You may have seen or heard about balayage, a colouring trend spoken about with almost hushed awe and wonder. It’s almost like this European colouring technique just arrived in North America out of the blue! Don’t worry, you won’t get left behind by this trend; balayage brings something unique for every hair type, and it looks so natural that people might not tell you even had your hair coloured.
What Is Balayage?
Balayage (BAH-lay-ahge) is a French word meaning “sweeping”, and it accurately describes both the application technique and the look. Essentially, the stylist “sweeps” on hair colour to create natural-looking, multi-dimensional highlights. While it’s big in 2019, it’s not new – it was developed in the 1970s in (where else?) France.
The desired results of balayage are smooth, seamless blends of colour, and this is achieved with the application. The colouring is applied freehand to the surface, rather than using foiling or cap highlighting that saturates through the hair. This creates a soft gradation of colour along the hair strand, usually starting away from the roots and focusing the colour and lightness on the midpoints and ends of the shaft. The effect leaves no hard fade lines between the lighter and darker colours, while darker parts left at the bottom will give the hair an additional dimension.
A skilled stylist can get so many different effects out of this freehand work, from natural-looking highlights that have a softer touch to some seriously strong, vibrant colour. It can be customized to your type and natural hair colour, and it can add colour to even the shortest pixie cut. Best of all, it’s an incredibly low maintenance look that, because of the transitions between colour, doesn’t require a ton of touch-ups.
How Balayage Is Applied
The balayage process depends on the look you want and the length of your hair. Basically, colour is swept through small, triangular sections of hair onto a board or foil, with the hair colourist painting the dye directly onto the hair strands. This creates a seamless blend of highlights and your hair’s natural colour.
If you’d like a more drastic colour transition, two dyeing techniques can be combined. By sweeping the bottom half of your hair strands and dyeing a lighter shade on top using foils (the more traditional method), the stylist can help you achieve a soft blend between the two new colours!
Is Balayage For Me?
Balayage can be for everyone, which makes it one of the coolest colouring techniques to bring back. It’s a trend that doesn’t look like a trend, because the results are tailored to your hair’s colour and length, and you can use it to create a look that is completely unique.
While the best results are seen in hair that flows below the shoulders, you don’t need a specific length to get balayage. It even works on short hairstyles, though the creation of the seamless look will be harder on a pixie cut. Balayage isn’t just about natural colour with a seamless look, however, and the freehand technique lets us create just about any effect you want! Contact us to learn more.