Balayage hair has become a popular trend in recent years, with more and more people opting for this natural and low-maintenance highlighting technique. But what exactly is balayage? In this article, we will explore the world of balayage, from its definition to how to care for it. We will also delve into the different variations of balayage, such as ombre, flamboyage, and sombre, and decipher the differences between them. Additionally, we will take a look at some stunning examples of balayage hair, from brown to caramel ombre to blonde and caramel tones. So if you're curious about balayage and want to learn more, keep reading!

What is Balayage?

In the world of hair coloring, balayage has made quite a name for itself. Originating from the French word "sweeping," balayage is a technique that involves hand-painting highlights onto the hair, resulting in a natural and soft gradation of lightness towards the ends. The effect is akin to the beautiful highlights one gets after spending a summer at the beach or the sun-kissed strands of a child. This highlighting technique isn't restricted to just blondes; it can be used on hair of all shades, adding a touch of soft, sunkissed dimension.

Different colorists may have their own preferences when it comes to application techniques. Some may choose not to separate the hair, while others use cotton pieces or foil to divide sections. These nuances can lead to slightly varied results, but what truly sets balayage apart is the freedom it gives colorists to hand-select which strands of hair to highlight. The customized placement of highlights creates a natural look and a softer grow out.

To experience the wonders of balayage, book an appointment at your nearest Madison Reed Hair Color Bar.

What is the difference between Highlights and Balayage?

When it comes to hair coloring, highlights refer to strands of hair that are lighter than the base color. Contrary to popular belief, highlights are not limited to blondes; they can be applied to strands of any shade. Traditionally, highlights are created using a method called "foiling," where sheets of foil are used to separate the strands of hair that have been covered with a color or lightener. The foil helps protect the surrounding hair and traps heat, allowing the lightener to lift more effectively. Foil highlights are typically placed close to the scalp, resulting in an all-over highlighted look from roots to ends.

On the other hand, balayage is a free-hand technique that doesn't require the use of foil to separate the hair. Instead, highlights are applied in a way that creates a natural and seamless gradation of lightness along the hair strand. Balayage starts away from the roots and is focused towards the mid-shaft and ends of the hair.

To learn more about the differences between balayage and traditional highlights, visit this informative article.

If you're interested in getting highlights, make an appointment at your nearest Madison Reed Hair Color Bar.

Ombré, Sombré, Babylights, and Balayage

Balayage is often mistaken as an umbrella term for various highlighting techniques. While other techniques may be related to balayage, they don't necessarily fall under its definition.

Ombré and sombré, for example, describe the end result rather than the technique itself. Ombré refers to a more drastic, edgier transition from dark to light, often with a clear line where the color shift starts. Sombré, on the other hand, creates a soft, sun-kissed transition from dark to light, with the ends being only slightly lighter than the base color. The transition from roots to ends is seamless.

Babylights, another type of highlight, involve taking very small, thin sections of hair to create subtle and sun-kissed highlights.

Introducing Light Works™ Balayage Highlighting Kit

With the increasing popularity of highlights, it's surprising that only 14% of women who color their hair at home choose to have highlights. This low number can be attributed to the lack of salon-quality highlighting products available for at-home use. In the past, women had to choose between expensive salon highlights and home highlighting kits that often resulted in unnatural-looking color.

To address this gap in the market, Madison Reed introduces the Light Works™ Balayage Highlight Kit. This revolutionary at-home kit allows you to achieve salon-quality highlights with a two-step process that mimics the one used by professionals. First, the lightening cream is applied to lighten the hair, followed by toning to refine the color and create natural-looking balayage highlights. The kit also includes an ammonia-free, clay-based lightening cream, a patent-pending Wishbone balayage applicator for fool-proof application, and a Bond Building Cleansing Treatment to strengthen highlighted hair and prevent breakage.

To learn more about the Light Works™ Balayage Highlight Kit, visit this link.

How to Care for Balayage Hair

Maintaining the soft dimensional look of balayage hair doesn't have to be a daunting task. Thankfully, David Stanko, Madison Reed's Vice President of Technical Design & Education, has created a video to guide you on how to keep your balayage from becoming brassy and how to touch up your roots without disrupting your beautiful balayage. You can find the video on their website.

Creating Different Tones within the Same Overall Color

If you have an all-over color, such as red or brunette, and want to add different tones within that base color, you can do so with a simple two-step process. All you need is a bowl and brush, and two permanent colors.

