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So, What Is A Balayage?: Technique, Coloring, & More!

Hair coloring has always been around and goes back to way earlier than you might think!

So it should come as no surprise that there are so many techniques, from full, total head dyes to highlights and lowlights, and recently, ombre and balayage.

Today, we’ll discuss all about balayage, what this is, how you can achieve it, how to take care of your hair, and many, many more!

But before we begin, a bit of backstory on hair coloring techniques throughout the centuries!

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Hair Coloring Throughout the Ages: A History

Hair coloring techniques have had quite the interesting trajectory over the centuries.

In as early as 1500 B.C., ancient Egyptians employed henna to hide stray gray hairs, and in 300 B.C., hair colors were used to indicate ranks or professions in the Roman empire.

Back in their day, the ancient Romans and Greeks used to sprinkle golden powder on their hair. And that’s just among the ancient cultures.

As the decades rolled by, chemical hair dye started being developed for commercial use, and eventually, newer trends like ombré and balayage hair shades started replacing older styles in a natural progression.

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So, What is Balayage?

woman with hands in balayage hair

Balayage is a hair coloring technique that derives its name from the French word balayage, which means “to sweep.”

You can also translate and adapt it as to mean “to paint”. The term started being been used to name this technique of hair coloring because it perfectly describes what you do.

Balayage involves using sweeping movements to apply the dye along the length of the hair.

Hand-painted highlights are swept along the length of the tresses, from the root to the tip.

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How Does Balayage Change Your Look?

hair being dyed with aluminum foils

When done right, balayage will confer your hair a warm, sunny look that seems natural and adds virtual volume to your hair.

The technique involves leaving a substantial portion of the roots of your hair as they are.

It also increase the volume of color as your hair proceeds to the ends.

So thanks to all this, it will leave your hair looking sun-kissed and natural.

The color transition is so organic and gentle, that it’s easy to mistake the result for a natural hair color.

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How is Balayage Different From Highlights?

With highlights, it’s possible to tell that your hair has been artificially colored.

This is because highlights are designed to stand out from the rest of your hair.

As you’ve found out from our “what is balayage” section, this technique provides a softer contrast, and the color is applied in a manner that mimics the way your hair would naturally lighten up when exposed to the sun.

So, while highlights are applied to provide a stark contrast when compared to your natural hair, the balayage coloring technique aims to follow the natural tones of your hair.

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Why Is it a Game-Changer?

blonde balayage hair in nature

So you now have an answer to the question: what is balayage? But now we come with another:

Why is balayage so popular?

Simple, thanks to so many various reasons. Balayage has grown incredibly popular in a relatively short span of time.

Fashion enthusiasts and A-list celebrities took to this trend almost instantly, and eventually, even people who would otherwise have never have considered coloring their hair gave it a chance.

And most of them just loved it! Don’t believe us yet?

Then let’s take a look at some of the many reasons why balayage has grown so popular and transformed into the game-changer it is today!


1. It is Suitable for a Variety of Hair Types

Balayage works on nearly every hair type.

So, it doesn’t matter if you have dark or light hair; there surely is a combination out there that can suit your specific hair type.

It also works beautifully irrespective of your hair length, even on medium one. Unless of course, you have extremely short, cropped hair.

Because this hair coloring technique is suitable for a wide range of hair types, an increasing percentage of people are increasingly more open to trying it out.


2. It Requires Very Little Maintenance

Balayage hair is easy to maintain and requires little to no out-of-the-ordinary care procedures.

In fact, there’s little you need to do to keep it intact, aside from the regular requirements for color maintenance.

Namely, you should use a color-protecting shampoo and conditioner and heat protection when you’re having your hair styled.

Compared to traditional coloring styles, balayage is easier to handle and maintain, making it a popular choice among busy women.


3. Balayage Hair Has Diffused Regrowth Lines

When balayage hair grows out, it doesn’t product distinct regrowth lines.

Instead, regrown hair blends in smoothly with the rest of your hairline.

This is mainly because the technique involves having darker and more natural roots.

Since the regrowth lines are more diffused when compared to hair highlights or regular coloring styles, people can afford to wait longer between salon appointments.

Longer period, fewer retouches.


4. It Offers Something for Everyone

One of the primary reasons why many women hesitate to take the plunge into the vibrant world of hair coloring is because they aren’t sure that their individual requirements will be fulfilled.

