Balayage hair all about this hair color trend (2023)

Balayage hair 101

For clients asking for hair color that looks effortlessly sunkissed, balayage has long been professionals’ go-to technique. Should we forget traditional foils altogether? How can hair colorists explain balayage hair to clients clearly and concisely? This article offers responses to the main balayage-related questions that professionals are regularly asked.

What is balayage hair?

Everyone is talking about balayage, from clients to social media and the press. But don’t forget (and you can tell your clients too) that the French balayagestarted in a hair salon in Paris back in the 1960s.

Balayage hair all about this hair color trend (1)

Traditionally, foils are used to separate sections of hair in order to lighten them, while balayage hair (from the French word “balayer”, meaning “to sweep”) involves freehand application, usually with a board and brush. And where there’s freehand work required, there needs to be expertise and experience– hence a store-bought balayage kit can’t reproduce an in-salon creation.

But why is balayage so popular? Because it’s natural looking and there are no tell-tale stripy sections of hair. Balayage offers the result of a soft, elegant, and personalized color that looks naturally lifted. Hair is subtly lightened with a blended contrast between the roots and the ends.

(Video) Who Should Wear a Balayage??? What You Need To Know About This Hair Color Trend!

When explaining the benefits of the balayage hair technique, we always emphasize this made-to-measure factor. From hair type to tone, length, application, angle, and placement, clients love the way a balayage is tailored to flatter their face shape and bring radiance to their complexion. Plus, women often find a balayage more reassuring than one all-over color because there’s no demarcated root regrowth. It’s the reason why balayage hair is for everyone!

Preparation for balayage hair

How would you prefer your clients to come at the salon? Is it better to get a balayage with clean or unwashed hair? Too much residue from hair products will affect the even application of hair color. However, we need those natural oils to keep the hair fiber moisturized for effective product penetration..

So, if clients ask whether it’s better to get balayage with clean or dirty hair, the best response is to suggest they wash and condition their hair the day before but avoid using any styling products..

How balayage hair is done

How to balayage hair: when it comes to the balayage hair process itself, it can seem confusing to those who don’t work in the industry, but reassurance comes through explanation. There isn’t one answer to “where should balayage start?”, for example. It all depends on what the client wants and the artistry of the professional.

Yes, it ispossible to do balayage hair from the root, but for more subtle, sunkissed balayage hair, we willusually focus on the lengths and ends, painting the color into specific zones while moving along the hair. Sections are painted according to where the light should hit, with the most common patterns called “V placement”, “W placement”, “singles”, “slants”, and “gradient panels”.

How long does it take to balayage hair?

From start to finish, how long does a balayage take? Again, the answer is: “it depends”. Balayage hair is such a personalized color service that every appointment is different. A few sunkissed streaks might take under an hour. But for a full head of color using balayage, your client could be in the chair for several hours.

Balayage hair all about this hair color trend (2)

At L’Oréal Professionnel Paris, we have been working on ways of speeding up the balayage hair process so that colorists can focus on their creativity. This has led to the development of the new Blond Studio 8 Bonder Inside: a 2-in-1 lightening powder with an incorporated bonding complex offering up to 8 levels of lift in one step only.

(Video) 12 Flattering Balayage Hair Color Ideas for 2022-2023

Will balayage cover grey hair and grey roots?

Balayage is not the technique we would recommend to cover grey hair and grey roots but it can be combined with other processes, such as a color melt, where a (darker) shade is applied on the roots, and then blended with another two or three colors that gradually and invisibly blend into the balayage highlights.

Or you could color the roots and smudge down to blur the line, then use the balayage hair technique with a board and brush, moving up the hair and gradually blending into the roots. Some colorists recommend using a light conditioner on the root area as a blending agent.

Your client is growing out her/his roots and gradually transitioning to her/his natural shade (grey or other)? Balayage is ideal for subtly combining all the tones in the hair and bringing them together to create an all-over natural shade that, as the hair grows, offers seamless movement between colors.

We have also seen an increasing number of clients– of all ages – who want to celebrate grey hair with all-over silver balayage hair!

Can balayage be done on dyed hair?

Can a balayage be applied directly over already-colored hair? If the client already has a temporary color in their hair, there is no risk to hair quality or the finished look. No peroxide means the hair fiber (should) be in good condition.

