If you’re looking for a low maintenance way to lighten your hair while preserving your natural hair color that blends seamlessly into your roots with a less obvious grow-out period, balayage is where it’s at.
Balayage is an application technique, rather than a specific color, that creates a soft, multidimensional highlight. Unlike traditional foil highlights, balayage involves painting lighteners freehand onto the hair with a brush.
The word balayage is French, and means to sweep or paint. Colorists use brushes to paint sweeps of vertical highlights onto the hair, usually layered with strips of cotton between each section.
The balayage technique isn’t just for blonde hair as it can also be used on all hair types to create shades of caramel, espresso, pastel — really any tone — strands. Read ahead for everything you need to know about maintaining balayage.
After getting balayage, it’s a good idea to wait at least 48 hours to wash your hair. Highlights work by opening the cuticle and in the first few days after coloring your hair, that cuticle is still open. Waiting 2-3 days to wash gives the cuticle time to close, so that your shampoo can’t pull the color out, causing your highlights to fade.
Our vegan mask is an extra moisturizing and nourishing for color-treated hair. It deeply hydrates your highlights, making them soft and bright, while reinforcing the hair’s structure. Or try a DIY coconut oil hair mask: pop the oil in the microwave, then massage it into damp hair, avoiding the roots, and shampoo it out in the morning.
In addition to using it as a styling product to smooth flyaways and frizz, you can also use an anti-frizz oil as a weekly treatment to maintain hydration. Saturate your mid-lengths and ends, and throw it up in a bun to let the product work its magic.
A weekly hair gloss or glaze is the perfect treatment to keep your balayage highlights shiny and bright. The Heart of Glass sheer hair glaze for blondes provides hydration, shine, and heat protection, and restores elasticity to the hair. Once a week apply it to towel dried hair, comb through and proceed with styling.
Hair that’s highlighted blonde can start to look brassy or orange tones. Purple shampoo acts as a toner to get rid of brassy tones and return your highlights to a cooler, salon-fresh blonde. Swap purple shampoo into your routine once or twice a week.
Environmental aggressor like ultraviolet light is known to damage hair. Not only does it dry out your strands making them dull and brittle, but it can alter the color of your balayage. Save your strands from the sun’s damaging rays by using UV protective products and wearing a hat anytime you plan to spend several hours outside.
Chlorine can also dry out your hair and alter the color of your highlights. Combat this hair damage by soaking your hair before you jump in the pool or hot tub. Use cold tap water — cold water closes the hair cuticle protecting it from the negative effects of the chlorine. For more tips, see our previous post on how to protect hair from chlorine.
Typically balayage requires far less maintenance than traditional color. It grows out naturally with no obvious regrowth line, making it one of the most low-maintenance ways to color your hair.
Because balayage highlights require less maintenance than traditional hair color, it’s not necessary to go for touch-ups every month or 6 weeks. Depending on the style you go for, you can usually wait up to 4 months in between salon appointments.
You maintain your brunette balayage the same way you do for a blonde. With weekly treatments, the right shampoo and conditioner and protecting your strands from environmental aggressors.
photo by Chemistry Salon
The answer is an unequivocal yes. Purple shampoo neutralizes yellow and orange tones. Using it once or twice a week will help turn balayage that’s gone brassy to a more ashy tone.
The balayage technique usually does not touch the roots, especially if you have naturally dark hair color. So for those with naturally dark hair, the answer is no. Balayage will not damage your roots because part of the balayage technique is to maintain naturally dark roots.
If you're relying on balayage to break up your natural base color, doing a hairline or root touchup is always a good idea. Toning in between with a hair gloss or glaze will help keep your desired tone intact, while root touch ups will help maintain brightness.
Ideally, you shouldn't wash your balayage hair more than 2 or 3 times per week. And remember to follow up with conditioner after every shampoo to keep your hair healthy.
Maintain your balayage highlights with these tips and hair care habits and use only the highest quality products. All Davines formulas are free of harmful toxins, use natural ingredients, and are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. Our hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
Photos by @goldandglowco