Balayage: coloring technique for natural strands
The balayage look is based on delicate highlights that are applied with a brush.
Photo: iStock | hedgehog94
Balayage is the hair color trend of the hour, because the popular freehand coloring technique can be used to conjure up highlights in the hair that look particularly natural and harmonious. This is how the coloring technique works, these are the advantages and differences compared to other hair coloring methods.
If you want delicate, natural highlights and strands that look like they have been kissed by the sun, the balayage technique is a good choice. The hair color trend comes from France and experienced hairdressers have had the freehand coloring technique in their repertoire for a long time. It’s now an all-time favorite among hair color trends for us.
The difference to conventional methods of hair coloring lies in the color application: Unlike conventional highlighting methods, in which individual sections of hair are separated, dyed from the roots to the tips and wrapped with foil, the hair is worked on freehand with a brush. Individual strands of hair are brushed with color, similar to a sweeping movement. This also explains the name “Balayage”, which is derived from the French “balayer”. That means something like “sweep”, “wipe” or “sweep”. The hairdresser selects individual strands. emphasizes them to varying degrees, some also remain untreated. In this way, color mixtures of different intensity can be created and individually adapted to the wearer. The delicate so-called baby lights create a sun-kissed look that not only looks natural, but is also fairly easy to care for.
A big advantage of the balayage technique is that the root remains largely untreated. The coloring is applied lengthwise and especially on the ends, most heavily in the areas that frame the face. In this way, great contouring effects can be achieved, the transitions are fluid and the hair can be parted as desired without the roots having to be constantly recolored! With the right balayage technique it is even possible to create volume in the hair – this is particularly interesting for women with thin hair.
Tip for all women who dye their hair regularly and struggle with split ends and hair breakage: Olaplex! The three-step system is considered a real miracle cure that, thanks to the new active ingredient formula, rebuilds damaged hair from the inside and brings back the shine. And glossing is also supposed to help the hair shine again.
Balayage is suitable for bleaching as well as coloring from brown to red, for straight or curly hair. There are also almost no restrictions on hair length: whether it is a short pixie cut, medium-length hair, a bob or long hair, the balayage technique can in principle be used with any hairstyle. However, the most impressive effect is achieved with long hair, because here the strands can be set with particular attention to detail. The recommendation of many hairdressers is therefore often from shoulder-length hair. Many hairdressers style light beach waves for a balayage look in order to stage the baby lights even better and to enhance the effect of the highlights.
Balayage can be used with any hair color: either give the natural hair color a fresh kick or dare a completely new color mix. Currently, caramel tones in brunette hair are particularly popular, but also strikingly light strands or gray hair. There is no hard and fast rule, so a balayage look suits almost every woman.
The balayage look is based on delicate highlights, the transitions to the original color are flowing and usually only a few shades lighter. With ombré hair (also called dip dye), the contrasts are stronger. The hair is usually colored lighter from top to bottom – the lower part of the hair is significantly lighter than the upper half of the hair. It is not worked with individual strands, but colored extensively. The hair color is applied about halfway up and completely covers the ends of the hair. This results in a striking two-tone hairstyle.
If you want a natural look, it is better to opt for a soft balayage effect. Anyone who wants more change and stronger contrasts is well advised to go with ombré or two-tone hairstyles.
If you want to brighten up your look and create some beautiful, natural highlights, you can do balayage yourself. The most important thing here is that you get the right color for it. For a natural result, the hair color you use should be 2-3 shades lighter, no more, otherwise there may be too much contrast between your existing color and the brushed-on color and the result will look blotchy more quickly.
Also, make sure you have all your supplies ready.
That’s how it’s done:
Begin by sectioning off the top hair and pinning it up with sectioning clips. The lower hair is treated first. Pro tip: Start brushing at the sections of hair at the nape of the neck and then work your way forward strand by strand.
Throw on the cape, put on the gloves, mix the color and off you go! Pick up (a little!) color or bleach with the brush and brush the strands of hair in the lengths to the tips. Do this until you have applied product to all strands. Important: The hair is not completely covered in color, but only “swept” as described above. A certain irregularity is therefore intentional. It’s particularly easy if you pick out a slightly thicker strand and brush it with color like a V.
Brush a few strands further towards the roots, others stay more at the same level. This gives you a wonderfully soft result. The difficulty: you have to apply the color or bleach relatively quickly so that the color does not take too long to act on the lowest hair.
When you are done with the lower section of hair, do the same with the upper section of hair.
Here you should proceed sparingly with the Balayge. It is best if you only brush individual strands. A little lightening is allowed, especially around the face. This gives the face more expression.
Follow the directions on the pack for the exposure time.
Then rinse everything out and wash your hair with shampoo as usual.
Blonde hair can be given a fresh kick with the balayage technique and great color accents can be set. Caramel tones in golden blonde hair or platinum blonde highlights in darker natural hair achieve unique effects and give the look more volume. In this context, people also like to speak of bronde hair!
Currently very popular: caramel and auburn highlights in brunette hair. But golden highlights are also in demand and form a great contrast that, thanks to the freehand technique, does not look artificial despite everything.
Red hair, whether natural or dyed, is more popular than ever. Red hair colors look even more natural with the balayage technique. The tips can then almost shimmer through blonde.
A balayage treatment lasts from 45 minutes upwards and should only be carried out by experienced hairdressers. Because the choice of color must be individually adapted to the type of customer – this requires experience in order to achieve an optimal result. With a high-quality balayage treatment, you can enjoy your new hairstyle for a long time – the new look lasts about three months without growing out or looking strange. Perfect for all barber muffles!
After balayage maybe the next big trend: foilaye.
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