If you thought beautiful, lazy girl hair was just a dream, think again. "I-woke-up-like-this-hair" is alive and kicking, and its name, is balayage. The colouring technique, which involves sweeping sections of hair lightly with colour, has been a celebrity favourite for a while now, but the trend is going nowhere fast as pro stylists experiment with new colour combinations and application techniques.
What makes it so fantastic? Unlike other colouring techniques, which invariably leave to tell-tale roots or colour fade, balayage is blended so seamlessly through hair (think soft caramels, alongside chocolates or dulce de leche harmonised with creamy blondes), that no band of colour is left behind. In fact, it only gets better and more integrated with time.
So you might as well get on board the balayage train. Here's everything you need to know...
What is Balayage?
Balayage is a technique, not a look. It's French for "sweep". The idea is to create light and shade through the hair by applying colour with a brush and paddle board. The visual colouring method creates a chic, easy to maintain hairstyle, which offers a more subtle approach to ombre. From blonde hair colours to brunette shades, there's something for everyone.
What is the colouring technique behind the look?
The idea is that you don't see where the highs or lows start. The transition from the base colour to the lighter ends is seamless and fluid.
How often should you top up your colour?
The good thing about balayage is that it's low maintenance. You can go months without a salon visit to top it up, but in between, try gloss treatments every 4-6 weeks and a regular wash with a purple shampoo to keep the tone in check.
What is the difference between ombre, dip dye and balayage?
Ombré - Ombre hair gives light and shade. The idea is you see a seamless, gradual colour change from darker to lighter. Think lived-in, beachy hair.
Dip Dye - a much more edgy look. Two toned colouring... imagine dipping the ends of your hair into a pot of paint.
Balayage - Colour that is painted on with a brush and paddle board to create natural, sun-kissed looking highs and lows - giving the hair beautiful dimension.
Can you balayage your own hair at home?
Balayage is an in-salon treatment, and we recommend having it done in a salon. If you are going to try it yourself, Jason Potter, hair colourist at Hershesons, suggests the following for at-home care for balayage:
"Home hair care is really important. There is no point spending hours (and lots of money!) in the salon, if you don't look after the condition of your hair with quality shampoos, conditioners and regular hair treatments. If you swim, use Phillip Kingsley's Swim Cap. It protects your hair from the damaging effects of the sun, harsh chlorine and salt water, the last thing you want is hair that is dry, damaged and colour fading."
Ready to be inspired by the A-listers that wear balayage so well? Keep scrolling for the ultimate queens of swept colour...
And don't forget to swap your shampoo for a sulphate-free version to keep your colour vibrant for longer!