If you’re like most of us, you have a routine, a plan, a schedule, a way things are going to go. Not only does this help you stay on task and on point, but also it keeps you stable and ready for anything.
When it comes to beauty and health, this is a winning formula for success but it’s not the best MO for your hair. That’s one area where you need to know your options. For example, maybe you always get full highlights. There’s nothing wrong with that. But partial highlights can really change up your look.
To start, there are some pretty big differences between partial and full highlights.
They’re not the same thing. If you’ve ever asked yourself “what are partial highlights?” then we have an answer that will help you choose between these two popular options to help you keep your look dynamic and cutting edge. We’ll delve into how you can change your look as well as what the main differences are between partial vs full highlights.
Highlighting Your Hair: The Process
As with anything, highlighting your hair is both an art and a science. Typically, stylists will take the segment of hair to be highlighted and cordon it off from the rest of your natural hair, typically with a piece of foil. Inside of this foil, your hair is soaked with a bleaching agent that helps lift the color.
During this time, some stylists will apply heat or let the foiled hair air dry with each option resulting in a bright or softer tone depending on the stylist’s application and client’s preferences. Stylists will often variegate colors in subtle ways for a more natural look and, again, depending on the client’s preferences can bring out a natural hue or more noticeable color change. As for highlighting itself, there are a number of options in how this can be approached with full highlights being one of the more popular options.
Full highlights are distinguished from others by their area of coverage which is the entire head. Again, the amount of highlighting depends on the client’s preferences for color and you can even mix highlights with lowlights for color variation and a dynamic look. Typically used to add depth and definition, full highlights can also alter and shift one’s hair color to a lighter tone. Again, working in consultation with their stylists, clients can choose from a range of options that work in any of these categories: Depth, dimension, or color alteration. The main advantage of full highlights is that they often present in a uniform and consistent way that many clients appreciate and that can be likened to having a natural appearance.
What Are Partial Highlights?
Unlike full highlights, partial highlights do not offer full coverage and, instead, are targeted areas of color alteration. If you’re debating between partial highlights vs full highlights, it might help to consult with a stylist about what your final goals are.
Typically, however, partial highlights refer to only the top and sides of the head for most stylists and, given this placement, is often used as a framing mechanism for the rest of the face. Partial highlights are an awesome, subtle option for changing hair color and can help clients ease into a new look due to the less drastic effect they have on the hair’s overall appearance when compared with full highlights.
Partial Highlights vs Full Highlights: Benefits and Considerations
Right out of the gate, one of the biggest benefits to keep in mind when debating between partial highlights or full highlights is the cost. Full highlights cost way more than partial highlights and, if budget is an issue, this is something to keep in mind.
To defray the costs of highlighting hair, some stylists recommend alternating between full and partial highlighting treatments to keep hair in top shape while doing minimal damage to your wallet. But make no mistake: Upkeep and maintenance are part and parcel with either treatment in order to keep it looking fresh, vibrant, and beautiful. After all, over time, color fades and, as a new hair grows in, this can lead to a messy look.
With that out of the way, let’s delve into some of the specific benefits of each treatment option:
The Benefits of Partial Highlights
- Cheaper and more cost-efficient over time: There’s also the consideration for the time spent in a salon maintaining your look.
- Less damaging to the hair: Full application of hair color tends to damage even the strongest hair. If you have hair that is prone to breakage or damage, then a full treatment might not be the best option for you.
- Natural look: Partial highlights aren’t meant to convey massive change. Don’t get us wrong, you can still get some drastic looks, but everything is more subdued when compared with a full treatment.
- Low maintenance: Less money and time in the salon by far when compared with the maintenance schedule for a full treatment.
The Benefits of Full Highlights
- Dramatic change: If you want to make a noticeable change in your hair’s color, there’s no better way to do it than full highlights.
- Adds Texture and Depth to Fine Hair: Full highlights can add depth, dimension, and give fine hair a sense of dynamic movement.
- Variety of Styling Options: Whether you’re going for a big change or you want to do something avant-garde, full highlighting promises to deliver.
- Aesthetic Versatility
Partial Highlights: What Shades Work Best?
One of the biggest questions clients have about partial highlights is whether or not they work with all shades of hair. The answer really depends on the client’s desired look and the current hair color more than anything else but, more often than not, people who want a dramatic change will not be satisfied with a partial treatment. This is mainly because it is incapable of offering the coherent aesthetic and complete coverage that a full treatment gives.
Considerations for Partial Highlights vs Full Highlights
Partial highlights tend to be better for clients that don’t have a lot of time to spend on maintenance and are comfortable with new growth showing. They’re also great for clients that want a refresh without breaking the bank. Conversely, clients seeking a dramatic change often alternate between full and partial treatments in order to maintain their look.
This can often be expensive but also very time-consuming. In this configuration, visible roots can ruin the overall aesthetic appearance of the hair and need to be addressed as soon as possible. If you are often crunched for time or you can’t imagine yourself visiting a salon roughly every six weeks, a full treatment might not be the best option for you.
Working with a Stylist You Trust
A confident stylist that knows how to help the client realize her dreams will be able to guide you through what will achieve those results. Whether it is a full treatment or partial highlights, don’t be afraid to embrace change and work with new techniques that can help you achieve the look you desire.