All hail balayage hair. The celeb-approved hair coloring technique is the ultimate choice at our Bouyage Salons in St Albans, Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire if you like your highlights soft, seamless and beyond selfie-perfect.

WHAT IS BALAYAGE?

Balayage is a French word that, aptly, means “to sweep”. It sees high- and low-lights freehand-painted at random through strands to add reflective dimension and luminosity. Much of the colour is focused from the mid-lengths to the ends, but the most flattering effects happen when subtle ribbons are swept through the hairline, too.

When you hear the word ‘balayage’, blonde highlights may be the first thing that come to mind. However, this technique is about so much more than adding a sun-kissed glow to strands. All manner of shades – from pastels to dark browns to rainbow brights – are getting the balayage treatment, making this one of the most versatile colour services you can choose.

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HOW DO YOU DO BALAYAGE?

First up, we use a pre-lightening, L’Oreal Blond Studio, which gives colourists ultra-precision for freehand techniques, and delivers up to seven levels of lift. Plus, its creamy consistency ensures it stays in place wherever you apply it, so you don’t have to worry about colour bleeding if you do a balayage without foils.

That brings us to our next point. While there’s no hard and fast rule about foils and balayage, it’s typically known for being a foil-free process.

That’s formulas and foils covered. The next step: embracing creativity. The beauty of balayage is that it allows you to get artsy with your highlighting techniques, sweeping colour on where you see fit instead of following a pattern.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO ACHIEVE BALAYAGE?

If you’re wondering how long you need to book in for, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Nailing that balayage technique can take anywhere between 45 minutes and three hours. Things you need to keep in mind include the length of your hair, porosity and desired finish, so we invite all our clients for a consultation first to ensure we leave plenty of time for your transformation.

We may also want to do a strand test. This will show us how your hair responds to the formula, so we can fine-tune the colour and judge how long the entire process will take.

WILL BALAYAGE COVER GRAY HAIR?

Balayage’s freehand technique isn’t best suited to camouflaging silver strays. Ribbons can be tactically placed to disguise a few salt ‘n’ peppered strands, but full gray coverage requires a permanent tint that saturates the roots. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on balayage altogether, though; after shading gray patches, you can start sweeping on those light-reflective, radiance-boosting ribbons. Simple.

WHAT IS FOILYAGE?

The buzz around foilyage is gaining traction, but what does it actually mean? The answer’s simple: foilyage is the name for balayage that’s processed using foils. You still paint highlights freehand and get creative with your placement, but the strands are wrapped in foils to ensure plenty of lift from the pre-lightener.

WHAT IS FACE-FRAMING TEASY LIGHTS?

Placing lighter ribbons through the front of your hair can help to enhance your complexion. It’s no wonder, then, that face-framing highlights are proving so popular right now. It can either be a few slices in the front, applied back to back in foils, or for an even stronger enhancement, swept through strands from root to tip.

ROOT SMUDGE OR SHADOW?

For clients who don’t have regrowth or want to alter the shade of their natural roots, a root smudge or root shadow offers the dimension-boosting depth they crave. But what’s the difference between a root smudge and a shadow? The truth is, they’re two names for identical techniques. Colourists use them interchangeably but they both mean the same thing.

And, for each of them, all you need to do is sweep colour through the root area 1- 1 and 1/2 inches with a tint brush. The trickier part is choosing a colour formula to suit your hair.

A soft, demi-permanent smudge offers light-reflective coverage with a sheer result. We’d class this as a shadow root.

But if you want more coverage to camouflage grey roots, a permanent Colour gives you more saturation and balanced result. This would be more a root smudge.

Both will give you up to 100% grey coverage.

Need to speak to us?

We understand with all the newest colour techniques that are on offer that the lingo can be confusing. The best way to work out what technique would be needed for your hair is too book a consultation with one of our stylist to work out cost and achievability.

And very important to note: darker hair will take more sessions to achieve light hair. Patience and home maintenance are key. It is also important to let your stylist know your hair colour history for at least the past year.

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