What Is Balayage? Everything You Need To Know

Blonde balayage hair colour modelled by woman
Credits: Instagram – @emilypepin_

Ever caught yourself thinking – What is balayage? What does balayage mean? Well, balayage is a French word that translates in English too ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’. Essentially, it is the technique of painting the colour onto the hair to give a sun-kissed effect that mimics natural-looking highlights. picture of female hairdresserWe caught up with our Artistic Director, Allana, to see what all the hype is about.

What’s the difference between Balayage & Ombré? 

“Although both are pretty low maintenance services, there are some differences between an Ombré Colour and a Balayage” explains Allana. The main difference is that Ombré has a horizontal colour application with a seamless gradient, going from dark to light. Whilst Balayage has a vertical colour application, as it’s painted on to give a naturally highlighted look. “There are many ways of doing a balayage depending on the result you want to achieve. For example, you may want your balayage to be blended quite high up towards your root or you may want the ends mainly lightened and brought midway up. This is an individual preference which will be discussed during your consultation”.

Is it better than highlights?

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s better than highlights, it really all depends what look you want to achieve” says Allana. “A balayage is a softer, less-maintenance way to add lightness to your hair. This can be done by working with your natural hair colour at the root or alongside a root tint. Whereas if you are a client who likes a brighter, bolder result, a balayage may not be for you”.

The real principle behind balayage is to achieve the natural highlight look that we see in our hair and children’s hair. Only adding colour to the areas that would naturally lighten in the sun. Balayage also has a lot less noticeable re-growth than highlights, letting you get away with longer gaps between colour appointments.

Is Balayage popular to get in the salon?

back of woman head with wavy hair
Credits: Instagram @notanothersalon

If you have been keeping up to date on our Instagram, you’ll have noticed Balayage is definitely a trend in Edinburgh right now since salons re-opened in April. 

“Since lockdown, this has been a very in-demand service within the salon. Obviously, with it being a good few months since we’ve seen our lovely clients for their colour appointments, their re-growths were a lot larger than usual” explains Allana, “This being the case many clients have decided to embrace their natural root with keeping their ends light and blended. We’ve had a lot of re-fresh balayage clients and a good few highlight clients change to a balayage in order to have a more low maintenance look”.

three hairstyles featuring balayage colouring
Some of Allana’s recent work.

Is Balayage healthy for your hair?

Colouring & bleaching your hair is never going to be healthy however, balayage doesn’t require fully saturating your hair in bleach or colour dye, leaving you with healthier hair that is less processed. “Our standard highlight clients are usually 6-8 weeks for their next appointment where our balayage clients can be as little as twice a year for their full balayage application. Again, this all depends on what kind of balayage service you’re having done i.e. if you have had a root colour applied or a toner etc you will need to visit the salon more regularly for freshen ups” says Allana. 

So is it for me?

We can only tell you that during your consultation! 

We advise all colour services to book in for a consultation prior to their visit to the salon. 

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