Unit of competency details

SIHHCLS303A - Design and perform full and partial highlighting techniques (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 19/Aug/2013
(View details for release 1) Replaced20/Jul/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SHBHCLS003 - Provide full and partial head highlighting treatmentsNot Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. •Title simplified. • Incorporates relevant skills and knowledge from deleted units: o SIHHCCS302A Perform a full client consultation o SIHHCCS303A Respond to service related and technical problems o SIHHHSC301A Apply the principles of hairdressing science. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to WRHCL303B - Design and perform full and partial highlighting techniquesUpdated and equivalent to WRHCL303B Previously contained the following prerequisites: • WRHCS201A Prepare clients for salon services • WRHCS205A Follow personal health and safety routines at work • SIRXOHS001A Apply safe working practices 19/Jul/2011

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

The release details of this endorsed unit of competency are set out in the table below. The latest information is at the top.




Editorial corrections. Competency field added.


Initial release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to design and apply foiling and quick colour and full and partial head highlighting applications for current commercial colour and lightening effects.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to hairdressers in salon environments, who consult with clients, then select from and apply a range of tint, high lift tint and bleach products and techniques to achieve highlighting effects to enhance hair designs.

This application reflects a design context that is influenced by hair colour fashion trends at a given time and involves using single products or combinations of products to create highlights, lightened sections of the head or multiple colours in the hair.

A person undertaking this role applies discretion and judgement and accepts responsibility for outcomes of own work.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


SIHHHSC301A Apply the principles of hairdressing science

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Consult with client and prepare for service.

1.1 Analyse client characteristics  through physical and visual examination.

1.2. Discuss client satisfaction or dissatisfaction with current hair colour.

1.3. Establish client  expectations through questioning and reference to existing client history .

1.4. Confirm desired degree of lift, colour and tone with client through discussion and reference to colour charts.

1.5. Create a client history for new colour clients.

1.6. Apply wraps and towels to ensure client protection and safety, according to salon procedures .

2. Select and use products and equipment.

2.1. Select and individually prepare colour, high lift and bleach products  and highlighting and foiling tools and equipment  to achieve desired colour result, and according to product instructions and salon procedures.

2.2. Apply foiling  and colour and lightening products evenly to a predetermined pattern and seal to achieve colour effects with no colour bleed.

2.3. Apply foiling within predetermined salon timeframes.

2.4. Follow stages and methods of head on scalp product application  quickly, evenly, without overlap, and cross check application for even coverage.

2.5. Apply quick service highlighting techniques  with no colour bleed.

2.6. Ensure client and operator comfort and safety  at all stages of the service according to relevant legislation , product safety data sheets and salon procedures.

3. Process and remove product.

3.1. Time processing through observation to judge desired lift or colour according to product instructions.

3.2. Apply heat acceleration , according to salon procedures, to assist processing.

3.3. Loosen foils or plastic caps and gently remove when processed, using tepid running water to avoid stretch or damage to the hair.

3.4. Remove residual product at the end of processing time according to salon procedures and product instructions.

3.5. Apply and remove after colour conditioners, according to product instructions.

3.6. Use energy water and other resources efficiently during the service to reduce negative environmental impacts.

3.7. Safely dispose waste product to minimise negative environmental impacts.

4. Review the service and provide home care advice.

4.1. Review service outcomes and confirm client satisfaction with colour result.

4.2. Advise on appropriate after colour or bleach shampoos and conditioners and suggest sun protection strategies to clients.

4.3. Update client history to include highlighting product selection, technique, processing time, service outcome, home care products recommended and product purchases.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • interact with clients
  • consult with clients during pre-service analysis
  • check client comfort during colour application and processing
  • confirm client satisfaction with colour results
  • document pre-service analysis and client histories
  • technical skills to:
  • conduct pre-service hair analysis
  • select from tint, high lift tint and bleach products and plan the colour service
  • weave and splice hair
  • apply and fold foils
  • use plastic highlight caps
  • comb on or through highlight techniques
  • remove foils, caps and residual colour and lightening products
  • literacy skills to:
  • interpret colour charts, product instructions, safety data sheets
  • interpret relevant salon procedures
  • numeracy skills to:
  • measure, mix and apply colour products in correct proportions
  • minimise product waste
  • manage application and processing times effectively

Required knowledge 

  • effects of hydrogen peroxide on the hair and hair colour
  • chemical and physical effects of tint and high lift tint colour products on hair structure
  • chemical and physical effects of bleach products on hair structure
  • colour wheel and its application in colour selection
  • levels of bleaching
  • colour chart systems for the salon product tint and high lift tints product range
  • processing and development times for a defined salon colour, high lift tint and bleach product range
  • salon procedures relating to:
  • client comfort and safety
  • operator safety
  • health and hygiene
  • waste minimisation
  • waste disposal
  • water efficiency
  • correct and environmentally sound disposal methods for all types of waste and in particular for hazardous substances

