Future Talent

The Blonde Code: Your Foolproof Guide from Balayage to Babylights

by maryforester / last updated February 2, 2016

Rosie Huntington Whiteley

Image: David Fisher/REX Shutterstock

With consumer magazines bursting with the latest techniques make sure you’re up to date with all the current terms.

Affinage Global Brand Ambassador, Tracey Devine explains the finer details of popular colour techniques.

Balayage

Roots are stretched using a deeper base shade and the ends lifted to a lighter shade, hand painted to create a marble effect.

Babylights

Threadlike highlights which are ultra fine and soft in tone to look sunkissed.

Contouring

Adding areas of depth or light to increase tone and shine to a specific area of the hair. This can be handpainted or foiled.

Highlights

Sections of hair are woven and coloured from darker to lighter using foil or méche for a subtle or bolder lift.

Lowlights

The opposite of highlights with hair taken from lighter to darker using foil or méche woven sections.

Ombré

darker at the roots and through the mid-lengths with a gradual to intense lightening from the mid-lengths to ends.

Root Stretch

Roots are coloured slightly lower than the regrowth to give the illusion of a heavier root area.

Smudging

Two or three colours of a similar tone are applied and smudged together to create softer versions of the original shade. The colour can vary from darker to up to three shades lighter when smudging. generally this would be from root to mid-band and achieves very subtle results.

Stretched Roots

Colour is applied to give a deliberate grown out feel.

Strobing

Very similar to a technique called pixilation. Areas of colour are hand-picked and bleached in a pattern; colour’s then reapplied to certain pieces in many tons to create a strobing effect. This technique is particularly nice when hair is moving in a summer breeze.

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