Balayage broke these barriers with its ability to offer something for everyone.

There’s an option for every hair type, every budget, every color preference, and even every style, be it subtle or bold.


5. It Saves You Time and Money

If you’ve ever had highlights and lowlights done, you’ll know how often they’ll have to be touched up to remain presentable.

When your hair grows out again, the difference in color becomes noticeable, making a retouch necessary. Almost every time.

With balayage coloring, your regrown hair blends right in with the rest of the hair at the roots.

This means that you can save some valuable time and some big bucks by not needing to schedule as many retouch appointments.


6. It Even Qualifies For DIY Experiments

Unlike with many other hair coloring techniques, you can even give yourself this makeover (though we don’t necessarily suggest it).

All it takes is a bit of practice and a suitable DIY kit, and you’re good to go.

This is especially beneficial for people who are too busy to schedule an appointment or do not have access to a salon that uses this type of hair coloring.

While DIY-ing it may seem intimidating at first, all you need to do is stick to the instructions. But be careful!


7. It Looks Natural on the Hair

With balayage, you can choose colors that are basically complementary to the natural color of your hair.

So your tresses will retain their natural appearance even after you added in the color(s).

This makes it particularly useful to when that want to go for a subtle change, not incredibly dramatic ones.

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Colors, Techniques, & Hair Care

hair salon interior

If you’re considering getting this makeover, then you should be well aware of your color options, understand the technique, and know how you need to care for your hair after you’ve had it colored.

Not only does it better prepare you for your new hairstyle, but it also helps you make an informed choice when you have the pre-styling discussion with your hairstylist.

Read on to to find out more about this!


1. Balayage Hair Colors

There’s no end to the number of unique combinations you can achieve thanks to balayage.

Still, to narrow it down a bit, here are a few more common and some singular balayage hair colors:

  • Galaxy Balayage – Shades of indigo, magenta, teal, violet, and blue balayage onto a jet-black base.
  • Natural Peanut Butter Torrent – Peanut butter, gold, and beige tones on a deep brown base to achieve a look reminiscent of fall.
  • Copper Red Balayage – Subtle undertones of red-hot ginger shades and copper-red infused on a framework of brown hair.
  • Mahogany Brown Balayage – Deep brown roots that blend into warm tones of mahogany brown with a hint of maroon or scarlet.
  • Black to Blonde Cascade – Natural long hair that is black at the roots and progresses into contrasting shades of ash gray and blonde near the tips.
  • Toffee Redhead Balayage – Ideal for redheads, with a warm base of auburn or chestnut mingled with these highlights that terminate in toffee or strawberry blonde.


2. The Techniques Used

As pointed out when we explained what is balayage, you start applying color at a point that’s just slightly away from your hair roots.

The layer of added color starts off thin, gradually growing heavier as the application moves toward the ends of the hair.

This hair color is concentrated on the surface of the hair as opposed to coloring even the undersides.

Because of this, it will help your hair retain its natural color.

Some of the most commonly used balayage techniques include:
  • Working in wide sections and gently blending the lightener with the hair’s natural root using a feathering brush technique.
  • Using a hardware store brush because the natural bristles create a softer blend.
  • Creating brighter sections around the face and the sides of the head and keeping it darker on moving toward the back and the end.
  • Painting the color using feather-like movements to blend the color from the base to the crown.


3. Proper Hair Care

woman drinking wine while man pampers hair

Taking care of your thus dyed tresses can be pretty easy once you’ve established the right hair care routine.

Here are some pointers that can help you get started on the right path:

  • Don’t wash your hair too often – excessive use of chemical shampoos can strip your hair of its natural luster, making it appear dull. This makes the hairstyle look unnatural.
  • Use hair masks that hydrate your hair and keep it healthy. You can use these as liberally as once a week or as strictly as once a month. Whichever works best for you.
  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase, if possible. This is because silk is known to reduce hair breakage. It also minimizes split ends, and on the plus side, it’s smoother to sleep on too!

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Conclusion

So there you have it, all you need to know about balayage, what it is, how you can apply it, how to take care of it, and also several combinations.

Balayage hair, although preferred as a popular hairstyle during the summers, looks great during fall and winter as well.

It all depends on the colors you choose to paint your hair with, and the manner in which you care for your hair after it has set in.

So there you have it, now all that’s left is actually dyeing your hair with the balayage technique. Which one would you go for?

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