Ain't No Sunshine When She's (Not) Blonde

A second balayage application for a bright, sunny blonde finish

If you remember back a couple months, this now sunshine-y head of hair looked something like this. Our game plan has always been to lift lighter through summer, then take her hair deeper again through fall and winter. After our first balayage application, her hair was a beautiful bronde. Today, we wanted to create a higher impact blonde with golden tones.

*BALAYAGE IS NOT A COMFORTABLE TECHNIQUE FOR EVERYONE. Many stylists who have been behind the chair longer than 4 years were never taught anything about balayage in school, and are either completely self taught, have invested thousands in their own balayage education, or just stay the heck away from it all together.

I personally learned much of my own balayaging from my good friend Shayna Huse. She has started an online educational hub that is a GOLD MINE of information, guys. She's been behind the chair for well over a decade, has educated independently and brand specifically, and has dedicated so much of her career to spreading the immense knowledge she has. If you're in need of balayage education, PLEASE do yourself a favor and order her online classes. It is a single purchase, not a subscription, and I do not receive anything for sharing this information with you. We deserve all of the tools we can get without spending $2,000 plus every time we want to learn. You won't regret it!*

We went 12 weeks in between our appointments, and as you can see from the images below the brightness that was initially placed into her hair had grown out quite a bit. During this application, we wanted to create bright blonde ends with higher gradation.

Her starting palette has quite a bit of dark with lower outgrown balayage. All of her dark hair is free of permanent color. The only color that has existed on her hair is demi permanent, which is very easy to lift through.


Today, our main focus was the ends of her hair. We wanted to lift them lighter and brighter with a beautiful golden over tone. With our starting palette and end goal in mind, balayage was the perfect technique to achieve our brighter ends while blending in the rest of her hair. We also wanted to refresh her base with a liquid demi, like we did last time, to give her hair shine and a little depth!

Base Color(Liquid Demi-Permanent):

30g 4,14 (level 4 blue with copper)

30g 10 Volume


30g Clay Based Lightener

60g 30 Volume

Processed for 35 minutes

Her ends were already pretty light, but there was quite a bit of negative space that we wanted to fill and offer a gradation from her refreshed and darker base.

I began her application in the back in case the first sections needed to be rinsed before the rest of her head was complete. Once her back had been applied, I worked through her sides. This whole application took less than 35 minutes. Once she was finished processing, I cleansed her twice with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner, then toned her.

Toner (liquid demi-permenant):

20g 9,0 (level 9 Neutral)

5g 9,22 (Level 9 Double Violet)

15g Gloss (Clear)

40g 10 volume

This processed for the full recommended processing time of 20 minutes. I then cleansed and conditioned her with a smoothing line, prepped her hair with a nutrient dense oil, thermal protecting leave in conditioner and a silkening primer. I then blew her out with volume and movement, and finished with a light flexible hairspray.

She uses a shine enhancing smoothing line at home as her primary shampoo and conditioner, and has two other families in her hair wardrobe that she rotates into her hair care. Her hair is always in beautiful condition!

This gorgeous, sunny gradation was exactly what we were both hoping for. She was just thrilled!


Below is the progress made between our first and second application. I LOVE seeing side by side images after multiple applications to remember just how far we have come. This hair color was right on the money!

As you've already read here, I will be headlining in an independently run hair show, The Artistic Collective, this September 29th & 30th in Chicago, IL! I will of COURSE be teaching color theory IN PERSON, and it's something you don't want to miss!! We have a start studded line up of educators and I couldn't be more excited to be sharing the stage with these industry giants!! Right now, the tickets are $675, and I recommend to JUMP ON THEM because the price will be raising to $775 on 6/1! I have extended my reward for all purchases of Dreaming In Color resulting in a code for $100 off your ticket purchase, so grab a book AND your ticket at the price of $575 just for my book supporters!

Line up as follows:







@hairbywillow / @theformulationfiles