, keep the money piece sections sparse and not too dense.
Once you have worked your way all the way to the top of the head we are going to switch up our formula to 6%, as from now on the processing time will be a lot shorter than it was for the bottom pieces. You will begin to use straight lines that run parallel to the parting until you have finally completed the full side. As our client already has a slight fringe, to ensure full coverage and a natural blend with the money piece sections, we are going to fine weave a few pieces at the front, backcombing at the root.
From around 45 minutes, you will need to begin checking the oldest foils to see how they are developing. Once you have a colour you are happy with, remove one by one, using your hands to pull the product through the hair to ensure total saturation. Rinse out your first side, and then continue building your other side until these have developed to the same level and then repeat the removal process.
Once all of the foils are removed and rinsed, wash the entire head with Olaplex shampoo, and then coat in Olaplex No 2 Bond Perfector. Whilst the treatment is in, brush through the hair gently to detangle, and to ensure full coverage throughout the hair.
Part the hair ready for your toner.
Working from top to bottom, apply toner to the roots. Once applied to all of the roots, use a wet brush to pull the toner into the lengths. It is important to use a wet brush rather than a comb, as a comb will drag too much product, whereas a wet brush will give a far more subtle result. Leave your root toner on for 10-15 minutes for a nice deep root. The formula used on the root is 10g 5n, 10g 6nb, 5g 4m, gloss.
After 15 minutes, apply your mid-lengths and ends formula, which is 10g 9g, 10g 9nb, 5 9b, 2.5 7gb, equal amounts of clear and gloss. Once applied, again pull the product through with a wet brush and leave for 5-7 minutes.
Now it's time to shampoo and condition, ready to style your finished look.
The finished colour is a summery bronde, with lots of dimension.