If you’ve still haven’t heard of balayage, the chances are you’ve been living under a rock! Meet the most popular coloring technique in the past few years. We know that hair trends come and go, but this one managed to stay on the top for quite a while! That’s why we felt like it’s our duty to give you everything you need to know. All the basics, and in-depth information about balayage is right here in this article. You may be having doubts, or worry whether this is the method you should opt for. Worry not, we’ve got you covered. Find out how it’s done, are you a candidate, how long it lasts and so much more. Tag along this detailed guide and learn all the hot news.  

What Is Actually Balayage?

Sounds very French, to begin with! If that was your first thought, you were right. It comes from the French verb “to sweep”, which perfectly explains how this coloring method is done. Balayage is in fact a French hair dyeing technique that first appeared in the 1970s. For everyone who is not familiar, it is done by only hands without a strict procedure. That doesn’t mean that anyone can do it. You will still need a skilled professional with experience in this method.

Balayage means getting gorgeous highlights in a full range of different tones. There is no certain line where the coloring starts and where it ends. It’s all about a natural finish, with lighter strands who look like they’ve been kissed by the sun. The technique made a huge comeback in 2017, with numerous celebrities showing off their balayage manes on red carpet events.

How Is Balayage Done?


This is a very innovative coloring technique that involves a lot of freestyle! There are no foils or any other additional instruments. The hairstylist uses only his hands. Since this is really a work of art, make sure that you find a really good one, who knows what they’re doing. Once you decide on the color and the highlights, the colorist can work their magic.

As we mentioned, balayage comes from the French word “sweeping”. This is a very interesting way of literally sweeping over the strands of hair with the hands and a brush. Hairstylists need only a backing board and a special coloring brush to achieve the effect. Every new hairstyle is a different story, so there will never be two exactly the same balayage manes. This is one of the reasons why ladies love it so much. It’s your choice whether you want to get the highlights on your natural hair color, or get it dyed first. After that’s done, the hair colorist will start doing the spontaneous hand sweeps, imitating sun-kissed highlights. Also, the tone of the highlights is your choice. Women usually stick to flattering hues that are a shade or two lighter than the base. The next step includes waiting. When the dye is applied, you have to stay with it for around 10 to 15 minutes, so that the strands will be bleached to a lighter hue. The new hairdo is almost done. They will wash your hair, dry it and style it. Voila, the chic balayage is ready for a night out!

Why Is It Different From Other Highlighting Methods?

The classic way of getting highlights provides a much more unnatural finish. Everyone will know that there were foils involved, even if you got it at the best hair colorist. Ever since balayage reappeared, women have been obsessed with it so much for a number of reasons. It gives wonderful subtle highlights, strategically placed to flatter your face shape, complexion and skin tone. Thanks to these lighter hues you will look even more radiant than ever. The dyeing technique makes it much easier for the colorist to express their creativity. With the traditional method they use a scheme that is always the same. You can be innovative as well, since you’ll be choosing the hues of the base and the highlights. There are no straight lines, evident growth, or two exactly the same hairstyles. You will be unique in all the possible ways. Isn’t that what we all want?

Who Is It Meant For?

Everyone! Literally everyone can get balayage. Women, men, at any age, with any hair type or hair color. Sounds interesting, right? That’s mostly because it provides a very natural look, with subtle highlights. All hair lengths can try this technique. Starting with a super-short pixie, to long locks, you are candidates for this huge trend. It can be a bit harder for short manes, since there is not enough length for a balanced transition, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Ladies with curly hair are often under the impression that most coloring methods won’t work for their fuzzy do. This one will!

Another group of ladies who should opt for balayage is the ones that are getting a dye for the first time. Going straight to red from brown, or to platinum from black can be quite a dramatic change. There is no way for you to know if you’ll love it or not. The highlights will give you a chance to test the ground and decide whether you want to take it a step further. It is low-maintenance, so you won’t have to visit the salon every few weeks or so. That makes it even more ideal for busy women, that don’t have too much time to spare. These days everyone is in a hurry, so we can take all the extra time we can get with the same hair color!

When you have very dark, black hair hue, you can’t expect to go light right away. That’s one of the thoughts you should keep in mind. It will not look as natural! Thanks to balayage, you can gradually have a much lighter hairdo, but it will take time. You don’t want to damage the hair extensively, meaning patience is key with this method.

Last, but not least! Damaged hair should not go through any coloring technique. Get all the help and advice you can from a professional. A good hairstylist will recommend that you grow it out until it’s much healthier, then get highlights! Any dyeing that you do will only cause further damage.

How To Maintain It?

The more attention you pay to the hair, the more it will give back! That means if you use all the right products, the balayage will look as fresh as the first day you got it. All dyed manes should consider buying special hair products meant for colored hair. Shampoos, conditioners, sprays, balms, hair oils are just a part of the items you will need to get. Also opt for special hair masks, which you can get at the store or make at home. They will bring back the shine to your hairdo and keep the color on longer. There won’t be actual lines of growth with this technique, meaning that your only worry is to promote the health of the hair.

How To Style It?

Everyone with balayage hair seems to be rocking beach waves. You can go that way, or flaunt the natural texture of your hairdo. Since this method uses dyeing products, you definitely want to stay away from all heat hair tools. The main goal is to have the healthiest mane possible. You don’t want to cause any further damage with heat. But, the conclusion is that you can style this dye however you want to, there are simply no do’s and don’ts.

What About Touchups?

You’ll be happy to hear once again that it’s a low-maintenance hair dye. No more visits at the hairstylists every 3 weeks, or grown out roots that look way too dramatic. If the previous coloring method with foils made you get touchups every month and a half, you’ll be surprised with how long-lasting balayage is. The usual amount of time that ladies tend to keep it on is from three to four months. Yes, you read it right, that long! It depends on how well you take care of your hairdo and the hues you chose. If the actual color of the roots is your natural one, you won’t have any need to revisit for quite a while. But if there is a bigger difference in tones, you’ll feel the need to go after three months. Once the hair starts growing, you will only love the highlights even more. It will be as natural as the day you got it.

Can You Do It At Home?

This is a tricky one! We certainly don’t recommend it over visiting a salon. But if you are brave enough, there is a chance of pulling it off. These days you can find anything online and in-store. That’s how you can actually buy DIY balayage kits from a number of renowned hair brands. You might not get the results that you expect, but it’s your decision to try.