Balayage (which means “to sweep” in French) is a colouring technique in which the dye is painted onto the hair in a freehand style, creating natural-looking highlights that grow out beautifully. Balayage can be used in even the shortest pixie crop however the best results is in hair below the shoulders.
This hair trend has been around for a while now (not to be confused with Ombre or Dip Dye), but it can be difficult to perfect. I have tried on and off for the past few years to get the perfect sunkissed balayage look to my hair (dirty roots, white blonde strands at the ends), and haven’t really been able to capture it properly. Having said that I am going to give it another try at my next hair appointment….
So, why bother with Balyage?
You can achieve so many different effects from soft, natural highlights to something strong and punky. The fact it’s so low maintenance is a drawcard too. It’s also a very economical way to colour your hair as you never have a solid demarcation line or regrowth, so if you can’t afford to get it done for another month it won’t look atrocious. However, if your balayage isn’t done correctly you can end up with excessive overlapping that can cause damage.
How it’s done
The process varies depending on the length of the hair and the desired result. You can expect to have individual strands coloured with a brush and a backing board. Some colourists like to separate their sections with cotton wool or foil, others tease the hair in sections first then freehand colour the ends.
Once you have achieved the look you are after you can potential go up to four months without having more balayage. Sometimes just toning is required to keep you fresh between colours (if going blonde, purple shampoo is a ESSENTIAL – I recommend FUDGE).
The best hairstyles for Balayage
I think balayage looks best with loose curls or a beachy, tousled look so you can see the colour variations ribbon through the hair. Sharp, strong haircuts like a bob require a stronger colour or a block colour to show off the cut. Balayage is best left to more flowing hairstyles.
So wish me luck for my next hair appointment and I will definitely upload some pics! If you have any questions please leave a comment.