Strand & Lock

half head or full head of highlights - woman with blonde hair

Half Head or Full Head Highlights: What to Choose

Are you torn between a half head or full head of highlights? We’ve broken down everything you need to know to make your decision!


The difference between full head and half head highlights

Let’s rewind a bit before we go straight into the difference. Highlights are when we take precise sections of the hair and weave out pieces to lighten. We’ll then add a foil and move to the next section. The beauty of it is that we do not add lightener to every piece, giving you a dimensional and more natural look than a full scalp bleach or tint. 

So, what’s the difference between full head and half head highlights? 

A full head is when we highlight every single section of your head. However, partial or half head highlights are much more strategic. We don’t highlight your whole head, instead, we lighten sections – usually around the face and hairline to give you that sculpted look.


Half head or full head highlights: Which is right for you?

Though the technique generally remains the same, the results of a full head or half head highlights can be very different. Fundamentally, it all comes down to your personal preferences. We’ll go through some ways to decide which one would be right for you.


  • How blonde do you want to go?

Highlights are for people who want to go lighter. But blonde comes in many forms, so you’ll have to think about how light you want to go.

If you like really light blondes, then a full head of highlights might be better for you. The majority of your hair will be blonde, so your hair will appear much lighter and brighter. 

However, if you just want to add a bit of lightness to your hair, then a half head would be preferable for you. The majority of your hair will be your previous hair colour, aka much darker. So, you won’t be able to achieve anything close to a platinum blonde look.

Half head is also the perfect way to get beautiful face-framing highlights.


  • Dimension

Another factor to consider is how much dimension you like. Both methods can be adapted to have more or less dimension, but with a full head of highlights, there is only so much dimension we can create. 

If you absolutely love a multi-tonal look, then it might be worth considering a half head. However, if you prefer more of a balanced, all-over look, then you can only achieve this with a full head. 


  • Your current hair

There are a few things to think about with your current hair. Firstly, you’ll need to look at the condition of your locks. If your hair has had a lot of chemical or heat damage in the past, then a full head of highlights might be too much for your hair to cope with. 

However, all hope is not lost! There are treatments you can add to your highlight appointment, such as Olaplex, to protect your hair, but our stylists will never go ahead with a service if your hair’s health will be compromised.

Therefore, a half head might help you achieve a lighter look without damaging your hair beyond repair. 

Secondly, think about your current hair and what you want to achieve with highlights. If you have a balayage, then a half head of highlights is the perfect way to bring your blonde a bit higher. Or, if you have virgin hair and want a big change, a full head of highlights is the way to go. 


  • Affordability

Lastly, you may want to consider affordability. A half head of highlights is usually less expensive to maintain. That being said, highlights only require top-ups every 6-8 weeks, and it is very easy to switch from getting half heads to full heads and vice versa. It all comes down to your hair goals, so have a good think about what look you want.


Taking care of half and full head highlights

Highlights do require some maintenance between appointments. If you like your highlights on the ashier side, we definitely recommend the Aveda Blonde Revival Purple Toning  Shampoo and Conditioner. Using these products in your hair routine will revive the look of your highlights by helping to neutralise brassy yellow tones. You can read more about how purple shampoo works here.


Book your next highlight appointment at Strand & Lock

Check out our services, or book an appointment to get your dream highlights here.

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