Do you sometimes go to the beauty salon and ask for highlights, get fashioned with a head full of foils, only to have an unpredictable outcome on your finished look? Afterwards, you head home, check the mirror, and seem convinced that those newly lightened strands don’t fall in all the right places. What do you do next? Well, you sigh, defeated, and determined to achieve a better result next time, hurriedly search Pinterest for the look you’ll love. Well, good news highlight lovers! If you specifically know exactly where you want your lightened locks placed, then balayage is for you!
What is Balayage?
By definition, the word balayage (pronounced “balāˈyäZH”) was added to the Oxford Dictionary as a new word in August 2013, but the technique itself has been around since the early ‘70s. It’s a French term meaning “to sweep”, and that aptly describes the motion used by the hairstylist to brush on the highlights. That’s right, no foils here. Instead, the stylist, as artist, crafts a finished piece by painting color selectively onto the canvas, which is your hair.
Why is it Popular?
The reason it’s become so popular in salons today is that clients tend to want more control over their multi-toned strands. The sweeping motion technique used in balayage creates a design that can be natural, extreme, or somewhere happily in-between. The color is painted on exactly where the contrast will be. No guesswork, no surprises!
Also, our favorite style icons are boasting intriguing bayalage hairstyles on the red carpet and the runway, so salons are responding kindly to the new demand. Cosmetologists in beauty school are being trained for this artsy type of hair color design and consider it a craft. In other words, it’s interesting!
Why Should You Try It?
Besides the control aspect, this process creates an effect that grows out more naturally without very noticeable regrowth at the root. The brush-on method requires only the outermost layer of hair to be dyed (not layers underneath) so the final effect mimics what the sun does. You’ll get more mileage out of it, which is helpful for those who have fast growth. More time between coloring means more time enjoying your sun-kissed ‘do!
Will it Damage Hair?
The technique can be less damaging to repeat color clients, especially those sporting longer hair. Since each lightening session tends to dry hair ends, just touching up the regrowth spares strands any overbleaching. Plus, no heat is used in the process, so bye-bye to baking. As a matter of fact, say goodbye to caps, clips, and foils too. Simplicity reigns supreme with this trend.
Who Should Not Try It?
If you wear an updo, ponytail, or simply change your daily style often, then the highlights from balayage may be hidden since they are mainly on the top layer. You can tweak this by requesting other strands to be colored, but that’s what foils or caps are best used for. Foiled hair still creates a great look-it’s just a different method with a different outcome. Your professional hair stylist will offer the best advice on what will work for your individual needs.
Ready to get “swept” away by this look? Have a consultation at a salon or cosmetology school and be a balayage beauty!