Why is everyone so crazy about the balayage hair technique? There are plenty of other coloring methods, but balayage has been hot and happening for almost a decade now with no slightest signs of its wilting. Let’s discuss (and observe) what balayage can offer for a fashionista depending on her hair type, length, and current color.
Balayage Inspiration by Hair Length
While many girls think that the balayage is all about making your hair multicolored, there is much more to this technique. Since it implies hand painting, a colorist is free to place color touches and streaks wherever it is required to highlight your bone structure, complement your cut, show off your complexion, or add something lacking in your hair texture. Sure, this freedom allows for better customization, and we are going to see how it works in the real world.
Balayage for Short Cuts
With long hair, it’s all simple and clear, since colorists have plenty of space to blend in shades and undertones for creating any desired effect. Short hair is much trickier to paint and achieve the required dimension as the canvas is not that extensive. However, this is quite doable if a colorist knows the ropes. “With a bob, the balayage highlights — blonde or warm brown — should be blended carefully with the root tone, otherwise the whole head of hair is going to look single-process,” says Linda de Zeeuw, master stylist and colorist at NYC’s salon of award-winning Rob Peetoom, to Refinery29. What’s sauce for the goose is the sauce for the gander, so focusing on natural-looking roots works fine for other short cuts as well.
Here is a sweet bob that needs no other bells and whistles apart from a seamless color transition from the initially brown base to sandy blonde.
Caramel highlights work great to emphasize piece-y texture on dark heads and add them a bit of shine through tiny lighter streaks.
If you don’t feel like a blonde, go for a red balayage to get an eye-catching mix of red wine and copper hues and to dramatize your sassy asymmetric cut.
Even if your cut is very short, there is still some room for creativity with colors – it’s a great idea to dye the longer tresses on the top for a vibrant contrast.
The balayage does wonders on naturally curly hair, giving it a fresher and airier look while retaining an authentic feel.
Tips on Balayage for Medium Length
Mid-length hair allows more freedom in choosing the effects you want to get through painting your hair. Remember, there are different types of balayage to please ladies of all hair types and tastes. You can ask for mid-lighting that will reveal an amazing variety of hues going from the middle of your hair length to the very tips. Or you may prefer traditional highlights starting right from the roots and adding just a bit of dimension. Money pieces around the face and sun-kissed blinks throughout the perimeter are also among your options – look through our photo tips and choose something to fit your hair goals.
There is no reason to change your color scheme drastically when you want to add a little depth to your dark hair – just go 1-2 tones lighter.
For a brighter, yet still unforced effect, supplement your brown locks with teasy lights – this collar-bone bob boasts some really nice ones.
We adore this crisp hairstyle featuring both a spectacular color lift to platinum blonde and artistic highlights to soften the transition.
The recipe for upgrading your average shoulder length style is simple – blend in a couple of lighter tones to get dimension galore.
What a relaxed feel this nice straight lob has! Note how highlights work here to frame and illuminate the face.
Balayage Trends for Long Hair
When you have a long mane, you are kind of tempted to choose a striking color transition since the length allows displaying the vibrancy of colors. However, you have another trendy option – looking more natural and boasting low maintenance (the latter is a great advantage for long-haired girls). “Lived-In Color creates a look that has a natural regrowth with no noticeable grow outline, since the darker regrowth blends into the lighter hair with no stopping or starting point,” says one of today’s most requested colorists Johnny Ramirez, who works with celebs like Jessica Alba and Miranda Kerr, to Glamour. Take heed of his advice, but if you still want your locks to look more scenic, here is our balayage hair color selection to fit every taste.
Want a mermaid effect for your long locks? Ask for slicing on the bottom and don’t forget about platinum blonde streaks around the face.
While a piece-y texture gives a modern bed-head touch to the long bob, a seamless mix of bronde hues keeps it fresh and vibrant.
We just cannot take our eyes off this ginger palette showing how sophisticated, deep, and beautiful long red hair can be.
Mushroom brown has been trending over past seasons, and we can understand why – it opens floodgates to the world of amazing cool-toned shades for dark-haired girls.
It’s natural for a brunette to want some highlights throughout her hair to add a bit of warmth and depth while avoiding dullness.
Balayage Styles by Hair Type
Well, we know that balayage can make straight hair look crisper, as well as it has the power to deliver depth to thin and fine tresses. But what about kinky and coarse manes? Are there any limitations depending on your hair type? “Balayage works on all textures, and in some ways, curly hair is easier because you can pick out each curl you want to apply colour to. The pre-lightener (bleach) or colour choice is dependent on the finished look you want to achieve, not the texture,” says international colorist Jack Howard, who styled Gillian Anderson and Andie MacDowell among other stars, to Elle. You may have no confidence in the expert’s words, but you have to believe your eyes.
Layering is great for straight strands to make them pop, but there is a chance to enhance the effect by blending in some creamy hues.
The bouncy coils spiced up with ashy tones is a wonderful balayage inspo for curly locks when you want to combine depth with dimension.
Thin tresses cannot do without added depth, and both highlights and lowlights can be suitable depending on your current color scheme and preferences.
These wavy locks are painted just as little as it is required to get a subtle sun-kissed effect to the tips while retaining its authentic warm tones.
You cannot go wrong with highlights for fine strands no matter how short your cut is. They will brighten up your hair and give it more volume for sure.
