Half Head Highlights: A Comprehensive Guide to Gorgeous Hair (+ Inspo Images)

November 17, 2023

What Are Half Head Highlights and Why Are They Trending?

Half-head highlights, also known as partial highlights, have made a comeback in recent years. This technique involves applying highlights to approximately half of the hair, as the name suggests. This approach allows for a more subtle and natural look compared to full head highlights or Balayage and is a versatile option that suits various hair types and lengths. What’s not to like?

Benefits of Half Head Highlights

Half head highlights offer several advantages, making them a sought-after choice for clients. Here are some key benefits: 

  1. Natural Look: Half head highlights provide a more understated appearance compared to full head highlights. This approach is particularly suitable for clients who opt for warmer shades, as it allows them to enjoy the beauty of their base color while giving a sun-kissed effect that mimics natural highlights and adds subtle dimension.
  2. Low Maintenance: Clients will appreciate the lower maintenance required for half head highlights. Because they cover less hair, regrowth is less noticeable and this reduces the need for frequent touch-ups.
  3. Versatility: This technique works well with various hair lengths and textures, making it adaptable to a wide range of clients.
  4. Face Framing: Half head highlights can be strategically placed to frame the face, enhancing a client’s features and creating a flattering look.
  5. Time-Saving: This technique is quicker to apply than full highlights, making it a practical choice for clients with busy lifestyles who can’t dedicate a lot of time to salon visits.



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Una publicación compartida por Browns (@brownssalonfolkestone)

How to Style Half Head Highlights

Tools and Products for Half Head Highlights

Of course it takes skill to create the perfect highlights but, having the right tools and products is also essential. Ensure that you have:

  • Pre-lightener: Choose a high-quality lightener that suits your client’s hair type and desired lift. We recommend Magnet™ Blondes Ultimate Powder 7. Ammonia-free* for slightly lighter base colors while Magnet™ Blondes Ultimate Powder 9 is ideal for darker bases. Of course, you can achieve highlights with fashion colors or vibrant permanent colors too, so get creative!
  • Applicators: Brushes, bowls, pin comb, and foils for precise application.
  • Sectioning Clips: To keep hair organized during the process.
  • Toning Products: For achieving the perfect shade after lightening! We recommend Color Excel, a new generation of professional, ultra-performing and caring tone-on-tone color for infinite service possibilities.

Choosing the Right Colors

Selecting the right colors is crucial for achieving stunning half head highlights. It is vital to have a thorough consultation with your client. During this process, consider the following factors:

  • Skin Tone: Assess your client’s skin tone to determine whether warm or cool-toned highlights would be more flattering.
  • Hair Base: The client’s natural hair color is a major factor that will  influence your choice of highlight shade. If the hair already had permanent color then remember the golden rule, ‘color does not lIft color’ so a pre-lightener will likely be the best option over high lift or permanent colors.
  • Your Client’s Preference: Highlights can be bold or subtle. The classic highlights are weaved, however you can go bold with slices! Ensure that you show your client a variety of colors and techniques so that you know what will suit their personal style!

Preparing to Apply Half Head Highlights

Before diving into the highlighting process, there are essential steps to prepare both the client and yourself:

  • Consultation: Conduct a thorough consultation to understand the client’s expectations, hair history, and any concerns they may have.
  • Allergy Test: Perform an allergy test according to the manufacturer instructions to ensure the client doesn’t have adverse reactions to the products you’ll use.

Half Head Highlights Technique

The half head highlights technique means applying highlights to about half of the client’s hair to maintain dimension and contrast. Here’s a step-by-step guide:


  1. Sectioning: Divide the hair into clean and even sections. Find the parting and then take a section on either side to create a box section that travels to just beyond the crown area. This will be section 1. The hair on either side of the ears will be sections 2 and 3. These sections can vary depending on your clients desired overall look and styling but the general rule is to only color 50% or less of the hair, which is typically on the top sections. This mimics where the hair would naturally lighten in the sun.
  2. Base Highlights: Begin with the bottom section and then work your way up to the sides then front. This is generally the rule due to the crown area being darker and thicker than the fine and lighter hair around the face- Every client is different so begin where the hair is most resistant!
  3. Blending: For soft, diffused highlights, use a weaving technique to ensure there is contrast between the highlights and the base color. Opting for backcombing (teasy lights) at the roots before applying lightener will also create a natural transition.
  4. Face-Framing: Focus on framing the face by adding slightly thicker weaves for a bolder look or babylights for a softer result. You can vary your weave highlight technique around the hairline to enhance the client features.


Advanced Techniques for Half Head Highlights

Take your half head highlights to the next level with these advanced techniques.

  1. Foilayage: Half head highlights can be combined with other techniques like Balayage or babylights to create a unique look. Blend Balayage with foil highlights for additional precision and lift.
  2. Multi-Tonal Highlights: Use different levels of peroxide (% developer) with the lightener (different bowls and mixes!) to create highlights with varying depths and tones.
  3. Root Shadowing: Soften the contrast between roots and highlights with a root shadow technique.
  4. Toning for Perfection: After achieving the desired lift, apply two to three different toners to neutralize unwanted undertones and achieve the perfect shades. Get creative!



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Una publicación compartida por Browns (@brownssalonfolkestone)

By mastering the art of half head highlights and incorporating advanced techniques, you can offer your clients a personalized and beautiful look. Stay updated on all of the trends and news from Revlon Professional on our educational platform, #AlwaysOn (for clients only), and don’t forget that you can order all your pro products on our online shop, RevlonProshop.


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