Here's The Real Difference Between Partial And Full Highlights

The first day of spring has already come and gone and summer is just around the corner. Lightening your hair to celebrate the warm weather is tempting, especially after a year being cooped up in the house amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But what is the best way to highlight your hair?

Unless you have gray hair, the two main highlighting options you should consider are partial and full highlights.

Partial highlights are placed in only the front sections of the hair, as experts reporting for Byrdie explained. Lighter pieces of hair frame the face and create a bright glow, bringing out warmer tones in your skin. During the process of creating partial highlights, your stylist will likely use a foiling technique to separate hair strands, preventing the lightening agent from spreading to other sections of hair.

In comparison, full highlights are defined as having lightened hair in every section of hair on your head. To give you full highlights, your hairstylist may use a traditional foiling technique all the way around your head. They may also use balayage, which involves painting the lightening agent onto big sections of your hair, via The Colour Bar.

The pros and cons of partial and full highlights

How should you choose between partial and full highlights? It depends on a variety of factors, including your current hair color and texture, the look you desire, and your budget.

As pointed out by The Right Hairstyles, partial highlights tend to look more natural, because your natural color will remain the same around your head. A partial will also do less damage and may look better with coarse or brittle hair. In case you didn't know, coarse hair is already dry and likely to look more damaged from a full highlight. 

In addition, partial highlights are less expensive because they require less work. They are less maintenance as well, because they grow out naturally without a stark contrast in your root color.

If you're looking for a big change, however, you're better off with full highlights. Full highlights allow you to switch from a dark to light color without having to bleach all of your hair, via The Right Hairstyles. This hairstyle also ranges from natural to dramatic, leaving room for play and experimentation. However, it's more expensive and causes more damage to your hair.

Still not sure? According to Total Beauty, you may want to try a partial highlight on your first visit, and a full highlight next time. If you don't like the partial, it will be much easier to fix than a full highlight.