Partial Balayage Vs Full Balayage: What’s The Difference?


Cute black girl with dark hair with a partial balayage inspiration wearing a gray dress and brown pants.

You’ll have been shocked to seek out out that there are, in reality, two balayage strategies: partial and full. They’re very totally different highlighting strategies which have distinctive features and produce distinctive outcomes.

Due to this fact, it’s essential to differentiate between the 2 if you go to the salon. On this article, we’ll inform you of the variations between partial balayage and full balayage, the professionals and cons of every, and far more! 

The Fundamentals: What’s Balayage?

There’s a superb likelihood you’ve heard of “Balayage” earlier than, however have you learnt what it means? Simply in case you don’t, we’ll begin with the fundamentals.

Balayage (or conventional balayage) is a hair highlighting method the place the bleach or hair colour is painted onto your hair by hand in a sweeping movement.

The tactic requires vital coaching and is usually utilized by stylists. On daily basis individuals, in addition to celebrities, commonly request the balayage hair colour service.

For instance, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Ciara, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, and Sarah Jessica Parker have been identified to put on full or partial balayage hairstyles on curly and straight hair.

Within the following sections, we’ll have a look at each partial and full balayage strategies. 

What’s Partial Balayage (or Partial Highlights)?

Partial balayage means lightening or highlights are centered on a single space. Some individuals desire their partial highlights to border their face, whereas others desire a lift close to the ends or simply on the highest layer of hair.

The stylist will suggest the spotlight placement that they imagine will work greatest. Regardless, the highlights aren’t positioned all through the entire hair. 

What’s Full Balayage?

Full balayage takes partial balayage a step additional; highlights are hand-painted everywhere in the head as an alternative of specializing in only one space. The stylist can tweak the method to swimsuit the consumer’s wants, facial construction, and general preferences.

*Each full balayage and partial balayage needs to be touched up each 3 to 4 months, however you may go and have your touch-ups extra usually in case you’d like. 

The Distinction Between Partial Balayage and Full Balayage

Female with black and brown dark locks dyed with the partial balayage technique.

Let’s discover the variations between partial and full balayage now that the fundamentals of every. 


As you will have gathered, the principle distinction between partial and full balayage is within the placement of the highlights. Partial balayage is a really focused kind of balayage that focuses on one space, whereas full balayage is finished throughout. 


With partial balayage, the outcomes shall be slightly delicate, relying on how mild the highlights end up.

Individuals who wish to improve their pure hair colour with out going too daring discover {that a} partial balayage colour service is ideal for them.

With full balayage, the end result will nonetheless seem pure however shall be far more substantial than partial balayage. 

How Lengthy Does Balayage Take?

In case you go for a full balayage colour service, you possibly can be within the stylist’s chair for 45 minutes as much as 4 hours. Generally, you may expect to spend almost half a day in the salon, and it might take longer in case you’re DIYing your full balayage. Then again, partial balayage could be executed in an hour or much less within the salon.

Women with a partial balayage look on black and brown gorgeous tresses.

How A lot Does Balayage Price?

You need to anticipate to pay extra for full balayage than partial balayage, whether or not you go to the salon or do it by yourself. The extra bleach, toner, or hair dye you utilize, the extra it’ll value. 

On common, you may anticipate to pay greater than $200 for a full balayage colour session and $100 to $200 for partial balayage (these are estimates and can fluctuate by salon).

If you’re doing all your hair at house, it can save you fairly a bit of cash. Simply remember that it’s straightforward to inform the distinction between skilled and DIY balayage. 

Does Balayage Injury Hair?

Every time your hair is highlighted, there’s a danger of harm. With full balayage, you’ll be coloring round half of your hair, which might lead to fairly a bit of harm.

However in case you go for partial balayage, you’ll be coloring a lot much less of your hair and are unlikely to incur a lot harm general.

In case you’re new to coloring your hair and are apprehensive about damaging your hair, you must go for partial balayage, the place solely a small portion of your hair shall be coloured. 

Black lady with naturally curly hair wearing balayage bob cut on with dark roots.

Execs and Cons of Full and Partial Balayage

Nearly all the pieces has a draw back, and balayage strategies are not any exception. On this part, we’ll bounce into the professionals and cons you may anticipate from partial and full balayage: 

Full Balayage Execs

  • It offers you an all-over brightened-up look that appears nice for informal and formal events and is at all times on-trend. 
  • It offers a noticeable but pure colour end result. 
  • It offers you the flexibility to customise the colour placement to suit your face, model, and preferences. Some discover that, when executed proper, balayage hair colour may even give the phantasm of a facelift. 
  • In comparison with conventional all-over colour, it’s much less damaging as a result of it doesn’t require foils or warmth. 

Full Balayage Cons

Female with the usual pre-lightening full balayage style on curly hair for a more noticeable lift.
  • You’ll be making use of lightener/bleach to many sections of your hair. Whereas this isn’t as unhealthy as foils, it would nonetheless depart your hair in worse situation than it began. 
  • For blonde balayage, you might discover a change in tone after your toner wears off. 
  • Full balayage could be extraordinarily costly each upfront and over time.

Partial Balayage Execs

  • It solely requires you to bleach or colour a number of sections of your hair, leaving you with much less hair damage than somebody who opts for the total balayage. 
  • Relying on the way you model your hair, you might not be capable to see your highlights. 
  • Anybody can attempt partial balayage, given how reasonably priced it’s. 

Partial Balayage Cons

  • When you get your partial balayage service, you might discover that the end result isn’t as vibrant as you hoped. 

Is Partial or Full Balayage Higher? 

Women with naturally dark hair wearing a blonde hair look due to a partial balayage hair treatment.

After analyzing the professionals and cons, you should still be confused – which balayage method is best?

There isn’t any single reply for the reason that choice is made based mostly on a wide range of elements. We’ll define them beneath: 

  • Price: If you’re low on funds or don’t wish to spend hundreds of dollars directly in your hair, partial balayage is the higher choice for you. 
  • Hair situation: In case your hair isn’t in the perfect form (pre-bleached, relaxed, permed, excessively dry), you must go for partial balayage because it solely requires you to course of a number of sections of your hair. But when your hair is wholesome, moisturized, and minimally processed, be at liberty to go for full balayage. 
  • Your dedication stage: In case you’re new to hair colour or really feel apprehensive about altering your look, partial balayage gives you a style of colour with out completely committing to a drastically new look. You may as well check out enjoyable new hair colour shades with out them overpowering your pure hair. In the identical token, if you wish to go daring, full balayage gives you exactly what you’re in search of. 

Partial Balayage vs Full Balayage: Having Hassle Selecting?

Lady laughing and enjoying life wearing curly short hair and partial highlights.

In case you’re nonetheless on the fence, look to your stylist. Throughout a hair consultation, your stylist will take a look at your hair, decide your hair’s situation, and be aware of your face form, amongst different issues.

Take a reference image or two with you so as to present the stylist precisely what you need your hair to seem like. The stylist will let which highlighting choice is greatest to your desired look by the tip of the session.   

Figuring out what differentiates full balayage from partial balayage highlights places you in an important place when consulting along with your stylist.

It additionally allows you to determine stylists who don’t have the suitable stage of data to model your hair successfully. We hope that this text is useful to you as you discover hair colour strategies to up your hair sport.

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