It’s effortless colour and natural sun-kissed appearance has seen this hair highlighting technique become one of the most requested hair styles. Elegantly gracing red carpets with celebrities such as Cara Delevingne, Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna and loads more adopting the hairstyle. Beyond celebrities, it’s also one of the most requested hair techniques within our local salons. So, if you’re thinking of giving your hair an uplift with some subtle colour then the balayage is what you might be looking for. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Balayage.
What is a balayage?
Firstly, let’s start with how we pronounce the term balayage as you may be wondering if you are pronouncing it properly. The term balayage is actually pronounced BAH-LEE-AHGE. As it’s still very much a new hair technique for a lot of people, it tends to be called a number of things and this is because the term is actually French. In French, the word balayage means ‘sweeping’ which applies to the technique and motion used to apply the hair colour to the hair itself.
A balayage is a hair colouring technique whereby the colouring is applied directly by hand onto the hair which allows for more control to create a more blended and natural hair colour appearance. With the balayage the day of foiling is gone. Applying the hair colouring directly onto hair is what enables hair colouring combinations like strawberry blonde balayage with white highlights or rich chocolate hair with auburn ribbons or a simple champagne blonde balayage, the list is endless. They’re also often referred to as a blended balayage.
If you’re now already thinking you’re getting a balayage for your next hairstyle, then you don’t have to look any further then your usual salon. Professional hair stylists, especially colourists have likely already been delivering this style for years so all you’ll need to do is ask. What is useful is to show them examples of the hair colour or style you’re trying to achieve.
Why is the balayage hair technique so popular?
When hair trends come around, they’re usually a temporary and within their prime, lasts a few years. However, the balayage is the anomaly which has been thriving since 2014 and has continued to grow in popularity year after year and that trend hasn’t changed since. So, you’re likely thinking why is it so popular?
• It’s very much in trend – The balayage has been adopted by the largest of celebrities globally. Earlier on I mentioned Cara Delevingne, Chrissy Teigen and a few others however this list could go on and on, it’s endless. The adoption from celebrities has seen the trend amplify with the hairstyle now heavily adopted on a global scale.
• It’s customizable – The balayage hair technique is fully customisable. Regardless of your hair colour it’s fully possible to have the balayage applied to your hair. This is a hair technique that understands that everyone’s hair is different. This technique is all about understanding choosing the right hair colours to mix together for a natural look, where it’s placed onto your hair and the stage or depths at which it is applied.
• Maintenance is low – The balayage technique is designed to give off the look of grown out roots which significantly lengthens the time for when the next touch up is needed. Whereby usual highlights may require a touch up every 2-3 months, you may find on occasions you could go as far as 6 months before your balayage needs recolouring or a touch up. If you’re interested in how to keep your healthy when you dye it, then read our article here.
• Healthy looking hair – When the balayage is applied, it doesn’t require your entire hair to have bleach or colour dye applied. Which means you can get highlights and still have a healthy head full of hair not worrying about the damage from bleach or colour dye. Overall, the technique actually leaves you with silky, sun kissed looking hair.
How is a balayage achieved?
A balayage is achieved by applying hair colouring by hand onto hair strands. It should be applied using a sweeping motion which starts higher up on your hair which then ends at your hair tips. Then repeat the step if needed. This ensures your balayage delivers a smooth and blended look you’re likely looking for.
Give your stylist all the details they need
When you approach your stylist asking for a balayage they should have a host of questions for you, so we recommend you do your research first so you can let them know exactly what you want. The type of questions you should think about include:
• What type of hair colour are you interested in for the balayage?
• How often do you style your hair across a week?
• How often you may want to get a touch up?
This will ensure they have all the details they need to ensure they can deliver you the best possible balayage you’ll love but also has a great level of longevity around your lifestyle too.
Is balayage the same as highlights or ombre?
It’s common for people to think balayage, highlights and ombre are all the same. There are actual differences between all of these, however the main similarity is that they are all terms that are usually used when it comes to hair colouring or lightening. This is because they are a variation of styles and techniques.
• Balayage – A balayage is a hair colouring technique whereby the colouring is applied directly by hand onto the hair which allows for more control to create a more blended, natural hair colour.
• Highlights – The more traditional method focuses on creating sections of hair and wrapping them with foil.
• Ombre – Is a hair colour technique whereby the ends of your hair are dyed given a short transition between the deeper roots and the lighter ends. Read our article on the “differences between Balayage and Ombre”.
What’s the cost of a balayage if I went to a salon?
At this point you’re likely very much getting a balayage having read this far. So, we might as well let you know how much it may cost you. When it comes to a balayage it’s definitely worth finding out if your stylist has experience in performing it to a high standard. Depending on the experience of the stylist, your hair, the salon and also the location of the salon expect to pay anything from £90 - £400.
What type of hair style is best to do a balayage?
A balayage can be done pretty much to any type of hair. Whether you have dark or light hair, balayage’s natural looking highlights can be blended in. Stylists and hair colourists usually just need to assess your hair condition, hair colour and what you want prior to your main appointment so they can plan the best possible way to deliver you exactly what you want.
Whether you have thick curly textured hair, long and smooth hair, light or dark hair, it’s highly possible you can have yourself a balayage.
How do I achieve the balayage from home?
If you’re considering doing a balayage yourself from home, you’re likely already thinking it’s a daunting step to move forward with. As we’ve explained there is a lot of technique involved. For those confident to give it a go we recommend considering a balayage hair kit to use from home, which comes with everything you’ll need to attempt the extremely popular hair technique. It’s available from a number of hair colouring brands and usually comes with a paddle brush, disposable gloves, the balayage colouring kit. And remember the technique is all about the brush strokes into your hair!
How do I maintain my balayage?
One of the key benefits of a balayage is that they are low maintenance. It’s possible to do a balayage today and not need a touch up or a refresh for up to 6 months. However, in between there are particular processes we can be performing to ensure it lasts a great length of time.
1.Hydrating Masks – Hydrating masks on your hair help with keeping a fabulous healthy shine. Overtime your balayage hair style can start to lose its shine and by adding these processes into your hair routine you can benefit from richer looking, natural skin kissed hair for longer.
2.Colour Care Products for shampoo and conditioner – Balayage is a hair colour technique so to also ensure it lasts, it’s worthwhile reconsidering the current products you use. Are they designed for coloured hair in mind? If not, definitely worth investing in new products for example shampoo and consider that are considerate to hair styles with colour within it.
3.Glossing Refresh – When the time does come, and it will come, you may find your balayage has lost its shine completely so it’s always possible to go back to your salon and book in for a touch up. Depending on the appearance, it’s possible to simple top up the gloss to give you back your shine or you can simply top up the entire hair style.
If you’ve got this far, then you’ve likely learned everything you’ve needed to know about the balayage. Go forth and get your balayage with confidence!