Caramel balayage is a gorgeous way to give brown hair dimension and sun-kissed appearance without the need for routine maintenance. It’s essentially all the benefits of coloring your hair with less attention on upkeep. This French hair coloring technique that originated in the ‘70s is quite popular on social media, likely for the gorgeous color that brightens strands, combined with the lived-in styling that makes balayage highlights so effortless.
Caramel balayage is a great upgrade for the holiday season that you can easily rock into the new year and onward. Ahead, discover how to get caramel balayage (including a DIY) and how to care for your decadent new hair color.
What is Caramel Balayage?
Caramel balayage features ribbons of warm blonde, gold and light brown color to mimic the delicious sugary syrup. It creates a gorgeous pop on dark brown strands, adding dimension, sun-kissed looking color and brightness that so many of us crave with our hair Because the shade is somewhere between blonde and brown, it’s very flattering for brunettes and there’s a good chance you can achieve the color without multiple rounds of bleaching.
How to Get Caramel Balayage
Attempting balayage and its hand-painted technique at home can feel daunting but fear not — the right product can be a game changer. The L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Balayage At-Home Highlighting Kit in the shade Light Brown to Brown is going to contain everything you need to achieve gorgeous caramel balayage at home.
The expert touch applicator helps you mimic the hand-painting technique of balayage and the pro toning mask blurs color at the roots to give your hair natural-looking, lived-in highlights. In as little as an hour, you can achieve gorgeous balayage hair without the hefty salon price tag.
If you prefer to head to the salon, book an appointment with your colorist and find some inspiration pictures that can illustrate what you have in mind for your hair color. When sourcing inspiration, identify those with similar hair color and texture to yours to get the most accurate depiction of what you have in mind.
How Long Does Caramel Balayage Last?
As we mentioned, many love balayage for its lowkey, lived-in appearance that doesn’t require routine touch-ups on a six-week basis. Balayage can last three to four months before needing a touch-up but sometimes you can go even longer. Of course, having a proper hair care routine with products that prevent fading color can play a big role in the way your color lasts.
How to Care for Balayage Highlights
Balayage may be low maintenance when it comes to touch-ups but it still requires the proper products and practices to preserve your color. Check out our top tips for caring for balayage hair color.
1. Use a Shampoo and Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair
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 dye jobs, bleaching and heat styling. After all, balayage is a highlighting technique and the impact that bleach can have on your hair should always be a factor when it comes to your routine.
2. Limit Heat Styling
To minimize damage and prevent fading hair color, limit heat styling. Something as simple as opting for a curl-enhancing cream like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner to define your natural texture can make a huge difference in the health of your hair. Balayage is praised for being low-maintenance so pairing your highlights with simple, overnight, braided beach waves is a great way to embody the lived-in styling.
If you must use hot tools, remember to prime your strands with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In or the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant. If you can, use your hot tools on the lowest temperature setting and pass through each section of hair once to avoid potentially frying your hair.
3. Use a Toning Gloss
Keep your caramel balayage shiny with all of its vibrance by adding a weekly hair gloss, like the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Honey Blonde, to your routine. We love this in-shower gloss because in as little as 15 minutes, it tones faded color, deep conditions dry strands and enhances shine. It’s a great and affordable way to keep your color looking fresh on your own schedule.
Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Production Assistant: Jason Parigian, Digital Tech: Sam Kang, Photo Assistant: Hannah Lewis-Lopes, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hairstylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi , Wardrobe Stylist: Melina Kemph, Wardrobe Assistant: Kayla Martinez, Prop Stylist: Katrina Rozeville, Prop Assistant: Zach Molina, Model: Avery McMahon