Virgin hair (never treated) is the ideal base for the balayage hair technique, as you can be confident of color consistency. However, especially with those coloring for the first time, a skin allergy test isn’t just essential to ensure against skin sensitivity, it will also reveal the hair’s porosity – an all-important factor in timing your color..

If the client has permanently colored their hair in the past month, it is not recommended to re-color, for risk of damaging the hair and subsequent discoloration. Remember: if your client already has dyed blond tips, don’t completely saturate the ends with lightener – simply feather them down a little.

What color/s to use for balayage

The most common balayage hair color creation our clients request is an all-over lift that leaves the hair looking naturally sunkissed. This uses complementary cool and warmblond tones depending on the base color.

Many people assume that balayage hair is always brunette to blond. But a balayage to blond isn’t the only way the technique can be used. There are so many ways to offer more unusual color creations, even by simply changing from a cool to a warm tone, or vice versa, using balayage. Bring cool pink tones into a warm blond base, for example, for a rose gold balayage. Or warm up a mousey brown base with caramel or bronze balayage hair for fall.

(Video) HOTTEST Fall 2022 Hair Color Trends

Can balayage be done on dark hair?

Absolutely! Although it can be more difficult (but not impossible) on jet black hair. The Blond Studio 9 Lightening Powder from L’Oréal Professionnel Paris can lift hair color by up to 9 levels, so even the darkest bases can achieve their balayage hair ambitions. Bear in mind that a balayage on dark hair will remain on the brunette color spectrum, to keep it natural looking.

Balayage hair all about this hair color trend (3)

The reverse balayage to brown

What about going from light to dark? A balayage to brunette. Can balayage hair be darker than its base color? Yes, and it’s sometimes called a Reverse Balayage. The same technique is used, except there is no need for a lightener. Adding darker tones gives more body and dimension to the hair, and draws more attention to the lighter sections – just like a shadow makes the light around it look brighter.

Using the balayage freehand technique with shades darker than the base is a great way for a client to subtly transition from a blond to a brunette balayage. As a general rule, two toners are enough to create a multi-dimensional balayage.

How long does balayage last in hair?

With hair growing at an estimated half-inch per month, we are often asked how long a balayage hair lasts. Interestingly, many clients prefer highlights applied using the balayage hair technique to an all-over lightener. This is because of how easy the look can be to maintain and grow out subtly.

How often does balayage hair need to be redone? It depends on the client and the balayage. Of course, as the hair grows, highlights and lowlights grow out too. But because balayage is applied to different sections of the hair, there’s no regrowth line at the root.

A well-executed balayage should therefore grow out invisibly: six months down the line your highlights will be lower down the face but still look amazing, with no visible roots. Whereas, with a full head of one color, or traditional foil highlights, the roots will start to show just a few weeks after coloring, and will need regular maintenance..

That being said, it’s always helpful to remind your client of the main dos and don’ts when it comes to balayage haircare:

  • DIY coloring is a firm no-no, especially given the technical skill required for beautiful, long-lasting balayage hair.
  • haircare for colored hair is also recommended to extend the color’s vibrancy and prevent fading.
  • the occasional in-salon gloss and at-home masque can help clients get the most out of their balayage hair color.
  • avoid washing your hair for at least 48 hours after coloration to ensure the cuticles have fully closed along the hair fiber so you won’t lose any of your precious new color.
(Video) French Balayage Premiere | The Biggest Fashion Color Trend

How much does balayage hair cost?

Balayage specialist prices differ depending on the salon, but the most important factor is the hair colorist: professional skill can save money from future appointments and free clients from feeling constantly tied to repeated trips to the salon.

Balayage hair, 5 points to take away

1) What is balayage hair? Balayage hair is a color technique adapted to each client based on multiple factors (face shape, hair color, length, quality, skin tone etc.) to bring light to the hair and face.

2)Balayage involves freehand painting down the lengths and ends.

3)Balayage can be achieved on dark hair using Blond Studio to lift the base color.

(Video) 30 Best Balayage Hair Color Ideas in 2022

4)A “reverse balayage” is the application of dark, instead of light, tones to create shadow and “negative space”. This is used in hair contouring.

5)A well-applied balayage can save your client time and money on constant hair color upkeep.


