The Balayage Hair Guide: A Step-By-Step Breakdown

The Balayage hair trend has been around for a while, but it’s just now starting to really take off. This post will explore the history of this hairstyle and then provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to create your own Balayage masterpiece. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or not – these steps are very simple and easy to follow!

What is Balayage hair and how does it differ from other types of color treatments

What is Balayage hair?

The word Balayage comes from the French word meaning to sweep. This hair color technique is a form of highlighting or ombre that creates natural-looking dimension in your hair by painting sections with lightener and then sweeping the brush through your strands, brushing until you reach desired darkness. It differs from other types of highlights because it allows for more natural, sun-kissed color and doesn’t need to be refreshed as often.

Balayage is generally done on hair that has been previously highlighted or toned, but it can also be used for an all-over ombré effect if applied properly. It’s a great way to change up your look without committing too much time or money.

The process is fairly simple and the results are beautiful, but it does take a little time to complete. So if you want your Balayage done by someone other than yourself, be sure that they have enough experience with this technique before scheduling an appointment!

The Benefits of Balayage hair and it’s Popularity

The benefits of Balayage hair treatments are that it’s natural-looking and requires touchups only every six weeks. It also looks more realistic, as the color is blended together instead of being in distinct lines like with other highlighting techniques. Balayage has been around for a while now but recently became very popular due to celebrities such as Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence and Rachel McAdams all rocking this look.

The popularity of Balayage hair has risen because it’s a more simple process that requires less maintenance than other highlighting techniques. It looks very natural without any harsh lines in the color – instead it blends together seamlessly with your real hair! Balayage is also great for people who don’t want to commit a lot of time or money for their hair. It only needs touch-ups every six weeks, which is much less frequent than other highlighting techniques that can need refreshing every four to five months.

The Balayage trend has been around since the 1930s but it’s just now started really taking off in popularity.

The Difference Between Balayage Hair and Ombré Hair Color

Balayage is a form of highlighting or Ombre that creates natural-looking dimension in your hair by painting sections with lightener and then sweeping the brush through your strands, brushing until you reach desired darkness. Ombré on the other hand involves gradually fading out color from dark to light. These two techniques are pretty similar but Balayage is done on hair that has already been highlighted or toned and it doesn’t need as much maintenance.

Ombré can be a great option for people who don’t want to commit too much time, money or effort into coloring their hair because it only needs touch-ups every six weeks which is less frequent than other highlighting techniques that can need refreshing every four to five months.

Ombré is also a great option if you want your color to appear more as a natural transition of shades rather than just highlights on top of hair that’s all one tone. The process for Ombré hair color starts with coloring the ends or roots darker and gradually fading out into lighter shades until the desired shade is reached.

Both Balayage and Ombré hair color options are a great way to change up your look without committing too much time, money or effort!

The Difference Between Balayage Hair and Foil Highlights

As you may know, Balayage is a color technique that can add depth, dimension and natural-looking highlights to your hair. Foil highlights are usually done in a straight line or with very little overlap (think of it as an Ombre effect). Balayage on the other hand has more fluidity—it’s not confined to one section of hair, and it can be applied in varying degrees from the root to the ends.

It’s important to know that Balayage is a more permanent color option than foil highlights because you’re depositing all-over color onto your hair instead of just adding pieces of lighter strands on top like with highlighting. And while some people might be hesitant about this, it’s a very popular technique for adding dimension and natural-looking highlights to darker hair.

Besides that difference in how color is applied, there are other considerations when deciding which one might be best for you: the damage potential of both Balayage and highlighting; the longevity of each (Balayage lasts longer than highlights); and the cost.

Balayage is a relatively low-maintenance option for color, especially when it comes to upkeep and touch ups that are needed over time. For those of you with darker hair, Balayage can help cover up regrowth without having to worry about growing out roots or waiting as long in between appointments (because you’re not covering a small section at a time with the same color).

So while Balayage is technically more permanent, it may be less damaging than highlighting and also saves time in between appointments. It’s important to weigh these factors when deciding which option might work best for your hair type and lifestyle!

