Do You Know The Seven Most Popular Blonding Techniques?

by hjiadmin / last updated September 1, 2021

Blonding techniques

With a myriad of blonding techniques available – and consumers becoming ever-more knowledgable, do you know your foiling from your flambayage? Matrix Artist Niamh Hayden looks at the most popular techniques for blonde hair. Do you agree?


What is it – This freehand painting technique is used to create beautiful graduated, natural, soft blended result. It can be used on all hair types and colours, especially when the client wants a low maintenance and natural look, but wants some contrast through the colours. Want to level up your balayage? Why not try Illuminage on your next client.

How long does it take – This technique varies in how long it takes depending on the client’s hair, but usually 45/60 minutes.

Niamh’s top tip – Less is more and remember it’s a freehand painting

Face framing

What is it – This has to be one of the most requested techniques at the moment. It focuses on the hairline and perimeter bordering the face. It’s usually created using a mix of different
foiling techniques such as babylights/airtouch/back-to-back slices depending on the result
you want to achieve. It can also be created using a freehand technique for softer, more
natural looks. It’s one that suits all hair types and colours from an ashy blonde to warm
blonde and even a deep, cool chocolate brown. The face frame can add a pop of colour around the front by choosing shades a couple of levels lighter than the overall result.

How long does it take – This technique usually takes about 20 minutes.

Naimh’s Top Tip – Section out the face frame and have a clear consultation of the type of framing they
want for their everyday look.


What is it – The new highlights, a very fine subtle highlight used to create a soft, super-
blended result. These small sections will usually lift to a clean white blonde so different volumes or tones and be used to achieve the result you want. They are popular in areas such as the hairline, natural partings or in general overall to give a result that looks like it has just been lightened from the sun. They can be used on all hair types, but are popular in fine hair as it grows out softer and leaves no heavy line of demarcation.

How long does it take – Time varies depending on the result or the amount of babylights.

Niamh’s Top tip – Never think the section is too fine.


What is it – A new current trend in blonding, it’s a mix between ombre, balayage and foilyage. It still creates a soft blended natural look, but in some sections mainly around the top, we see foil/mesh or cling film is used to create a little extra lift and to create soft peeka-boo highlights for that extra blended result.

How long does it take – This takes about 60 minutes or more to apply.

Niamh’s Top tip – Use clear mesh or cling film so you can see the process develop as you still want the blend with the rest of the overall look so visual processing is key.


What is it – Highlights will lighten hair while lowlights add dimension. When we mix both they give the illusion of volume, depth and texture.

How long does it take – Time varies on full/ half head but usually takes about 45/90 minutes. They suit all hair types and should blend with shades of your own natural hair colour in depth and tones.

Niamh’s Top tip – Section patterns are really important when creating this technique and diagonal sections work best to give natural results and avoid any harsh lines.


What is it – This is such a popular blonding technique! We create this result by doing a scalp bleach and tone. This means all the natural hair is covered so it’s a high-maintenance look. It needs to be redone every 4-6 weeks depending on the regrowth. It’s best for lighter, natural levels and condition must be looked after. Clients must have the time for the upkeep as this is the key to a perfect platinum.

How long does it take – Time it takes is usually about 30/45 minutes to apply.

Niamh’s Top tip –  Have a clean brush with a bead of colour so there is no overlapping and take small sections. Saturation is key for extra lift.


What is it – This is a very popular technique for all our bright or ashy blonde clients. It is a very similar technique to balayage, but all sections are wrapped or covered in foil for maximum lift. If you want balayage with a lighter blonde or have brunette hair, this foilyage technique is for you!

How long does it take – It usually takes 90-120 minutes to apply depending on the hair type.

Niamh’s top tip – Make sure your sections are small to allow saturation and get maximum light because if it’s not white, it won’t be bright!!


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