Balayage: Everything You Need To Know

Everything You Need to Know About Balayage in One Place

When it comes to getting my hair styled and coloured, I’m very picky. That’s why it took a long time just to find the right hairdresser that would tell me what suits my face shape and skin tone as opposed to the hairdressers that would do whatever I asked for, even if it doesn’t suit me. So when my hairdresser introduced me to this magical method of styling which is balayage, I never looked back.

What is Balayage?

Balayage is a French term meaning to paint or to sweep. This technique has been around since the 1970’s however it is only recently that this method of styling has become popular. Balayage is the most requested technique in salons across the world today. Balayage is the process in which the hair is painted by the colourist in a sweeping motion, allowing the colour to blend more naturally into the colour base. This technique gives softer, less noticeable regrowth lines, with the idea of it being ‘less is more.’ Its low maintenance combined with its natural sunkissed look is what makes it so popular today.

Great hair doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by appointment.

What is The Difference Between Balayage and Ombre?

Balayage is a highlighting technique that has a much softer and natural outcome that ombre. It may get confusing but think of it like this: balayage is highlighting and ombre is colour blocking. When you balayage your hair, you will get colour painted through in streaks to give a more sunkissed look. When you ombre your hair, the bottom of your hair is bleached in one go. Although you’ll have a clear fade from one colour to the next in ombre, there’s no such thing in balayage as the lighter colour fades seamlessly into your natural hair colour.

ALT = Balayage hair
How is Balayage done?

As it’s a freehand technique, there is no foils involved. The process, however, depends on the length of your hair and the result that you want. As you know, balayage means sweeping in French. The technique gets its name because the colour is swept through the hair with a brush and a backing board. My advice if you’re looking to get this done is to look for a good colourist as it requires a certain skill to do it. Go in for a consultation, bring some pictures to show the colourist the result you’re after and a good colourist will be able to tell you a custom look based off your pictures that will flatter you.

How Long Does Balayage Take?

In comparison to foil highlights, the process is a little longer as the stylist has to go through your hair piece by piece. When I book myself in for a balayage, I book an early morning appointment because every time, I end up leaving the salon quite late. I have fairly long hair so the process for me ranges anywhere from 8-10 hours. Before you fall off your chair, note that this won’t be the case if you get it done. Your hairdresser will tend to split up your appointments to achieve the look you want. It will be a gradual process if you’re going for something completely different from what you already have now. I’m a fairly last minute girl and my hairdresser understands my requests for crazy balayage to be done in one day. Most the time the look I want won’t be achieved in one day so we get it as close as we can. Hence the long hours. Depending on the look you’re going for, expect to be in the chair for at least two hours.

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Does Balayage Last and How Do You Maintain Balayage Highlights?

The reason why balayage highlights are so popular is that they’re incredibly low maintenance and they grow out very naturally. This means there are no regrowth lines and you won’t need to worry about going back to the salon for touch-ups. This means that although you spend a little more getting it done, you will save money in the long run. You would only really need to see your stylist every 12-14 weeks as the highlights naturally grow out.

Is Balayage Expensive?

Like with everything else, it will depend on where you go and how well it’s done. Personally, my hairdresser charges me close to £300 or over to get it done each time which I’ll admit is expensive but she balayage my hair beyond perfectly and I never regret spending that kind of money each time after seeing the result. Prices tend to start from £50 and onwards but vary greatly from salon to salon. You’ll find that with many salons, you won’t get a clearly defined price for balayage, only a round-about figure. This is because the balayage treatment is bespoke to you. How much it will cost will be determined by the thickness of your hair and the result that you’re after. I’ve had times where my hairdresser will quote me one figure and the result I’m after ended up being a lot more. This is why it’s important to be completely open and honest with your hairdresser. Tell them exactly what you’re after and how much you’re looking to spend. They can then tell you whether that look is achievable with that sort of budget.

Can You Balayage at Home?

The simple answer to this is yes. However, if you’re new to balayage I would recommend getting it done at a salon. Understandably, if you don’t want to pay that kind of money getting it done professionally, there are kits you can buy to do it yourself.

Let me know in the comments below your balayage experience!

ALT = Joeyt

Some features of this post may have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please read my disclaimer


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