The Ultimate Guide to Full Head of Highlights: Everything You Need to Know

The Ultimate Guide to Full Head of Highlights: Everything You Need to Know

Are you ready to transform your hair and make a bold statement with a full head of highlights? This comprehensive guide will take you on a journey through the fascinating world of hair highlighting techniques, helping you choose the perfect shade and style for your unique look. Get ready to explore the art of full head of highlights and discover how to maintain their vibrancy and health.

Key Takeaways

  • Full head highlights provide a dramatic transformation compared to partial highlights.
  • Different techniques such as balayage, foilyage, babylights and twilighting can be used to customize full head highlights for the ideal look.
  • Choosing the right shade of highlight is essential – consider factors like natural hair color, skin tone and eye color when selecting your desired outcome.

Understanding Full Head of Highlights

hair, your hair, highlights

Unlike partial highlights that focus on specific areas, full head highlights can transform your hair color dramatically by lightening every section. They provide a stunning and eye-catching result, making them a popular choice for those seeking a new and exciting hairstyle.

The difference between partial and full highlights lies in the extent of the transformation. When deciding on partial or full highlights, it’s important to know that partial highlights, also known as half head highlights, are used to create a more blended and subtle look, while full head highlights offer a complete color change for a more dramatic appearance.

What are Full Head Highlights?

Various techniques like foil highlighting, balayage, babylights, and slicing and weaving are employed in full head highlights to lighten each strand of hair, resulting in a dramatic color change. These techniques can be adapted to suit various hair types, lengths, and styles, making full head highlights a versatile option.

A common request for partial highlights is face-framing highlights, which brighten the face by adding color near the front of the head. You can alternate between full and partial highlights as desired, or even add partial highlights, regardless of whether you have straight or curly hair.

Difference Between Partial and Full Highlights

To add subtle color and create a more blended look, partial highlights focus on specific sections of the hair. They are often used when clients typically wear their hair up. On the other hand, full highlights provide a complete transformation for a more dramatic appearance, lightening all sections of the hair to create a striking and eye-catching look. In contrast, traditional highlights offer a classic approach to hair coloring, sitting between partial and full highlights in terms of coverage and intensity.

When deciding between partial and full highlights, it’s helpful to show your stylist a picture of your desired result rather than just describing it. This ensures they have a clear understanding of your vision and can recommend the most suitable technique for your hair.

Techniques for Full Head Highlights

hair, color, coloring

Balayage, foilyage, babylights, and twilighting are among the various techniques utilized to achieve full head highlights. Each technique offers unique benefits and results, providing you with numerous options to customize your full head highlights and achieve the perfect look for your hair.

Balayage Technique

The balayage technique originates from France and involves freehand painting color onto the hair’s surface, creating a soft and natural effect. This technique has gained popularity due to its ability to produce a sun-kissed, natural look with less visible regrowth lines. Balayage differs from traditional foiling techniques as it creates a more natural, painted effect rather than the defined and controlled look of foils.

Balayage is a highly versatile technique that can be adapted to various hair lengths, types, and styles, regardless of whether the hair is dark or light. The natural-looking highlights of balayage can be blended in to create a stunning look that suits any hair type.

Foilyage Technique

The foilyage technique is a combination of foil and balayage techniques, allowing for a more controlled and precise application of color. It involves using foils to create highlights, similar to traditional foiling, but the application is done in a balayage style, where the color is delicately brushed onto the hair for a more natural and blended appearance.

Foilyage offers several advantages, including partial foil highlights:

  • Achieving a blended and natural look
  • Creating brighter and more vibrant highlights
  • Covering more hair with fewer foils
  • Keeping the roots virtually untouched for a low-maintenance style.

This technique is suitable for all hair types and colors, making it a highly customizable option for full head highlights.

Babylights Technique

Babylights are ultra-fine highlights that blend seamlessly with the base color, resulting in a subtle, natural look for those with fine hair. They are achieved by placing finer accents at the hairline and gradually transitioning to more saturated ends. This meticulous and time-consuming technique requires applying highlights to smaller sections of hair and select areas of the head.