The Difference Between Sombre Hair Color and Balayage Hair Color

The difference between Balayage and Sombre hair color is very different. Sombre, in contrast to the contrasting of lighter blonde highlights with dark brown or black midtones, consists primarily of brunette tones that gradually lighten towards a lighter shade at the tips. With this process you’ll only need root touch up every few months, while Balayage will require a touch up every three months.

This is where the contrast between Sombre and Balayage comes in – you’ll notice that there’s no further definition of brunette tones with lighter tips, but instead, dark browns gradually lighten into blonde highlights at the end. With this process it means that you’ll need root touch ups every six weeks or so, while Sombre can last up to three months.

Since Balayage is more complicated and requires a lot of upkeep for the blonde highlights at the front, this process typically costs more than Sombre hair color. On average, it’s about $50-$100 more, but it does depend on the stylist. With both, you’ll want to make sure your stylist is qualified and experienced in order for you to get a great Balayage or Sombre hairstyle.

How to get the perfect Balayage look

We’ve all been there. You want to lighten up your roots and love the blonde, but you don’t know how to get that perfect Balayage look. Well we are here at Hottie Hair Salon & Extensions Store with a break down of everything you need to know about this popular hair trend!

  1. The first step is deciding what level of blonde you want. If you are going for a lighter, more natural look then shoot for an ash blonde or light blonde Balayage. For those looking to go bold and get that perfect summer shade with lots of dimension try out a honey blonde Balayage!
  2. The next step is deciding the placement of your Balayage. Your stylist will map out the design and decide on a starting point, which may or may not be your natural root color.
  3. Next is deciding how much of your hair you want to lighten up! Balayage usually requires that all or most of your hair have been bleached before it can take any type of coloring.
  4. Then your stylist will use a Balayage technique to paint the lightener onto sections of hair, usually in the direction that it naturally falls.
  5. This is where you must have patience! You should expect for an hour or more before you can see any results because most likely someone else needs to process and dry your hair.
  6. Finally, the most important step is to maintain your Balayage. This will require regular touchups and highlights every few months as you grow out your roots.

The Balayage Application Process

One of the most popular ways to lighten your hair is through Balayage. The application process can take anywhere from an hour up to four hours depending on how much coverage you want and how fast-working your colorist’s bleach is. If you’re not sure which level of blonde or tone would work best for you, consult with your stylist for a Balayage consultation.

The process starts with the colorist mapping out your desired design on paper, which may or may not be your natural root color if you want to lighten all of it up (most people opt for that). Next is deciding how much hair you want to have golden blonde streaks in as opposed to the natural hair color.

Next the stylist will paint on a lightener to sections of your hair, usually in a direction that is most similar to how it naturally falls so they can achieve realistic-looking results. You should expect for an hour or more before you see any change because someone else needs to process and dry your locks with heat–it may be a good idea to have an additional service done while you wait.

The final step is maintaining your Balayage, which requires regular touchups and highlights every few months as the roots grow out.