Is balayage out of style 2022? ›

“As we embark on 2022, you'll see a move away from balayage and over-bleached two-toned looks that can be damaging to hair. Instead, the trend will focus on keeping hair healthier with blended and customized natural hair colors that complement each person's individual skin undertones.

How do you describe the balayage you want? ›

Bright around the face, blended at the roots, lighter ends, and effortlessly natural are all descriptors of balayage hair.

What is a balayage hair color? ›

Balayage is a French word that means “to sweep.” In this hair color technique, highlights are hand-painted or “swept” on the surface of random sections of hair. Dye or lightener is usually painted on, starting midshaft and becoming denser as it moves down the section of hair to the ends.

Why is balayage so popular? ›

Another reason why balayage is so popular is that it works brilliantly with all hair types and lengths – straight, curly, wavy, short, long, thick and thin. With thinning hair, the choice of colours that come with a balayage style can be a great way to add depth to your hair to make it look visually thicker.

What is the new hair color for 2022? ›

Red may be the biggest hair-color trend for fall, but it's no one-shade pony. Here, five ways to go crimson this season.

Why is balayage better for your hair? ›

Because Balayage highlights don't involve completely saturating your hair in bleach or color dye, you'll enjoy healthier hair because of less process on the hair. As a result, you get to enjoy softer, silkier hair with less damage and dryness.

How long will balayage last? ›

How long does Balayage last in your hair? One of the greatest advantages of Balayage is how long it lasts. Traditional foil highlights require touch ups every few weeks, whereas Balayage will last 3-4 months on average.

Is balayage a bleach or dye? ›

As with all highlighting techniques, balayage requires lightening — and that means you'll need to have your hair bleached. Bleaching your hair can cause damage, so it's important to make sure you take care of your strands pre- and post-balayage, not only to make the color last but to keep your hair healthy.

Is balayage good for dark hair? ›

Yes, you can put balayage highlights dark hair, and yes, it will look gorgeous!

Is balayage permanent color? ›

Because a balayage involves lightening certain sections of your hair, the effect is permanent, although the colour might fade slightly after a few months if not looked after properly (see further down for how to get long-lasting bright colour).

Who is balayage good for? ›

Generally speaking, balayage tends to be best for: Clients requiring four levels of lift or less: Balayage can typically get you about 4 levels of lift in a single session, which means that it isn't always the best route for those guests who need intense brightness or want a dramatic shift in their color.

Can balayage cover GREY hair? ›

It works on gray hair.

Balayage is a smart solution for gray hair because it allows the colorist to specifically target gray strands without touching the scalp. And, because you don't need to do a single process to cancel out a few grays, it's easier on your hair overall.

Is balayage still a trend? ›

One-dimensional colour will be knocking balayage off the top spot in 2022, with solid colours like warm chocolate brown and glossy black becoming the new go-to. The year will also see more women embracing their greys.”

What color hair makes you look younger? ›

Caramel, honey, gold, copper, and strawberry give a healthy brightness that makes us look and feel younger. (Framing your face with lighter shades draws the eye away from any complexion concerns, as well.)

What is the color trend for fall 2022? ›

The color trends range from bright colors like illuminating yellow and bright red to neutral hues like beige and gray. The must-have nuance will be green in the bright and lush “lawn” variant and in the more sober and refined “olive” shade.

What hair color makes you look older? ›

If your hair is too light—think platinum blonde—it can look white or silver at first glance. When in doubt, go a shade or two darker to avoid looking washed out. Overly orangey or reddish undertones in your hair color can be aging and may make your color look damaged.

What is the hair color for fall 2022? ›

Copper hair can be the perfect option for autumn, with its shades echoing the hues of orange sunsets and that perfect lighting of golden hour. "The copper hair trend exploded after Kendall Jenner's Prada autumn/winter 2022 show appearance and generated 123 million views on TikTok," says the experts at Hey Discount.

Does balayage touch your roots? ›

Balayage is a form of highlighting. As previously mentioned, the balayage technique focuses the color a couple inches from the roots. But traditional highlights are usually placed directly at the roots, according to Felicia Dosso of Nunzio Saviano.

