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Balayage 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Highlighting Technique

Hair Color Ideas

Balayage 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Highlighting Technique Balayage 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Highlighting Technique Balayage 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Highlighting Technique

The ‘70s are known for many things: 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 created by French colorists—and we’re here to tell you that it looks absolutely stunning. 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. Looking for low-maintenance highlights to give yourself a new look? Here’s everything you need to know about balayage.

What Is Balayage?

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? As we mentioned earlier, 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. The good news is, it doesn’t matter whether you have a short pixie cut or waist-length hair—this highlighting technique can be used on anyone. The whole goal of balayage highlights is to leave you with natural, sun-kissed locks. If you have longer, balayage can add serious movement to your strands.

How Do You Know if Balayage Is Right for You?

If you’re a color newbie, 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 any hair color, so it doesn’t matter whether you have brown, blonde, or red hair. Also, 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 your entire length of your hair.

So, Is Balayage a Color or a Technique?

Balayage is a technique, not a type of hair color—although it is often confused as one. It’s best to get these highlights done by a professional, as they require a certain skill. These subtle highlights add dimension to your locks.

How Is Balayage Done?

Balayage is done freehand rather than using tools like foiling and caps that are often used during other highlighting techniques. That means the color is applied by hand on individual pieces with the desired color. 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 and a backing board. Depending on the length of your hair and the colorist you use, the results will vary.

How Does Balayage Differ from Other Types of Highlights?

The balayage technique differs from others because it gives the colorist more freedom to apply the color where they deem fit. With foils, you’ll get a very uniform finish, while with balayage the result is more natural. This also allows the colorist to apply the color in areas they think will brighten your features.

What’s the Best Way to Maintain Balayage Highlights?

The great thing about balayage highlights is that they grow out very naturally. That means that there’s no regrowth line, so you don’t have to worry about visiting the salon regularly for touchups. As with any dye job, there are certain things you can do to help maintain your color and keep your hair in tip-top shape. One of the best things you can do? Use color-safe products, like the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask, which are formulated with an antioxidant + UV filter and ceramide to help protect color and mend damaged, processed hair fibers. You should also consider showering in lukewarm water, since hot water can strip your strands of essential moisturizer. Finally, give the heat tools a rest. Balayage highlights look extra amazing when you rock some curl or wave. Spritz the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Wave Swept Spray onto wet hair and let it air dry. Sun-kissed beachy waves, coming right up!