Balayage tips for brunettes, blondes and black hair

Balayage On Black Hair Tips

  1. Step One: the first step is to select your desired Balayage color. You can go darker or lighter, but it’s important that you know how much of a contrast there will be between your hair and the highlights – meaning if you choose a dark brown Balayage on black hair, what are you going to do when it grows out?
  2. Step Two: the next step is to select your desired Balayage base. This can be on any color of hair, but you must take into account what will happen when it grows out. For example, if you have blonde hair and want red Balayage highlights, how are going to dye them back after they grow out?
  3. Step Three: the third step is to select a Balayage and highlight color. Again, you can get darker or lighter if that’s what you want. It’s also important to see how it will contrast with your hair color (for example, blonde Balayage on black hair).
  4. Step Four: next, you want to take a small section of your hair and Balayage it. This will give you an idea of how the color should look on other places in your head. You can also choose what side or parts of the head that you want highlights, which is helpful for figuring out where they’ll be seen best
  5. Step Five: the fifth step is to apply a Balayage. You’ll be left with highlights that will gradually lighten your hair and bring out the design in your hair
  6. Step Six: now it’s time to highlight, which can also be done on any color of hair. This should always happen after balayaging because you don’t want the color to fade while the highlight is happening
  7. Step Seven: last, you’ll want to tone your hair (optional). Toning will make it look like the Balayage has been done for a long time and help deepen up any blonde highlights as well. It’s best used on natural colors or redheads so that they don’t lose their natural color
  8. Step Eight: the last step is to style your hair. You can use any product you want, but it’s important not to brush through too much otherwise there won’t be as many highlights and they’ll look darker than intended. It also helps if you do this before bed so that you don’t have to worry about messing it up and can let the hair air dry.
  9. Step Nine: finally, take good care of your Balayage to make sure that they stay looking as fresh as possible! There are a few things you want to avoid doing so that you don’t end up with brassy or dull highlights – for example, washing your hair every day, deep conditioning less often than you should, and using too many products on your hair
  10. Step Ten: before starting the Balayage process again. It’s important to wait at least one month in order for it to show that they’re not fading. You can also use a toner or other product if needed!

Brown Balayage on Dark Brown Hair Tips

There are many variations of brown Balayage hair on dark brown hair. The goal is to achieve a natural looking gradient where the root and the ends have different tones. This look allows you to go lighter as your hair grows out without having an obvious line that would be visible when it reaches a certain length. If our goal was just to use Balayage to lighten the ends of your hair, then you would start with a dark brown or black base and add lighter tones.

  1. In order to achieve this look on darker colors like mahogany, chocolate, espresso brunette etc., it is necessary that we first bleach out some of the color from these shades. The roots stay dark and the ends are light.
  2. This is done by using a Balayage technique where we apply bleach to only half of your hair in different sections, so that you have lighter roots on one side and darker or more natural colors on the other. The effect will be less obvious if you have long layers too because there will be more contrast between the colors.
  3. The brown Balayage technique is also perfect for those who have a darker base and want to go blonde. In this case, you can first lighten the hair at the root with an ash toner or bleach it completely without any color underneath so that you are only left with lighter ends. This way your natural roots will blend into the blonde hair seamlessly.

For brunettes, brown Balayage is a great way to soften the hair and give it some depth. It’s also an excellent option for those who don’t want anything too drastic but still want something different than their natural color. The contrast of your dark roots against blonde highlights can be particularly chic when done right!

Blonde Balayage Hair Color Tips

  1. Blonde is a natural hair color to work with for Balayage.
  2. Avoid going too light, since blonde has the tendency to show any imperfections in your roots. You may want to consider getting an ombre or darker shades on top of the blonde layer instead.
  3. Avoid too much contrast, so blonde on top of dark roots or brunette. This can make the hair look unnatural and fake looking.
  4. Yellow tones to your skin will give you a sun kissed appearance which is perfect for summertime Balayage colors!
  5. A face framing blonde Balayage is easy to maintain as well, and can be a fun way to spice up your hair color. When the warmer months roll around it’s never too early for you to get an idea of what blonde hues will work with your skin tone!
  6. When you’re deciding on blonde Balayage hues, keep in mind that darker shades will make your skin look paler while lighter shades can wash out the color. You can also choose to go with a variation of light browns or beiges for added dimension!
  7. A face framing blonde Balayage with sun-kissed tones is a perfect choice for summer! This look will accentuate your skin tone, as well as the lightness of your hair.
  8. If you have medium to dark brown or black hair already, some highlights might be all that’s necessary before going completely blonde on top.

Melted Highlights Color Tips

Melted highlights are a great way to get lots of volume and dimension in your hair. These types of Balayage have the tendency to look more natural than other highlighting techniques, since they’re blended together instead of just one line or strip.

If you want softer tones for your melted highlight, choose shades that complement your skin tone rather than contrast it.

You can also go for tones that are on the warmer side, to give your locks a more sun-kissed appearance!

