What is balayage for hair? Our guide to balayage haircoloring

Learn all about one of the most popular haircolor trends: balayage.

What is balayage for hair, does it damage the hair, how does it differ from ombre or highlights and, finally, should you try the balayage trend?

Hair trend guide: what is balayage for hair?

What is a balayage haircut? Nothing! So, what does balayage mean? The right question to ask is "what is balayage haircoloring?"

Balayage is all about colour, not cut, and can be created on almost any hairstyle. So now we've got the question right, what is balayage haircoloring and what does balayage mean?

Balayage is a French word that means to sweep. It is a haircolour technique that allows for a sunkissed and natural look. Balayage is designed to create the gold shimmer that the sun gives the hair in summer. More natural than a full head of color, balayage is the ideal choice when you want something subtle, or to boost the natural shimmer and give a new dimension to your hair.

Why is balayage for hair so popular?

This timeless technique is the most sought-after haircolour in salons today. Balayage gives a healthy-looking finish that is glossy and chic and can be worn in subtle or bold ways: it's all a question of application. Balayage's popularity also comes from the fact that it is extremely low maintenance. A balayage will grow out beautifully and naturally so you don't get a clear regrowth line.

How to do balayage for your hair

Balayage is a freehand technique best done in a salon where the colour is applied by hand rather than using tools such as traditional foiling or cap highlighting. A professional hairdresser will be able to personalize this technique to your haircolor, lengths and texture. To create an amazing custom balayage your hairdresser will use our Blond Studio lightening range together with our complete portfolio of DIA Light toning shades.

Is balayage bad for your hair? Hair health and maintenance

What does balayage mean for your hair's health?
Getting your hair coloured in a salon prevents damaging your hair, and this is especially true of balayage which involves lightening products. Regular moisturising masks and color-specific haircare products will help keep your hair in great condition and show off your balayage hairstyle to its best.

We also have a special professional range of bonders – Smartbond – that your hairdresser can use during the balayage application. Smartbond protects bonds inside the hair fiber, keeping it strong.

Balayage haircolour grows out beautifully, meaning less frequent appointments and maintenance. Use a colour radiance protecting shampoo and conditioner, as well as regular treatments and heat protection products when styling. Our Serie Expert Vitamino Color A:OX range helps protect the colour radiance of your hair, leaving your balayage looking shiny and fresh.

Balayage varies depending on which style is chosen, but it averages at 8 to 14 weeks. Make sure to always talk to your colourist about the upkeep, it's important to remember that the cut dictates the placement of the colour, so the heavier the color application the more upkeep will be needed.

Let's look at how balayage differs from other coloring techniques. What is balayage for hair, compared to ombre and foils?

What is balayage for hair: Balayage vs. Ombre

Ombre is a coloring technique which means shadow. It is a seamless graduation from a darker to lighter shade. With balayage, the lighter colours are applied subtly all throughout the hair, at both the roots and ends. So, with balayage vs. ombre, it depends if you want the gradual colour difference to show (ombre) or be more subtle all-over (balayage).

What is balayage for hair: Balayage vs. Highlights

Balayage is a freehand coloring technique with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines than traditional highlights, which are applied using foils. Considering balayage vs. highlights? Highlights using foils will give a uniform finish with more defined strands than a balayage, which is painted on by hand.

Would you look good with a balayage?

If you have never had your haircolored before or you are afraid of a drastic change, balayage is the best color technique for you. If you are a blonde, brunette or redhead, have colored or non-colored hair, it doesn't matter, the balayage technique can be tailored to everyone. A balayage is also great for coloring greys because the hairdresser can cover the few grey strands rather than color the whole head.
The choice is really between you and your colorist. It's important to get your balayage done in-salon, not at home, because the color application requires the skills of an expert hairdresser.

When it comes to what is a balayage, haircut styles are almost limitless. Balayage works for all lengths except for very short cropped hair, and is particularly suited to lose curls, beachy and tousled looks. This showcases the many color variations that the technique brings to the hair. To get these hairstyles at home you can use our professional styling products from our Tecni.ART range.

Image credit: Getty Images - RobertoDavid