Babylights are compatible with all hair types, including straight hair, curly, wavy, and textured hair.

They can be applied to any hair color, length, or type, making them a versatile option for full head highlights. It is recommended to refresh the look every two months, although the frequency may vary depending on individual factors.

Twilighting Technique

Twilighting is a technique that combines warm and cool tones to create dimension and depth within the hair. This technique works well on brunette hair as it adds warmth and depth, while reflecting golden hues. It can also be applied to blondes and redheads.

The twilighting technique contributes to creating more depth and dimension in hair by layering different shades of light and dark, producing the visual effect of volume and richness. It adds subtle highlights to dark hair, resulting in increased depth and definition.

Choosing the Right Shade for Your Full Head Highlights

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Achieving the desired result for your full head highlights hinges on choosing the perfect shade. It’s important to consider factors such as your natural hair color, skin tone, and eye color when selecting the right shade.

In this section, we will explore how to choose the ideal shade for dark, blonde, dark brown hair, and red hair.

Lightening Dark Hair

It can be a delicate process to lighten dark hair with full head highlights, requiring careful consideration of the appropriate shade and technique. It’s important to begin within one or two tones of your natural hair color to ensure a harmonious result that complements your features.

To lighten dark hair without causing damage, various techniques can be employed, such as:

  • Partial bleaching
  • Hair gloss
  • Balayage
  • Vitamin C application

Be sure to consult with a professional stylist for guidance on which technique is best suited for your hair type and desired outcome.

Enhancing Blonde Hair

With the addition of full head highlights, blonde hair can gain dimension and brightness, resulting in a sun-kissed effect. Blonde hair can be enhanced with shades such as ash blonde, golden highlights, and dark blonde with lowlights, which bring out the natural beauty of blonde hair and flatter different skin tones.

Current trends for full head highlights for blonde hair include:

  • Icy platinum blonde highlights
  • Golden honey blonde highlights
  • Delicate threads of Luxe Blonde highlights
  • Ash or neutral blonde balayage
  • Dirty blonde and creamy highlights
  • Dirty and white blonde balayage

These trendy styles can help you achieve a stunning and vibrant look that showcases the beauty of blonde hair.

Adding Warmth to Red Hair

By adding full head highlights to red hair, it’s possible to enhance its natural vibrancy and add warmth and depth. Optimal shades for red hair include:

  • Copper red
  • Golden blonde
  • Honey tones
  • Fiery highlights
  • Platinum white peekaboo highlights

To add warmth to red hair using full head highlights, techniques such as the Auburn Red Warmth technique can be employed. This method utilizes full highlights to add a warm hue to the hair without creating a solid red color from root to tips.

Caring for Your Full Head of Highlights

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To preserve the beauty of your full head highlights, it’s crucial to maintain their health and vibrancy. In this section, we will explore how to care for your highlights through proper shampoo and conditioner selection, heat styling precautions, and touch-up schedules.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Preserving the longevity of your highlights is reliant on the choice of color-safe and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner products. Sulfates, commonly found in regular shampoos, can strip the hair of essential moisture and oils, causing dryness and dullness. Sulfate-free products help to maintain the vibrancy and health of your highlights.

We recommend using Color Protection Shampoo and selecting a conditioner that offers hydration and vibrancy, such as Mirabelle Plum Seed Oil, Vitamin B5, and Prickly Pear Extract. Avoid ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, which can cause hair dryness.

Heat Styling

The adverse effect of heat styling on highlighted hair results in damage to the hair cuticle, leading to dryness, brittleness, and color fading. To minimize damage, use a heat protectant product and limit the heat applied to your hair when styling.

In addition to using heat protectant products, consider alternatives to heat styling, such as:

  • air drying
  • heatless curling sets
  • braids
  • natural heat protectants like oils

These options can help preserve the health and vibrancy of your full head highlights while reducing the risk of damage.

Touch-Ups and Maintenance

To keep your full head highlights looking fresh and vibrant, regular touch-ups and maintenance are needed. It is generally recommended to schedule touch-ups every two to three months or eight to ten weeks, although this can vary depending on individual factors.

