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Hair colour weave techniques

When it comes to colouring the hair using weaving techniques, you have a variety of options. Weaving is sectioning out specific areas of the hair for colour while leaving other hair untouched. It is done to give the hair dimension and a natural highlighted or dramatic effect.

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Colouring procedures that can be used for weaving techniques are lowlights, highlights and multiple colours. Low-lights add darker colour to light hair, whereas highlights add lighter colour to darker hair. To add multiple colours, put two or more colours throughout the hair using the above techniques and alternating colours. Mix colours in separate bowls and use separate applicator brushes. Use different-coloured applicator brushes or bowls so you do not get the colours mixed up while applying. Put on gloves and a protective colour cape before beginning any colour-weave procedure.

Balayage or Chunking

Chunking is taking large, quarter-inch sections of hair and placing them in strategic areas throughout the hair to give a dramatic effect to spiky, choppy, straight, punk, or emo or Gothic hairstyles. It can be performed using colour or lightener, and is usually placed around the face or areas you want to accentuate.

To chunk the hair, prepare a colour or highlighting mixture in a bowl by mixing your chosen solution until it forms a creamy consistency. Section out pieces of hair (about a quarter-inch thick) in areas you want to see colour effects.

Apply protective gloves and paint the solution on the sectioned hair using a colour applicator brush. Put cotton underneath the section, or wrap in aluminium foil to protect the hair you do not wish to colour. Continue around the head until you have covered all chosen sections. Try to obtain a somewhat symmetrical pattern (evenly placed) for best results.


Slicing the hair is weaving out thin, medium or thick sections to frame the face or create a striped effect. It can be performed on all hairstyles, but tends to be dramatic. It is similar to chunking, but the overall effect is more symmetrical, and the size of the partings tends to be smaller.

Slicing can be performed in individual areas, such as over the ears, to give a hint of colour in the hair, or it can be done at the hair parting to create evenly placed highlights.

To slice the hair on a part, let the hair fall at the natural parting, or find the part. Use a rattail comb to take a quarter-inch to a 1/2-inch slice of hair horizontal to the hairline. The first slice should be a section around the face, and then every 2 to 3 inches back toward the crown. Put a 6-inch to 8-inch piece of aluminium foil ( 4 to 5 inches for short hair) under each slice, flat against the scalp, and paint on the colour or lightener solution till the hair strand is saturated.

Fold the foil up to cover the coated hair. Check every 5 minutes after the last foil has been placed. Leave on 30 to 40 minutes for colour and check every 5 minutes for lightener, keeping in mind that bleach can damage the hair.

Fine Weaving

Although all the processes listed are considered colour-weaving techniques, fine weaving is using a rattail comb to weave out hair for colouring and give the appearance of natural highlights or lowlights. This technique is appropriate for all hair types and styles.

To fine weave the entire head, section off hair into four general areas by parting the hair down the middle forehead to nape, and then ear to ear parallel to the face. Clip each section with a butterfly clip.

Start at the back area and section a 1/2-inch horizontal parting at the nape. Hold the hair tightly in one hand, and use your dominant hand to weave the end of the rattail comb up and down to separate small pieces from the hair section you are holding.

As you do, grasp the hair you are weaving out with your index and middle finger, and let the hair in the other hand drop. Grab the section you have just woven with your non-dominant hand, and pick up a 6-inch piece of foil with the dominant hand.

Put the end of the rattail comb under the top of the foil and bend it over the comb, still holding the hair. Place the rattail comb with the foil underneath the hair strand. Pull the wove strands down on top of the foil and secure by holding tightly with one hand. With the dominant hand, grasp your colour applicator brush and paint on already prepared colour or lightener onto the hair strand. Fold the foil up to cover the saturated hair.

Continue through the hair till complete. Work as quickly as possible (the colour will stay on areas you applied first longer, and may damage the hair if left on too long). Check in 30 minutes for colour, and every 5 minutes for lightener.


Avoid getting colour solution on the rest of the hair during colour weaving. Remove immediately with a wet towel and soap if this occurs.

Set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes when doing colour, and 5 minutes for lightener. Leave colour on for up to 40 minutes.

Be careful with lightener (bleach) as it may burn the hair if left on too long. If the desired lightness has not been achieved in 25 minutes, remove lightener from the hair and consult a professional cosmetologist to determine the reason for resistance.

Remove, rinse, shampoo and condition the hair when colour reaches desired shade.

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About the Author

Robin McDaniel is a writer, educator and musician. She holds a master's degree in higher educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as well as a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in adult in community education. McDaniel enjoys writing, blogging, web design, singing and playing bass guitar.

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