You might be tempted to avoid bleaching, harsh treatments, and chemicals the next time you visit the salon to revitalize and renew your locks. But is balayage as harmful to hair as applying bright-white bleach to your scalp?
Balayage is arguably less harmful than traditional coloring methods that use foils and heat to set the color, according to the majority of colorists.
Consider this article your comprehensive guide to all things balayage, as we explain what it is, how it differs from ombre, and whether or not it harms your hair.
Does Balayage Damage Your Hair?
Balancing your hair does damage it, yes. However, this procedure doesn’t harm your hair as much as bleach and harsh chemicals because it adds streaks of artificial color to your toned locks.
Because balayage highlights only use individual hair pieces rather than completely saturating your hair, they improve the health, suppleness, and sheen of your hair. Balayage highlights are applied through strands from the middle of the head to the ends rather than starting at the roots or touching the scalp.
When your hair grows out, there is no clear boundary between the chemically treated hair and your natural hair. This is a more low-maintenance alternative to bleaching and highlighting because the result is much more natural after 8 to 12 weeks.
Balayage is applied to the hair strands as opposed to bleaching. As a result, only the surface of your mid shafts are colored; no harsh chemicals are saturated into your scalp and roots.
What is Balayage?
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? In the 1970s, French colorists invented the balayage hair technique, which is a form of highlighting. A freehand technique, balayage differs from conventional foiling or cap techniques. The good news is that anyone can use this highlighting technique, regardless of whether they have short hair cut in a pixie or hair that reaches their waist. The whole point of balayage highlights is to give you hair that looks sun-kissed and natural.
Balayage and Ombre – What is the Difference?
Ombre is a popular highlighter style as well, but it has a more dramatic appearance than balayage.
As with balayage, ombre is a French word meaning ‘shadow’, which reflects the look that your hair will have, as a much more gradient highlight.
Your stylist will leave your roots their natural color when applying ombre highlights.
They’ll make sure your ends are much lighter and will frequently highlight the middle part of your hair.
This leaves that transition from dark to light in color that resembles a sunset.
It’s more akin to dying just the tips of your hair while leaving the rest of it its natural color. Actually, ombre highlights exist when people dye their ends a vibrant color, like pink or blue.
While balayage should look more effortless and natural.
In order to mimic that sun-kissed effect, you should highlight your strands somewhat haphazardly. Generally speaking, balayage hair is more dynamic than ombre and appears more natural.
How they develop is a key distinction between ombre and balayage.
When using ombre highlights, there will be a clear division between the hair’s lightened and unlit areas.
As this grows out, it can look a bit block-like depending on the application of the ombre in the first instance.
With curly or wavy hair, ombre can therefore look better on them. There will be a less aggressive re-growth than on those with straighter hair.
Balayage is also different from traditional highlights in a similar way.
With foils, stylists will take sections of the hair and apply bleach, leaving this section wrapped in foils in order to let the bleach saturate.
Thereafter, coloring will be used. The result is much more uniform throughout the strands, in contrast to balayage, which is organically and delicately applied to enhance a person’s facial features or match their skin tone.
How Does Balayage Differ from Other Types of Highlights?
By allowing the colorist more freedom to apply the color wherever they see fit, the balayage technique differs from other highlighting methods like ombre or traditional highlights. With foils, you’ll get a very uniform finish, whereas with balayage, the outcome is more natural. This enables the colorist to apply the color precisely where they believe it will brighten your features.
What to Expect When Getting Balayage
When scheduling your first balayage appointment, you may be unsure of what to anticipate. During your balayage session, there are usually a few steps that take place.
Preparing Your Hair
The actual first step of your balayage appointment is before you even step foot in the salon. To give the stylist a fresh start, you might think about prepping your hair.
A day or two before you arrive, wash your hair. After all, having your hair a little dirty is actually preferable for stylists since it contains less product build-up.
The initial step in the salon is for your colorist to examine your hair to look for any damage, current color, natural color, and individual styling and maintenance preferences.
To ensure that the balayage will work on your hair and that the color will lighten or darken as you desire, a consultation is a crucial first step. Tell the stylist exactly what you’re after in a consultation.
The stylist will hand-paint your hair in the second step to start the coloring procedure. They will paint and then cover with saran wrap a few sections of your hair after mining the lightener. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, this process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
All you have to do is wait for the color to fully develop while you are sitting still. Enjoy browsing on your phone, reading magazines, and talking to your stylist.
Drying the Strands
To speed up the process and the lightning, the third step involves using a dryer to dry the strands. Depending on the lighting and the state of your hair, this step can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.
A hair toner is what you need if you don’t like the color of your hair or prefer an ashy blonde to a golden blonde. The toner, which adds color and modifies the hair’s overall appearance, is the glaze or shine that is applied to the exterior coating of the hair.
Rinsing the color out and applying a protein treatment to keep your hair healthy are the final two steps of a balayage appointment. The use of a protein treatment can help your hair get back to its healthy state because any type of color is harsh on the roots, mid shafts, and ends of your hair.
To achieve the desired shine level, the stylist will apply gloss. If the color is not the right shade and the hair needs to look healthier, the stylist can add gloss over the base to blend with the natural highlights.
