Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint.
It’s a freehand hair colouring technique that gives a really blended natural
look with no harsh or obvious regrowth lines.
Balayage allows for a sun-kissed natural looking hair colour, with softer,
less noticeable re-growth.
The principal idea being less is more when creating a natural,
multi-tonal finish. The technique uses patches of light and shade to create
multiple dimensions to the colour.
It’s a great method if you want to refresh your colour but don’t want to go
for a bold colour overhaul.
How is balayage applied?
Balayage is painted on the surface of the hair strand and not
saturated through the section until the very tips.
This ensures a smooth, blended stroke of colour. It can also be called a freehand
technique because no foil or meche are used to create the highlights.
How long does it take to do balayage?
The depth of balayage can vary so much from a few small highlights that will only
take a matter of minutes to a full on, triple process look that can take up to several hours.
Though it can take quite a long time to do a multi-tonal, layered balayage
compared to regular colour, the benefit of the application means you will be able
to leave longer between your next colour appointment.
If you want just a few balayage babylights this may take as little as 45 minutes
What sets it apart from traditional hair colouring?
Balayage is quite different to traditional highlights because the colour is painted on freehand, is not as close to the roots and is less uniform than typical highlights. If you’ve ever been worried about having stripey colour after a visit to the hairdressers, balayage is a sure way to avoid that harsh contrast between colours – especially if you’re going blonder.
The colour created is totally bespoke to you and can even be placed in a way to compliment or distract attention away from certain features on the face.
What’s making it so popular recently?
Ten years ago balayage wasn’t the colouring phenomenon it is today, it’s quite a specific method of colouring that hasn’t been widely taught until recently. Balayage is especially popular with celebrities and is a classic look for the red carpet. After spotting it on celebrities like Gisele, Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba, there has been a surge in interest for the technique as people are requesting the look.
Some celebrities who love balayage include Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Olivia Palermo, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Amber Heard.
Does it require a lot of maintenance?
Typically balayage requires far less maintenance than traditional colour
because it grows out beautifully and there are no strong regrowth lines.
It also means you can wait for longer between appointments so
it’s ‘the perfect technique for a modern, busy woman.’
If you want to make your balayage last as long as possible, opt for a babylight
– it’s the most subtle type of colour you can go for.
Investing in some good quality after care products is also advisable to keep
your colour looking fresh for longer.
If your colour turns brassy after a while you can refresh it without going for
a full top up with a toner or gloss with PIGMENTS to give your shine back.
Is it suitable for all hair types/lengths?
It works on both light and dark hair depending on how much lighter you want to
go and all hair textures. Whether it’s straight, wavy or curly the colour will
still work well and look great.
Balayage works on all hair lengths apart from on very short or cropped hair (think Pixie crops)
The technique is particularly popular amongst celebrities with long, textured hair as it
creates a beautiful, beachy style.
If however, you have balayage on shorter hair – let’s say a long bob – and want to try the
One of the biggest perks of balayage is that it doesn’t require as much upkeep as traditional colour. The blended finish means you can leave longer between your salon appointments, depending on the style of balayage you go for you can leave up to 4 months between top-ups.
Balayage is a totally blended hair look, there are no lines or blocks of colour and the graduation between shades is much more subtle. Some lengths of the hair are kept darker for a seamless colour finish.
Ombre hair has a more defined contrast between the roots and tips of the hair with colour starting mid-way down the strands. Ombre colour is a more noticeable, statement look compared to Balayage.
Does balayage work on grey hair?
Balayage works for all colours but the only thing is it won’t cover grey hair, it will only help blend in the grey to disguise it so if you want full coverage for greys it might not be the right choice for you. However it is possible to do a root colour before/after your balayage service.
What makes it timeless?
Balayage creates a totally bespoke, personalised colour finish. Healthy, natural looking hair will always be ‘in’ which is why the technique has remained popular for so many years. Depending on what you’re looking for the finish can be subtle or quite bold. It’s the ability to completely tailor the colour effect that makes this such a popular colour choice.