Everything you want to know about Balayage and more…


Did you know that Balayage (BAH-LEE-AHGE) first came about in the 1970s in a salon in France?! Translated in French as sweeping. These custom painted highlights, in other words, Balayage, has now become a must-have for every low-maintenance color lover. With salons filled with traditional highlight guests throughout the 80s and 90s, Balayage never stood a chance. It’s crazy to think how slowly trends moved without the power of social media, right?

What is the difference between Balayage and Traditional Highlights?

So, let’s dive in, the biggest difference between balayage and traditional highlights is the application.

During a balayage service, your hairstylist will take sections throughout your whole head and sweep color from the mid-lengths and ends. These sections can process in a foil for a higher lift of blonde or left out in the open air like the traditional application of the 1970s. Whether your little heart desires a cooler or warmer blonde, your hairstylist will find the perfect gloss for you that will eliminate any unwanted tones. With a balayage and gloss as icing on the cake, you will be flipping your hair any chance you get!

Maybe custom highlights aren’t for you. Traditional highlights create a more uniform and brighter look from roots to ends. Each one of these sections will live in a closed foil with the enlightener placed as close to the roots as possible. Traditional highlights can create a variety of different looks anywhere from chunky to super fine and sunkissed. In the most recent trends, the finer and more natural the highlight the better. Big difference from the well-known chunky highlights of the famous Kelly Clarkson, huh?

What is best for me?

Let’s take a step back and reflect on some of the main things that differentiate the balayage technique and the traditional way of highlighting.


  • 8-12 weeks in between appointments
  • Custom hand-painted highlights
  • Focused where the sun would naturally lighten throughout your hair
  • processes in foil or sitting out in open hair
  • Provides 2-3 levels of lift
  • Color stays off new growth and lives in the mid-lengths and ends
  • Does not provide grey coverage
  • Requires a Gloss or purple shampoo in-between visits

Traditional Highlights

  • 6-8 weeks in between appointments
  • Created by weaving or slicing small sections throughout your hair
  • Processes in foils
  • Provides a higher lift of blonde
  • Color lives from new growth to ends
  • The original color will remain between foils
  • Blends out greys without showing a harsh grow out
  • Requires a Gloss or purple shampoo in-between visits

If you have any questions about what technique will fit you best email me at hairapywithabi@gmail.com.



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