Melted highlights work best when you have lots of layers in your hair – this will create even more volume and softness in the final result!

The best way to do melted highlights is by using a Balayage technique, so that it blends in with the rest of your hair color.

For a more formal look, you can also opt for using highlights on top instead – this will draw attention to other features like your eyes or cheekbones!

Remember these tips when deciding what sort of blonde Balayage hues are best for you!

Lived-In Highlights Color Tips

Lived-in highlights are a great way to get subtle, natural looking Balayage. This is another technique that can make your hair look more dimensional and it will work for any length of hair!

A lived-in highlight works best when you have sandy blonde or lighter brown tones on the top layers of your locks. The lightness of the strands will help to reflect light and give your hair a more natural look.

For darker locks, you want to use tones that are on the warmer side – this includes browns and oranges! This is going to make it easier for your highlights to blend in with the rest of your shade.

Be sure not go too dark when you’re choosing your tones – you want to keep the Balayage look light and soft looking.

Lived-in highlights are a great option for people who have darker hair, since they help to make the lighter strands stand out more!

You can also opt for dark browns or black if you want an edgier look that’s still soft on the eyes.

Lived-in highlights are perfect for people who want a more natural take on bright blonde locks! This technique can be done with any length of hair, and it also works well with lighter brown tones that you might have in your top layers.

If you’re going to use these types of Balayage, be sure to keep your tone on the warmer side! This will make it easier for your Balayage to blend into the rest of your hair.

If you have darker locks already and want a lived-in blonde look, try out dark browns or black – this can help create an edgier take on Balayage that’s still soft on the eyes.

Lived-in highlights are also a great option for people who want to keep their natural look while adding some blonde color in! These Balayage hues can be done with any length of hair, including shorter lengths that will make them less noticeable and more subtle.

Pink Pastel Balayage Color Tips

If you’re looking for a bit of color, consider going with pink pastel Balayage! These fun colors are perfect if your hair is lighter in tone.

A great way to get these shades into your locks is by using an ombre technique that’s on the darker side – this will help make sure every strand is covered in color.

Pink pastel Balayage works best if you have a light blonde base and want to add some fun hues on top! This will also work for darker locks, as long as the swap of colors isn’t too drastic. The brighter tones won’t be noticeable unless you’re close up or looking at your hair under bright lights.

With these pastel shades, it’s best to stick with a longer length of hair – this will make your curls and waves more prominent! If you’re going to maintain the Balayage color through shorter locks, try out using pieces that are thicker in order to create dimension. Or else opt for maintaining darker tones throughout your length of hair.

If you’re looking for a bit of color to spice up your look, pink pastel Balayage might be the right option! These fun colors are perfect if you have lighter strands – try out an ombre technique that’s on the darker side in order to make sure every strand is covered.

The most common mistakes people make when getting a Balayage treatment

The most common mistakes people make when getting a Balayage treatment is:

  • Not asking for a consultation to figure out your ideal hair color.
  • Choosing the wrong tone of blonde Balayage – it can make all the difference with how natural or dramatic you want to look!
  • Using too little color and not getting an even application throughout your strands. This will leave some parts lighter than others.
  • Not taking care of your hair after the treatment by not washing it properly or using oils to keep it looking shiny and healthy!

Don’t forget, Balayage is a delicate technique that needs special care – but if you take good care of your locks, they’ll be left looking light and full of life! Be sure to moisturize and keep your hair hydrated by using oils or serums that are meant for dry strands.

Now you know what to expect – don’t be afraid of Balayage! These tips will help ensure the best possible outcome of a Balayage treatment at salon, home, or anywhere else.

The drawbacks

This technique is ideal for people with thick hair, because the technique doesn’t require a lot of time in between color appointments.

However, there are drawbacks to Balayage that you should be aware of before going through this process. First, since it is created by using long strokes and not foils like traditional highlights or ombre dye, Balayage can sometimes turn out too light. Along with this, the hair at the roots will look much darker (and potentially unnatural) than what you wanted.

