How to LIGHTEN BLONDE HAIR: the 6 most popular techniques
If you have blond hair and want to illuminate it with bright highlights and dramatic shades, we want to explain to you, in detail, the various different lightening techniques , so that you can choose the one that's really right for you, avoiding disappointments and false expectations.
You've probably heard of them, but no one has ever explained the difference to you. Well, we are here precisely for this reason: to explain to you in detail everything that others have never done!
Let's start with the description of the 6 most common techniques used to lighten blonde hair (and not only!)
It's on everyone's lips, but do you know what it means? It comes from the French “balayer” and literally means “to sweep”
In fact, in this lightening technique, the colorist hairdresser acts on the outermost surface of the hair (the same one that would be illuminated by the sun's rays, so to speak) and highlights it, freehand . Look for a soft, nuanced effect only on the most superficial part of the hair.
The result is natural-looking hair, where the highlights blend into the base color, without altering its structure too much.
If done by an expert, balayage is suitable for everyone, even those with darker hair . On brown we recommend hazelnut, cognac or coffee shades. For a more pronounced effect you can also opt for shades that reach honey blonde, such as the fascinating caramel tones.
It is a good idea to renew balayage every three months , even if, precisely because it focuses on naturalness, the difference with the base will never be excessively noticeable. So choose it if you want to change, but not to be a slave to regrowth.
#2: FRENCH BALAYAGE
This is also one of the most popular techniques at the moment. Lightening is carried out - always freehand, or using papers - going up with the brush lightly to blend from the root, creating a shadow with the toning.
Toning is a fundamental step to give depth to the roots and blur the chromatic boundaries, until they become invisible.
In this way, an even more gradual effect is obtained compared to classic balayage, where the separation is clearer.
French balayage is a technique recommended to everyone because it lightens 1 or 2 tones compared to the color of the hair, and can therefore be created on any base, always remaining very natural. You probably won't notice much of the difference at first, but don't be fooled, because after a few shampoos the totalizer will tend to drain and you will see your hair lighten as if by magic.
Choose it if you don't like bold color contrasts, but want a discreet, barely perceptible reflection that softens your features and gives light to your face.
And if your blonde hair is ruined by external agents or chemical treatments, we have the ideal solution for you: the Odhea hair reconstruction kit , a real treatment designed to restore health and vigor to your damaged hair. Seeing is believing (you can even choose to use just one of the products to start with)!
#3: MICRO MECHES
Even just saying the word “highlights” takes us back to the '90s.
In reality, like all fashions that pass, sooner or later they reappear.
Although it may seem obsolete to you, this hair lightening technique is making a great comeback, but reworked in a modern way .
It is often chosen to illuminate strategic points of the face , or to highlight the entire length of the hair.
To enhance a round face or a pronounced jawline, for example, work by highlighting the side locks of the face, in order to smooth out the sharp edges.
Forget the Spice Girls effect, 21st century highlights aim to outline very thin sections of hair, creating a graceful hair contouring, i.e. a personalized light and shadow effect, which sculpts the face.
For those who want to "change your mind" with a strong lightening, the micro highlights technique is the most suitable , especially on already light hair, natural or otherwise. In fact, the entire hair is bleached by taking thin locks and blending the entire length. But no zebra effect: on a blonde, or a light base, the effect will be uniform, but quite natural.
Micro highlights, however, are not recommended on a very dark base because the result could seem artificial, especially on the regrowth effect.
#4: THE SHATUSH
With this lightening method, the hair is first divided into rather large sections, then backcombed and subsequently bleached , with the brush or freehand, just slightly at the root and more intensely near the ends .
In this case it is not essential to respect verticality, but you can proceed diagonally, or even creating rhombuses or triangles.
The technique can be well modulated depending on the desired effect, from the natural to the more dramatic.
In the latter case, the lengths can be lightened by up to 3 tones compared to the color of the base. The effect somewhat imitates that of regrowth, or lightening after long exposure to the sun. For this reason it is important to backcomb your hair, so as to obtain irregular and consequently more natural reflections.
Choose it if you want to lighten the lengths of your hair and have the same effect you would get after a long beach holiday.
Be careful though: the shatoush cannot be "taken back"; in other words it is not possible to redo the lightening starting from the same points.
So, to do it again, you have to wait until you can cut the lengths or consider becoming even lighter, because the second lightening will overlap with the first. Proceed with the second lightening if you want to see yourself super blonde and want a very widespread lightening effect.
However, plan for a long time at the hairdresser, because it is a technique that requires the application of a large number of papers all over the head.
#5 THE DEGRADE
Degradè is a hair lightening technique that can bring together up to 4/5 shades of color, which are blended vertically over the entire hair.
The degradè therefore creates movement, without however obtaining a clear separation . In short, it is as if the hair were naturally lightened by the sun, obtaining a brilliant color and completely personalized highlights.
Although it is easy to confuse degradé and French balayage, the result is actually very different. In the first case, even if the hair is slightly lightened, the color is completely changed through this uniform movement. In the second case the nuances are visible only in some points.
In fact, even if the effect is quite natural, the degradè technique is elaborate and involves several steps.
In fact, different locks are taken, colored according to their thickness, creating a different movement depending on the result you want to obtain.
Choose it if you are not looking for a real lightening , but a coloring that plays with the shades, but which maintains your natural base. The degradé is also definitely suitable for covering the first gray hairs.
#6 THE SHADOW
Ombré is the ideal solution for those who want to change hair color without distorting it.
It simply consists of lightening the tips (or even coloring them, especially in the case of slightly crazy shades), performed freehand.
As the name suggests, a sort of shadow is created that gives a light and natural movement, which blends completely with the base color.
It is perfect for those who want to add a touch of light to their hair or enhance a layered cut.
Unlike shatush, the lightening is concentrated on the ends, not on the lengths and therefore clear contrasts are excluded.
However, it is best to avoid it if you have brittle and damaged ends.
Choose it if you are someone who thinks and thinks about it, but in the end never decides. If this is your approach to lightening, but you want a change, this technique could be your first (timid) step towards something more shocking!
As you will have understood , one is not the same as the other, even if for those who are not in the profession distinguishing these techniques from each other is not always easy. What is easy, however, is to follow our advice on the products to use to maintain the work done by the hairdresser over time.
For all the techniques we have illustrated to you, our advice is: use a nourishing and plumping shampoo to maintain the volume of the hair and its correct hydration.
Combine it with a regenerating mask , excellent if based on Argan oil, which in addition to the protective and repairing effect, is able to reflect the rays of light, thus enhancing the brightness of the hair acquired with lightening.
The solution we propose? The DAILY ROUTINE by Naiis , perfect for maximally nourishing and hydrating hair that has had to undergo treatments such as lightening.