Updated: Jan 7, 2020
The ‘70s are known for many things: mini-skirts, thigh-high boots, flower power, the words groovy and rad—and, as it turns out, it also happens to be the decade that balayage was developed. Balayage is a freehand highlighting technique originated in France. Even if you’re not sure what balayage is, chances are you’re definitely seen these highlights on A-listers as they’ve strutted down the red carpet. If you're looking for low-maintenance highlights for a new look? Here’s everything you need to know about balayage.
WHAT IS BALAYAGE?
Balayage is a highlighting technique that was created by French colorists back in the 1970s. In French, the word balayage means to sweep. Rather than traditional foiling or cap techniques, balayage is a freehand highlighting technique. From a short pixie cut to waist-length hair, anyone can benefit from this technique. The effect is one of natural, sun-kissed locks.
IS BALAYAGE RIGHT FOR YOU?
Are you new to color? then balayage is for you! It’s a subtle highlighting technique that isn’t as drastic as completely changing your hair color. Balayage works on most any hair color, so it doesn’t matter whether you have brown, blonde, or red hair. If you’re looking for highlights that are as low maintenance as you can get, then balayage is the way to go. With these highlights, you won’t have to run to the salon for touch ups every couple of weeks since you’re not dying the entire length of your hair.
IS BALAYAGE A COLOR OR A TECHNIQUE?
Balayage is a technique, not a type of hair color—although often confused as one. It’s best to leave this coloring method in the hands of a professional. These subtle highlights will add dimension to your locks.
HOW IS BALAYAGE DONE?
Balayage is applied freehand rather than using tools like foiling or caps which are often used during other highlighting techniques. Color is applied by hand on individual pieces. As you now know, balayage stands for sweeping in French. This technique gets its name because of the process of sweeping the color through the hair with a brush. Depending on the length of your hair and the colorist you use, the results will vary.
HOW IS BALAYAGE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TYPES OF HIGHLIGHTS?
Your professional hair colorist paints freehand over your hair with far more freedom to don the color where he/she deem fit. With foils instead, you get a very uniform finish, while with balayage the result is more natural.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO MAINTAIN BALAYAGE HIGHLIGHTS?
Balayage highlights grow out very naturally with no regrowth line, so you don’t have to worry about visiting the salon regularly for touchups. There are certain things you can do to help maintain your color and keep your hair in tip-top shape. Use color-safe products, like L'Oréal Professionnel Profiber. Use lukewarm water, since hot water can have the effect of swelling the hair temporarily and exert more of a detergent action on your hair, even when using the best of hair cleansers Finally, give the heat tools a rest. Balayage highlights look great when you rock some curl or wave. New Tecni-Art Hollywood Waves from L'Oréal Professionnel collection is a great choice.