When it comes to highlighting and balayage hair color trends and techniques, the differences between them are so small that sometimes it’s difficult to keep them straight. No worries. We will break it all down from the hottest highlighting trends for Balayage, lowlights, ombre, sombré, and more. Keep reading to learn what the difference is between all these looks.
What is balayage?
Balayage- pronounced BAH LEE AHGE
By definition, balayage is a technique for highlighting hair in which the lightener is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated and natural effect.
The word “balayage” is a French word that means “sweeping” or “to paint” – as into paint on to the hair in a sweeping motion. Balayage creates a more natural appearance and is lower maintenance than the traditional way of highlighting.
What is the difference between highlights and balayage?
When it comes to hair coloring, highlights refer to hair that is lighter than the natural, or the base color. Highlighting is a technique that is typically done through the foiling method. The foil is used to separate the base color and the pieces that are being highlighted. The foil also traps any heat which allows for a quicker and more even lift. In most instances, highlights come from the scalp and create an all over lighter appearance over the hair.
Balayage is the foil free method of achieving highlights. Balayage creates a more natural lightness that is graduated and more subtle. Typically balayage leaves the roots of the hair out all together and starts closer to the mid shaft and becomes the lightest on the ends.
Is ombré and balayage the same thing?
Not quite. To make it simple, balayage is a technique while an ombré is more of an all over style.
Unlike balayage applications, ombré’s tend to be a little more drastic and usually have a more bold transition from dark to light.
Ombres are usually done by saturating all of the ends of the hair with lightener. Balayage applications are smaller sections where lighter is placed only on the surface of the hair.
Can I still have a balayage even if my hair is dark?
Definitely! A big misconception people have about balayage is that it is just a way to make natural blondes blonder. While it can definitely make blondes more blonde, balayage can be done on any hair color and still look great.
For someone with dark hair who is looking to go lighter, balayage is a great starting point because it is minimal damage while still looking professional.
Is balayage bad for my hair?
One of the great things about balayage is the damage can be minimal with a great stylist- and you’ve already come to the right place for that! Because the hair isn’t fully saturated everywhere, balayage is much less damaging than traditional highlights or conventional color applications.
Is Balayage easy to maintain?
One major benefit about balayage is how low maintenance it can be. Because balayage applications typically start mid shaft with the roots left out, the natural hair can continue to grow while keeping a seamless blend. Clients can typically go 3-5 months before touching up their balayage. The exception to this is if a client has greys that need to be covered it would be recommend they come in for a root touch up every 6-8 weeks and a balayage appointment every 12-16 weeks.
One way to keep your balayage looking fresh between maintenance is a shine gloss. This is a quick process done at the shampoo bowl that adds shine and makes the color look newly done again.
How do I take care of my balayage?
Like any great color job, protecting your balayage is key to making it last. Making sure you are using salon quality products will keep your color in its best shape.
Shampooing with a sulfate free shampoo and a heat protectant before applying heat to the hair is a must when it comes to protecting balayage hair. Always finish off styled hair with a glossy serum.
Your colorist should be able to tell you what products will be right for you and your balayage.
How do I know if balayage is the style for me?
To know if balayage is right for you, depends on what you want the end result to look like. For people who are new to color, balayage is a great way to change things up without going too drastic. Balayage is great for those who want the appearance of highlights but without the harsh lines when regrowth begins.
Balayage is a technique that can look great on all hair types, colors, and lengths.
See one of our balayage experts today for a consultation to see if balayage is right for you.