How to Section Hair for Highlights & Balayage

Techniques Colour
Techniques Colour

Mastering flawless highlights isn’t all in the product you choose and your painting technique. To get perfect blending, you need to know how to section your client’s hair correctly, too. How you section hair for highlights can mean the difference between bold, blocky bands and soft, seamless ribbons, with the latter – naturally – being the end goal for you and your client.

However, there’s no single rule for highlights or balayage sectioning. Different techniques offer different results, enabling you to unlock a host of looks to complement your client’s hair. Do they need volume? Dimension? A radiance boost? Whatever they hope to achieve with their highlights, we’ve got all the sectioning tips you need. Here’s the full (g)lowdown…

Back of woman’s head with long, wavy, blonde hair, created using Wella Professionals.

Image Credit: @oz_beauties | @soupedrotavares

Woman looking into the camera with beautiful, curly, brown hair and caramel highlights, created using Wella Professionals.
Woman with long, wavy, blonde hair glancing down.
Back of woman’s head with long, wavy, blonde hair, created using Wella Professionals.
Illustration showing forward diagonal highlight sectioning.
Illustration showing backward diagonal highlight sectioning.
Back of woman’s head with mid-length bronde hair, created using Wella Professionals.
Illustration showing what a hair slice is.
Illustration showing what a hair weave is.
Back of woman’s head with hair being sectioned and lightened by a Wella colorist.
Wella Blondor products arranged on a grey stone surface.