Contrary to popular belief, balayage is a color application technique, rather than a specific color itself. The word translates to “sweep” in French. Bright around the face, blended at the roots, lighter ends, and effortlessly natural are all descriptors of balayage hair.
The balayage technique is used to achieve a very naturally blended, lightened look, and while we typically associate balayage with becoming blonde, the same technique can be used to create caramel, espresso, or even pastel strands.
Unlike traditional highlights, which use foils, balayage involves painting onto the hair with a brush dipped in lightener. By using a sweeping motion, it creates a soft, multidimensional and natural looking highlight. Colorists use their brushes to paint sweeps of vertical highlights onto the hair with strips of cotton or saran wrap layered between each section, which protects the application by avoiding any color bleeding or spotting.
Balayage gives a multidimensional highlight, which can appear more natural because it creates different levels of lightness. Traditional foils give a more uniform and even finish, creating a single dimensional highlight.
According to our experts, your natural hair color and its tones (e.g. warm, neutral, or cool) will influence the results of your balayage. Sometimes people with very dark hair can pull very red/orange warm tones when getting balayage done. If you’re someone who doesn’t like warm tones, then balayage is probably not for you. The hair can turn brassy more quickly than with traditional highlights (depending on your natural hair color). Even the slightest drop of warmth in your color, it could be very difficult to achieve your desired tone with balayage.
We love offering balayage to clients that love a hint of warmth to reflect against their highlight (and do not mind more than one appointment to get to their desired lightness).