There is a good reason why everyone is talking about balayage. It is the favorite hair coloring style of A-listers. This technique gives you more natural-looking highlights than any other technique. It is both subtle and stunning. It is low-maintenance, too. Here is your complete guide to the balayage hair highlighting technique.
An Overview of Balayage
Balayage is a not-so-new hair coloring technique developed by French colorists way back in the 1970s. It refers to the manner in which stylists apply the hair colorant or dye.
They use long and gentle, sweeping strokes to create a more natural fading-out effect of the colorant. The color transition is more subtle, giving you the impression of ‘sun-kissed’ hair.
What makes balayage hair coloring technique so unique is that it does not use any guide or cap. It is freehand. Everything depends on the artistic abilities of the colorist.
It is for this reason that many people call balayage as a hand-painting technique. Again, it is not ‘painting’. Instead, it is sweeping motion.
Benefits of Balayage
Getting a balayage hair offers you a number of benefits that you may not get from other hair coloring techniques. These include the following.
Very Easy to Maintain
Caring for a balayage hair is so much easier than having an ombre or traditional highlights. These techniques often require touch-ups as often as every 6 to 8 weeks. On the other hand, balayage only requires a touch-up every 2 to 3 months. This depends on the intensity of the colorant.
Maintains the Health of Hair
One of the most important benefits of balayage is that it is safer for the hair. The process does not saturate your locks with the colorant. This leaves the hair a lot healthier than having highlights or other hair coloring techniques.
Because you get to retain the health of your tresses, your locks will be less prone to dryness and damage. It will also retain its silky smoothness and softness.
Balayage offers you the chance to take control of how you want your hair to look like. You can go for an ombre-like effect or a more subtle one. You can also have the colorist highlight only a particular section of your tresses to give you a more beautiful and more natural look.
Balayage Hair Style Ideas
Balayage is one of the hottest trends in hair coloring techniques today. Almost everyone wants to have that natural blending of the highlights with their natural hair color. If you are having problems where to start, here are several balayage hair style ideas that you may want to try.
Warm Caramel Balayage
Caramel highlights, tumbling curls, and long hair are the perfect combination for a more stylish and more sophisticated look. The secret is in the addition of V-cut layers to give the illusion of movement. It also helps emphasize the warm and subtle undertones of the hair.
Cool-Toned and Soft Ash Brown Balayage
If you have naturally-dark hair, this is the style that you can try. It gives you a more subdued appearance. Some would say that the styling is understated. However, the ashen brown highlights will lighten up your tresses without creating the impression that you are getting older than your actual age.
Ash Blonde Balayage
This works best in women with very fine hair. The placement of the colorant will create the illusion of both volume and texture. It also gives you that classic Cali girl hairdo. To add both dimension and body, ask your stylist to pair the balayage with a wonderful V-cut.
One of the most remarkable things about balayage is that you can make an art out of your hair. You will need a very skilled colorist, however. Sweeping the dye and painting the hair by hand can make your tresses a work of art.
The colorist needs to have an excellent understanding of color combinations. It is a collage of shades that can inspire you, while leaving others mesmerizing at the different tones.
Copper and Rich Chocolate Balayage
This balayage hair style is one of the most gorgeous you can ever try. It does not look outrageous. The warm tones of both chocolate and copper blend the different hues. They work together to bring out the true beauty of a stunning hair.
Chocolate with Blonde Strawberry Ribbons
The uneven hues of warm strawberries and rich chocolate are perfect for creating a stunning effect. There are light and dark strands that blend in a seamless way. Hints of scarlet give the tresses a sophisticated look without being out-of-this-world.
Silver Gray Ombre Balayage
Who says you cannot combine two hair coloring techniques in one? This balayage hair style idea makes use of the dark-to-light highlighting effects of ombre. It then adds natural silver gray highlights in balayage fashion. You have a dark hair that has hints of silver, as if you are basking in the spotlight.
Tips and Tricks to Get an Awesome Balayage
Balayage is an amazing hair coloring technique. Unfortunately, if you do not plan it well, it can turn out to be less than appealing. Here are a few tricks and tips to help you get an awesome balayage hair.
• Always get a specialist to perform the balayage technique. While it is okay to do it yourself, a balayage colorist can do a very splendid job of giving you the kind of highlights you want. Do not settle on any hair stylist. He must be well-versed with the balayage technique.
• Get a haircut before you get a balayage. While it is true that this technique does not saturate your hair with bleach and dye, it can still lead to split ends. You do not want to highlight your tresses only to have them cut after a few weeks because of split ends.
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• Always bring pictures of balayage styles that you want. Since there are many celebrities that sport this style, it would be wise to bring at least three pictures of them wearing their balayage hair.
• Also bring pictures of styles that you do not want the colorist to do. This will give the colorist an idea of what you really want.
• It is best to start with a simple balayage effect. This will help create a smoother transition in the color effects of your tresses. You can advance the level of highlighting with each succeeding session.
• Invest in a good moisturizing hair product. As already mentioned, balayage is a lot safer for your hair than other techniques. This does not mean you should skimp on taking good care of your tresses already.
How to Perform Balayage at Home
It is always best to get your tresses colored by a skilled colorist. However, you can also perform it yourself. You only need to have the right tools and the correct knowledge of how to perform it. Here’s how.
Prepare Your Balayage Materials
There are two approaches to getting your balayage materials. One is to purchase the individual products and tools that you will need. The other one is to purchase a kit. There are pros and cons to each approach.
