16 Classy Partial Balayage Hair Styles You Won’t Wanna Part With

Updated on November 1, 2023
Lauren Long By Lauren Long
Lauren Long

Creative Writer, Lifestyle Blogger, and Skincare and Wellness Enthusiast

Table Of Contents

    Partial balayagePIN

    16 Classy Partial Balayage Hair Styles You Won’t Wanna Part With

    Free-handing is the traditional way of creating visual art; hand-painted artwork, hand-made jewelry, hand-made sculptures, hand-crafted jewelry, and custom creations.

    When it comes to hand-painted highlights, many of us love the bespoke technique of balayage hair, as it offers exceptional results every time it is applied by each colorist and on every client.

    What is a Partial Balayage?

    The term “balayage” is a French word that means “to sweep.” Balayage is a hand-painted highlighting technique that involves sweeping the dye onto the hair to create a gradual, natural-looking effect. Partial balayage is where the hair colorist performs the same hand-painted sweeping technique but to select areas of their client”s hair.

    Partial balayage can be applied to:

    • Frame the face
    • Just the top layer
    • Underneath the hair
    • Random areas

    Some colorists will recommend adding partial balayage to specific areas for their client”s hair to compliment certain facial features or areas that will show depending on how they style their hair.

    Regular balayage is considered a full hair highlighting technique, and partial balayage is a type of partial highlight.

    There are several types of partial highlights. Sometimes, people combine two or more types of partial highlights to create a more bespoke look to their hair.

    The types of partial highlights include:

    1. Partial balayage
    2. Classic partial highlights
    3. Money pieces
    4. Babylights
    5. Teasy Lights
    6. Peekaboos

    The chart below compares partial balayage to other types of partial highlights.

    Type of Highlights Descriptions
    Partial Balayage
    • Hand-painted highlights
    • Swept onto sections of the hair
    • Specific sections of hair
    Classic Partial Highlights
    • Foil highlights
    • On one layer of hair or around the face
    Money Pieces
    • Foil highlight
    • Chunky single highlights
    • Face-framing pieces of hair
    • Foil highlights
    • Very fine highlights
    • All-over or one layer of hair
    • Hair is teased before highlighting
    • Softer highlights
    • Specific sections of hair
    • Foil highlights
    • Single chunky highlight
    • Hidden on underlayer of hair

    Partial Balayage vs. Full Balayage

    Both partial balayage and full balayage use the same hand-painted highlighting technique where the colorist sweeps the color onto sections of the hair. The difference between full and partial balayage is that partial balayage is applied to specific sections, such as around the face or to one layer of hair, creating a much more subtle effect.

    Partial balayage is not the same as reverse balayage, a technique where the colorist sweeps darker tones and lowlights into the roots and through the hair to tone down the color and add dimension.

    Are you ready to dive into some partial balayage inspiration? We”ve gathered the top 16 partial balayage hair trends on social media.

    Partial Balayage on Dark Hair

    Dark hair colors like deep mocha, raven, and espresso tones are timelessly elegant. As much as we love our gorgeous dark tresses, it”s normal to want a little change to our appearance.

    Partial balayage on dark is a classy way to add a splash of light color to a deep base. Of course, there is the option for partial highlights or peekaboo color on dark hair, but nothing blends as flawlessly as partial balayage.

    Partial Balayage Straight Hair

    When we look up partial balayage hair ideas on social media, we typically see big voluptuous dos with bouncy waves. Waves and loose curls accentuate the hand-painted balayage technique, but partial balayage hair adds dimension to straight hairstyles too.

    If you go for partial balayage straight hair, be sure to dye your face-framing money pieces and sections near the front of your hair so you can really show off the hair color when it is done.

    Zohna Tip: Map out where you want your partial balayage highlights to be on straight hair to have an accurate idea of how it looks when you want flat-iron your do.

    Caramel Partial Balayage

    You may think of caramel balayage as the classic color for the hand-painted hair technique. Caramel is one of the most popular colors for balayage hair; it”s that mouth-watering shade between blonde and brunette that goes well with light and dark hair. Go for caramel partial balayage when you want a taste of dulce de leche indulgence.

    Partial Balayage Highlights

    Partial highlights and partial balayage are often used interchangeably; however, partial highlights follow a foil application and root-to-tip approach, whereas partial balayage does the sweeping technique to create a hand-painted effect.

    Partial balayage highlights offer the best of both the sun-kissed balayage look and the root-to-tip coverage of highlights. Your colorist will take specific sections of hair and make a back-and-forth sweeping motion from root to tip rather than apply foils. The result is a more blended look than highlights.

