If you are looking to achieve a natural and subtle makeover for your hair, balayage is the perfect solution. As a hair lightening technique, balayage achieves a soft contrast between dark and light hair tones to achieve the perfect summer sun-kissed look that you crave. But what exactly is balayage? Read on to find out all about this popular hair lightening technique.

What is balayage?

(pronounced: “bah-lay-ahge”)
Coming from the French word “balayer,” meaning to sweep or paint, balayage is a term that refers to the way the colour is applied, and not the colour itself.

Balayage is a technique where hair colour is painted onto the hair, without the use of foils, to create a natural-looking sun kissed highlight effect.

The final, more modern look is less stripy than highlights of the past, while offering the same exquisite dimension and fun colour. These hand-painted highlights allow for pops of brightness and contrast throughout the hair, while still keeping it looking natural.

What’s the difference between balayage and highlights?

Balayage is a softer, more natural looking result than traditional foil highlights. Re-growth lines are less noticeable, and the lines are more delicate, creating a sun-kissed look that recreates a few weeks in the sun.

What’s the difference between balayage and ombre?

Ombre is typically done with lightener being placed horizontally with full saturation of the section and then blended upward to diffuse the line; resulting in a much more obvious colour.

Whereas balayage involves taking smaller sections of hair vertically and painting the colour onto the surface of the hair; creating a more subtle sun-kissed look.

In short, Ombre is a bit more of a style; balayage is a technique.

Do I have to grow out the existing foil colour before balayage?

The ease of balayage is that it can go over existing colour. The technique itself is about working with the colour of your hair, as highlights are applied from the mid-lengths downwards. A colourist can also refresh roots with natural balayage colour and cover up any greys.

Do I have to have blonde balayage?

Not at all. If you’ve never coloured your hair before, balayage is the ideal option for upgrading your hair colour. Although blonde balayage is the go-to shade, you can experiment with most colours and incorporate a mix of multi-tonal shades to add depth and texture to hair for an effortlessly cool look.

How long does it take to do in the salon?

As balayage involves lightly hand-painting the surface of the hair, it depends on how many highlights you are opting for. A simple few highlights can take 45 minutes whereas a layered balayage can take up to three hours. Book in for a consultation with your colourist to discuss the best option for you, and they can advise how long the process will take.

How long does balayage last?

One of the biggest perks of balayage is that it doesn’t require as much upkeep as traditional colour. Depending on the style you go for, you can leave up to four months between touch ups.

Interested in trying out this style?
Pop into the salon where one of our friendly stylists will happily talk you through the process and find the colour that best suits you!

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