Balayage Options for Brown Hair
If you are one of those brown-haired girls who suffer from a shortage of ideas for the next visit to a salon, we are glad to offer a couple of hot trends. You can opt for a kind of bronde with a mix of brown and blonde in equal proportions to get a streaked, yet smoothed look. Or you can ask your colorist about lifting your brown just a bit and toning it with mahogany for a rich chocolate color palette. Yes, you are not doomed to blonde highlights, and auburn or copper shades may be a nice choice as well. Keep scrolling to spot more ideas for making your brown pop.
This dark balayage incorporates warm light tones through tiny stitches just to illuminate the natural color from the inside.
You can opt for a light palette, especially when your hair is long enough to show off the entire color transition with all its diversity of shades.
A brown base works fine with platinum blonde, so, if you prefer a cool color scheme, take the plunge.
The yummy caramel tone is just the job for brown-haired girls to bring in shine and emphasize the hair texture.
Those who prefer rocking their hairstyles without bangs should definitely consider highlights around the face to give it a spotlight.
Fresh Balayage Ideas for Dark Hair
It’s not a secret that brunettes often envy blondes and dream of going lighter – but to what extent? “Balayage is a great option for dark hair looking to go just a touch lighter. But instead of blonde, you should opt for warm caramel tones that are still in the brown color family. Too much contrast will look harsh, so a warm brown is almost always flattering,” says celebrity colorist George Papanikolas to Refinery29. We can only add that there are many ways to tailor balayage to your needs, for example, by placing face-framing highlights or shifting sun-kissed effects to the tips. Here are some other options to consider.
Nobody can deny the fact that this short bob looks way brighter thanks to light flares touching its perimeter.
Dark roots with blonde hair deliver a spectacular contrast we all love so much, but it works even better when the light accents are placed strategically.
While straight hair often tends to look monotonous, this is not the case with the professional balayage coupled with a layered cut.
The partial balayage placed around the face is a go-to option in between your visits to a salon for a full coloring service.
Adding some glare to a deep dark base produces an amazing (quite subtle) effect, making the hair look so touchable.
Blonde Balayage Inspo
Still, most girls are obsessed with going seriously blonde regardless of their natural hair color. While there is a stunning choice of fancy shades and exciting ideas for blonde balayage, you should pay attention to one aspect. “If you’re thinking of going from a dark rich warm brown to a shade of blond, your first concern should be the safety and integrity of the hair. No one wants to hear that when their eyes are set on sparkly blond, but if you’re not careful, you’ll ruin your hair — and that’s just a fact,” says hairstylist Kristin Ess, who is famous for Lucy Hale and Lauren Conrad’s looks, to Glamour. Keep this warning in mind and let’s delve into Instagram-inspired ideas.
If you want to get back to your naturally black hair after rocking blonde, balayage is your go-to for making the transformation seamless.
Mushroom balayage works fine for both brunettes and blondes with its stunning mixture of ash and beige hues.
Long hair gives a lot of space to combine various painting techniques like ombre and highlights for a customized color scheme.
Those wishing to enjoy a more dramatic effect can opt for white streaks, contrasting with a dark base and adding depth to the styles.
This lovely medium bob looks even more delicate and airy due to the feathered and flipped out tips emphasized with icy shades.
10 Best Balayage Hair Ideas to Try Right Now
As we know now, balayage can be totally bespoke to compliment your cut, hair texture, and other individual features. Moreover, it’s a real time-saver that allows skipping visits to salons and makes coloring less frequent, which is good for your hair health. “Typically balayage requires far less maintenance than traditional colour because it grows out beautifully and there are no strong regrowth lines,” says Richard Ward, London-based hairdresser who styles the Duchess of Cambridge, to Marie Claire, and adds that he believes it to be the perfect technique for modern, busy women. Definitely, the expert opinion is worth your attention, as well as our top selection below.
Everybody loves money pieces on dark hair, and here we have a nice example of working face-framing highlights into a honey blonde balayage.
While full color natural hair may feel a bit dull, blinks of lighter shades can be a game-changer, accentuating the texture and giving it shine.
The gray color palette is still trending, so you have a perfect chance to steal from this cool smokey look with no transition noticeable.
Bolder girls will love to slay an eye-popping purple balayage that is destined to suit brunettes with its wonderful low maintenance.
Just look at this awesome auburn hairstyle radiating warmth, depth, and shine! It’s perfect if you want to give sparkle and dimension to dark hair.
When searching for warm tint inspo for your next color transformation, think of voguish sun-kissed hair with gold sheen.
Here is a nice way to give a new twist to your blonde balayage turning it into a delicate rose fascination with simple toning.
Don’t you want to take it a step further and let ashy shades melt into blue hues? Quite unexpected and creative while totally beautiful on younger girls!
This straight hair looks anything but monotonous thanks to the reviving copper streaks that blend into flipped up tips, illuminated with lighter tones.
Who said that pink hair is garish? We cannot but adore this sophisticated combo of chocolate and strawberry hues, which even older women can pull off.
We are sure you feel inspired by these beautiful pictures of women who chose to take the plunge and go for balayage. All you need to do for joining them is take one or two of our pictures and schedule your visit to a salon. Do it, and we’ll be glad to share your awesome transformation with our readers.