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As one of the most popular hair highlighting techniques of the decade, it seems we just can’t get enough of balayage hair. The balayage hair painting method continuously pops up on our social media feeds via different hair color trends like vanilla chair hair and chocolate mauve hair—and there's no reason to believe it will be leaving the hair color scene anytime soon. Supporting that hypothesis, now, there’s a new take on the traditional balayage technique that’s beginning to gain a reputation of its own: wet balayage. Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about the wet balayage highlighting technique—including what wet balayage is (and how it differs from dry balayage), who should get wet balayage, if you can DIY this hair coloring technique, and how to create a post-wet balayage hair care routine. That's a lot, so let’s get to it!
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between wet balayage and dry balayage? It turns out that there isn’t much of a difference at all! In fact, the two hair coloring terms both involve the same technique, with the exception that wet balayage is done on wet hair and dry balayage is done on dry hair. Pretty simple, right? Keep in mind that wet balayage isn’t done on soaking wet hair. Instead, the hair is typically towel-dried before the hair painting process.
Now that you know more about what wet balayage is, you may be wondering who this technique is best suited for. After all, if it’s so similar to traditional dry balayage, why switch up the technique? Well, the difference is all in the results, which is why certain people may prefer the look wet balayage creates over that of dry balayage. Believe it or not, highlights created using the wet balayage technique are even more low maintenance than those done with dry balayage. Since the bleach used for wet balayage is generally focused on your ends, this allows for a totally natural-looking grow out phase. The results of the wet balayage technique are brightened ends that give hair a subtle pop of dimension. This is a great option for those who are in-between hair coloring appointments and in need of a boost, have noticed their ends becoming dull, or simply want a bit more brightness. It’s also best for those who have hair that's already lightened or highlighted.
As much as we love a good DIY, we’d recommend leaving the wet balayage technique to the pros. This process requires having a keen eye for placement, so you’re better off heading to your favorite salon to get the technique done by a seasoned colorist rather than trying it for yourself.
If you’ve decided to give the wet balayage hair highlighting technique a go, you may be curious about how to care for your newly highlighted, color-treated hair. Take notes on our three tips below and you’ll be a wet balayage pro!
Color-treated hair requires swapping your usual shampoo and conditioner for options that will keep your color looking fresh. Stick with products that are safe for color-treated tresses and won’t fade your color. If you’re almost fully blonde now, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Conditioner to keep your blonde mane soft and brass-free.
Speaking of brassy hair, your lightened locks may need something more to keep yellow tones from taking over your tresses. Try adding a hair treatment for blonde hair, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shade Reviving Treatment, to your routine. The treatment, which pairs perfectly with the shampoo and conditioner mentioned above, instantly neutralizes unwanted brassiness while intensely nourishing over-processed hair. Weekly, apply the treatment to towel-dried hair after you shampoo. Leave it on for three to five minutes, then rinse out completely.
Color-treated hair is sure to need a little extra love, which is why we recommend adding a deep conditioner or hair mask into your weekly routine. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner and make sure to complete your hair care routine with the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Intensive Protecting Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Intensive Protecting Conditioner.
Now that you’ve upped your knowledge of wet balayage, make sure you’re up to date on more of the hottest balayage trends by reading our article, 12 Balayage Hair Color Ideas for 2019.