I can’t believe I haven’t written this post sooner. I get asked this constantly. And I’ve heard a hundred different ways to pronounce it!
Balayage is a french word meaning to sweep or to paint. Simply put, it is a technique not an effect. The resulting effect from this technique is dramatically different than traditional foil highlights. Balayage creates a sun-kissed natural looking hair color with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines. The main idea being less is more.
Balayage is great for someone looking to update their look without committing to increased maintenance. Foil highlights can tend to have more separation in pieces and usually create a growth line. Now keep in mind foil is a tool and can be used during a balayage service to keep highlighted pieces from mashing together. So when I say traditional foil highlights I mean the particular method where hair is weaved into a foil and painted with lightener. (Please don’t call it bleach!)
This picture shows the technique and the effect. Notice how the highlight has a soft line so as it grows it will look better and better. The before picture…looks like a DIY ombre!
Here is a beautiful example of Balayage technique used to achieve an ombre.
Now let me show you the difference between ombre, sombre, color melt. Each style has a different effect but all are done with balayage technique.
The ombre transitions from dark to light and is pretty dramatic. The sombre of “soft ombre” has a dark to light gradient but much more subtle. Color melting melts together two colors using balayage technique.
Balayage is an advanced skill, so make sure if you choose to go this route that your stylist knows what they’re doing. This can go horribly wrong if the stylist isn’t familiar with creating a soft transition or if they aren’t educated on sectioning techniques. Most importantly they need to understand toning. What’s toning you say?! Well that’s a topic for a whole new blog post. Stay tuned for the answer to that. Post your questions in the comments below. What’s your favorite look?