Color & Lightening

Smokey French Balayage Technique

by Aspen Rae
Smokey French Balayage Technique
Learn a French Balayage technique from the Queen of Balayage Aspen Rae Tengler of our PRAVANA Collective who utilizes its soft effects as a base for a rich, sultry look featuring PRAVANA’s ChromaSilk Smokey Series!


Lightening Formula

30g Pure Light Blonding Creme + 60g Chosen PRAVANA Creme Developer

Overlay Formulas

Formula 1: 20g ChromaSilk Creme Color – Smokey Series 6Nt9 / 6Nts Dark Neutral Smokey Blonde + 30g 10 Volume Creme Developer

Formula 2: 20g ChromaSilk Creme Color – Smokey Series 10.91 / 10Sa Extra Light Smokey Ash Blonde + 10g ChromaSilk Creme Color – Smokey Series 8.92 / 8Sbv Light Smokey Beige Blonde + 45g 10 Volume Creme Developer


Step 1: Prep

Prep the hair by spraying Purify & Revive PRIME Demineralizing Spray generously throughout the hair, combing through for even distribution and allowing to sit for 3 minutes (no rinsing or shampoo required). This will diminish any hard water minerals prior to any chemical service.

Pro Tip

Minerals are found in 85% of household water which can cause lightener to puff and swell or color to take inaccurately.

Step 2: Sectioning

Take a radial parting from behind the ear to behind the ear. In the front section, take horizontal partings at the parietal ridge on each side to create two side sections and one mohawk section. In the back, take a horizontal parting at the top of the occipital bone, then divide the hair above it horizontally to create two 3” crown sections above the occipital bone leaving the hair out underneath as your first section.

Step 2 Smokey French Balayage Technique

Pro Tip

As you create each section, wrap them into a knot so you can secure them up and out of your way as you work.

Step 3: Balayage – Back/Underneath

Beginning in the lower back section at the top of the occipital bone, take horizontal sections and utilizing an open-air balayage free-hand painting technique, create “V” and “W” shapes to cover ground quickly for a natural lightening effect.

Step 3 Smokey French Balayage Technique

Pro Tip

Work in a bricklay pattern to avoid laying lightened sections over sections left untouched for pockets of depth.

Step 4: Balayage – Sides

Moving to the side sections working in the same balayage fashion, paint slanted patterns to create high points around the face.

Step 4 Smokey French Balayage Technique

Pro Tip

With a light touch, feather your lightener up to blend into the root area.

Step 5: French Balayage – Top

In the mohawk section, utilize a detailed French Balayage technique directing 1” subsections back, and hand painting highlights until reaching the face frame.

Step 5 Smokey French Balayage Technique Process at room temperature until you reach a Level 9. Shampoo with PRAVANA’s Intense Therapy Cleanse, then apply PRAVANA’s Silk Degrees Prep and Treat for 5 minutes. Rinse and dry the hair completely.

Step 6: Color Melt

Divide the hair into the PRAVANA Standard 4 quadrants and apply Formula 1 as a base in a teardrop pattern dragging it down 3”, then apply Formula 2 to the mid-lengths and ends blending the transition point.

Step 6 Smokey French Balayage Technique

Pro Tip

Drag the base color down further in the back and just tap it towards the front for a brighter face frame.

Process 30 minutes at room temperature, then Cleanse and Condition with PRAVANA’s Color Protect Regimen. Style as desired.


Smokey French Balayage Technique Reveal

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