What is Balayage?

It seems like there is some confusion out in the world about balayage and I’m delighted to set the record straight.

Classic balayage is a highlighting technique designed to create a very soft natural look. Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint. It allows for a sun-kissed natural looking hair colour, similar to what nature gives us as children with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines.

The principal idea is that less is more when creating soft, natural looks.

When I say highlighting, I don’t mean foil highlights, but I do mean root to tip. Pre-lightener (usually hydrogen peroxide) is  painted on the surface of the hair, It should be softer at the root with the last inch or two saturated with hair dye.

There has also been a raise of freehand colour in general and I like to call this creative balayage, as it doesn’t go to the root at all. I usually use a combination of both with my clients, but for brunettes not too many hitting the root – I just don’t like the look.

My all-time favourite product to use is L’Oreal’s Paste Studio Blonde Lightener. It never fails me and is loaded with beeswax and conditioning agents. Perfect results every time.

There are so many different ways to master a balayage application, and when I’m teaching lots of people have looked on YouTube for how-to snippets and played around teaching themselves.

What I offer to my clients is a successful, proven method that I have trademarked in the UK and Europe that allows you to perfect the application time and time again with no damage and no overlapping. Happy clients and happy students!

Balayage has brought about the biggest change in hair colour in the UK in recent years and from that initial stroke of a balayage brush many things have piggybacked on it: ombre, ecaille, sombre, bronde, babylights and no doubt many others.

Salon menus are more exciting, colourists are feeling more creative and people are coming back to the salon for professional colour which is brilliant.

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