How To Balayage Hair

Balayage hair is perfect for adding natural highlights to your hair to give depth to your dyed colour. While it is often seen on colours such as blonde, brown, and balayage black hair, it looks equally awesome on colourful hair. If you are going to use a balayage hairstyle on colourful hair then make sure to carefully consider your hair dye choice. Generally, balayage features lighter tips and highlights but you can also create a reverse balayage which uses the darker colour at the tips of the hair. Here are some of our favourite shades to try with natural hair colours:

Balayage Hair: Step by Step

Balayage hair takes skill so many people prefer to go to the salon to get a balayage hairstyle. It is a cheaper hairstyle to maintain because regrowth will look natural. If you want to try a balayage style yourself then here is how you can achieve this look at home.

You will need:
  • Hair Dye
  • Tint Brush
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Protective Gloves
  • Comb
  • Hair Clips
  • Old T Shirt & Towels
Make sure you are wearing an old T shirt and have an old towel around your shoulders. These are likely to get stained during the hair dye process. Comb through your hair to detangle it.

Next, section off your hair horizontally. Most people like to start in line with the top of the ear or a little lower. Clip up the remaining hair on top of your head.

Put on your protective gloves and add some hair dye to your mixing bowl.

Saturate your tint brush in hair dye and take a small section of your hair. Hold the bottom of the hair between your fingers to create a V shape from your scalp to the tips of your hair. 

Use the tint brush to apply hair dye to the V sections of hair. Apply dye to the two outer edges of the V and softly apply the tint brush to the centre of the V near the tips of your hair to add some colour graduation. It is usually best to start a little way away from the scalp in order to create a more natural look. The hair dye doesn’t need to be super thick as you are only tinting some of the hair to give a more natural result.

Next, take your comb and bring down the next small layer of hair with a similar horizontal parting. On this next layer, make sure to choose V sections of hair in the gaps of the previous section in order to create alternate highlights. This is so you don’t get the highlights all in one place to avoid a stripy look.

Continue to apply hair dye in this way throughout the rest of your hair by bringing down a new section of hair for each layer.

You can add additional highlights around the face and top of the head to give a lighter shade to the front of the hair.

Leave your hair dye to process and rinse out according to the instructions. 

Is balayage bad for your hair?

Balayage hair dye is not bad for your hair. In fact, it can be better for your hair as it can be dyed without ammonia and foil. Most hairstylists will free paint balayage hair in order to create soft and natural highlights. Balayage is a highlighting technique so if you are only dyeing the highlights then it will be less damaging to your hair as you are only covering small sections. If you are dyeing your hair and using the balayage style to add dimension to your look then ensure your hair is in top condition and use a gentle hair dye such as Manic Panic.

Why is balayage so expensive?

Balayage is expensive because it requires a stylist to hand paint your highlights. It is a relatively new style too which means that not all salons will offer balayage hair colour. The other factor that hairstylists have to consider is that you are likely to need fewer trips to the salon in order to maintain a balayage style which means you are paying extra for a longer-lasting hairstyle.

What is the difference between balayage and hair painting?

The difference between balayage and hair painting is that balayage is a specific style for creating natural soft highlights whereas hand painting tends to be done to the specifications that the person would like. Hair painting usually involves laying the hair out flat against foil or a wipe-able surface and then using a range of tones to create natural highlights.

How long does balayage last?

Balayage hair colours can last for up to 4 months, although if you are using a semi-permanent hair dye then it will last for up to 6 weeks before the hair dye fades. The balayage style itself is very long lasting because it does not matter if the hair continues to grow; balayage will still look natural. This is why balayage is often used to colour hair slightly further away from the roots compared to other hair dye methods.

How long does balayage take?

Whether you are doing your balayage at home or in the salon it can take anything from 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on how many highlights you are adding to your hair. This hair dye style does take plenty of patience but it is certainly worth it because it will last for longer before needing to be re-coloured or touched-up.

Some people think that balayage hair is best left to professional stylists but it can be achieved at home with plenty of patience and some previous experience of dyeing hair. It can be useful to know how to do your own balayage or at least understand how it is applied in order to effectively touch-up your style at home or create your own DIY balayage if you are unable to visit the salon.

Please Note: Blue Banana hair dye information should be read alongside professional advice. Blue Banana makes no guarantee of validity and additional instruction should be taken from trained persons.