What is Balayage?

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Our Guide to Balayage

If you’re looking for an effortlessly cool look that enhances your hair’s natural beauty, then you’re sure to love balayage hair. Modern yet classic, timeless yet on trend, this colour technique is the perfect way to ensure your locks are always photo-ready.

If you’re thinking of asking your stylist for balayage hair at your next appointment, read on to find out more about the technique behind the look, how to look after your colour and what the benefits of the style are!

What is Balayage?: Image of a woman with brunette and caramel balayage.

The Balayage Technique – Explained

Balayage is a hair colouring technique that involves hand-painting colour onto strands of hair to create a natural, graduated effect. Like contouring for your hair, balayage adds multi-tonal dimension by placing darker and lighter colours to act as highlights. 

The perfect way to create a subtle effect that’s ‘your hair but better’, balayage hair has taken the industry by storm in recent years. With celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Biel and Jennifer Lopez also embracing the trend, you’re every bit as likely to see balayage on the red carpet, catwalk or silver screen as you are on the high street! This low maintenance, high impact look is the ideal choice for anyone seeking a new look that brings their hair to life.

Balayage, Highlights and Ombre – What’s the Difference?

Balayage hair is sometimes confused with ombre and highlights, despite being quite a different technique!

Highlights is the term given to sections of hair that have a colour applied to them from root to tip. These sections are then wrapped in foil to allow the colour to develop quickly and to achieve a brighter, lighter result than you’d see from hand-painting colour on.

Ombre offers a more dramatic result, with one colour applied to the root and mid-lengths and another colour applied from the mid-lengths down to the ends. The colour is blended to create a ‘melted’ look, without harsh lines or visible demarcation.

In contrast to both of these techniques, balayage is a very soft and blended method of colouring the hair. It maintains the root colour and delivers a ‘lived in’ look that’s achieved through the delicate placement of colour. You can also combine balayage with ombre, a few scattered highlights or some face-framing babylights to create the look of your dreams.

Balayage Hair – The Benefits

Low Maintenance: As balayage is designed to have a darker root area, you don’t have to worry about visible root regrowth or ending up with a blocky look as your hair grows. Similar to ombre, this is a great option for anyone who doesn’t have the time for regular hair appointments.

Timeless Look: Ultra sophisticated and perfect for virtually any hair length, texture or colour, balayage is a great way to achieve a healthy and natural look.

Completely Customisable: Balayage is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all technique. It’s tailored to your hair length, colour and texture, so you’ll have a completely unique result that’s personalised for your requirements. For example, your hairdresser can add face-framing money pieces, place the colour to work with your natural waves or incorporate dimensional tones to enhance your complexion and make your eye colour pop!

Great for Blending Greys: Want to disguise your greys or want to transition to grey hair whilst minimising the awkward in-between stage? Then you need balayage hair! If you’re looking for full grey coverage, then opt for highlights or whole head colour.

Tips for Maintaining Balayage Hair

  • To keep your balayage hair in tip-top condition, visit your hairdresser for a glossing treatment every 10-12 weeks.  
  • Use shampoo and conditioner designed for coloured hair. If you have blonde balayage or have a lot of natural warmth in your hair, ensure you use a blue or purple shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis to prevent brassiness.
  • Wash your hair in cool water to prevent colour fade. Whilst it may feel counterintuitive to not wash your hair in hot water and finish with a cold rinse, we promise this is a much more effective way to keep your colour looking fresh for longer. Also, the longer you can go between washes, the better!
  • Avoid daily heat styling wherever possible and whenever you use hot tools, use a heat protection cream or spray. On days you let your hair air dry, run a leave-in conditioner or hair oil through the lengths and ends of your hair and embrace your natural texture!
  • Incorporate a deep conditioning hair mask into your routine. Use it a few times a month to keep your locks moisturised and well-nourished.

Ready to Take the Plunge?

If you’d like to achieve the ombre hair of your dreams, get in touch with us! Our friendly and professional hairdressers in Plymouth can give you a consultation to understand what you’d like to achieve and carry out patch testing, before booking you in for an appointment to transform your look! Simply call us on 01752 223233 to arrange.