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Featured Image Credit: TikTok / @DanielleAthena
Lockdown has turned many of us into DIY hairdressers, with people around the globe learning how to touch up their root regrowth or trim an out-of-control fringe.
But while the prospect of snipping off a few split ends seems fairly manageable, the idea of at-home balayage - which sees colour custom-painted through the hair to give it a sun-kissed look - is a different story entirely.
After all, perfecting those subtle sweeps of graduated, natural-looking colour is a fine art, right?
Well, yes. But as it turns out, a number of TikTok users have been mastering their own balayage at home - and the results are seriously impressive.
One such TikToker is Danielle Athena, 22, a makeup artist and content creator from Long Island, New York, who started doing her own balayage long before quarantine to save on costly visits to the hairdresser's.
Sharing her DIY balayage attempt on her TikTok account (@DanielleAthena), the MUA captioned her video: "Fixing my insane balayage regrowth at home".
In just a few steps, using an affordable high street product, Danielle transforms her grown-out, naturally brunette roots with artfully placed strands of honey-blonde colour.
We have to admit, we're seriously impressed with the final look, which looks salon-worthy.
Tyla caught up with Danielle to hear more about her at-home balayage process.
"I've been doing DIY balayage for four years now as it has saved me so much money and time spent at a salon," Danielle told Tyla.
The 22-year-old uses the Revlon Frost & Glow Honey Highlighting Kit, $11.99 (£9.70), which comes with a Frosting Powder, Cream Developer, After-Highlighting Shampoo, After-Highlighting Conditioner, mixing bowl and protective gloves.
While the ammonia-free kit comes with a cap to thread strands of hair through for a more traditional highlighted style, Danielle instead applies the product freehand to small strands - using gloves - as a way of subtly lifting her colour.
"The first time I tried the product, I watched Jessie James Decker's highlight tutorial on YouTube," explains Danielle.
The MUA begins by sectioning off the strands of hair that wants to apply the mixed colour to. She explains that achieving an artful gradient is all down to how you blend the colour towards the root.
"I followed her [Jessie's] technique of taking the bleach in my fingers - while wearing gloves - and taking small sections of hair and rubbing the bleach in the strands from bottom to top and really focusing on the blending towards my roots so that there is a gradient effect and not an obvious line of demarcation," she said.
Be careful to apply considerably less product the further up the hair shaft you do, to avoid an obvious 'tidal mark' of colour.
Danielle continued: "By putting less product the closer up you go towards the roots and rubbing it thoroughly through the hair with your fingers so that there is no harsh line where the bleach begins/ends."
Think carefully beforehand about the exact areas of your hair that you want to give a subtle sweep of colour to - do you want to frame your face, for instance? - and how close to the root you want your colour to go.
If you're a beginner, less is more. Remember, you can always add more colour later, but it's much harder to take it away!
"It's up to personal preference how close you blend the bleach upwards towards the roots," said Danielle. "You would go closer to the roots the more blonde and bright you want your overall result."
Danielle leaves her bleach to develop "for about 30 minutes" before rinsing. She claims the look only needs topping up twice a year.
"This DIY look is so low maintenance and only has to be touched up every 6 months - depending on how fast your hair grows."
The MUA favours the at-home approach because it gives her creative control over just how much of her hair is exposed to bleach.
"You are in total control of how blonde you want to be because you are choosing which strands are more saturated in bleach. For example, the front pieces of hair, or just the ends if you want more of an ombré look," she added.
In the aftermath of colouring, it's a good idea to nourish hair with a leave-in conditioner or mask.
High-performance repair system Olaplex Hair Protector No3, which rebuilds damaged and broken hair from within, is a bestselling at-home treatment.
Anyone else seriously impressed by Danielle's final 'do? If we had the skills to achieve this look ourselves we'd probably never set foot in a salon again.
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