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • pre-service client consultation that includes accurate hair analysis and establishes client expectations regarding the colour result
  • recognising and managing contraindications to colour and bleach services
  • interpreting and applying colour charts, product instructions and safety data sheets
  • applying weaving and splicing techniques within salon timeframes
  • applying highlighting techniques within salon timeframes
  • observing client and operator safety precautions
  • achieving target highlighting results that satisfy clients
  • providing colour care advice and promoting home care products from the salon range.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a salon or a simulated salon environment that includes a range of work situations such as client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the salon
  • a fully equipped workstation which includes as minimum:
  • an adjustable client chair
  • clean client gown or wrap
  • a plentiful supply of clean towels
  • trolley stocked with:
  • rubber gloves
  • stain prevention products
  • plastic bowls
  • tint brushes
  • applicator bottles
  • foils
  • cap or plastic film wrap
  • documented salon procedures relating to:
  • client comfort and safety
  • operator safety
  • health and hygiene
  • waste minimisation
  • waste disposal
  • water efficiency
  • a professional range of tint and bleach products
  • product colour charts, information and safety data sheets
  • a range of clients with different foiling and highlighting application requirements.

For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of the learner performing a range of tasks in an actual or simulated work environment, over sufficient time to demonstrate their handling of a range of contingencies. Tasks include:
  • consulting clients to advise on and confirm colour selection
  • safely applying weaving and splicing single and multi-coloured foil effects within designated salon timeframes, with no product bleed and to client satisfaction
  • safely applying quick service highlighting techniques with no product bleed and to client satisfaction
  • following salon procedures to ensure the comfort and safety of clients
  • completing foiling and highlighting applications within designated salon timeframes
  • advising on colour care and recommending home care products.
  • written or verbal questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test knowledge, such as:
  • the effects of hydrogen peroxide on the hair and hair colour
  • the chemical and physical effects of tint and high lift tint colour products on hair structure
  • the chemical and physical effects of bleach products on hair structure
  • the colour wheel and its application in colour selection
  • the levels of bleaching
  • tint and high lift tint colour chart systems for products in the salon range
  • processing and development times for a defined salon tint, high lift tint and bleach product range
  • salon procedures relating to:
  • client comfort and safety
  • operator safety
  • health and hygiene
  • waste minimisation
  • waste disposal
  • water efficiency.
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party reports of on-the-job performance.

Guidance information for assessment 

A unit of competency describes an individual skill but people rarely perform one skill at a time. Many skills are combined on a day-to-day basis in the workplace as part of work processes. This does not mean that each skill described by a unit of competency is pre-requisite to another—they are related skills.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, salon and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SIHHCCS302A Perform a full client consultation
  • SIHHCLS304A Neutralise unwanted colours and tones
  • SIHHOHS201A Apply salon safety procedures

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Client characteristics  may include:

  • natural hair type, texture, porosity, density and elasticity
  • natural base colour
  • artificial base colour
  • hair colour tone
  • percentage of white hair
  • presence of lightening agents or artificial hair colour treatments on hair
  • other existing chemical services
  • skin tone
  • length of hair.

Client  may include:

  • women
  • men
  • children
  • people who present with virgin hair or a range of
    pre-existing colour treatments on the hair
  • people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Client history  may include:

  • client contact details
  • date of service
  • operator
  • client reaction to any skin tests
  • contraindications
  • pre-service analysis
  • brand and colour or colours selection
  • area or areas of the head highlighted
  • application techniques and processing times
  • service outcome
  • recommended home care products
  • products purchased.

Salon procedures  must include:

  • gowning clients for colour and lightening services
  • rules relating to the application of heat acceleration during processing
  • compliance with state or territory and local government health regulations relevant to the service
  • occupational health and safety procedures
  • environmental protection practices, such as:
  • waste minimisation
  • waste disposal
  • water efficiency.

Colour, high lift and bleach products  must include:

  • tint products from the salon range
  • high lift tint colour products from the salon range
  • bleach products from the salon range
  • peroxides of varying volumes.

Highlighting and foiling tools and equipment  may include:

  • pre-cut and folded foils
  • tail combs
  • tint brushes
  • sectioning clips.

Foiling  must include:

  • coarse, medium or fine woven meshes
  • spliced meshes
  • alternated coloured and lightened woven meshes and unwoven natural hair meshes
  • single or multiple colours and tones
  • bleached meshes
  • whole or partial head effects.

Stages and methods of head on scalp product application  must include

  • natural untreated hair
  • regrowth
  • roots and then ends
  • roots, mid lengths and finally ends
  • ends and then roots.

Quick service highlighting techniques  must include:

  • pulling strands through a cap
  • combing and brushing colour or bleach products onto predetermined areas of the hair
  • colouring and bleaching single strands or meshes.

Client and operator comfort and safety  must include:

  • application of gown and towels to protect client clothes
  • application of barrier creams to face or neckline areas
  • application of anti skin stain product
  • application of colour stain removal product
  • avoiding product contact with client or operator’s eyes
  • avoiding inhalation of fumes whilst mixing product
  • wearing operator protective gloves during product application.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • state or territory and local health regulations
  • occupational health and safety legislation and regulations.

Heat acceleration  may include:

  • heat lamps
  • steamers.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Colour and Lightening

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