Partial Vs Full Highlights – Which One Is Preferable? 


Are you thinking about getting your hair lightened but aren’t clear about what to ask for? Fair enough, there are many different terms used to describe hair color.

Then, just as you’re about to book a highlight appointment, you’re confronted with the crucial decision: partial highlight or complete highlight? You’re not the only one who is having trouble distinguishing between the two. 

It can be challenging to determine what fits us best and how to choose a highlight shade or finish with so many new techniques and finishes available. 

If you’re one of those people trying to figure out what those two terms mean and even about partial vs full highlights, we have got you covered! We have provided all the details you require regarding this matter. 

Let’s get started! 

What are Partial highlights? 

Just as the name implies, partial highlights only affect a specific “part” of the hair. Sometimes all that needs to be done is to brighten up the front pieces, and other times the complete top of the head.

“Traditional partial highlighting entails only brightening sections of the upper half of the head, or a half head of hair. People who prefer this typically want their hair to appear subtler and require less care later on.

A second common suggestion is for partial face-framing highlights, which entails adding “a small amount of color near the front of your head to add volume and lighten your face.

The expert hair stylist will add a few partial highlights to your hair, either in the mohawk area, the top half, or the top half and the front edges. 

What are full highlights? 

As their name implies, full foil highlights encompass the entire head of hair. For those who prefer constant hair color highlights and don’t want to display their original hair color, full head highlights is the ideal solution. 

Every hair on your scalp is highlighted when you get a full highlight. You could either gradually lighten all of your hair or, for a more striking change, switch from brunette to blonde highlights. 

They provide a more dramatic appearance because they encircle around the head and can feature a flawlessly painted balayage, full-foil highlights that are multifaceted, or a combination of partial and full highlights. 

If you’re asking how many full foils are required to cover the entire head with highlights, you should plan on between 100 and 120.

Partial Vs Full Highlights – What are the differences? 

Coverage of your hair

Full highlights involve coloring a larger section of your hair, typically the entire head, to create a more dramatic transformation. 

On the other hand, partial highlights are a more subtle technique that involves coloring only certain sections of your hair.

Process of applying highlights

The process of the full highlights technique involves separating small sections of hair and applying the hair color highlights throughout, resulting in a more uniform and blended look. 

The process of partial highlights is typically used to add dimension and depth to the hair, without completely changing the overall hair color. 

Main focus

Full highlights are often used to create a bold, noticeable contrast between the hair and highlights.

The main focus of partial highlights is on the crown and face-framing sections of the hair, creating a more natural look and allowing for a more low-maintenance style.


In terms of maintenance, full highlights will require more upkeep as they will grow out more noticeably and may require touch-ups more frequently. 

When it comes to maintenance, partial highlights require comparatively less maintenance as only small sections are colored. 

Damage to the hair

Full highlights can be more damaging to the hair, as the entire head of the hair is being exposed to the chemicals in the coloring product.

On the contrary, as in partial highlights – as less portion of hair is exposed to chemicals, the damage is also less. 

When to opt for partial highlights? 

Partial highlights are a great option if you are looking to add subtle dimension and depth to their hair without completely changing their overall hair color highlights. The decision to go for partial highlights will depend on several factors, including your hair type, desired look, and maintenance requirements.

Check out some instances when partial highlights are the go-to option. 

  • If you have fine hair, partial highlights can help add volume and texture to your locks. 
  • If you have a busy schedule or prefer a more low-maintenance hairstyle, partial highlights can be a great choice, as they require less upkeep than full foil highlights.
  • Partial highlights are also a great option if you are looking to add a subtle change to your hair color. 

Here’s a quick tip

You can choose to add highlights that are just a few shades lighter than your natural hair color, which will give your hair a sun-kissed look.

Ultimately, the decision to go for partial highlights will depend on your personal preferences and hair goals. 

It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional hair stylist who can help you determine the best type of highlights for your hair type and desired look.

When to opt for Full foil highlights? 

If you are looking forward to adding significant dimension and color variation to your hair, then the full highlight is a good option for you. Unlike partial highlights, full highlights involve coloring a larger section of your hair, which can completely transform your look.

Here are some instances when you go for full highlights:-

  • If you have darker hair and want to go significantly lighter, full highlights may be the best option for you. This is because they can provide a more noticeable contrast and allow for a more dramatic transformation.
  • If you have solid hair color highlights and desire some movement and texture, full highlights can help.
  • Also, if you are wanting to get coverage for your gray hair, then full highlights are your go-to option rather than partial highlights. This is because the highlights are spread throughout the entire head of hair, rather than just in certain sections.

Here’s a quick tip

It’s important to keep in mind that full highlights do require more maintenance than partial highlights, as they will grow out more noticeably and may require touch-ups more frequently.

Ultimately, the decision to go for full highlights will depend on your personal preferences and hair goals. If you’re not sure what type of highlights would be best for you, it’s always a good idea to consult with a hair professional stylist in Houston who can help you determine the best approach for achieving your desired look.

To sum it up! 

We hope that we have been able to move you a step closer to deciding between partial highlights and complete highlights. 

In conclusion, both partial and full highlights are excellent choices, so consider how much change you’re looking for early when choosing between the two. 

The majority of people have no idea what to make an appointment for, so it is primarily up to the colorist to assist and teach them the type of highlights they should go for by comprehending their face shape and other requirements. 

And if you are looking for one, reach out to a professional hair stylist Houston. He will understand your needs and offer you customized advice. 

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