The next drawback is that since it’s all-over color, there are no natural breaks from one shade to another and so some people may tire of this more gradual, blended look.

The final drawback is that it’s hard to fix any mistakes with Balayage because the color has already been applied all-over and so you can only cover up a mistake by applying more color on top of what was done before. If there are bald patches in your hair from an old haircut or something, Balayage will not fix that problem.

Is Balayage bad for your hair?

No Balayage is not bad for your hair. It’s actually better because it allows you to highlight and tone down certain areas of your hair without having to go over the entire head with a straightening iron or dye job. But if you have color-treated strands, take care when and where you apply Balayage so that you don’t damage your hair.

Balayage treatment done at the salon

Tips for your first Balayage appointment

  1. First, find a salon that has experience doing Balayage. Ask to see some pictures of recent work they’ve done with the technique or visit them in person and ask for references from other customers who have had their hair colored using this method. You need to feel confident about your decision before you commit as not everyone will be a good match for Balayage.
  2. Next, identify what hair color you are looking to have done (blonde or brunette). Once you’ve decided on the goal, be sure to get a professional opinion before committing to anything that doesn’t involve traditional highlights with bleaching.
  3. Discuss your desired tone and level of blonde or brunette with your stylist, so they can help you find the right color.
  4. Finally, Balayage is a great option for anyone who wants to maintain their natural hair texture and avoid harsh lines that are common when using traditional highlights.

How long does it take?

Balayage is a time commitment but you will be in and out of the salon in under two hours.

What should I expect?

Don’t worry, Balayage doesn’t involve any strong chemicals or bleach so it won’t damage your hair! You can choose to have your stylist use high-lift color if you’re looking for a more dramatic change.

Who can have Balayage?

Balayage is perfect for anyone who wants to maintain their natural hair texture and avoid harsh lines that are common when using traditional highlights. Traditional highlights with bleach might be too damaging for those with fragile, thin or processed hair but Balayage is gentle enough for all hair types.

What can I expect to pay for Balayage hair?

Balayage can range in price from $200 to $450 depending on the stylist and salon.

Why is Balayage so expensive?

The best Balayage is done by professionals with advanced training in hair color techniques. A good stylist will have a fair understanding of what you are looking for and be able to offer suggestions on how to achieve your desired look without making mistakes that can lead to an expensive re-dyeing process.

Finally, the cost of this service is offset by the fact that you don’t need to touch up your roots as often and it’s an investment in a style that will last for months.

How long does Balayage last?

Balayage lasts for months on most people and maintenance is usually only needed every six to eight weeks.

How often do I need Balayage?

Some women opt for regular touchups—every four or five sessions with their stylist will maintain a salon-fresh look. Others may not have the time (or desire) to visit the salon that often and will only go in for a refresh every two or three months.

FAQs about Balayages – maintenance, care & hair texture

What’s the maintenance of Balayage hair?

The maintenance is minimal. You can touch it up in between visits to the salon or opt for a more dramatic change and get your stylist to do an additional process with high-lift color every time you visit them.

How do I care for my Balayage hair?

Try to avoid getting too much sun or chlorine if your hair is light blonde. Try a dry shampoo for dark roots and opt for shampoos that are sulfate-free to prevent stripping essential oils from the surface of your scalp.

Does Balayage work on textured, kinky and afro-textured hair?

Yes! Balayage is the perfect solution for those who want to maintain their natural texture. The Balayage highlights will give your strands a sense of dimension and depth while still maintaining enough length on top that can be styled with heat tools like flat irons or curling wands.


If you’re looking for a way to spice up your look without getting too drastic, Balayage hair is the perfect option. Balayage highlights add dimension and depth while still maintaining enough length on top that can be styled with heat tools like flat irons or curling wands. The maintenance of Balayage hair is minimal – only needing touchups every four-five weeks from your stylist if desired.

Categories: BALAYAGE 101, Hairstyle 101
Tags: Hair Guide, blonde hair, brown hair, dark hair, light hair, black hair, medium hair, Hair, Hair Salon, Beauty

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