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Over the past few years, a mysterious trend has exploded in popularity throughout salons worldwide. What is it? Balayage.
From A-listers swishing their hair in front of the camera to social media stars showing off their luscious locks on Instagram. Balayage is giving us all hair envy.
But what is balayage hair? How do you even pronounce the word? And why is it so popular today?
Let’s get to the root of it!
Balayage—The Back Story
So what exactly is balayage? The French word “balayage” (pronounced BAH-LAY-AHGE) actually means “sweeping” or “painting”. The highlighting technique uses brushes to paint the highlights, instead of using a cap or foils.
At the root, the highlights should be close together but turn into thicker pieces at the ends. Balayage is also only applied to the surface of the hair, not throughout the strands.
This freehand method should leave you with a natural-looking, sunkissed head of hair. Instead of chunky uniform highlights that were popular in the late 90s, there is a seamless blend between light and dark tones.
Because it’s freehand, your color specialist will apply the dye to your hair in a way that suits your coloring and facial features. This means you get a totally unique result. Nobody will have the exact same hair color as you.
But where did this mysterious trend originate?
Where Did Balayage Come From?
The 1970s weren’t all about groovy bell-bottomed pants and thigh-high platform boots. In the 1970s an uber-exclusive Salon in France created the technique of balayage.
Instead of using the traditional method of frosting caps and foils, this new technique used strips of cotton to create a sunkissed look.
But while it came to the US in the 90s, it’s only in the past few years that it’s become more popular. In fact, celebs such as Kim Kardashian, J-Lo, and Chrissy Teigen, are spearheading the trend.
Highlights, Ombre, Balayage—What’s the Difference?
But what makes balayage different from highlights or ombre coloring?
Balayage is a free-hand technique that makes your hair look more natural than consistent highlights do. Instead of a zebra-like head of hair, you get a soft progression of dye. And unlike uniform highlights, your colorist will apply the color to specific areas to enhance your features.
Ombre hair is also different. Ombre color is when your hair transitions gradually from dark to light or light to dark. For example, many opt for dark roots and light ends.
Instead of creating a blended dip-dye effect, balayage highlights run throughout your hair, from root to tip.
Why is Balayage So Popular?
Whether you spotted the trend on Instagram or you saw it on the latest “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” balayage is everywhere.
As noted, it’s been around since the 1970s, so why has it suddenly surged in popularity? According to Yahoo News balayage is hugely popular for these 5 reasons:
- It brightens your face (especially when you opt for lighter face-framing pieces)
- It works for both light and dark hair color
- It’s low-maintenance (minimal upkeep without roots looking super obvious)
- It works for all hair types and textures
- It hides unruly gray hair
Hair trends come and go. Does anyone want to try an 80s perm again? Probably not!
But balayage looks like it’s here to stay for these 5 reasons and more. The natural, sunkissed blend of color isn’t going to go out of style any season. The subtle, effortless, and timeless look is going to be around for decades to come.
Is Balayage Right for Me?
But you might be wondering, “Is it right for me?”
If you like to be on-trend and you’re always trying the latest fads, you’ve got to try it soon. But even if you’re a color newbie, balayage is a great option. Because it’s subtle, it isn’t as drastic as changing your entire hair color.
In addition, if you want something low-maintenance, balayage is perfect. Because it aims for a natural blend, when your roots come through, it’ll look intentional. That means less upkeep!
If you’re leaning towards a balayage makeover, you may also wonder about these next 2 questions.
Will Balayage Match My Hairstyle?
If you want a new color, but you’re still loving your cut and style, will balayage work for you? Luckily, balayage matches pretty much any hairstyle.
If your hair is short, you can pull off the balayage look. Even if it’s a pixie cut. And if you have long hair, balayage will add depth to your lengthy strands.
Will Balayage Go with My Natural Color?
But is blonde the only type of balayage? No, there are loads of trendy color ideas you can try out. Here are some trending ideas:
- Pearly Balayage: Sandy brown base with pink-purple ends
- Peachy Balayage: Peach tones on any hair color (looks great on brunettes)
- Rose Gold Balayage: Rose gold tones mixed with any hair color, even blondes
- Blue Balayage: Blue shades, lighter on dark hair and darker tones on light hair for the wow factor
Of course, the traditional look is blonde and honey tones on dark hair. But if you’re ready to brave a trendy color this season, experiment with one of the above.
DIY or Leave It to the Pros?
Now you’re hooked, but can you try DIY balayage at home? Unlike dying your hair one color, balayage takes skills. If you want to get it right, leave it to the pros.
Tell your colorist exactly what you want and they can create a customized look that flatters you. It may take more than one session, especially if you have dark hair. But the results will be worth the wait.
Life is More Beautiful with Balayage Hair
Now you know all about balayage hair, why not try out the trend yourself? Not only will you look on-trend, but you’ll have a low-maintenance, sunkissed look all year round. You will be the envy of your friends!
For more news on the latest trends in beauty, check out the “Beauty & Wellness” section of this blog.