What is balayage? How is different from highlights? Below you’ll find the answers to the most common questions women have about the hair colour techniques.
Balayage: a soft, natural and blended look
Balayage means ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’ in French. Balayage is not a look but a hair dye technique. Your colourists ‘paint’ the pre-lightener (bleach) on selected hair strands. If you are after a super blended multi-tonal and sun-kissed result like A-list celebs, balayage will be an answer for you. One of the big differences from traditional highlights is that colourists use balayage to leave your roots a more natural tone. This leads to the less noticeable regrowth and more saturated look toward the hair ends than traditional highlights. Balayage is likely to require less maintenance than highlights since it prevents obvious grow-out. Our colourists suggest every 8 weeks for a toner as the colour can often fade over time and every 4 months for a top up.
Balayage also allows you to get a customised look because colourists take placement, gradation, the individual’s haircut, facial shape, skin tone and natural hair growth pattern into consideration. The most popular balayage colour is caramel, but you don’t need to limit the colour choice: there are smoky gold, dark chocolate, gold brunette, butter blonde colours and so on. So get your hair inspo sorted, show them to colourists and have a deep consultation to get your own personalised look.
Highlights: some pops of brightness from roots to ends
When you choose highlights – full-head, half-head or T-section highlights, sections of hair are woven and lightened from the root through to the ends leaving natural hair in between. The sections are folded into foils to keep them isolated from the other hair. Compared to balayage, highlights usually help to pass the red and orange zones more gracefully thanks to woven sections of lightened hair strands. However, highlights need more frequent maintenance than balayage because bleach is applied on hair roots and so it brings about obvious grow-out. Every 4-6 weeks for top up is suggested to avoid a stripy look.