Buying individual materials gives you the chance to look for those that will best suit your hair. You can also tailor-fit your choices to your budget. Unfortunately, you will have to make sure that the products do work for your type of hair. And if you are an absolute beginner to the process of coloring your hair, then this route may not be ideal for you.
Buying a kit offers more advantages. Every single product that comes with the kit is designed for performing balayage on your own. You will not have to go from one store to the next in search of the right materials to buy. The only downside is that these kits may be more expensive.
In general, you will need a comb applicator and plastic gloves. You will also need an appropriate lightening formula that is gentle on the hair. There must also be a conditioning product that you can apply after the treatment.
In addition to these, you will need Vaseline or petroleum jelly. You will need this to create a barrier between the dye and your skin along the hairline. Hair clips and an old towel are also a must.
Prepare Your Hair for the Dyeing Process
Once you have gathered all of your materials, it is time to prepare your hair. If you are going to use a DIY balayage hair coloring kit, it usually comes with instructions on how you need to prepare for the procedure. Read the instructions and make sure to follow them to the letter.
If there are no available instructions, it is best to prepare your hair at least a week before doing the balayage. It is important for your tresses to be in their best before you start applying the dye. As such, you need to apply a super-rich conditioner to your hair every time you shower.
Two days before your balayage application, you can apply a conditioner that is rich in amino acids. Give your hair one final wash using a shampoo that contains moisturizers and amino acids on the day you apply the balayage.
Do the Hot Cross Bun
Balayage requires you to ‘sweep’ the dye onto four sections of your hair. To do this, you will need to perform the technique called hot cross bun. Part your hair right in the middle of your head using a comb. You should have a clear partline that splits your hair into left and right sections. Run the comb again from the left ear to the right ear. This creates four sections.
Apply the Dye
Before you start applying the dye, make sure to apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly along the hairline and around your ears. You do not want your skin to get stained with the dye. The petroleum jelly will create a barrier for your skin and prevent stains.
Wear plastic gloves; although, you can always apply the dye using your bare hands. Determine where you want to apply the dye. As much as possible, do not apply colorant near the roots of the hair.
Pull the colorant through your hair. Start somewhere in the middle or the upper one-fourth of the hair length. You can also clip your hair so that you can concentrate on smaller sections. Always use soft and gentle downward strokes. This will help you achieve the natural effect that balayage hair coloring technique is famous for.
The Waiting Game
The intensity of the balayage effect is proportionate to the length of time that you allow the dye to sit on your tresses. For a more natural and more subtle look, you should wait about 25 to 35 minutes before removing the dye. If you want more intense highlights, then you should leave the dye for no more than 45 minutes.
Lift a strand of hair to see if you have the desired effect. If you do, then you can start removing the colorant.
The last step is for you to rinse your hair using warm water. You also need to apply an appropriate after-balayage conditioner to help your hair looking gorgeous and glossy.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Why is balayage very popular?
The balayage hair coloring technique is not new. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that it has been around since the 1970s. The exclusive Parisian salon, Carita, was the first to introduce it to its customers.
Today, there are many celebrities that adhere to this hair coloring technique to give them a more carefree vibe. Some of the most notable celebrities that use balayage include Gisele Bundchen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, and Halle Berry, among others. It is natural for ordinary people to want to try the same hair coloring style that their favorite celebrities have.
• What is the difference between balayage and highlight?
The main difference is in the degree of customization of the hair coloring technique. Highlights do not give you the freedom to customize how you want your colored hair to appear. On the other hand, a balayage stylist will first examine your face shape and hair length.
He will then ask you about the kind of effect that you want for your hair. You can also choose hair sections that you want to appear lighter or darker relative to other sections. In effect, balayage gives you the kind of hair that you’ve always wanted.
• Is it the same as ombre?
No, balayage is not the same as ombre; although the technique of application may be similar. The color transitions in balayage are more subtle. They look more natural. Ombre, on the other hand, tends to create a very obvious color transition. In other words, ombre appears less natural than balayage.
• What hairstyle works best with balayage?
The whole idea about balayage is to have a more natural, sun-kissed look to the tresses. It should give you that tousled and beachy look where you can see color variations weaved through the hair.
Balayage works best with flowing hairstyles. If you have a strong or sharp haircut, it would be best to get a block color or a stronger highlight to show off your haircut.
• Are there alternatives to balayage?
There are hair stylists who love to experiment with a variety of foiling techniques. This allows them to create a more gradual and more structured fadeout effect. Others will put more lighter-colored ribbon-sized waves in the inner hair.
They can then add softer weaves and deeper colors on the partline and the hairline. The point here is that there will always be good alternatives to balayage. You will only need to find a skilled stylist to do it for you.
• Is balayage for me?
Balayage works on almost any type and length of hair. It also works on very short, cropped hair. Just look at Ruby Rose and you’ll get the idea. As for the color of the locks, it works on both dark and light hair.
• What makes balayage so much better than other hair coloring techniques?
Its more natural look gives balayage an edge over other hair coloring techniques. Unfortunately, only a skilled balayage hair stylist can provide you with that much sought-after natural look of sun-kissed tresses.
The key is in creating more subtle and uneven gradations of hair color. It is also more bespoke and low maintenance. In short, balayage is more flattering than other techniques.
Balayage is an amazing hair coloring technique that focuses more on creating a more natural look for your tresses. It works on all types of hair as well as hair lengths. It does not require that much maintenance, too. This makes balayage hair styling a timeless hair coloring technique.