    Partial Balayage Short Hair

    Adding a few highlights enhances the appearance of shorter hairstyles. Partial balayage on short hair gives a texturized look to choppy layers. The best thing about partial balayage short hair vs. long hair is that it will cost you less money and take a fraction of the time!

    Brown Hair Partial Balayage

    Rich mocha, milk chocolate, deep espresso, sweet toffee…there are so many delicious shade options to play with for brown hair. Try brown hair partial balayage if you”re a brunette looking to give your hair a twist. Add in some partial honey or butterscotch balayage highlights for a tasty new look to your do.

    Light Brown Partial Balayage

    When you”re looking for brown hair that is a little on the lighter side, there are tons of ways to play with partial balayage hair. Light brown partial balayage sweeps golden blondes and copper browns onto lighter shades of brown hair.

    Light brown partial balayage colors includes:

    • Light caramel
    • Honey brown
    • Sandy brown
    • Butterscotch

    Partial Balayage on Black Hair

    When considering partial balayage vs. highlights on black hair, many people find that partial balayage creates a much more natural-looking effect.

    Partial balayage can be challenging to achieve on black hair, as it may take multiple lightning treatments to lift the dark pigment from the hair. You can always opt for clip-in partial balayage highlights to change up your dark hairdo.

    Blonde Partial Balayage Hair

    Being a blonde bombshell never goes out of style. Blonde balayage is popular, ranging from cool-toned ashy and platinum blondes to warm golden blondes.

    Blonde partial balayage hair offers a taste of light blonde colors swept into the hair for a natural sun-kissed effect.

    Ash Brown Partial Balayage

    Ash Brown Partial BalayageInstagram@pcxhairPIN

    Are you looking for a cool alternative to traditional warm shades of brown to spruce up your hair? Ash brown balayage is one of the hottest, or should we say the coolest balayage trends.

    Ash brown is a cool brown infused with soft grey and silver tones. Add a couple of money pieces to your hair, and you will have stunning ash brown partial balayage.

    Brunette Partial Balayage

    Brunettes have it easy when it comes to highlighting techniques; brown hair goes well with every color from platinum blonde to spicy copper to raven black balayage. Brunette partial balayage flawlessly blends pops of colors into brown hair.

    Partial Balayage Curly Hair

    Highlights are a wonderful technique to accentuate curls and give them extra bounce. Though the hand-painted sweep is hard to detect on tight curls, the balayage results on curly hair are mesmerizing. If you want to emphasize select spirals in your hair, go for partial balayage on curly hair.

    Partial Balayage Asian Hair

    If you are searching “partial balayage Asian hair” you”re likely someone with thick hair that is tricky to dye. People of Asian descent typically have coarse hair, and it can take multiple lightning sessions and sometimes trial and error to get the right color and technique.

    Luckily, partial balayage hair is hard to mess up since the hand-painting approach is intended to look bespoke on every person. Go for a few face-framing balayage highlights to compliment your facial features, and you”ll have money pieces in the bank!

    Rose Gold Partial Balayage

    If you think life is pretty in pink, life is gorgeous in rose gold. Whether you”re a blondie or a brunette, partial rose gold balayage looks stunning as it peeks through the hair.

    Try Kiss Tintation Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Rose Gold for DIY rose gold partial balayage.

    Rainbow Partial Balayage

    Taste the rainbow!

    When you”re in the mood for a taste of multicolored hair, rainbow partial balayage is the color for you. Hidden pieces of vibrant balayage are an excellent way to sneak rainbow tones into natural hair color.

    You can see that the hair colorist hand-painted diagonal stripes of color to each section of hair, allowing the color to blend smoothly with the natural hair.

    Ash Blonde Partial Balayage

    We can”t get enough of the ash blonde hair trends. Ash blonde balayage is a cool shade of blonde with grey, blue, and violet undertones.

    Try ash blonde partial balayage if you want a subtle way to incorporate this edgy yet elegant color into your hair. It may take several lightning sessions on very dark hair, but the stunning contrast is well worth the investment.

    Partial Copper Balayage

    Spice up your life with an awesome copper hair color. Partial copper balayage infuses peachy orange and gingery tones onto reddish brown hair color.

    You can add copper balayage to any hair color, but it looks especially good when worked into gingery and chestnut brown hair colors.