Can you wear balayage hair straight? ›

Though balayage looks fabulous on curly hair, it is incredibly great for straight hair too. There are no harmful effects if you get your hair straightened too. The harsh color lines do not impose any harm to your hair. Irrespective of the length or texture, this technique is suitable for everyone.

How long does a balayage take? ›

A full Balayage takes between 3 – 5 hours on average to finish. Since the technique is applied by hand and no two Balayages are the same, the amount of time can vary greatly. Longer and thicker hair will take longer. As well as the previous color you had can add to the total timer a Balayage can take.

How do you wash your hair after balayage? ›

The general rule is to wash your balayage hair sparingly. Too much washing may end up damaging the quality of your balayage. When you wash your hair every single day, the beautiful colour in your hair will fade more quickly. Ideally, you shouldn't wash your balayage hair for more than 2 or 3 times each week.

Does balayage damage your hair? ›

DOES BALAYAGE DAMAGE YOUR HAIR? Most colourists would agree that balayage is arguably less damaging than conventional colouring techniques which use foils and heat to set the colour, meaning you're less likely to end up with brassy, over-processed hair.

What should I do after balayage? ›

Don't wash your hair for at least three days

After getting your balayage, wait for at least three days before you wash your hair. The purpose of doing this is to allow the cuticles to close and the color to set. You also should avoid getting the hair wet during these days, so avoid engaging in strenuous exercises.

Is balayage better than highlights? ›

"Highlights are often placed much closer to the scalp and applied in specific sections while the balayage process includes a graduated painting the color onto the hair in random sections," says Rivera. If you are looking to add non-uniform chunks or sweeps of color, balayage is a better option.

What is a full balayage treatment? ›

A full balayage is a technique where highlights are added throughout your entire mane. This is an ideal yet popular treatment for those who want an all-over lightened hair without the constant maintenance that comes with root grow out.

Can balayage make u look better? ›

It creates a more natural look

A balayage specialist will be looking to create the right contrast of light and dark tones, to create a natural looking and lived-in style for you. This will create a final look that blends dark and light hues seamlessly, while avoiding harsh lines or distinct blocks of colour.

How do you prepare your hair for balayage? ›

To prepare for your visit, plan to wash your hair a day or two before you come in. There is no need to style your hair before you come to the salon- it's a judgement-free zone, and plus, that's my job!

What are 3 techniques used on balayage? ›

Below, we outline three really important balayage application techniques that can help you step up your hair painting game: The C-Motion™, The Glide & Slide™, and The Backflip™.

How often should you touch up balayage? ›

In general, we recommend scheduling a balayage touch up every 12-14 weeks. Root growth should be fairly subtle, giving you more flexibility in the exact timing. To protect your colour between appointments, talk to your master stylist about which highlight-enhancing shampoos they recommend.

Can you balayage hair without bleach? ›

Without bleaching, the color is less vibrant and less light so the byproduct of this is that the gradient effect is less obvious too. There is still a gradient transition in the middle but less obvious due to the absence of white pigment from the bleaching.

Should I get a haircut with balayage? ›

If you're thinking of trying balayage, for the best results, trim your hair before you highlight. A trim will help your colorist decide where to place your new highlights. Why paint on stunning highlights just to cut them all off? A fresh cut gives you a better feel for where the highlights should go.

Can you do balayage on short hair? ›

Balayage is not just for long-haired clients. The technique can work perfectly well on hair of all lengths, whether short, mid-length, or long.

How long does a balayage cost? ›

Typically, balayage costs between $70 to $300. By comparison, a full head of regular highlights only costs around $75 to $150. Additionally, it may take up to three sessions to get your hair as light as you want it to be.

Who shouldn't balayage? ›

Who Shouldn't Get Balayage. While balayage works with almost all hair types, colors and textures, it's not recommended for those with heavily highlighted hair. “This hair type will require the hair to be partially darkened and then highlighted,” says Papanikolis.

Why does balayage cost so much? ›

“The reason why people charge more for balayage even though it is 'less work', is because it's not a service everyone offers. And the client can go longer between the retouch so you have to account for that too.” “You charge more because you know a technique that not everyone else does.

What happens during balayage? ›

As mentioned above, balayage means to "paint" or "sweep"—it's a dyeing process that results in natural-looking highlights. For balayage, color is swept through small, triangular sections of hair onto a board or foil, resulting in a seamless blend of the highlights and your natural hair color.

