How-To: Reintroduce Contrast to Solid Color

Photo courtesy of @laci.muse

Break up solid color and add movement, depth and tone with this customizable layered lighting technique from AlfaParf Milano artist, Laci Meeks (@laci.muse). Using balayage painting, Meeks demonstrates how to reintroduce contrast and dimension to solid blondes with lowlights and highlights for a long-lasting and rooty waterfall effect. 

Get the Look: 

  1. Start by adding highlights into the lower portions of the hair. On horizontal sections, apply a mixture of  AlfaParf Milano Oxid'o 30 Volume plus 10ml’s of AlfaParf Milano Bond Rebuilder, keeping the color close to the mid lengths and ends.  Follow by working up, identifying where highlights are needed for each client and cover each section with plastic to protect from bleeding. Avoid painting on any previously lightened areas. 
  2. Once up to the parietal ridge, begin bringing the color up higher. Leaving out the face-framing front sections to be painted later. Use thicker sections, painting on small points though the top to avoid bleeding. 
  3. Once you have worked up about two sections from the part, begin adding lowlights to one section on areas (specifically ends) that are too blonde. Avoid hitting the natural color, and add dimension using Alfaparf Milano's Evolution of the Color 8.13 with 10 Volume. Paint directly onto foils from mid lengths, feathering the color up to help it blend. To keep a blonde pop at the ends, avoid bringing the lowlight all the way through and instead, angle the feathering back, and “sweep” the brush over to blend and avoid hard lines. 
  4. For the next section, alternate back to adding highlights. Use double and single points for a rooty look. Work all the way up to the part. 
  5. Finish the balayage painting by working on the face-framing pieces in the front, using the lighlight formula and triple points to add pop. 
  6. Process and add glaze with AlfaParf Milano Color Wear 10.1 with AlfaParf Milano Pigments Violet Ash.21.  
  7. To mix up a custom take home toning shampoo and mask, mix 16 pumps of AlfaParf Milano Pigments Violet Ash.21 into AlfaParf Milano Pigments Reparative Shampoo and 16 pumps into AlfaParf Milano Pigments Reparative Mask.

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