Partial highlights can be very natural looking and are designed to lighten the hair in a similar manner to the way the sun would lighten your hair, although a partial highlight service can be dramatic and bold as well by only placing a few, heavy highlights in one specific area of your hair.
A full highlight involves highlighting hair in every section of your head from the nape of your neck to the hairline in your fringe and everywhere in between. Full highlights can be very heavy in nature allowing for a natural brunette to become a beach blonde, or they can be very designed to only slightly lighten all of your hair.
In Balayage, there are dark pieces left on the bottom to create dimension and a more natural look. This technique looks like natural sun-kissed highlights throughout the hair. The transition is more natural and it is less maintenance than highlighting.