Balayage FAQ

What does “balayage” mean?

Balayage is basically a French word that means “to sweep”. It is renowned as a freehand technique of painting highlights onto the hair and creating a much softer and almost natural gradation of lights towards the ends of the hair.

The balayage look resembles the highlights you might see in a child’s hair, and might just remind you of summers spent at the beach.


When did balayage become a hairstyle?

It is reported that balayage originated from Paris back in the 1970s. It is still one of the most popular hairstyles available.

What are the benefits of balayage?

The greatest advantage about this hairstyle is that it’s not only meant for blondes, it can also be used on all shades of hair to add a softer touch and a sun-kissed look. However, it’s important to note that balayage comes in different variations based on individual preferences.

This is one of the characteristics that makes balayage so unique from other hairstyles. It gives hairstylists the freedom to decide which parts of the hair they want to highlight.

It might also interest you to know that since a more customized and natural-looking placement can be used with balayage, it makes balayage suitable for a softer grow out.


What is the balayage process?

The balayage technique involves painting freehand on the hair using a brush that has been dipped in a lightener. When a sweeping motion is used for balayage, it creates a soft, natural, and multidimensional-looking highlight.

In most cases, you’ll find the colorists using brushes to paint the vertical highlights on the hair. During this process, cotton strips or plastic wrap are layered on each section of the hair. This safeguards the application and prevents any spotting or color bleeding that could ruin the desired outcome.

Foils are unnecessary with a balayage, and only freehand painting is needed. Also, when styling your hair, the colorist decides which sections of your hair will have lightener applied to them and which sections won’t.

However, it’s important to note that the lightener is mainly used on the face-framing sections of your hair, the top sections, and at times, the ends of the hair.

You might notice that your colorist leaves out some sections of your hair and doesn’t dye them completely. This gives you that dimensional look you’ve spotted with some celebrities.

After the colorist has applied gloss or toner on your hair, it’s time for your blow-dry and trimming. Trimming is supposed to happen when your hair is dry. It should also be done before a lightener is used on it in order to avoid wastage.

How often should you get a balayage?

The main intention of a balayage is to look as natural as possible. This means that the hairstyle is relatively low maintenance and doesn’t require very regular visits to the salon. However, how frequently you visit the salon might depend on how intense your balayage looks.

It is advised that 8-12 weeks is enough. Also, it’s best to get toner in between services to ensure that the color stays fresh and that you get rid of any unwanted tones.

What’s the difference between traditional highlights and balayage?

Traditional highlights usually involve a foil being applied at the root of the hair. For balayage, the color is applied on select sections of your hair rather than all over. This makes the balayage regrowth very soft and unnoticeable, hence the low maintenance.

If you’re looking for an attractive and yet low-maintenance hairstyle, balayage is a great choice. With balayage, you have the freedom to pick how intense you'd like the color to be. Plus, you won’t have to worry about damaging your hair.

Still not sure if balayage is right for you? Before you decide to get a balayage hair color treatment, it’s important you consult with your colorist first. Our professional stylists and colorists can guide you on what type of highlighting or coloring would work best for your hair, and how to achieve the look you want.

Contact Essence Salon today to book your appointment for balayage services or to ask any other questions you may have.