Balayage Hair Technique 101

Balayage hair has taken the internet by storm—and with good reason. The French colorists’ freehand hair highlighting technique is really wonderful on everyone. Even if you don’t know what balayage is, chances are you’ve seen A-listers with balayage haircuts as they strolled down the red carpet. You could even argue that it has surpassed the ombré hair trend! Here’s everything you need to know about balayage, from what it is to how you can obtain balayage highlights, if you’re searching for a low-maintenance solution to change your hair color and give yourself a new beauty look. Curious about Balayage on dark hair?

Balayage at Hair Salon

What is a Balayage?

Let’s get started with the fundamentals, shall we? The 1970s are recognized for many things: thigh-high boots, flower power, the terms groovy and rad, and, as it turns out, balayage highlights were invented during this decade. Balayage, as previously said, is a highlighting method developed by French colorists in the 1970s. The word balayage means “to sweep” in French, and it describes how highlights are applied. Brushes are used to apply Balayage highlights. They’re fully freehand; there’s no cap or guide of any kind; it’s all up to the colorist to decide where the highlights should go. The purpose of a balayage hairstyle is to leave you with sun-kissed, natural-looking hair. To further explain the technique, allow us to compare it to two other popular hair highlighting options. How long does Balayage hair last?

Balayage vs Highlights

Balayage is a freehand method that differs from typical foiling or cap techniques. You’ll obtain a fairly consistent finish with foils, whereas the outcome with balayage is more natural. This also allows the colorist to apply the color to more targeted parts of your hair that they will brighten your facial features. Balayage vs Sombre

Balayage vs Ombre

An ombré hair color involves hair that gradually transitions from dark to light, from your roots to your ends. Rather than creating a gradient effect, balayage highlights are placed throughout your mane in specific areas. Balayage vs Ombre

How do you know if Balayage hair is right for you?

Will balayage hair be trendy in for 2022? Yes! So, if on-trend hair colors are your thing, balayage hair may be worth giving a try. Not to mention, if you’re a color newbie, balayage is a great option for you! It’s a subtle highlighting technique that isn’t as drastic as completely changing your hair color. Balayage hairstyles work on any hair color, so it doesn’t matter whether you have brown, blonde, or red hair. Also, if you’re looking for highlights that are as low maintenance as you can get, then balayage is the way to go. With these highlights, you won’t have to run to the salon for touch-ups every couple of weeks since you’re not dyeing the entire length of your hair. As the highlights grow out, it’ll look totally intentional. Fewer touch-ups? Yes, please!

What do you need to know before getting Balayage highlights?

Just because balayage highlights are low maintenance doesn’t mean there aren’t facts to keep in mind before hitting up the salon. As with all highlighting techniques, balayage requires lightening—and that means you’ll need to have your hair bleached. Bleaching your hair can cause damage, so it’s important to make sure you take care of your strands pre- and post-balayage. Depending on your hair color and length, there are some other factors to keep in mind.

If you want balayage on dark hairbalayage highlights will require some work. The darker your starting color and the lighter you want to go with your balayage highlights, the more work it’ll take to achieve your desired end result. So, keep in mind that you might be in for multiple highlighting sessions depending on what you start with and what you want your hair to look like at the end of the process. It’s also important to have realistic expectations. For instance, if you want balayage on black hair, a darker shade like caramel balayage highlights may be a good place to start.

If you want balayage on light hair…you’re in luck! Lightening your strands likely won’t take as many sessions as it takes to get balayage highlights on dark hair, but that will depend on how light your desired balayage highlights are.

If you have short hair…you can rock a balayage hair color! The good news is, balayage on short hair looks absolutely stunning. It doesn’t matter whether you have a short pixie cut or waist-length hair—this highlighting method can be used on anyone.

If you have long hair…balayage highlights could be just what you need. If you have longer locks, balayage can add serious movement to your strands.

How is Balayage hair done?

