Let's get one thing straight, its pronounced bah-lee-ahj.
The word itself is actually French, and means to sweep or paint. Bright around the face, blended at the roots, lighter ends, and effortlessly natural are all descriptors to balayage hair. The balayage technique is used to achieve a very naturally blended, lightened look, and while we typically associate balayage with becoming blonde, the same technique can be used to create caramel, espresso, or even pastel strands. Soft, highlighted hair intermingles with darker strands to create a dynamic look that's full of movement and body.
Unlike traditional highlights, which use foils, balayage involves painting freehand onto the hair with a brush dipped in lightener. This process also makes for a softer grow-in, with less-harsh lines of indication as your hair grows in-between appointments. Your roots will also grow in more softly than they would with foil highlights.
With both ombré and balayage transitioning from dark to light, you may be wondering how the two highlighting techniques differ. Ombré, also a french term, means "shaded" or "graduated in tone.
With the ombre gradient going from typically darker roots to lightened ends, there isn't much colour applied near the roots at all. Ombré almost appears to be perfectly grown out hair color, whereas balayage is used to achieve more of an all-over color from roots to ends. In an ombré style, the roots stay dark, while the hair will slowly lighten down the length of strand until it hits the lightest, most highlighted point at the ends. The effect should be a smooth, gradient transition without a visible line that separates dark from light. If done correctly, this dye technique mimics your hair's natural colour change in the summer months.
With all those new techniques and finishes, it's hard sometimes to know what suits us best and how to choose a highlight shade or technique. When you visit for your consultation, one of our highly trained colour technicians will discuss your desired look.