What Is a Balayage?

According to InStyle, one of the most googled beauty questions of 2016 was still “What is a Balayage?” And since we’ve been doing balayage colouring in Toronto for awhile now, we’ve decided to demystify you of one of the most popular hair colouring techniques and explain everything you need to know before trying out this versatile style.

Behind the Word

First off, you might be wondering how balayage is pronounced (bah-lay-ahj). It’s a French word that means “to sweep, ” and gets the name because from the free-handed “sweeping” motion used in this colouring technique. Despite its boom in popularity over the last year, this technique has been around for decades and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Your Colourist Matters

There is no textbook approach to balayage, and its personalised nature makes it highly adaptable. Because it is a hand-painted technique, the skill and experience of your stylist make a big difference in the outcome. Though it seems like a simple, free-handed highlighting technique, its complexity shouldn’t be underestimated. Prior to choosing a stylist for your balayage, it’s a good idea to look at portfolios ahead of time. This will give you insight into how well they blend colours, individual style, and their overall skill.

How Is Balayage Maintained?

Because of its natural look, balayage doesn’t have to be maintained as much as other colouring styles. The colour grows out subtly, so all you need is a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo (or purple shampoo for blonde) to keep your colour looking bright and fresh.

When the time comes to get touch ups, your stylist can “paint” on colour in a way that perfectly blends into your existing balayage colour. This makes balayage the perfect colouring technique for those looking for low-maintenance colour and a style that will last awhile between salon visits.

How Is Balayage Different from Foils?

One of the main differences is the processing time. balayage takes around 30-50 minutes, compared to foils which take 20-25 minutes due to their ability to hold heat. If you’re looking to go a lot lighter than your natural colour, foils would be the more efficient colouring method.

Balayage also differs from foils in that that it has a more natural, less structured look. The growout for foils is much more obvious than balayage, and therefore requires more frequent touch-ups.

What Is the Best Length for Balayage?

Though it is most often seen on longer hair, balayage looks great on any length of hair. This colouring method in particular is great for adding dimension and texture to bobs, layers, or long hairstyles of any colour. Aside from very short cropped hair, balayage is a good choice for an array of lengths, hair textures, and colours.

Why Is Balayage So Popular?

Aside from being easier to maintain, balayage is loved for its subtle transition of colour and it’s tendency to look organic and natural. It’s effortless look makes it popular among those who want fabulous looking hair with minimal upkeep. Balayage is also easier to customise to individual clients, so the feeling of having a one-of-a-kind colour is another reason it is so appealing.

Colourists love it because it gives more free range to explore their creative side. It’s much easier to come up with a signature look and colour palette for each client.

Where to Get Balayage in Toronto?

Now that you know everything about balayage, you might be interested in trying out this gorgeous and versatile colour style. We have some very talented balayage colourists in Toronto, and if you need proof, just check out our Instagram photos. Remember, you can always book an appointment with us online.