What is Balayage?


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?



Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang!

I’ve been debating this for weeks, and I’ve finally gotten bangs again. I had this style of bangs about 5 years ago and I loved it but my hair was longer. So this time with my hair shorter I was a bit worried it wouldn’t look balanced. Oh well I can always pin them back, right? And so I did it! I’m still getting used to them, but they frame my glasses nicely. The only thing that bothers me now is my BLACK eyebrows against my BLONDE bangs. Something must be done. Perhaps this weekend I might lighten them. We shall see, unless I can pull it off. I mean this is like Marilyn Monroe times 100. In hair talk it’s like a level 1 next to a level 10. Too much contrast. Does anyone have any positive bang stories? I always love them for a couple of weeks and then they just bore me. Lets keep it positive…what I love about bangs is how they dress up even a boring old pony tail! It adds so much character to the face plus it hides ugly roots! I lighten my hair quite a bit from my natural black and so anything to get me more distance between highlight appointments, the better!! If you’re contemplating getting bangs here are a few things to consider.

1. Consider your face shape and the size of your forehead. I believe there is a style of bangs for everyone but a particular type is not for everyone. Think about what it will hide or enhance.

2. Be honest about what you got going on. If your face is fuller or your hair is too thin or too thick these are all important factors. Think about your hair texture and your skill and life style. Bangs require maintenance and if you’re not willing to pay attention to them- opt out.

3. Consider why you’re getting them. Try to be realistic about what these bangs will do for you. I know it sounds silly but bangs are a big commitment! As for me, I have a cowlick in the very front so I had to go thicker to put weight on it but I couldn’t go too thick because my face is small. I did this because I needed a change for the summer and this was it. Now back to growing my hair out 😛ImageImage