3 differences between Full and Partial Balayage, which one is better for your hair?

  • If you have healthy hair and want a radical change, and you have a high budget, choose the full balayage. You won’t regret it.
  • If you have short hair or a limited budget, or somewhat weakened hair, choose a partial balayage. You will give an exciting touch of color to your hair but without making it go through such an aggressive process.


First, I want to clarify something.

Partial balayage DOES NOT EXIST.

Some hairdressers invented it.


One or two years ago, nobody talked about partial balayage, only the traditional one. What happens is that hairdressers need to keep offering alternatives to their customers. And I’m not saying that it’s wrong, but many now call partial balayage what a few years ago was called simple highlights.

What is the difference between a partial balayage and highlights?


In my opinion, there is almost no difference.

Besides, I’m sure that if you ask for a partial balayage in most hairdressers, they will look at you as if you had lost your mind since they won’t know what you’re talking about.

Until you show them a photo of the balayage you want, then they’ll know what you mean.

   Now that you know that partial balayage is a simple marketing invention, let’s move on to what you’re interested in. [/ su_highlight]


Today I want to tell you what hairdressers are currently calling a partial balayage and how it differs from the traditional balayage.

But, above all, which of the two techniques is best for your hair.


  • For example, which of the two options is better for long hair and short hair?
  • Which of the two techniques is better if you have a limited budget?
  • Do you know which of the two techniques needs more maintenance? [/ Su_list]


I want to talk to you today about all of these questions.

The goal is that you leave here with a much clearer idea about which one is the best balayage for your hair.


There are three main differences between a full balayage and a partial one

Full blond balayage


Partial balayage, or what some hairdressers call partial, is much more subtle than full balayage.

In traditional balayage, the change is usually more noticeable because it occurs in almost all of the hair. On the other hand, the partial one is sought to illuminate only some sections of the hair to give it some depth, or even make a boring style gain some distinction, but subtly.


With that said, we can reach our first conclusion.

  • If you are looking for a subtle style change or give some light to your hair, choose the partial balayage.
  • If you are looking for a more radical change and want to receive many compliments for your new style, choose the full balayage.

Of course, we’re only talking about the differences in each of the techniques’ results for now. But there are several more details that you should know.


  • The application process of one and the other techniques are very different.

In a traditional balayage, the lengths are completely bleached, and only 5 to 7 centimeters of root are left. In a partial balayage, fading is done much more in sections.

This makes the full balayage more aggressive for hair than the partial one.

   Therefore, if you don't want to weaken your hair a lot, I recommend that you choose the partial one. If you have thin hair or somehow weakened, I recommend the partial one because your hair will suffer much less during the process. [/ su_highlight]


  • The last big difference is in the price between one and the other technique

Making a full balayage will always be more expensive than making a partial one because the first one may need more visits to the hairdresser.

For example, changing dark hair to an ash blond balayage can take up to three visits to the hairdresser. Instead, doing a partial balayage to give a touch of light to that same dark hair can be done in a single visit to the hairdresser.

   So my advice is, if you don't have a high budget, you should choose a partial balayage. [/ su_highlight]


So there you have it.

Those are the three main differences between a full balayage and what some hairdressers call a partial one.


All right, now let's suppose your hair is currently dark, either brown or black, what’s better for you: a full or partial balayage?

Let me tell you.


If I have dark brown hair, almost black, do partial or full balayage suit me?

half head balayage

Partial Balayage in Dark Hair


If you currently have dark hair and never dyed your hair in your life, I recommend a partial balayage.



   Simply because the change will be subtle to how you look now. And you can always do the full balayage later. [/ Su_highlight]

But if you do it the other way around, and the change is too radical for you, so much that it scares you every time you look in the mirror, there will be no turning back. Or there will be a way back, but it will not be an easy process.


Now, if you already have experience dyeing your hair, then choose the style you like best. Don’t be influenced by anyone because there is nothing uglier than ending with a style that we don’t like.

I mean, listen to the opinion of professionals. But you should always make the last decision.


Which technique is best for long hair and which one is for short hair

highlights the natural hair color

  Partial balayage in short hair


  • If you have long hair, the technique that will show off the most in your hair is the full balayage. There is no doubt about that.

Imagine a balayage that goes from chestnut to a honey or caramel tone. Or a balayage in the ash blonde range.

Either of these two options, as long as it’s correctly done, will be spectacular. And even more, if you have straight hair.


Because they usually cut up to 2 cm from the tips in the full balayage in each maintenance session due to hair damage by each bleaching.


So imagine if you had to cut two cms of your short hair.

You would never get to see your hair grow because you would have to cut more than what your hair grows between one color session and the other.


Which technique is best for how much you want to spend

natural brown hair

Caramel balayage


The partial balayage will always be cheaper than the traditional one.

   So, if you don't have budget limits for your style change, then you can choose any of the two techniques. [/ su_highlight]

Now, if your budget is limited, a partial balayage may be cheaper in the short and long term because don't forget that the balayage needs periodic maintenance.

And maintaining a partial balayage will always be cheaper than the full one, without counting the initial work cost.


Maintenance of each of the techniques

Maintaining a full balayage is much more difficult and expensive than a partial one.


If you do a full balayage, you must return to the hairdresser every 2-3 months, at least. Of course, the frequency you visit the hairdresser will depend on whether you have gray hair or not, and especially how much you take care of the color.

But to put an estimated time, keep in mind that you have to return to the hairdresser every 2-3 months.


   On the other hand, with a partial one, you don't have to go back to the hairdresser so often because the technique doesn't need so much maintenance. [/ su_highlight]

That’s without counting the maintenance’s cost and difficulty of each technique when you leave the hairdresser. I mean, daily hair maintenance will also be more difficult and expensive in a traditional balayage than in a partial one.


For example, if you get an ash balayage, you will need to color it with a purple or blue shampoo at least once a week because otherwise, you will end up with orange hair. But that doesn’t happen so much with the partial one.


So now you know, if you are not very good at taking care of your hair, then your best option is a partial balayage because the full one needs more maintenance with the time and money that it entails.



I hope that you have a clearer idea of what color technique is best for your hair after all of this.


To end, I go back to the idea I was initially commenting on.

   I think the important thing when choosing a change of style is not to get carried away by fashions or influencers who always have hidden intentions behind their posts. [/ su_highlight]


The important thing is to choose a style that goes well with your hair, personality, and economic possibilities. It would be no use spending a fortune on a full balayage if you can't maintain it later.

And now it's your turn, what will you decide, full or partial balayage?

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