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How to Balayage Your Hair At Home

Consider this the ultimate cheat sheet to DIY balayage.
November 01, 2022

Balayage highlights
are the sun-kissed, low maintenance and multidimensional hair color that we likely all know and probably love. If you’ve ever gotten balayage before, you know that achieving the look at home is a bit more difficult than all-over boxed hair color because the technique involves hand-painting color onto the hair. But, to let you in on an insider secret, balayage at home is totally attainable when you have the right products. 

If you want gorgeous, natural-looking highlights without the hefty price tag, let this be your handbook to easy, salon-inspired color on your own terms. Keep reading as we share a step-by-step guide to DIY balayage with the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Balayage At-Home Highlighting Kit and everything you’ll need to achieve lived-in, sun-kissed highlights at home. 

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What Does DIY Balayage Look Like?

Balayage is a hair color technique that began in the ‘70s and in recent years has been spotted on countless celebrities, models, influencers. Balayage highlights are hand-painted onto the hair to add piecey, dimensional ribbons of color that differ from the uniformity of foil highlights or the gradient color of ombré hair

Due to the hand-painted technique, balayage highlights are going to look different on everyone because the free-handed application allows for completely custom color. Along with that, there is also individual hair color and hair texture that are going to largely affect the end result. 

Those with dark brown or black hair are going to need multiple rounds of bleaching to achieve icy blonde balayage. For this reason,  caramel or auburn balayage is a good way to begin. If you’re starting with a blonde or lightened base, achieving champagne or icy balayage may be easy because your hair is already lightened. 

The Best Color Kit for At-Home Balayage

The L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Balayage At-Home Highlighting Kit is the answer to DIY balayage. Available In three shades — Light to Dark Blonde, Dark Blonde to Light Brown, Light Brown to Brown — this is the perfect kit for blondes and brunettes looking to upgrade their strands with salon-inspired color at home. 

For seamless application, the kit includes a new expert touch applicator with a comfortable grip that allows for precise, blended color that mimics a professional colorist’s hand-painted highlights. Along with that is the pro toning mask that blurs the root line and tones your highlights for natural-looking, lived-in dimension. 

What You Need to Balayage Your Hair at Home

These are all the things you will need for an at-home balayage session: 

L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Balayage At-Home Highlighting Kit 

Gloves (in box)

Developer Cream (in box)

Bleaching Powder (in box)

Lightening Cream (in box)

Pro Toning Mask (in box)

Expert Touch Applicator (in box)


Color safe mixing bowl

Towel (one that you won’t mind getting bleach on)

How to Balayage Hair at Home

Once you select the right color balayage kit for your hair, it’s time to get started. Follow these simple steps (also included in the at-home hair color kit) to balayage your hair at home. 

1. Divide Your Hair Into Two Even Sections

Part your hair evenly down the middle with your wide tooth comb and create two, even sections like you’re creating pigtails. Pull your hair to the front, leaving one section on each side of your face.

2. Mix Your Color

Put on the gloves and add the entire packet of bleaching powder to the developer cream. Shake the bottle so the powder can evenly mix. Then, add the entire tube of the lightening cream to the developer cream. Again, shake the bottle until all three products have absorbed together, creating one thick cream. 

Twist the cap off the developer cream and pour the product into a color-safe bowl. 

3. Use the Expert Touch Application to Apply the Color

With the gloves on, slide the expert touch applicator onto your middle and ring fingers. Using your other hand, section off a quarter-inch piece of hair at the back of your head. Dip the applicator into the bowl of color to evenly saturate each bristle. 

Use the applicator to apply the color to the quarter-inch section of hair from a few inches past the roots to the ends. Then, use your fingers to lightly massage the color into the hair so it’s evenly distributed. Repeat this process, moving from the back of the hair to the front of the hair, completing both sides. 

Editor’s tip: Feel free to clip back the section of hair you’re not working on to keep it out of the way.

4. Let the Color Process

Once you’ve applied the color all-over your hair, now it’s time for it to process. Let the color develop for 25-45 minutes depending on your desired balayage results. We recommend setting a timer on your phone so you don’t forget.

5. Rinse and Apply the Pro Toning Mask

After your processing time has passed, rinse and shampoo your hair with lukewarm water till the water runs clear. Towel dry your hair and apply the pro toning mask to your roots to soften the color and blur your root line. 

Massage the mask onto your scalp for 30 seconds to lather the product, then evenly distribute it through the rest of your hair. Leave the mask on for ten minutes and rinse again.  

Editor’s tip: When you have color-treated hair, use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid. This reparative duo helps to prevent fading color and works to strengthen weak hair bonds that often occur with constant bleaching and coloring.


6. Rinse Your Hair and Style As Usual

Once you rinse your hair, feel free to style your new DIY balayage highlights as usual. If you plan on using heat, prime your freshly colored strands with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant.

Next: How to Use Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Color for a Gorgeous Hair Transformation

Photo Credit: IG@/ hairbyrachelharper, Design Credit: Sarah Duvivier

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