    Partial Balayage vs. Sombre Hair

    Partial balayage to full balayage is like comparing ombre to sombre hair. Both partial balayage and sombre hair are more subtle, less expensive, and lower maintenance versions of their counterparts. For many people, the decision between ombre and balayage may be tough, and for those wanting a taste of the highlighting trends, the decision is between partial balayage and sombre hair.

    The chart below compares partial balayage to sombre hair.

    Partial Balayage Sombre
    • Hand-painted highlights
    • Single color swept onto sections of hair
    • Applied to specific sections of the hair
    • Pops of contrasting color
    • Gradient color
    • Two to three colors on one section of hair
    • Applied from ends to mid-shaft
    • Subtle color transition

    How to Do a Partial Balayage?

    You can”t go wrong with partial balayage. A few hand-painted highlights are a tasteful way to add subtle color throughout your hair.

    When planning a partial balayage color treatment, the options and processes are very similar to those for full balayage hair.

    If you want to get gorgeous partial balayage, you have three options:

    1. Book an appointment for partial balayage with a hair colorist
    2. Purchase clip-in partial balayage hair extensions
    3. DIY partial balayage hair at home

    You don’t need to be perfect when trying out DIY partial balayage hair at home since it is a subtle hair blending technique. For most hair types, partial balayage involves bleaching small sections and following with an all-over hair color or toner.

    Our tutorial will demonstrate how to get face-framing partial balayage on medium-brown hair.

    Here is what you need for DIY partial balayage:

    • Bowl
    • Hair dye brush
    • Developer
    • Bleach powder
    • Hair clips
    • Hair dye or hair toner color

    Step #1

    Plan out your partial balayage hair. For our tutorial, we will color face-framing highlights and partial balayage to the front of your hair.

    Step #2

    Section your hair into four quadrants. With the pointed end of your hair dye brush, draw a line down the middle of your hair from your nose to your neck. Split each half into two at the back of your ears. Clip up or tie the back two quadrants of your hair; you will not touch these sections. Clip up the left front quadrant of hair.

    Step #3

    In your mixing bowl, combine two parts of bleach powder with one part of the developer. For partial balayage hair, half a cup of bleach powder and a quarter cup of the developer should be enough.

    Step #4

    Start with your right front quadrant of hair. Section a one to two-inch section of face-framing hair. Dip the brush end of your hair dye brush in bleach and apply the bleach evenly from roots to tip.

    Step #5

    Take a one-inch section from the untouched hair. Dip the brush end of your hair dye brush in the bleach mixture and blend the bleach from the mid-shaft down in a back-and-forth sweeping motion. Add more bleach at the tips.

    Step #6

    Repeat the process using one-inch sections of hair and leaving one-inch sections untouched between the bleached areas.

    Step #7

    Once you have finished with the front right quadrant, you may repeat on the upper left quadrant, starting with the face-framing highlights. Do not clip your bleached hair back up. Leave it flat and straight.

    Step #8

    Allow the bleach to remain on your hair for at least 30 minutes. Rinse and blow dry your hair.

    Step #9

    You should now have a beautiful blonde partial balayage pattern and face-framing highlights. Color your entire hair, including the face-framing highlights, with a hair dye or hair toner of your choice.

    You do not need to repeat the coloring process in one-inch sections over the bleached hair. Dying your whole head will color the bleached hair a lighter color and the rest of your hair a richer, more natural shade.


    • How Long Does a Partial Balayage Take?

      Partial balayage sessions take between 45 to 90 minutes, compared to an hour and a half to three hours for full balayage. The time depends on the length and thickness of your hair and how much lightening your hair needs before applying the chosen color.

    • Partial Balayage Price?

      The price of partial balayage varies depending on several factors:

      • Type of salon (luxury, boutique, standard)
      • Location
      • Hair length
      • Number of treatments required
      • How much hair is dyed

      Partial balayage is less expensive than full balayage, averaging between $70 and $130. Cosmopolitan magazine says the average price of a full balayage service in the USA is $175 in suburban areas and $250 in cities. Balayage is more expensive than highlights due to the time-consuming hand-painting process.

    • How Often to Get a Partial Balayage?

      People love balayage because it is less noticeable as it grows out and lasts longer before visibly requiring touchups. Partial balayage lasts up to 12 weeks before you want to touch up your tresses.

    You Can’t Go Wrong with Partial Balayage

    When you”re unsure what hair technique you”ll suit or how it will turn out, partial balayage offers the most reliable results. The hand-painted, bespoke technique, swept onto specific sections of the hair, will flawlessly blend in for natural-looking results!