Some of the best ways to enhance your hair color or your look is by getting the right style that works best for you individually. There are many cut and color styles out there and it might seem overwhelming by all the latest trends going on at the moment, so hopefully after this post you can gain a little more knowledge to help you decide what style you want or don’t want the next time you go in to receive a hair service. In this post, as you can tell by the title, we will be explaining and giving you a little more insight as to what is Balayage.
Balayage: French for to sweep or to paint
What is Balayage? April, who specializes in natural sun kissed looks and natural colors, describes balayage as customized free hand highlights.
How is it different than normal highlights? Normal highlights use foils that tends to give a more contrasting look between the dark base and the light areas being highlighted. WARNING: this client came to us after originally going to another salon. She asked them for balayage but the end results were that of highlights. One can clearly see the contrast between the dark base and the light regions where foils were used. The regrowth, line of demarcation, is also very noticeable. April did a color correction on her to give a more natural sun kissed look to her hair.
Balayage on the other hand gives a more natural blended appearance and lessens the contrast between the dark base and light customized highlights. Balayage does not use foils, instead a small hair paddle is sometimes used to achieve the affects. The picture below shows April’s client after her hair service. She has lessened that contrast between the top, which is dark, and blended it towards the bottom for a natural look.
Is it hard to maintain? Because it gives a more natural blended appearance, the longevity of the style lasts longer. It lesses the sometimes harsh lines of regrowth that normally comes with highlights, so the style grows out beautifully and there are less visits between the service. It takes a lot less to maintain other than using a good shampoo, conditioner, and occasional deep conditioning treatment, or sometimes just getting a toning service in between the regrowth.
Can anyone sport this style? This is a great color style for those with medium to long lengths in their hair so it can be more prominent versus a short choppy hairstyle length. It can also be a great alternative to those transitioning into gray hair. It is also a great start for those who may feel overwhelmed by color maintenance or for those clients looking for a new look without the change being too drastic or overwhelming. This is not great for those who wish to have solid all over colors such as an overall platinum color, but it can help you achieve such colors with less maintenance.
April did a subtle change of color on this client by using the balayage highlighting technique and she also cut of some length to give her nice long layers. As her hair grows out she won’t have a harsh line of regrowth since it was not a solid all over color and in turn extending her salon visits from 3/4 weeks to 6-8 weeks.
Here are a couple of other examples to help distinguish the two. They’re both a form of highlighting, but produce two different results. Balayage highlights blend more into the hair and it graduates, as in the picture on the left. Foil highlights start more at the base and the colors tend to be more contrasting, as you can see in the picture on the right. NOTE: the pictures below are not of our clients. They are just examples to show the different styles.