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About 4 weeks ago, I finally pulled the trigger and got my hair done in a “balayage” color style. I had heard about this trend for months but never truly understood it until I went through the process myself. Here is the rundown of everything I learned. Balayage is low maintenance which is what makes it my jam. I love the natural look so I told my colorist I wanted a “sombre” effect she knew that nothing dramatic was going to go down here. You can play up Balayage as much or as little as you want. The world is your oyster!

What is balayage?

According to Marie Claire (which is basically the beauty bible), Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or paint. It allows for a natural looking hair color with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines.

Okay, so what does that mean?

It means you ditch the foils. Your colorist will use a freehand technique to quite literally paint the color on strands where they think is would be best. (If you weren’t planning on going to a professional before, you should now. This is not the time to skimp on a good colorist.)

How do you pronounce it?

This is probably the most important thing you will learn in this blog post. It’s pronounced BAH-LEE-AHGE.

How is it different from ombre?

The ombre technique is a combination of balayage and foils.  Here the color is concentrated on the mid-shaft and ends of the hair, and the top layer of the hair is left to a solid color. Ombres are meant to look like very grown out balayage highlights. Because your colorist will freehand the highlights no two processes will ever be identical.

How long does it take?

Forever. No really. My balayage experience took about 3.5 hours. Block off an entire Saturday morning – skip the brunch.

How does it maintain?

Everyone’s hair is different. I seemed to have forgotten that my hair naturally gets lighter in the summer, so on color treated hair, my hair is now showing signs of light gold (almost blonde, thanks Khloe K). It continues to get lighter, but I seem to like the way it settled better than the initial look.

I hope I answered most of your questions. Let me know if you have any others in the comments below!