When it comes to enhancing your hair with highlights, you’re faced with a crucial decision: partial highlights vs full. Both options offer unique benefits and effects on your hair, but determining which one is right for you depends on various factors. In this article, we will explore the differences between partial highlights vs full, helping you make an informed choice to achieve your desired hairstyle.

What Is A Partial Highlights? 

You probably once wondered “What do partial highlights look like?” or “What are partial highlights?” Partial highlights in hair refer to a coloring technique where only a portion of the hair is lightened or colored, leaving the rest of the hair in its natural state or with minimal color. This method is characterized by its precision and subtlety. Hairdressers typically select specific sections or layers of hair to apply the highlights, often focusing on the top layer or framing the face.

Partial hair highlights are an excellent choice for those seeking a more understated or natural look. They add dimension and depth to the hair without completely changing its overall color. The result is often a sun-kissed effect, similar to the way hair naturally lightens when exposed to the sun.


What Are Full Highlights Hair?

Full highlights on hair involve a comprehensive coloring technique where the entire head of hair is treated with highlights. This method saturates the hair with color, creating a noticeable and impactful transformation. Hairdressers apply highlights to every section of the hair, from the roots to the tips, ensuring uniform coverage.

Full highlights are chosen by individuals looking for a dramatic change in their hair color. This technique adds brightness and vibrancy to the hair, often resulting in a significant contrast from the original color. It is a versatile option, allowing for a wide range of color choices, from subtle shades to bold, eye-catching hues. So would you choose partial highlights vs full hair?


Contrasting Partial Highlights Vs Full

The difference between partial and full highlights lies primarily in the extent of coverage and the resulting effect on the hair. Partial highlights vs full are distinguished based on 3 following factors.

Coverage Area

Partial Highlights: Partial highlights target specific sections or areas of the hair, such as the top layer, framing of the face, or specific strands. They cover a limited portion of the hair, leaving the rest in its natural state.

Full Highlights: Full highlights, on the other hand, involve applying highlights throughout the entire head of hair. They saturate the hair from roots to tips, providing uniform coverage.

Effect On Hair

Partial Highlights: Partial highlights create a subtle and natural look. They add dimension and depth to the hair without drastically altering its overall color, often resulting in a sun-kissed appearance.

Full Highlights: Full highlights are more impactful and dramatic. They significantly change the hair’s color and provide brightness and vibrancy. This technique allows for a broader range of color choices, from subtle to bold.


Partial Highlights: Partial highlights are lower maintenance since they cover a smaller portion of the hair. Regrowth is less noticeable, and touch-ups are less frequent.

Full Highlights: Full highlights may require more maintenance, as regrowth can become evident as the hair grows. Regular touch-ups are often necessary to maintain a consistent look. You should maintain both – partial highlights vs full to keep your hair looking beautiful and sparkling

Selecting Between Partial Highlights Vs Full

When it comes to choosing between partial highlights vs full, there are several crucial factors to contemplate in order to achieve the perfect look you desire:

Coverage Preference

Determine the extent of your desired highlights when it comes to partial highlights vs full. Partial highlights focus on specific sections of your hair, resulting in a subtle effect, whereas full highlights cover the entire head, creating a more dramatic transformation.

Maintenance Commitment

Assess your willingness to maintain your hair color. Partial highlights require less upkeep because regrowth is less noticeable, making them an ideal choice for individuals leading busy lives.

Natural Appearance

If you aim for a more natural appearance, partial highlights often replicate the sun-kissed effect, blending seamlessly with your base color. On the other hand, full highlights provide a more striking and noticeable change.

Color Variety

Full highlights offer greater flexibility for experimenting with a variety of colors and shades. This makes them perfect for those who desire vibrant or unique looks, as they allow for more extensive color exploration compared to partial highlights.

Face Shape

It’s essential to consult with your hairstylist to determine which highlighting technique complements your face shape and features best. They can help you choose between partial highlights vs full based on what enhances your natural beauty.


Take your budget into consideration. Full highlights generally require more color and time, making them potentially costlier than partial highlights. Factor in your budget constraints while deciding on the type of highlights that suit both your style and finances.

Proper Care Tips For Maintaining Highlighted Hair

Taking proper care of highlighted hair is essential to maintain its color, vibrancy, and overall health. Here are some key steps to follow:

Use Color-Safe Shampoo And Conditioner

Opt for shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for color-treated hair. These products are formulated to be gentler on your hair and help lock in the color.

Protect Your Hair From The Sun

Sun exposure can fade hair color. Consider using a hat or a hair product with UV protection when spending time outdoors.

Deep Conditioning

Apply a deep conditioning treatment regularly to keep your hair hydrated and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle.

Avoid Heat Styling

Excessive use of heat styling tools, such as flat irons and curling irons, can cause damage and fade your highlights. If you do use them, apply a heat protectant spray first and use the lowest heat setting necessary.

Avoid Chlorine and Saltwater


Chlorine in pools and saltwater at the beach can both strip color from your hair. Consider wearing a swim cap or rinsing your hair with fresh water before swimming.

Regular Trims

Schedule regular haircuts to remove split ends and keep your hair looking fresh and healthy. Partial highlights vs full will no longer be a big matter once your hair has healthy appearance.

Consult Your Stylist

Finally, consult with your hairstylist for personalized advice and product recommendations for partial highlights vs full. They can provide guidance based on your hair type and specific highlights.


In the end, whether you opt for partial highlights vs full depends on your individual preferences, lifestyle, and the statement you want to make with your hair. Partial highlights offer a subtle, low-maintenance look, while full highlights can provide a bold and dramatic transformation. Consider consulting with a professional stylist who can guide you toward the choice that aligns best with your style goals and suits your unique personality. Regardless of your decision, both partial and full highlights have the power to enhance your natural beauty and leave you feeling confident and radiant.