What is Balayage: Everything You Need to Know

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Have you ever seen that sun-kissed, natural-looking hair color on someone and wondered, “How did they get that?” Chances are, it’s balayage.

Originally a French word meaning ‘to sweep,’ balayage has taken the hair world by storm.

It’s not just a trend; it’s a highlighting technique that promises natural hair color results with less upkeep. Let’s dive deep and uncover the beauty of balayage hair.

What is Balayage?

image of a woman after getting a balayage

Balayage is a hair coloring technique that originated from the French word ‘bilayer’, which means ‘to sweep’.

At its core, balayage involves painting hair strands directly to achieve a more natural-looking highlight.

While other hair colors might give a more uniform look, balayage creates softer, sun-kissed highlights that blend seamlessly with your natural hair color.

What Makes Balayage Unique?

It stands out due to its freehand painting technique. Unlike traditional foil highlights that wrap chunks of hair in foils, balayage is hand-painted. Think of blonde balayage or brown balayage; it’s all about creating that gradual, natural color transition, especially suitable for brown hair or even darker hair tones.

Comparing it to other methods, traditional highlights might pop and contrast, while ombre hair starts dark and gets progressively lighter towards the ends. Balayage? It’s the middle ground. It offers sun-kissed, natural-looking highlights without the commitment of frequent touch-ups.

The Balayage Process

1. Consultation

Before diving into any hair color change, it’s crucial to discuss the desired outcome. Whether you’re aiming for blonde balayage on brown hair or subtle balayage on dark hair, a stylist will assess your skin tone, natural hair color, and hair health to get the best results.

2. Sectioning the Hair

Hair is like a canvas. To get that perfect color, it’s divided into sections. This helps in effective balayage application, ensuring each hair strand gets the attention it deserves.

3. Painting and Saturation

The heart of balayage! Using specific tools, the dye is painted on hair strands. The consistency of the dye is vital – not too thick, not too runny. This stage is where the magic happens, as balayage creates those textured hair looks, from lighter hair tips to a darker base.

4. Processing

After painting, it’s a waiting game. Your hair is left to process, sometimes with heat, to get the desired shade. But don’t fret; this is where your hair goes from being just brunette hair or blonde hair to having those natural-looking highlights!

5. Rinsing and Final Touches

Once processed, the hair is washed. Special shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair are used to keep the hair healthy and prevent brassy tones. The result? A beautiful blend of natural color and balayage highlights that cover grey hair or enhance natural hair shades.

Whether you’ve got grey hair peeking through or you just want to freshen up your natural color with some sun-kissed streaks, balayage offers a beautiful, low-maintenance solution.

Benefits of Balayage

benefits of a balayage

The balayage technique isn’t just another trend in the world of hair; it has genuine benefits that have contributed to its soaring popularity. Let’s delve into them:

  1. Natural-Looking Results – Balayage is all about mimicking how the sun naturally lightens hair. This means the outcome is a more subtle and natural hair color transition compared to other methods. Instead of having uniformly highlighted hair, you’ll sport softer, sun-kissed streaks that blend harmoniously with your base color.

  2. Low Maintenance and Grow-Out – Tired of frequent salon visits? Balayage might be your answer. Since it doesn’t start right at the scalp (like traditional highlights), the growth-out is less noticeable. This means fewer touch-ups and less worry about roots showing. Plus, there’s a reduced risk of balayage damage to hair since you’re coloring it less frequently.

  3. Flexibility in Color Choice and Placement – Whether you crave caramel undertones or ashy blondes, the balayage technique grants you freedom. You can choose where and how much lightness you want, ensuring the end result complements your style and personality perfectly.

  4. Suitable for Many Hair Types and Lengths – From curly to straight, long to medium – balayage doesn’t discriminate. Though the effect might differ across hair types, the result is always a more dimensional and vibrant hair appearance.

Possible Drawbacks and Considerations

Like every rose has its thorns, balayage, despite its perks, has some considerations:

  1. Might Not Achieve Super-Bright or Pastel Results – If you’re dreaming of neon greens, pastel pinks, or ultra-bright blondes, balayage might not be the route to go. It’s centered around more natural hair color outcomes, so achieving those super vibrant shades might require a different method.

  2. Potential for Uneven Application – This is where expertise matters. An inexperienced stylist might not apply the color evenly, leading to spots or streaks. If you’re looking for that seamless blend, ensure your stylist is well-versed in the balayage technique.

  3. Might Not Be Ideal for Very Short Hairstyles – Pixies or super short bobs might not showcase balayage as effectively as longer lengths. While it’s not impossible to balayage shorter hair, the results might not be as pronounced or noticeable.

Caring for Balayage Hair

Achieving balayage beauty is just step one. Here’s a brief guide on maintaining that sun-kissed glow:

  1. Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners: Sulfates can fade color. Use gentler sulfate-free options to keep your balayage vibrant.

  2. Deep Conditioning Treatments: Balayage hair can get dry. A weekly deep conditioner helps maintain its shine and softness.

  3. Protection from UV and Heat: UV rays can alter your balayage shade. Apply UV-protective products and always use heat protectants before styling.

  4. Maintenance Appointments: Schedule occasional touch-ups to refresh the look and trim away any split ends.

Remember, a little care can keep your balayage looking salon-fresh for longer!


Balayage gives you that awesome sun-touched hair look and has become super popular. One of the cool things? It’s easy to take care of. Just remember, to keep it looking fresh, it’s good to follow a special hair care routine.

Look after your balayage, get a little touch-up now and then, and you’ll have stunning hair that always gets compliments. Give our balayage services a try and rock a classic hair makeover!

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