What is Balayage?

February 4, 2021

French for Sweeping

Traditional balayage is a freehand technique where color is painted on the hair in a sweeping motion to create a soft and natural blended effect.  The end result is usually 2-4 levels lighter than your natural color.  If done well, it has a very soft outgrowth and needs to be maintained every 3-4 months, or longer.  This is a great technique for people who are naturally blonde already. 

The word balayage is often misused and misunderstood.  There are many different coloring techniques and in most cases colorists use a combination of many different techniques to achieve a desired look.  It is very important you know what you are asking for and understand the process.  This way you end up satisfied with the result.   

There are a few things that need to be kept in mind if you are considering balayage.  

  1. Dimension is built up over time.  The first time you balayage your hair, you will achieve 2-4 levels of lift.  This means the tone of your hair will appear warmer.  If you want those really light blondes that pop, you will have to do a second or a third balayage.  Set up a plan with your colorist to help achieve the dimension you desire and pre-book those appointments.  
  2. Balayage is damaging on the hair.  To create those beautiful blondes that pop you will sometimes need to overlap the color on the ends which makes the hair fragile.  The use of bond builders and bond treatments will help strengthen the hair. Make sure you also purchase a professional shampoo, conditioner, and home treatment recommended by your stylist to properly care for your hair.
  3. Balayage does not usually lift enough for ashy tones.  When you use a traditional balayage technique the hair more than likely will not lift light enough to hold ashy or platinum tones.  The darker your hair is, the warmer your balayage will be.  Make sure you have a thorough consultation with your colorist to make sure this technique is right for you.

Balayage is a very nice technique for those wanting to have that warm, beachy, sunkissed effect that is low maintenance .  Book a color consultation with your stylist if you want to know more about this technique and see if it is suitable for you.

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