Colin Caruso takes us through a step-by-step guide on different lightening techniques. 

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This look is to bring lightness and brightness to compliment the bob cut. 

We use 3 lightening/highlight/balayage techniques with Paul Mitchell products. 

The sectioning for our hi-lights. 

hair sections

We have 4 sectioned areas to create different looks on the hair. 

We have an ear-to-ear division line running through the front hair line area, this is split in two with a centre part. Then we have a division line from behind the ear, through the crown to the other ear. Again, with a central part. Then a division line from the back of the ears across the occipital bone creating a lower section in the back at the nape and an upper section below the crown. 

Technique on the hair line section. 

Were classic weaving our hairline hi-lights. 

We want increased blonde concentration around this area. We're taking super fine weaves close together to really compact some power into the front section. We use syncrolift+ and 20vol for up to 9 levels of lift. We're looking for a good level 8-9 on these sections. Don’t be afraid to split your sections and avoid bleeds from thicker heavy weaves. Giving added lift and concentration. 

hairline highlights

This is repeated on both sides of the hairline sections – Also, ask your guests. Find out about the desired blonding level, if they want a higher number of hi-lights or a brighter blonde lift level. 

Back balayage section 

Save time in the back! The lights we’re adding are to add softness and take up space. 

We used Paul Mitchells Skylight clay balayage lightener and 40vol. The 40vol gives extra energy to the lift and the clay lightener gives a great protection from bleeds and transfer. 

balayage freehand

Our balayage technique 

Here’s how to hand paint like a pro!  

We take our section and pinch it at the ends. On this tutorial we use neuro protect to help control them flyaways that can give us trouble with clean application. This does NOT disrupt our lifting process. Paint inverted ‘V’ sections. Highly saturate your ends and push product through. Use your brush to soften and blend out the lightener. 

balayage education

TIP- more product = more lift. Give your balayages extra power by a good saturation, dry lightener = less lift. 

TIP- work with the previous color. If your guest has old hi-lights in there, work with it! Blends can look more natural over time. 

Side sections 

So, we have finally come to our teasy light triangular sections over the crown. 

At the bottom of your section, take a section diagonal forward across and tease at roots. Teasing really does depend on hair density and desired look. A ‘deep tease’ will remove more hair from the ends and give a much gentler transition of color. A soft tease will give a larger amount of hair being lifted, and a bolder effect. 

We're teasing back-to-back. Colouring all them ends with a gentle lift and a shadowy root. This gives a rooty transition. Helping achieve that dark to light natural ombre effect in the mid-section. 

teasy highlights

With all our lightener in place, we have a technique that goes from bold blonde in the front to subtle lights in the back. Using multi-techniques can help us achieve a beautiful color that melts into a natural effect. 

Now to tone! 

As us stylists know, a great tone finishes our hard work lightening. 

We used crema XG. Check out the formulas below- 

6AA+7PN+10vol – Our chosen darker depth ash formula. 

10PA+8P+10vol – Our lighter cool toner. 

paul mitchell crema XG

As with the nature of lightening, we usually get a little warm thrown out as we lift. The crema XG is a glossy long lasting demi – giving us hydration and tone. Our cooler options will balance out some of that warmth. 

Application of the toner 

So again, we section off! Check out the pictures for a clear visual. 

We take a teardrop section with our point on the part, and out round under the crown. Our section in the nape is toned from root – tips with our darker tone. Giving a nice dimension and with our dark- light effect will tone differently on the different depths. 

darker tone

Then we got a little root shadowing going on. Painting the roots around the sides leaving our pesky hairline until the end – them finer parts can take a tone on quickly and brighter. paint the mid - ends with our lighter tone, blending and melting as we go. 

root shadow

And finally – our top teardrop section. Use the same root shadowing affect we used on our sides with the toner giving an exaggerated depth and blend to our already lightened hair. 

top section

Process for 20 minutes and style as desired. 

end result

In this tutorial we mention the new Paul Mitchell AI app. This app is a great tool to help us and our guests in the consultation process taking picture and specifying the best products to use on our guests. 

paul mitchell Ai

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