For brunettes, who have a medium brown base color with hints of gold, adding mahogany or auburn tones can create variation. Start by applying the base hair color and touching up the roots. Then, take small sections of hair and paint the variation of color onto those select sections, right up to where the root color ends. Use the color tint brush to alternate painting the two colors on various sections of hair. Allow it to process fully for 35 minutes before shampooing out as normal.

Creating Lowlights in Uniformly Color Treated Hair

To add depth and dimension to uniformly color-treated hair, you can incorporate lowlights. Choose a color that is 1-2 shades darker and slightly different in tone than your base color. For example, if you have all-over red hair, you can make the red color pop by choosing another color that's one shade darker.

Select small pieces of hair where you want to add dimension and place foil or plastic wrap under these sections. This will create a canvas for you to apply the color. Use your gloved fingers, the applicator bottle, or a brush to apply the color. Start a couple of inches back from the face to allow the lighter colors to stay closest to the skin for a natural-looking effect. Close up the foils to keep the color contained. Allow it to process fully for 35 minutes before shampooing out.

Is Ombre and Balayage the Same Thing?

Contrary to popular belief, ombre and balayage are not the same! While they both involve a gradient effect, the techniques differ. Balayage is a hand-painted technique similar to highlighting, while ombre refers to a gradual fade or lightening of the hair. Additionally, ombre shades are often more vibrant, such as pinks and purples, whereas balayage tones tend to be more natural. Balayage offers a more subtle blend of colors, making it the ideal choice for those seeking a natural look.

To learn more about the differences between balayage and ombre, read this informative article.

What is a Flamboyage?

There's a new color trend called flamboyage that's taking the hair world by storm. But what exactly is flamboyage? Unlike balayage, flamboyage involves applying color with sticky strips instead of foil. These strips make it easier for stylists to be precise in coloring specific pieces of hair. The result is a beautiful sun-kissed look that lasts longer and grows out effortlessly.

If you want to try out the stunning fade from dark brown to platinum blonde, flamboyage is the way to go. The shades of deep brown, honey blonde, buttery blonde, and pale blonde blend together for a gorgeous cascade of curls that will make it seem like you spent hours and thousands of dollars on your hair!

Discover the Perfect Hair Color Combo: Indian Red and Brown"

Are you craving a touch of color without going overboard? Look no further than this stunning combination of brown and Indian red. This look is just subtle enough to wear at work, while also showing off your sassy side. For an air of mystery, style your bangs to the side and let them fall seductively over one eye. Get ready to turn heads and showcase your ability to balance work and play.

"Vibrant Chestnut Brown and Orange Red: A Bold Burst of Color"

If you're feeling bold and daring, why not dress up your long wavy tresses with this vibrant combo? The chestnut brown, bright orange red, and chocolate shades create an edgy yet feminine and soft look. Express your personality and make a statement with this eye-catching color. It's perfect for those who are confident and love to stand out.

"Natural Looking Multidimensional Hair with Caramel Balayage"

Achieving multidimensional hair color naturally can be time-consuming and expensive. But fear not, because caramel balayage is here to save the day. This technique creates a dimensional and natural look that mimics the effects of sun-kissed hair. It's a fabulous option for brunettes, as it only lightens a few strands to bring life and depth to the dark base. Embrace your inner beach babe with this effortlessly gorgeous hairstyle.

"Perfect Balayage for Subtle Changes: Soft Honey Brown"

Balayage doesn't always have to be a drastic transformation. Sometimes, a subtle hint of change is all you need. Soft honey brown balayage is the ideal solution for those who want to stay close to their natural color but crave a fresh update. This light touch of color brightens the midshafts, giving a beautiful and bright take on the dark base. It's the perfect choice for those who want a gentle change without straying too far from their natural beauty.

"Caramel Brown Balayage: Versatility at Its Finest"

Caramel tones are incredibly versatile in the world of hair colors, with options for both blondes and brunettes. If you have naturally brown hair and desire warmth, soft caramel brown balayage seamlessly blends with your base color, providing a seductively sweet finish. Blondes can also enjoy a more balanced, warmer tone by opting for caramel blonde balayage. Embrace the versatility of caramel and transform your look with this sought-after hair color.

"The Perfect Middle Ground: Bronde Hair Color"

Bronde hair color, the perfect middle ground between blonde and brunette, has been a popular choice for ages. This versatile shade can work as a compromise for those torn between the two colors. It can also be a stepping stone for brunettes and blondes looking to transition into a new color. This sultry bronde shade adds charm and depth to a dark brown base, resulting in a shine-reflecting gloss and a flirty, yet sophisticated look.

