Balayage and Brunettes

Most of my Brunette clients like being brown, they hate orange and red tones and just want to look natural. Never have I heard a client say can you put some orange highlights in my hair Jack!. Yet all around me I can see that orange brown glow of badly coloured hair, in all fairness its hard to keep the brassy tones away in the sunshine and colour does oxidize but even so its our job as colourists to work hard at keeping the brass away.

When I talk to a brunette client and we are talking Balayage I always talk about browns on brown what I like to call French Brown, I know its all about a taste level for the client and the colourist, but a level 1-5 naturally does not I believe look good with level 22 highlights ! or brassy orange tones. Many darker brunettes are scared of lightners because they have had bad experiencs with them, but you do need to lift the natural hair up a few levels, again I believe 3 levels lighter is enough, but its all in the glaze. The model below is a prime example of how natural yet modern Balayage can be on our darker bases.

Toffee coloured balayage and freehand work on a brunette
Toffee coloured balayage and freehand work on a brunette

With this model I used Dia Richesse 7.23 as a glaze and just kept my eye on it till I got the tone I wanted, but for those darker brunettes who pull a lot of red I go straight for my Shade EQ 6T it is a godsend and is always at hand because it is brilliant for killing any warmth, but again stay with it.
As far as lightner goes I always use Platinium from Loreal its the best, I helped launch it,I love it and it leaves the hair in amazing condition, but with brunettes never more than 30 volume there is no need in my mind for anything higher, it lifts nice and clean.

It all goes wrong with the placement too many people want to place highlightss on brunettes up near the roots, I always think that looks awful, and gives a vile grow out – just the midshafts and ends and a few perfectly placed pieces around the face and you will have a client for life. Remember on your Balayage application that the product needs to be evenly placed otherwise it will get that mottled effect that looks horrid. So keep up the practice on your balayage and remember “load and smooth your product”.

Jacks tip – for brunettes never more than 3 shades lighter for a natural, sun kissed, sexy look.

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