No matter your current blonde status — highlights, balayage, or all-over color — the Scandi hairline technique can be added to your service right at the shampoo bowl. “Since the hairs around your face are the finest, they lighten much quicker than the rest, making this technique doable in a short amount of time,” says Sands. Most colorists prefer to paint directly on the hairline versus using foils to get the cleanest application. “I take a comb and lightly brush all baby hairs toward the face. This allows me to get close to the scalp, which is why it’s appealing to blondes who love a bright hairline,” says Sands.
Is the Scandinavian Hairline Technique Safe?
Bleach is nothing to scoff at; if you’ve ever sat through a blonding service, you may have noticed a tingly sensation as the bleach gets to work lifting your color. And anyone who has undergone a full double-process bleach and tone service knows that it can also itch, burn and even leave sores on your scalp and hairline if it’s left on too long.
“Some chemicals in hair bleaches, including ethyl alcohol, ammonium persulfate, and hydrogen peroxide, are highly toxic and harmful to your health and can be extremely caustic or irritating to the skin, causing redness, itching, and burns,” says Dr. Shari Marchbein, MD, a New York City board-certified dermatologist, hence why she cautions against any technique that paints bleach on the skin. “You can have systemic toxicity from absorption through the skin including difficulty breathing. I would only apply hair bleaching products to the hair itself and avoid contact with the scalp and face,” Dr. Marchbein adds.
Dr. Caren Campbell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, expressed similar concerns, warning that chemical burns and irritant contact dermatitis could all result from this application method. She suggests always using a protective barrier between your skin and the bleach.
With this in mind, it’s important to leave this technique to professionals. Besides the concern of bleach irritating the skin, it’s also important to consider the health of your hair. In particular, if you have damaged hair, proceed with caution and consult with your stylist. “Doing this technique too much can cause breakage, especially on that part of your hairline as it is already fragile,” shares celebrity colorist Rita Hazan. If you’re going to try it, Hazan suggests doing so “sparingly, a few times a year.”