"Beige Hair Colors for a Simple and Noble Look"

If you're a fan of nude and neutral shades in your makeup and wardrobe, don't forget about your hair! Beige hair colors are becoming increasingly popular among celebrities for their simple yet elegant appearance. This light beige balayage brings out the beauty of your eyes and creates a harmonious and balanced look with warm and medium skin tones. Embrace the beauty of beige and let your hair shine.

"The Three Purposes of Balayage: Dramatic, Balanced, and Dimensional"

Balayage serves three main purposes: creating a dramatic fresh look with contrasting shades, achieving a balanced look with seamless graduation between different shades, and creating a dimensional natural hair color with similar shades. This brown-to-auburn balayage is the perfect choice for brunettes who desire a natural and effortlessly chic look. Embrace the art of balayage and enhance your natural beauty with this stunning color.

"Freshen Up Your Brown Days: Light Sweetness for Brunettes"

If you prefer natural hair colors and want to add some light sweetness to your brunette locks, look no further. Soft blonde hues on pastel chestnut provide a tempting and irresistible contrast that will breathe life into your hair. Say goodbye to dull brown days and embrace the beauty of this caramel brown balayage. Prepare to fall in love with your new and refreshed look.

"Take a Trip to the Beach: Coppery Blonde Balayage"

Transport yourself to the beach with this stunning coppery blonde balayage. These light and summer-inspired hues will remind you of the most pleasant time of the year. Perfect for those who desire a soft transition from darker to lighter shades, the slight golden shine adds a touch of warmth and radiance to your hair. Get ready to rock a beachy vibe with this gorgeous balayage.

"Aesthetically Beautiful Contrast: Blonde and Brunette Balayage"

For those indecisive girls who can't choose between blonde and brunette, here's a stunning solution. Instead of picking one, why not mix both? This contrast balayage creates an aesthetically beautiful look that defies convention. Whether you're a blonde or a brunette at heart, you can embrace both sides with this stunning hair color. Leave everyone in awe with this visually captivating balayage.

"A Sweet and Innocent Look: Dark Brown and Caramel Balayage"

This wavy bob is incredibly cute, and the combination of dark brown and caramel brown balayage tones makes it soft and feminine. If you're looking for a sweet and innocent look, you can't go wrong with this style. It's especially stunning on those with naturally wavy tresses. Embrace your inner cuteness and let the pretty balayage hues enhance your natural beauty.

"Blunt Cut Bob with Subtle Balayage Highlights"

For those with short, straight hair, this pretty blunt cut bob with a straight fringe is a perfect choice. The apricot and lemon balayage highlights add a subtle and girly touch to the look, making it suitable for any occasion. Achieve a sleek and straight finish by blow-drying your hair and using a flat iron. Embrace the simplicity and beauty of this adorable short bob haircut.

"Curly Short Bob for Wild Curls"

Girls with wild curls will fall in love with this curly short bob. Ask your stylist for short layers to add volume and enhance your curly tresses. The caramel blonde and reddish tones create a sassy and chic look that's perfect for those who want to stand out. Embrace your natural curls and let them shine with this stunning balayage.

"Sophistication with a Playful Side: Caramel Brown and Honey Blonde Pixie"

This pretty caramel brown and honey blonde pixie combines sophistication with a playful side. It's the perfect choice for those who want to be taken seriously but still have a bit of fun. Embrace your inner sassiness and let this chic pixie show off your personality.

"Sassy and Edgy: Light Blonde Pixie with Dark Roots"

If you're looking to lighten up your darker tresses, this light blonde pixie with dark roots and shaved sides is the way to go. It's super cute and edgy, perfect for those who want to showcase their sassy side. Embrace your boldness and turn heads with this stylish and daring hairstyle.

"Depth and Dimension for a Short Bob Haircut"

This short wavy bob with choppy ends is undeniably cute. But what takes it to the next level is the cool brown and warm honey blonde highlights, adding depth and dimension to this adorable haircut. Embrace the beauty of this short bob and let the highlights enhance your natural beauty.

"Subtle Tones for Brunette Locks: Caramel Brown Balayage"

If you want to add subtle tones to your brunette locks, this caramel brown balayage is the perfect choice. The face-framing waves create a soft and romantic look, while the pretty caramel hues on the chocolatey brown base add chicness. Embrace the beauty of this balayage and let it elevate your overall look.

