If you pay even the teensiest morsel of attention to the fashion world, the obnoxious to spell and ever more challenging to pronounce, BALAYAGE is probably on your radar. If it’s not, it should be. Balayage, pronounced, Bah-lay-ahj, comes from the French word meaning “sweeping.” The coloring technique is thus named due to the nature of painting or sweeping the color onto the hair. Like most things in the fashion world, balayage has been around for a while (since the 70s), but has made a fierce comeback in the past couple of years due to it’s many enticingly fabulous qualities. The painted, free-hand technique of balayage is super cool for many reasons; first, it’s entirely customizable. Just like the ombre, we’re a huge fan of anything that can be catered to the individual. The tone of the highlights, the amount of painted pieces, and how bold or subtle they are can all be designed for your style and preference. No matter your hair color, balayage can be molded to suit you! The artistic technique of balayage also allows for a really natural looking highlight. Remember when you were a kid and your hair used to get those gorgeous natural highlights in the summer? Balayage can mimic that sun-kissed glow.
Also like the ombre, balayage has more of a “grown-out” look than traditional foiled highlights. This means it’s a low-maintenance style that can be worn for much longer. In the fast-paced, always busy world of today, getting into the salon every few weeks can be a challenge. Those every-four-weeks root retouches can go out the window with balayage!
Take note though, balayage is not ombre. Despite the fact that they have many commonalities, the ombre and balayage styles are quite different. The ombre is a full color gradation going from one solid color gradually to another. Balayage is a type of highlight, where strands are chosen and painted. Due to their widespread popularity, stylists have experimented with a combination of the two so you MAY see the terms put together -- a balayage ombre. This would be lower balayage pieces that have a gradation of their own. The effect of lighter ends and darker roots, but not from one full solid color to another full solid color. The highly customizable nature of both color techniques, along with the artistic emphasis allows stylists to really experiment and create variable looks.
This brings us to our final favorite balayage feature. Hair stylists are essentially artists, especially here at Alter EGO. They love to create customized looks for their clients, and are inspired by each person’s uniquities. Because balayage can be done so many different ways it gives the stylist some flexibility to really be creative and design a look that is just perfect for YOU. It’s the perfect season for beachy sun-kissed highlights, and it’s always the perfect time for a new custom look. Now that you know how to pronounce the darn word, and what exactly it is, come in and see one of our balayage experts to enhance your summer style!
For more information about balayage, check out these two fabulous articles: