How to Perform the Lunar Balayage Placement

 As a stylist, you already know how important placement is in creating a look that your clients will love. After all, its placement that differentiates balayage from standard highlights and foils (along with specific application techniques). 


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If you’re new to balayage—or just looking for a way to amp up your hair painting game—it’s natural to experiment with different placement techniques to see how they impact the final result. One technique you may not be familiar with, but which can help you take your balayage to the next level, is the Lunar placement technique. 

What is the Lunar Balayage placement?

Lunar balayage is a technique created by Jamie Sea specifically to help stylists and aspiring balayage artists understand where they should be leaving depth and where they should be enhancing brightness for a client. Through this understanding, stylists learn the power of proper balayage placement and how to create directions of brightness, while minimizing the tendency to “over paint.”

The result is a sun-kissed, powerful money piece, and beauty on any canvas.

What about the name, you ask? The name was inspired by the way that the light shines on the moon. 

Picture the full moon in your mind—or, better yet, look up at it in the night sky the next time you get a chance! What do you see? It will be bright, yes, especially contrasted with the dark night sky. But it isn’t pure white. It isn’t all light. You also see craters and shadows, even from more than 230,000 miles away! That’s what makes it so interesting, so compelling, and so thought provoking. 

If the moon was nothing but white light, it would still be beautiful, but nowhere near as beautiful as it is with the contrast created by its shadows. That’s what over-painting does to a client’s head. Yes, it’s still beautiful. But it could be so much more interesting. 

Who is Lunar Balayage for?

This technique can be used on any client, really. That being said, it pairs particularly well with grey coverage clients, brunettes, blondes, and redheads. It can also be a great technique to bear in mind when you are servicing a client who is looking for high-contrast balayage

How to Perform the Lunar Balayage Technique

1. Create brightness at the nape.

In performing the Lunar Balayage technique, we always start by creating brightness near the nape of the head. This helps to avoid the “dark hole” effect which can otherwise happen. This also helps to create a beautiful effect when the client pulls their hair up into a ponytail, making it a versatile look that can be worn multiple ways.

Lunar Balayage at the nape

2. Work the internal placement to create depth.

The internal placement is made up of curved partings, which allow for more internal depth.

Lunar Balayage internal placement

3. Add brightness to the crown.

On the top of the head, the placement consists primarily of heavy, weaved balayage. This brings an essence of brightness to the crown, while preserving some of that shadow that we discussed above.

Lunar Balayage at the Crown

4. Replicate brightness on the sides.

Just as you created brightness at the nape of the head, you will then replicate that brightness on the sides. This will, again, help to prevent too much darkness that could otherwise take away from the look, and also helps the hair look great when worn up.

Lunar balayage on the sides

5. Finish with the money piece.

As with any balayage service, we recommend finishing with a money piece to frame the face and make the whole look feel complete. While this can be customized depending on the client’s goals, generally speaking it’s meant to be designed for maximum brightness and pop!

Lunar balayage money piece

Preserving Depth to Enhance the Highlights

As you can see, the magic behind the Lunar Balayage placement is two-fold. Yes, you are creating points of brightness, which are critical to the success of the look. But just as important as what you are adding is what you are preserving: The depth and shadow that gives the brightness something to contrast against. 

Mastering the Lunar Balayage technique is just one more way that you can increase the value of your services, empowering you to charge more for what you do. Want more tips on how you might build the confidence to charge more? Download our free Charging Confidence tipsheet!

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