If you highlight your hair, you already know those lively, balayage streaks of light can elevate your mood faster than a double espresso. If you don’t, you’re in for a treat. Balayage highlights make it seem as if the sun is shining directly on your head, which is indeed the exact effect skilled hair colorists can achieve. Here are five good reasons to book an appointment for balayage highlights pronto!
1. They’re easy on your hair.
When it comes to balayage highlights, a little goes a long way. Rather than all over hair color, your hair stylist will strategically place hand-painted hair lightener or hair color on areas of your hair that will instantly brighten your hair color and your complexion. A handful of balayage highlights along your hairline, through the top of your head and around your face can produce instant hair color transformation with minimal impact on your hair.
2. They’re versatile.
Hair stylists have many, many tricks for highlighting your hair, and they can change your hair color in a number of ways. For example, they may opt for a combination of fine foil highlights and heavier balayage highlights, or they may concentrate the hair color around your face, or in the key sections of your short haircut (like on the longer, top sections.) They may use one hair color, or they may mix up several hair colors for a super subtle and natural-looking result. For example, if you have a natural chestnut hair color, it will come alive with cherry, honey, and copper highlightswith highlights in cherry, copper and honey.
3. They’re economical.
Because balayage highlights are such a natural-looking approach to hair color—often designed to mimic the shimmering effect of a summer spent at the beach—you can allow them to grow out naturally, without frequent hair touch-ups. Some balayage highlights may only need touching up two-to-four times a year. When you’re ready, you can either touch up the highlights you already haveyour already highlighted hair, or change things up with new highlights—different hair colors, for example, or a different placement pattern in your hair.
4. They can make your fine hair look and feel thicker.
Balayage highlights give the illusion of fullness because they add dimension to your overall hair color. And because hair lightener causes the surface of the hair shaft to expand in order to allow the formula to penetrate, highlights will actually increase the diameter of your hair, making it heftier overall
5. They’re the frosting on the hair color cake.
Even if you’re already coloring your hair—to cover grey, for example—balayage highlights add an exciting new dimension and a sparkling new element to your hair color. Highlights make hair color look much more natural and realistic, because if you look closely at any hair color, you’ll see that it’s not just a single shade, but rather a combination of highlights and lowlights. Keep in mind—this type of color design requires experience and know-how, and is best left to a professional hair stylist, who will know how to use the most flattering and complementary hair colors.
So, ready for balayage highlights? Here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind!
DON’T get highlights that are placed too close together.
Before long you’ll lose contrast and the result will be a solid, unnatural looking hair color that will require frequent touchups.
DON’T let highlights get too frosty.
Without a bit of balanced warmth, your highlighted hairs could appear grey. As a result, your hair will look dull and your hair color will make you look older. Even if you prefer cool-toned hair color, your stylist should work with hair color shades that combine the right amount of gold and violet for a perfectly calibrated result
DO choose highlights that are no more than two-to-four shades lighter than your natural or base color.
Anything lighter will take on a cartoonish, stripe-y effect—think Cruella DeVille!
DO opt for thicker, chunkier highlights if you have curly hair.
Fine highlights will just become lost in your curls; a heavier application of balayage highlights will help define and enhance your coils
DO let a professional do the job.
Color specialists know exactly how to choose the hair color shades and highlight placement to best enhance your complexion and your haircut. They’ll also work with the best products for your hair. Sticking with salon highlights minimizes the odds of tragic, DIY hair color mishaps, which can be expensive to fix in the long run.
DO consider highlights and lowlights.
Lowlights are darker shades (one-to-two shades darker than your natural shade) that are applied in the same way as highlights to strategic areas of the head. Lowlights create depth and dimension, and they can even give the illusion of thickness to a haircut. Stylists often use lowlights to balance hair that has become too light over time after highlighting.
DO request the addition of a bond enhancer in your hair color formula.
Even though you only need a minimal amount balayage highlights to make a big impact, your hair stylist is still applying a hair lightener that chemically alters your hair structure. New bond repair additives
will protect the bonds of your hair from damage during the highlighting process, and will prevent additional damage from occurring.
DO care for your highlighted hair at home.
Make the most of your hair color investment by keeping your hair lively and shiny with the right home maintenance. Ask your stylist for recommendations for the best at-home shampoos and conditioners--like sulfate-free natural origin hair products
—so your hair color will always dazzle. The right professional home hair care products prevent hair from becoming overly porous, which can lead to premature color fading and dull-looking hair color.