May 4, 2021

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Men’s Balayage | Medium Curly Hair Color


Text overlay reads "what you need to know about mens [sic] balayage" over an image of a color bowl, tubes of color, black hair clips and a marble container holding brushes

create beachy, lived in blonde on curly hair

You probably know that I’ve been doing hair for 2 decades now (holy cow, where does the time go, am I right??), but you might not know about my first salon job. 

You see, I got the job with the prerequisite that I would sharpen my techniques for men’s haircuts. I had to do so many cuts on a bunch of models. When I was 19, had barely been doing hair for a year when I got a salon client who always just saw whatever hairstylist was available. 

“Thin the sh*t out of it” – was the response I got when I asked what he wanted to have done today. 

I hadn’t had the opportunity to do any razor cuts at all, so I just kept using my shears to thin his hair and he kept saying “I want it thinner” (man, if only I had known about custom consultations back then)

Imagine an Edward Scissorhands scenario with tufts of hair flying everywhere, a manic look on my face, I kept thinning and thinning and then I realized that I had given him two bald spots. 

A quarter-sized spot shined at me near the front of his hairline and a dime-sized companion rested near the back. 

Not wanting to be fired from my first real job and trying to push aside a panic attack, I did what any 19 year old would do – put some pomade in my hands and styled his hair over top of the bald spots…

I was sure that he would complain and I would be fired, branded as a failure of a hairstylist before hitting my one-year anniversary. Luckily, he didn’t, but he also never came back to get his hair done by me. (Probably better for both of us.)

Needless to say, I’ve come a long way in men’s hair. And the last 7 years of my career I’ve focused on coloring and realized that’s my strength. In this tutorial I’m going to be showing you how to do balayage on men’s hair. I’ll be walking you through the exact toners I used and how to cut this surfer-California haircut on a very special client, my nephew. 

Create Blonde, Beachy Foilyage on Curly Hair

(watch the full video for a more in-depth look at the steps)

Step 1: Mix up your lightener

For this tutorial, we’re going to be using foils so I’m using Redken Flash Lift with both 10 and 20 vol developer

Step 2: Start at the nape of the neck and take thin sections

You’ll use your 10 vol developer at the back of the head so that it can develop low and slow while you’re working your way to the crown

Step 3: Using parallel and perpendicular partings to create pop

Parallel partings (to the hairline) will help avoid a stripy look when the hair is pulled back. 

Perpendicular partings (to the part line) create brightness and pop. 

Step 4: As you move closer to the front of the hairline switch to 20 vol

Step 5: Continuing taking thin sections around the hairline

Check out this video for another look at how I apply foils

Step 6: Complete the foil application

Step 7: Rinse and tone at the sink

I rinsed using Unite Blonda Shampoo to reduce the yellowness and then I flash toned using Oligo Calura Gloss in shades 9-Neutral and 9AI (check out the video above to see how it turned out)

Step 8: Complete the haircut

Because we’ve got curls that we’re working with and my nephew wants to have a lived-in, beachy cut, I left it long and layered in the back. I point cut the ends to create a lot of texture, I want to avoid blunt lines. 

I’m not a technical cutter, I really go with the feel and look of the hair, rather than super straight lines. 

PRO TIP: When cutting curly hair I like to think of more pruning than really chopping away

Step 9: Blow dry, style and snap those pics!

And there ya have it, 9 simple steps to create stunning beachy balayage on curly hair.

I hope this inspires you to try it out yourself. If you do, why don’t you tag me over on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair and show me your results! I seriously love hearing from ya. And if you have a story as embarrassing as styling over the bald spots you cut into someone’s hair, I definitely wanna hear it!

Go on, binge the latest posts (you know you wanna)…

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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