When looking for inspiration for hair colour ideas, it’s hard not to come across balayage. It's a look that those with blonde hair, brown hair, rainbow hair and any and all hair lengths are raving about. Despite its recent surge in popularity, the balayage technique isn’t new. It was invented in the 1970s in Paris and migrated over to the United States and Canada in the 1990s. As most hair trends do, it eventually went out of style only to make a reappearance in 2016 and has been going strong ever since.
What's the difference between balayage and other coloring techniques?
Balayage means “to sweep” in French, which is exactly what your hair stylist does. To achieve the perfect gradient, stylists have to “sweep” each small section of hair with lightener (picture bleach being painted onto the hair section with short gentle brush strokes). This helps achieve a sun-kissed, naturally highlighted look. Unlike other lightening/dying techniques, such as foil highlights, the hair isn't completely saturated in bleach. Instead a thin coat of bleach sits on top of each section. If you're looking to make your balayage hair color unique, your stylist can dye the highlighted sections after washing out the bleach to any color you want.
Unlike most colored hair styles, this is a technique that can be used at almost any stage of hair growth and include any hair color including blonde hair, brown hair and even more daring colors such as pink or green. Let's look at the difference between balayage and ombré . Both balayage and ombré techniques create a gradient from darkest at the top of the head to lightest and the ends. To get the cleanest transition with ombré hair color, the very top of your head needs to be as dark as possible. If your hair isn’t naturally dark or, has been bleached to a lighter color, your stylist may have to dye the top of your head before working on the gradient at the mid-length and down to the ends of your hair. Or, if your hair has been bleached to a platinum blonde and is unable to hold color well, you may have to wait until it grows out. Another factor to look at when comparing ombré and balayage is how it looks with different hair types and hair texture. Getting a smooth transition on thin, fine hair with ombré is very difficult because there isn't enough hair to blend each transition. With ombré and other foil highlights, the dyed portions end up looking more chunky and as they grow, it's easier to spot where they start and stop. The balayage highlighting method mimics the way your hair would naturally lighten if it had been bleached by the sun which makes it easier to incorporate previous color(s). At most, your stylist may need to do a root touch up but a root touch up still faster than having to dye the top of your head. It is also easier for stylists to use balayage to highlight your face perfectly, whereas other hair styles may not suit certain face shapes.
Balayage is also one of the few hair color styles that are low maintenance. Balayage hair only needs to be touched up by your stylist every 12-14 weeks (brunettes/black hair and darker colors may be able to wait a little longer)! If you decide you want to give your hair a break from bleaching, or you have short hair and are trying to grow it out, balayage grows out beautifully! Since the highlights have been feathered throughout your head in areas where they would naturally be, it grows with your hair like they would if your highlights were natural.
And if that doesn’t convince you…
Here are some other awesome facts about balayage that may convince you that this trend is here to stay.
- Balayage highlighting is quick! Getting balayage hair can take about 45 minutes to apply the bleach where as foil highlights can take over an hour
- Less bleach means less damage! To achieve beautifully balayaged hair, less is more.
- Applicable to any hair texture! Using balayage techniques for kinky hair, curly hair and other delicate hair types clients is a breeze and is actually better for you than most other coloring techniques since it does less damage to the hair (kinky hair and curly hair is naturally drier than other hair types)
- Customizable! Balayage suits long hair and short hair plus every colour in the rainbow can be used if you’re looking to stand out and that this versatile hair trend is here to stay!
- Less waste! Balayage doesn’t require foils so there’s nothing to throw away!
- Color Correction! If you weren't happy with your previous hair color or are looking to cover up greys, the balayage look is for you!
I absolutely love how balayage hair can change someone’s look from bland to glam in such a short amount of time and on top of that it's a low maintenance style! It’s one of the many reasons I chose to specialize in this technique. If you’d like to discuss how I can give you the perfect balayage, click here to book a free consultation or, if you’re already convinced this is the highlighted look for you, click here to book an appointment.
P.S. If you don't want to dye your hair at all but still want that balayage look, check out our selection of hair extensions. They're all made from 100% Remi hair and each hair extension can be customized and installed to look like your natural hair has been beautifully balayaged!
6ixHairExtensions offer three hair extension services:
- tape in extensions
- keratin bonded extensions
- beaded weft hair extensions