"Long Hair and Balayage: A Perfect Combination"

If you have extra-long hair and want to embrace the balayage trend, this style is for you. Ask your stylist to create an ombre effect, with the light color gradually running from the ends to the roots. This style looks stunning on girls with long face shapes and straight hair. Embrace the beauty of layered haircuts and add volume to your style.

"Get the Perfect Balayage with the Latest Pearl Toner"

To achieve the perfect balayage, ask your stylist to use the latest pearl toner from your favorite hair product line. This will help create a beautiful and seamless blend of colors, giving you the desired outcome. Embrace the latest techniques and products to achieve a stunning and flawless balayage.

"Do Blondes Really Have More Fun? Let's Find Out!"

Put the old adage to the test by trying this blonde balayage that fades from darker to very pale blonde. The platinum blonde highlights frame your face and enhance your gorgeous features. If you're looking for a glamorous and sexy look, this cut and color will add depth and volume to your locks. Embrace your inner bombshell and let your hair shine.

"A Look That Means Business: Brown and Honey Blonde Balayage"

If you want a look that's both glamorous and suitable for any occasion, this brown and honey blonde balayage is the perfect choice. It's soft and subtle, yet adds a touch of professionalism to your overall appearance. Whether you're heading to the office or a social event, this hairstyle means business. Embrace the beauty of this color combo and rock it with confidence.

"Unleash the Beauty of Balayage: Wheat and Pastel Blonde"

Who says only virgin hair can shine like a star? With the right combination of colors and a skilled colorist, balayage can work wonders. This sophisticated mix of wheat and pastel blonde hues is perfect for fair to medium skin tones. If you're already blonde, adding a cold wheat hue is enough to achieve this stunning look. Embrace the magic of balayage and let your hair shine.

"Ash Blonde Balayage: Natural Beauty with a Stylish Finish"

Ashy hair colors have become increasingly popular, whether they're blonde, brunette, or even gray. They provide a stylish and sophisticated finish without being too dramatic. This ash blonde balayage combines ash and natural blonde hues, resulting in a perfectly balanced and effortless appearance. Embrace the beauty of ashy shades and enjoy their unique and attractive qualities.

"Upgrade Your Look with Sand Blonde Balayage"

Sandy blonde hair color brings a beachy and sunny vibe to your overall look. This combination of muted caramel, dirty, and beige blonde shades melts organically, creating a beautiful and warm appearance. If you feel like your eyes need a lift, this playful hair color idea is the way to go. Embrace the beachy vibes and elevate your look with sand blonde hair.

"Salt and Pepper Tones: A Flavorful Combination"

Spice up your look with some salt and pepper tones! This gray balayage with darker roots is the trendiest idea you'll ever come across. It's softer, hotter, and tastier than popular gray ombres. The contrast adds depth and dimension to your hair, resulting in a truly remarkable and eye-catching look. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the beauty of salt and pepper tones.

"Striking Silver: Embrace the Gray Trend"

Silver hair is making a huge splash this season, and this salt and pepper balayage is no exception. This stunning effect looks incredible on an asymmetrical pixie haircut, with longer locks on one side. Embrace your boldness and step into the spotlight with this gorgeous silver balayage.

"Rose Gold Balayage: Soft and Sexy"

Rose gold is a highly popular shade right now, and this balayage combo with darker roots and rose gold and ash blonde tones is no exception. It creates a soft and sexy look that's perfect for those who want to exude a trendy Boho chic vibe. Embrace your inner bohemian beauty and rock this stunning rose gold balayage.

"Spice Up Your Life with a Ginger Balayage"

Dreaming of ginger hair but don't want to envy every natural redhead you see? Try out a ginger balayage instead. This balayage hair idea is simply stunning, as caramel brown smoothly transitions into a flirty ginger shade. It's a safe option if you're starting with brunette hair but still want to experiment with a touch of red. Embrace the warmth and vibrancy of this color and rock your new look.

"Express Yourself with Bold Red Hues"

Looking to make a statement and showcase your unique personality? Nothing does that better than bold, saturated red hues. This balayage idea melts together contrasting shades of red, creating an incredibly attractive and eye-catching look. If you're ready to impress everyone around you, don't hesitate to try out this stunning red balayage.

"Go All Out with Deep Mahogany Balayage"

Ready to look unrealistically stunning? Deep mahogany balayage is the epitome of reddish shades of purple. This color provides an unusual and voluminous silhouette, making heads turn wherever you go. Embrace the boldness and beauty of this balayage and let your hair speak for itself.