In addition to touch-ups, maintaining the overall health of your hair is crucial for preserving the beauty of your highlights. This includes regular trims, deep conditioning treatments, and using the appropriate hair care products to nourish and protect your hair.

Full Head Highlights Inspiration: Trendy Styles to Try

art, art work, portrait

Are you seeking some inspiration for your full head highlights? In this section, we’ll explore some trendy styles that will help you achieve a stunning and unique look, including icy blonde transformations, multi-dimensional highlights, and color blend highlights.

Icy Blonde Transformation

An icy blonde transformation with full head highlights can result in a stunning and head-turning look. This process involves using a bond-strengthening hair lightener to lift red and yellow tones from the hair, followed by a toning service to create the desired icy blonde shade.

The icy blonde transformation can be customized with a “rooty” effect, which involves highlighting the hair all over and leaving some of the natural root color untouched. This creates a contrast between the highlighted sections and the natural roots, resulting in a lived-in look that requires fewer touch-ups.

Multi-Dimensional Highlights

By incorporating various shades and tones, multi-dimensional highlights can create depth and dimension in the hair. They can be achieved through techniques such as:

  • Highlights
  • Balayage
  • Ombre
  • Color melting

These techniques can be tailored to suit different hair colors and add contrast and depth to the base color.

For those with warmer undertones, warm-toned highlights such as golden blondes and caramel hues can enhance your natural hair color. For cooler complexions, cooler tones like ashy blondes and platinum shades are recommended.

Color Blend Highlights

In full head highlights, color blend highlights are a technique utilized to create a seamless blend between the client’s natural hair color and the highlighted sections. This is accomplished by strategically placing highlights throughout the entire head of hair, ensuring consistency of color and a natural-looking result.

Popular color combinations for color blend highlights include:

  • Black and burgundy
  • Brown and red
  • Brown and golden highlights
  • Dark roots with light ends
  • Black and brown

Experimenting with multiple colors and techniques can help you achieve a unique, customized full head highlight style that stands out from the rest.


In this ultimate guide to full head highlights, we’ve explored the different techniques, shades, and maintenance tips for achieving a stunning and vibrant look. Whether you have dark, blonde, or red hair, full head highlights offer a wide range of possibilities to transform your appearance and showcase your unique style. Embrace the art of highlighting and let your hair shine brightly!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a full head of highlights?

Full highlights involve lightening all of the hair on your head, from the top to the nape, for a subtle or dramatic look.

How much should a full head of highlights cost?

The average cost of a full head of highlights is between $75-100, however this will depend on factors such as the type of color and the length of your hair. Babylights may incur a higher price closer to $120.

What’s the difference between highlights and full highlights?

Partial highlights are only applied to the sections of hair around the face, whereas full highlights cover the entire head. Partial highlights create more subtle and gradual light pieces, whereas full highlights create bolder and brighter colors.

Will a full head of highlights make me blonde?

Yes, a full head of highlights can make you blonde. It usually results in a more natural blonde look with streaks of different blondes and browns coming through. This is a more gentle way of going blonde and usually produces a proper blonde highlight straight away.

How often should I schedule touch-ups for my full head highlights?

It is recommended to schedule a touch-up for your full head highlights every two to three months or eight to ten weeks.

Paulina Romain

Paulina Romain is an entrepreneur and artist in the beauty industry. She is the founder and owner of The Art of Ink Studio, where she provides services such as permanent cosmetics, microblading, and artistic ink, focusing on personalized body art. Additionally, she owns Mill Pond Salon, through which she aims to deliver big-city salon services in the comfort of a small town. Apart from her hands-on work in her studios, Paulina Romain is also active on social media platforms like TikTok, where she showcases her fine line and cosmetic tattoo work. Furthermore, she's been in the salon and beauty industry for over 14 years and operates Team True Beauty with Sam Romain. This platform includes a blog on various beauty-related topics and marks the opening of two beauty brands by the couple.

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