What Is Balayage and How to Know if It’s Right For You

There are over 84,000 hair salons in the U.S. as of 2021. And if there are that many businesses, there’s undoubtedly great demand for hair cutting and dyeing services.

One of the most popular salon requests? Balayage! Wondering ‘what is balayage’, and why this style has become a popular trend?

Read on to learn all things balayage and find out if it’s the right style for you!


The definition of balayage comes from the French word for the phrase ‘to sweep.’ The process involves using hair dye to paint highlights and lowlights into the hair, flowing and natural.

The overall effect creates a soft and subtle look that allows for gradation from dark to light. Thus, the top of the hair is typically the natural color, with the hair shade lightening the further you go down.


Are you wondering how to balayage? Well, this process involves using a freehand style that creates multidimensional highlights.

Colorists use a brush dipped in a lightener, which they use to paint over the hair. Cotton strips or plastic wraps are layered to prevent the leaking of color on hair that isn’t meant to be dyed. As such, foil is avoided for this process as it is dependent on freehand painting.

Balayage is used to frame the face naturally. It flows from the top of the hair to the bottom, with some sections skipped in between. Your colorist will leave some areas of hair uncolored so that the overall effect is natural and multidimensional.

After the color is applied and rinsed off, the colorist will apply toner to help it have a long-lasting effect. Then a stylist will blow dry your hair, and you’re all done!


Balayage styles are intended to have a natural finish and effect. Doing it too often would not leave you with a natural finish, so getting it touched up every 8-12 weeks is better.

Thus, the style is low maintenance and doesn’t require request salon visits. Those opting for a blonde balayage may need to go for a touch-up more often, as blonde can turn brassy very fast.

However, using toner and purple shampoo in-between visits will ensure your hair color stays consistent. This way, you can prolong the longevity of the style if you wish.


While they may seem similar, balayage and traditional highlights have an entirely different look.

Highlights use a foil technique, beginning at the roots and then moving down. Thus, highlights need more maintenance as the roots grow out looking very noticeable.

Balayage, on the other hand, starts in lower sections of the hair. Thus, it looks unnoticeable even if your roots grow out. It is relatively low maintenance then.

Wondering which look to go for? Well, that depends on the effect you wish to achieve. Balayage will have a natural, multidimensional look that is summery and casual. Highlights have a more structured and contrasting look.


Getting a balayage style comes with many benefits. Let’s take a look at why so many people worldwide are getting into the balayage trend.


The main advantage of balayage is that it is suitable for most people and their hair condition. Whether you have thin hair, thick hair, or brittle hair, balayage is for you.

The painting technique leaves very little dye on your hair, which leads to minor or minimal damage.


The most popular colors for balayage are shades of blonde. You might have seen celebrities with hair that looks sun-kissed and luminant. Whether you’re blonde or brunette, blonde balayage looks great in all hair colors.

However, it isn’t just blonde that you’ll be limited to with a balayage. You could get red highlights, caramel highlights, and black highlights. You could also go playful with blues, purples, and greens for a youthful, fun look!

The sky is the limit here. Choose whichever color you’re feeling right now, and we promise you it’ll look great in a balayage.


Its low maintenance also characterizes the style. This is what makes it unique from other hair color solutions.

You won’t have to go in every month or every couple of weeks like you would have to with global hair color or highlights. This way, you’ll save time and money while still looking stylish.


A lot of hairstyles can look structured and perfect only when styled in a particular manner.

Balayage, on the other hand, is more customizable and natural-looking. And the best part is, the style will look great and naturally effortless even when you’re not going into the salon!


Are you looking for the hair of your dreams? Now that you know what is balayage, maybe it’s time to test out this beautiful hairstyle for yourself!

The style has become a trend for those who don’t want to commit to a whole dyed look but still want soft styling to accentuate their features.

But before you decide to get balayage hair, be sure to consult with a professional colorist first. Our team of expert stylists and colorists at The Boulevard Hair Co can guide you on what kind of highlighting and coloring would work best for your hair, helping you achieve the look you’ve always wanted.

Click here to schedule your balayage appointment today!