Do they wash your hair before balayage? ›

No, you should not wash your hair before a balayage treatment. You want to allow some natural oils to build up on your scalp and hair before the appointment. The oils soothe, moisturize, and protect your scalp. In addition, they help the balayage highlights to penetrate the hair shafts more effectively.

What is the best colour to hide grey hair? ›

Neutral shades like soft blonde, mushroom brown, light copper, and caramel blonde balayage are the easiest to blend gray into (and maintain over time without wanting to shave your hair off).

When did balayage become popular? ›

Balayage was truly revolutionary, created at a time when the industry standard was a frosting cap. The '80s brought a wave of foil highlights, so it wasn't until the '90s that balayage made its first inroads in the U.S., mainly among celebrity-early adopters.

What is the hair style trend for 2022? ›

The shag— or super layered hair cut— is the trend,” says Saviano. “It works on almost every hair texture and length, and you can even style this look with or without bangs. It gives off a cool, low maintenance vibe, and truly brings out the best of natural hair texture, as the layered cut gives the hair movement.”

What is the hair cut style for 2022? ›

Long layers and volume

"Things are going from really short shags and mullets to mid-length haircuts," she said. Expect to see '90s-inspired long layers and stylists focusing on adding more volume while keeping the hair length intact. "Two of the most frequently used techniques will be slide cutting and texturizing.

Is balayage going out of style? ›

One-dimensional colour will be knocking balayage off the top spot in 2022, with solid colours like warm chocolate brown and glossy black becoming the new go-to. The year will also see more women embracing their greys.”

What is replacing balayage? ›

Somewhere in between traditional highlights and balayage, 'hair frosting' is adored by celebs — and now it's spilling into top salons.

What blonde is in Style 2022? ›

Platinum and icy blondes will still be popular, though warmer tones are about to take over. Because they can brighten up any complexion, Kathy says her “clients are craving a little warmth.” She notes a warmer blonde “can easily be achieved by adding gold to your formula.

What hair colors are trending? ›

And what better way to do that than to update your tresses with one of fall 2022's trending hair colors?
8 Fall Hair Color Trends You'll Want To Try In 2022, According To...
  • Rich Brunette. ...
  • "Curl"-Lights. ...
  • Copper Curls. ...
  • Warm Red-Brown. ...
  • Toasted Caramel. ...
  • Dimensional Low-Maintenance Highlight. ...
  • Auburn Spice.
22 Aug 2022

Which hairstyle makes you look younger? ›

Loose waves are more younger-looking, while straight hair can be aging. Play around with face-framing layers to give your hair some softness and movement. Layers can also make your hair appear to be more luscious and healthy. Parra recommends asking your stylist for perimeter layers that are cut in a straight line.

Are bangs out of style for 2022? ›

Bangs are big in 2022, and there are plenty of bang trends to choose from this year. Bangs are a great way to change up your look and can work for all hair types and face shapes. And, contrary to popular belief, bangs can actually be low maintenance!

What color hair is in for fall 2022? ›

Inky black, cool ash blonde, roasted chestnut, and platinum are all included. Perhaps you want to explore the ombré trend or try a brown hairstyle with highlights—you'll find those here, too! When perusing these seasonal hair picks, remember this: Any color can be tailored to your skin tone and hair type.

Does balayage cover GREY hair? ›

It works on gray hair.

Balayage is a smart solution for gray hair because it allows the colorist to specifically target gray strands without touching the scalp. And, because you don't need to do a single process to cancel out a few grays, it's easier on your hair overall.

How long do balayage lasts? ›

How long does Balayage last in your hair? One of the greatest advantages of Balayage is how long it lasts. Traditional foil highlights require touch ups every few weeks, whereas Balayage will last 3-4 months on average.

Can balayage be permanent? ›

Because a balayage involves lightening certain sections of your hair, the effect is permanent, although the colour might fade slightly after a few months if not looked after properly (see further down for how to get long-lasting bright colour).

Are balayage high maintenance? ›

A balayage is a great low-maintenance hair color option if you're looking for a subtle refresh in your hair. Ask your stylist for their opinion on what highlight colors would best suit your natural color. A balayage with a deeper root color will grow out seamlessly without harsh lines.


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