What is balayage?
Balayage is a French colouring technique that was developed in the 1970s. It’s a freehand technique where the colour is applied by hand rather than using the traditional foiling or cap highlighting techniques. Balayage can be used in even the shortest pixie crop however the best results is in hair below the shoulders.
You can achieve so many different effects from soft, natural highlights to something strong and punky. The fact it’s so low maintenance is such a drawcard for women too. People want to look fashionable and feel good about their appearance but in this day and age we don't all have the time to be in the salon every few weeks for a touch up.
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.
Is it for me?
Balayage is best done on natural hair, but never fear, most of the work we do to create a balayage look is initially done with foils until the hair is ready to have only balayage. There are many different techniques that people use to create this look. If you’re seeing a colour specialist they should always be able to come up with a technique to achieve the look you desire that best suits your hair type and colour history.
The best hairstyles for balayage
Solange always love to see balayage finished with loose curls or a beachy, tousled look where 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.
Top maintenance tips
Balayage will dry your hair out no more than classic foiling as long as you have a trained professional applying your colour. As with foils you should always use salon professional shampoos and conditioners as well as have regular treatments. No matter what the technique, your colour will always look its best if your hair is in good condition.