Nicki Bianco's Slice & Smudge technique can mimic balayage or the lived-in look. Don't retire...

Nicki Bianco's Slice & Smudge technique can mimic balayage or the lived-in look. Don't retire those foils just yet!

With the resurgence of the balayage technique and the lived-in look trending high, are slices and weaves a thing of the past? Is it time to retire those foils?
Not so fast, says Nicki Bianco, a colorist out of Huntington, New York, whose recent video transformations shared on her @nickiwildflower Instagram page prove that, even with the soaring popularity of the lived-in effect, there is still a time and a place for slices and foils.

Through strategic root smudging (check out this how-to for details), and variations on placement, section thickness and space between sections, slices are perhaps getting another moment in the sun.

Bianco’s Slice & Smudge technique is designed to save colorists application time, through using traditional slicing methods with a twist on placement and root smudging.

“For a more dimensional look, I leave out more space between foils, and sometimes slice in lowlights,” Bianco says. “For maximum brightness I like to work all the way up horizontally. For a more diffused look, I backcomb my slices.”

Next comes the smudge.

“The smudge is customizable—I can create different looks by personalizing the smudge,” Bianco says. “For a more lived-in look, I drag the smudge down, sometimes I work in different sections and placement to mimic a balayage, by dragging the root down only in certain places. For something less lived-in, I only tap the darker color on the root. Sometimes I work in horizontal sections and don’t smudge at all.”

Bianco teaches classes on her technique and you can get all the info you need to schedules and locations by following her on Instagram.

“When I say we can achieve almost any look with slices, I mean it, and we are able to make a huge impact/transformation in 2-3 hours total instead of 4-6,” Bianco says. “It’s really life-changing for many people.”




Do you spend hours applying babylights? Foils, teasylights, balayage? Do you feel like your timing is off?! It’s time to go back to the basics. . What if you could achieve the same (if not better) results, in a fraction of the time, without compromising your work. Would you? This is how it all starts, by learning the placement, sectioning and techniques that will simplify your application and increase your value/money you make behind the chair. . What if you could see more clients in a day without double booking? Without breaking your back, doesn’t that sounds nice? Learning to get major results in a simplified way, has changed my life behind the chair. Memberships are opening back up NOVEMBER 15th, If you want to join my slice squad learn cutting edge techniques, color theory, business, mindset, clientele building, I got you. Head over to and head to membership waiting list. We will only be taking 150 new members!!!

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