Double-Checking Their Work
The stylist will double-check their work to make sure it is exactly what you wanted before you walk out of the salon happy and eager to show off your new do. At this stage, the stylist can adjust, add more toner, or trim the dead ends from your gorgeous locks.
In order to ensure that you are satisfied with the results, the color will be evaluated, dead ends will be cut, and the air will be blow-dried.
Take a Picture
This is an exciting time, even if you dislike having your picture taken. You just changed how you look, and your hair feels great. So why not take a few photos? Additionally, the stylist will want to take pictures so they can use the stunning before-and-after photos as inspiration for another client and post them on social media.
The Pros of Balayaged Hair
Balayage develops beautifully over time, unlike bleach and full-head hair dye. If you don’t have the time or resources to maintain regular maintenance, the best low-maintenance option is balayage.
It takes much less time and effort than full-head highlights or bleached hair. When changing the tone and color of your hair, this process can offer you the greatest degree of versatility and ease of maintenance.
Balayage is low maintenance in addition to being versatile, as we previously mentioned. Many people lack the resources to visit a salon every four to six weeks to redye or highlight their hair. Not to mention, it is very expensive.
Around $180 is typically spent on bleach, tone, and cutting. Balayage is the ideal solution for busy people who are constantly on the go because it only needs highlights every 8–12 weeks rather than requiring us to spend all of our free time sitting in the salon chair.
When you get balayage, you only use strands of your hair to preserve your roots, shield your ends, and give the midshaft of your hair a glossy finish rather than soaking it in bleach and other harsh chemicals for 30 minutes during your next appointment.
Say good-bye to dryness and welcome to hair that looks healthy! Balayage is completely safe for those who have allergies and is also less harmful to your hair.
Bleach can irritate the scalp in some people, resulting in redness and irritation both during and after the color appointment. Fortunately, this won’t take place for those getting balayage.
For people with common hair allergies, balayage highlights that are on the hair rather than the scalp may be safe. Before and after receiving bleach on their scalp, patients may experience allergic reactions like drowsiness, weakness, itching, tingling, or burning on their skin.
The third benefit of using balayage is that it saves the client time and money. Those who get balayage only need to go to the salon every two and a half to three months instead of every 4-6 weeks, which can cost over $200 with the tip to redo their highlights or bleach their roots.
If you’re too busy at work or don’t have the money to pay for a salon visit each month, we don’t blame you. Paying for a balayage treatment is the best option in this situation. Your wallet will thank you!
Provides a Personalized Look
The final advantage of balayage highlights is that they can give you a more distinctive and customized look than bleach or highlights could.
Since clients will choose bleach based on pre-set colors and go for the uniform look, there are very little natural highlights or shading in the hair. Contrarily, balayage offers a shadowed, organic, and sun-kissed appearance that is particular to your hair, your hairstylist, and your preferences.
How Long Does Balayage Last?
Your hair’s color, length, and condition all play a part in how long balayage lasts.
However, you can typically expect to see your stylist every three to four months with balayage. This would be more like every six weeks for foils.
Balayage Mistakes to Avoid
A natural, sun-kissed appearance is the goal of balyage.
The highlights should mimic how the sun picks up lighter tones in your hair.
The balayage will look very flat and heavy if you oversaturate your hair with color; additionally, it isn’t actually balayage.
Bleach should never be used excessively. As a result, your hair will become dry, frazzled, and breakable, and it may even fall out when you brush it. Use bleach sparingly and according to measurement.
The results will be streaky, patchy highlights that don’t look natural at all. The goal of balayage is to softly emphasize your facial features. If it’s done badly, it can look terrible.
Not Maintaining Your Balayage
You can make sure your balayage is taken care of to ensure its durability.
Avoid chlorinated pools and choose shampoos and conditioners that contain few chemicals, such as sulfates.
After receiving a balayage treatment, deep condition your hair to help your hair’s strands regain moisture.
I was able to unlock my hidden artistic side thanks to this technique.
However, the Balayage technique that I provide my clients with is a color service that is completely customized and secure. This artist took numerous classes and became an expert in a particular field. It’s safe, I say again.
The balayage method can give you a completely natural, healthy look, and it will never go out of style.
However, you shouldn’t trust just anyone with your hair because any coloring method could be harmful if you do.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most frequent questions about balayage that can be helpful to know before your treatment? Keep your hair looking healthy and natural by being aware of the steps to take before your appointment, what will happen in the salon, and aftercare.
Is Balayage Healthier for Your Hair?
You’ll have healthier hair as a result of less processing on the hair because Balayage highlights don’t involve completely saturating your hair in bleach or color dye. You can benefit from less damaged and dry hair that is softer and silkier as a result.
What Are the Disadvantages of Balayage?
However, it isn’t a particularly daring hairstyle change, it doesn’t produce consistent root-to-tip color, and it might not have enough strength to dramatically lighten darker hair (or hair that has been colored numerous times). If your hair is dark, it may also skew slightly more toward the red side.
Is Balayage More Damaging Than Highlights?
Although they both have the potential to harm your hair, balayage is more harmful in the long run because you need to use a stronger developer and apply the lightener in more layers to get the desired effect.