"The Natural Beauty of Peach Hair Color"

Who knew peach hair could look so natural and harmonious? The secret lies in the right technique, color intensity, and combination. This balayage idea seamlessly fades from copper to medium blonde before flowing towards the peachy front. The gradual transition creates a perfectly balanced look that's sure to turn heads. Don't be afraid to embrace the beauty of peach and unleash your inner goddess.

"Effortlessly Stylish: Ash Brown Blonde Balayage"

Ashy hair colors, whether they're blonde, brunette, or gray, add character and style without overpowering your overall look. This ash brown blonde balayage combines ash and brown tones to create a stylish and sophisticated finish that complements most complexions. Embrace the beauty of this blend and enjoy a unique hair color that will make you stand out.

"Embrace Platinum Vibes with a Bleach-Free Look"

Platinum blonde is often associated with bleaching, but there are ways to achieve the look without damaging your hair. This balayage combines platinum streaks with a bleach-free cool-toned shade of blonde for the rest of the hair. The result is a stunning and coolish mood that will make your hair shine. Embrace the beauty of platinum without compromising the health of your locks.

"A Romance with Sunlight: Soft Buttery Balayage"

Fall in love with your hair all over again by embellishing your natural blonde with soft buttery hues. Mixed shades of blonde create a sun-kissed effect, making it appear as if your hair has been kissed by the sun. Enjoy the romance with sunlight and let your hair radiate beauty and warmth.

"Enhance Your Features with Balayage Coloring"

Did you know that balayage coloring can enhance your key facial features? This flattering technique is perfect for those with shorter hair and adds dimension and texture. Lighter shades enhance texture, while darker hues create the illusion of thicker and fuller hair. Certain shades can also soften or strengthen your facial features and complement your skin tone. Embrace the power of balayage and enjoy the enhanced beauty of your facial features.

"Blonde Bombshell: Platinum Pixie with Dark Roots"

If you're looking for a daring and bold look, this platinum blonde pixie with dark roots is perfect for you. The contrast between the platinum blonde and dark roots creates a stunning and dramatic effect that will turn heads. Embrace your inner bombshell and enjoy the confidence that comes with this striking hairstyle.

"Chic with a Touch of Volume: Silvery Blonde Straight Pixie"

For a chic and sophisticated look, opt for this silvery blonde straight pixie. Its longer length allows for versatility, while the dark roots and pale blonde balayage tones add depth and dimension. Embrace your inner fashionista and enjoy the beauty of this trendy and stylish pixie cut.

"A Classic Bob with a Modern Twist: Black Roots and Blonde Balayage"

Classic bob cuts are always in style, and this version with black roots and pretty blonde balayage is no exception. The black roots provide a modern edge, while the blonde hues add depth and dimension to the overall look. Embrace the timeless beauty of the A-line bob and enjoy the stunning contrast of colors.

"Unleash Your Inner Unicorn: Grey and Light Pink Combo"

If you're feeling adventurous and want to channel your inner unicorn, look no further than this grey and light pink combo. This amethyst quartz-inspired hair look is all the rage, and for good reason. The combination of grey and light pink creates a magical and ethereal appearance. Embrace your uniqueness and let your hair reflect your inner unicorn.

"Turn Heads with a Galaxy Blue and Purple Balayage"

Make a statement with this eye-catching galaxy blue and purple balayage. The stunning combination of blue and purple hues creates a cosmic vibe that's perfect for those who want to stand out. Embrace your individuality and let your hair shine like the stars.

"Upgrade Your Style with an Undercut and Platinum Blonde to Frost Blue Balayage"

This edgy and stylish hairstyle combines an undercut with a balayage effect. The platinum blonde and frosty blue hues create a unique and striking look. Embrace your boldness and show off your individuality with this stunning hair color combo.

"Volume and Texture: Layered Pixie with Icy Lilac Balayage"

Layers can add volume and texture to any short style, and this layered pixie is no exception. The icy lilac and lavender hues throughout create a stunning balayage effect. Embrace your inner trendsetter and enjoy the beauty of this textured and voluminous pixie haircut.

In conclusion, balayage hair has become a popular choice for those looking to add dimension and style to their locks. With techniques like Light Works™ Balayage Highlighting Kit, creating different tones within the same overall color has never been easier. Not only can you enhance your natural shade with lowlights, but you can also experiment with ombre, flamboyage, and sombre styles. From caramel and chocolate tones to vibrant blues and purples, the possibilities are endless with balayage. So whether you're looking for a subtle change or a bold transformation, balayage is the perfect choice for a stunning and unique look.