A Better Balayage

This year’s hottest highlights technique gets a rethink.
By Frank Bennett.

Hair styles come and go– not quite with the same frequency of the seasons, but close enough.  In just the past few years, we’ve seen and bid adieu (until they come again) to the pixie, the beehive…you get the idea.

Balayage highlights have been the range for quite a while now, and rightfully so, but interestingly, the change it’s experiencing at the moment isn’t an elimination as much as an evolution. A French word meaning “to sweep” or “to paint,” it allows, as Paul Edmonds hair salon colorist Jack Howard explained to Elle UK, “for a sun-kissed natural-looking hair color, similar to what nature gives us as children.” (As opposed to ombré, which is a seamless gradation from darker to lighter.)

Instead of being booted for some new color trend, today’s balayage is an interesting play on traditional highlights, mixed with an array of beginning and ending points of placement. Hand painted, they are still starting at the mid shaft of the hair, but at our salon, we incorporate soft micro wefts of shimmering lights that start closer to the scalp, in concert with the bold bolts of blonde or any other color the client requests. You can also expect softer warm ambers and gold hues in balayage to kick this season’s color pallet off.