As we mentioned, balayage is done freehand rather than using tools like foiling and caps that are often used during other highlighting techniques. Getting it professionally done is a game changer so please don’t bleach or balayage your hair at home. That means the color is applied by hand on an individual. As you also now know, balayage stands for sweeping in French. This technique gets its name because of the process of sweeping the color through the hair with a brush and a backing board. As you may have already guessed, this is a technique best left to professionals, as it requires a certain level of skill to do correctly. To find the right colorist, look for one who specializes in the balayage technique, and go in for a consultation before actually having your hair dyed. Make sure to bring inspiration pics with you so that your colorist knows exactly what you want. When your colorist sees and hears what you want out of your balayage highlights, they’ll be able to create a custom look that flatters you using their knowledge of how to balayage. Tips on washing your hair after a Balayage

Is blonde Balayage the only type of Balayage?

No! While blonde balayage is the more traditional type of balayage, you can totally experiment with color. For example, the reverse balayage hairstyle is trending these days—this look features light hair on top and darker hair woven throughout from your mid-lengths to ends. Which leads us to…

What are the best shades of Balayage highlights to try?

Besides reverse balayage, brunette balayage, there are plenty of trendy balayage hair color ideas to try. Here are some of our favorites of the moment:

Option #1: Pearly balayage. This pearlescent balayage hair color features a sandy brown base with light pinkish-purple ends, reminiscent of, well, you guessed it, a pearl!

Option #2: Rose quartz balayage. One of the most popular beauty trends is crystals, so give this trend a spin on your hair with rose quartz balayage. A pop of color can be beautiful and a lot easier to maintain than all-over color. We happen to love this option for doing balayage on brown hair.

Option #3: Peach balayage. Peach hair is perfect for summer, but you don’t have to dye your entire head of hair—for a subtler look, opt for peach balayage instead. If you fall in love with the color, you can always go for all-over color later.

Option #4: Rose gold balayage. Rose gold is one color that shows no signs of losing its place atop the beauty trend list. As with peach, you can try rose gold balayage instead of coloring your entire head of hair this shade.

Option #5: Blue balayage. Ready to take a major hair color risk? Then blue balayage might be right up your alley. Whether you pick a lighter or darker shade within the blue family, you’re sure to look stunning.

How much do Balayage highlights cost?

How Much Does Balayage Cost at Lush Hair Folk? At our hair salon we offer the luxury experience with luxury products used for all balayages. We customize every service so it is unique for all our clients. We start our prices at $250.

What’s the best way to maintain Balayage highlights?

The great thing about balayage highlights is that they grow out very naturally. That means that there’s no regrowth line, so you don’t have to worry about visiting the salon regularly for touch-ups. As with any dye job, there are certain things you can do to help maintain your color and keep your hair in tip-top shape. One of the best things you can do? Use sulfate-free products, swap out the conditioner for the hair mask once or twice a week, and leave it on for three to five minutes before rinsing out thoroughly. It’s also important to shower in lukewarm water, since hot water can strip your strands of essential oils, leaving your hair feeling dry and looking dull.

4 balayage hairstyles

Do we have you sold on balayage highlights? We thought so! If you’re wondering how to style your new hair color, consider one of the four balayage hairstyles below.

Balayage Hairstyle #1: Effortless waves. Give the heat tools a rest! Balayage highlights look extra amazing when you rock curls or waves. Spritz a wave spray onto wet hair and let it air dry. Sun-kissed beachy waves, coming right up!

Balayage Hairstyle #2: Voluminous curls. Remember those curls we mentioned? Whip out your curling iron and get ready to amp up the volume!

Balayage Hairstyle #3: Fishtail braid. It’s no secret that braid hairstyles are one of the best ways to show off a dimensional hair color. Weave your strands into a fishtail braid and show off your balayage highlights!

Balayage Hairstyle #4: Defined layers. Have lots of layers? You’ll want to play those up to showcase your balayage highlights.

Lush Hair Folk Owner
Lush Hair Folk

Lush Hair Folk is a trendy hair salon in Houston, Texas inside Eden Salon Suites. Our Hair Salon specializes in creating signature colors custom blended to suit each client’s unique pigments. Whether it’s fixing an at-home “oops” or a sun-kissed Balayage look, we are able to bring your luscious locks back to life. 

We work with individuality through diversity, creating custom colors for every face shape using your hair as our canvas.