Vanilla Blonde Blonde Baby

A bright summer balayage for some vanilla latte colored hair

I am lucky enough in my career to have a lot of moms in my chair who trust me with their daughters hair. Girls really start becoming interested in good trendy hair color around the high school age, and I LOVE when their moms trust me to give them their Pinterest hair dreams. This gorgeous gal first had her hair colored with me NINE months ago. It was a soft balayage to give her lived in dimension without major upkeep and it turned out gorgeous. Fast forward to now, she was ready for something a little more bold entering her Junior year of high school, and I was all in!

Our inspiration image had bright pops of neutral level 10 blonde with plenty of dimension and a long root. Often times hairdressers see a balayage and immediately place a "money piece" around the face, which the guest doesn't always want. I ALWAYS ask if they would like bright painting around the face regardless of if their picture has it or not. In this case, she did not want to see the color much higher in placement around her face.

Our starting point had nine months of outgrowth on a traditional balayage. This made for a dark starting palette, especially when she had recently cut off 5 inches (where the lightest parts of her color lived). Because he hair was in such excellent condition and I knew her color history had nothing but lightening and toning living through her ends and virgin hair everywhere else, I felt comfortable and confident that traditional balayage with a clay based lightener would get us the end result we wanted! We began by cutting her dry to ensure that none of her bright blonde balayage would be cut off of her finished result. She wanted to remain mostly one length, so we cut a blunt square line taking off just under 1", slide cut some face framing beginning at her jaw line, and slide cut the rest of her hair to give it some movement without taking away from her length or giving her traditional layers. Once our cut was complete, we moved on to her color.


A lot of stylists immediately go to a heavily saturated placement for their balayage to get the MOST blonde that they can. In this case, she really still wanted to see dimension in her hair, so I went a different route. I chose to surface balayage through her "regrowth" area, and fully saturate her ends to give us the bold bright pieces that we wanted to see. I also balayaged LESS hair with more space between sections to give her a stronger dimensional effect, rather than smaller sections with more balayage to create almost a solid sheet of blonde.


30g clay based lightener

60g 30 volume

Processed for 20 minutes

Toner (liquid demi-permanent):

20g Gloss

10g 9,0 (level 9 natural / neutral)

10g 9,22 (level 9 double violet)

40g 10 Volume

Processed for 15 minutes

We began in the nape area in case we needed to rinse the back of her head first. Working in diagonal back sectioning, her painting pattern mimicked alternating "V" sections. Through the sides of her head, I used a diagonal back pattern and deeply wove a 1/2 inch thick sub section from the top of every 2 inch section. We kept a close eye on her lifting process to ensure that we rinsed as soon as she was done. This particular lightener has a processing time of 40 minutes, but she had lifted to a pale yellow level 10 by 20 minutes.

When she was finished lifting, we cleansed her twice with a nourishing shampoo to remove all lightener residue, towel dried, then applied our toner. Her toner processed for 15 minutes and brought us to the perfect sandy neutral blonde that we were aiming for. Once her toner was done processing, we cleansed and conditioned with a nourishing family and applied an amino acid leave in treatment and styling aid. I finished her style with a 1 1/4 inch marcel iron and we fell in love with this natural looking finish.


We had so much fun creating this new shape and giving her the bright balayage that she envisioned for her summer hair! This look is so low maintenance that I probably wont get to see her again for a while, but when I do I know her hair is still going to be natural and gorgeous!



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