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The Ultimate Guide to Balayage

Updated: Jul 2

Balayage Highlights: The Complete Guide

Have you ever craved hair with natural-looking highlights and gorgeous dimensions? Then look no further than Balayage! This hair colouring technique, originally hand-painted by French hairstylists, has taken the world by storm.

This guide dives deep into the world of Balayage, unravelling its secrets and helping you achieve the perfect look. Whether you're a complete hair colouring newbie or have some experience, this comprehensive guide will answer all your questions.

In this post, you'll learn

What is Balayage?

Balayage (pronounced BAH-LEE-AHGE) is a French word meaning "to sweep" or "to paint." It's a specialized hair colouring technique that originated in France and has gained immense popularity worldwide. Balayage is the technique of free-hand painting highlights onto the hair, creating a soft and natural gradation of lightness towards the ends. The result is the look of summers spent at the beach or the fresh, unintentionally perfect highlights on a child. This natural-looking highlighting technique is not just for blondes but is actually used on all shades of hair to add soft, sunkissed dimension.

Why is it So Popular?

Several key reasons have made Balayage a preferred choice for both clients and hairstylists alike:

  • Natural Sun-Kissed Results:  Balayage achieves a natural-looking, sun-kissed effect with soft and blended highlights, unlike harsh lines or streaks created by traditional highlighting.

  • Customization and Versatility:  Balayage offers endless possibilities for customization. Hair colorists can strategically place highlights to enhance facial features and complement skin tones. This level of customization creates unique results for each client.

  • Low Maintenance:  As the highlights are blended and applied in a sweeping motion, there is no noticeable line as the hair grows out. This means longer intervals between touch-up appointments compared to traditional highlighting, making Balayage a convenient choice for busy lifestyles.

  • Dimension and Depth:  Balayage excels at creating dimension and depth in the hair by using various shades and tones. Colorists can add richness and texture, resulting in a multi-dimensional look. The technique allows for precise placement, ensuring that the highlights enhance the natural movement and flow of the hair. This added dimension can make the hair appear fuller, healthier, and more vibrant.

  • Adaptable for Various Hair Colors:  Unlike some colouring techniques that work best on specific hair colours, Balayage is highly adaptable and can be used on a wide range of hair shades, from dark brown to blonde to red. This versatility has contributed to the widespread appeal and popularity of Balayage across different demographics.


Balayage encompasses a range of techniques that colorists employ to achieve the desired effects. Each technique offers a unique approach to hand-painting highlights and contributes to the versatility of Balayage as a hair colouring method. Here are some popular Balayage techniques:


The foundational technique from which other variations have emerged. It involves hand-painting highlights onto the hair using a sweeping motion. The colorist strategically selects sections of hair that would naturally catch the light.


This technique allows colorists to showcase their artistic skills and creativity. They paint highlights onto the hair without using any specific tools or guides, creating customized, freeform highlights.


This method combines elements of traditional foiling with Balayage techniques. Colorists apply the lightener or color to selected sections of the hair and then secure these in foils. The foils intensify the lightening process and create more pronounced highlights.


Creating ultra-fine, subtle highlights that mimic natural, delicate strands found in a child's hair. This technique aims to achieve a soft, sun-kissed effect.

Ombre and Sombre: 

These techniques focus on creating a gradient effect from darker roots to lighter ends. Ombre typically features a more distinct contrast, while Sombre achieves a subtler transition.

Choosing the Right Products for your Highlights

To achieve the best Balayage results, it's important to select the right products. Here's a quick guide:


The key colouring products used in Balayage. They come in various forms and contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. Choosing the appropriate lightener for each hair type and desired results is crucial.


Used in combination with lighteners to activate the lightening process. They come in different strengths, and the choice depends on the desired lift and the starting hair colour.

Toning Products 

Used after the lightening process to neutralize unwanted undertones and achieve the desired hair colour. Toners are available in various shades to create the desired tone.

Balayage Aftercare Instrcutions

Here's how to keep your Balayage highlights looking fresh and fabulous:

Aftercare Tips: 

Proper care and aftercare play a significant role in maintaining the vibrancy and health of your Balayage highlights. Here are some key practices to follow:

  • Use Color-Safe Shampoo and Conditioner:  Opt for hair products formulated specifically for color-treated hair. These products are gentler and help retain colour vibrancy.

  • Minimize Heat Styling:  Excessive heat styling can damage hair and accelerate color fading. Utilize heat protectant sprays before using hot tools like straighteners or curling irons. Consider air-drying whenever possible.

  • Deep Conditioning:  Treat your hair to deep conditioning treatments once or twice a week. This helps replenish moisture and prevent dryness, which can make highlights appear dull.

  • Sun Protection:  Just like our skin, hair can also be damaged by the sun's UV rays. Use hair products with UV protection or wear hats when spending extended time outdoors.

Salon Visits:  

While Balayage is known for its low-maintenance nature, scheduling regular salon visits is still recommended for optimal results. The frequency of these visits depends on your hair growth rate and desired level of maintenance. Here's a general guideline:

  • Touch-Ups:  Generally, touch-up appointments are recommended every 12-16 weeks. This allows your stylist to refresh your highlights and address any hair growth at the roots.

  • Toner Applications:   Over time, highlights can develop brassy tones. To maintain the cool or ashy tones often desired in Balayage, toner applications can be helpful. Discuss the frequency of toning with your stylist based on your specific hair and desired results.

Balayage for Dark Hair

Balayage is a versatile technique that beautifully complements dark hair. Here are some popular Balayage options for dark locks:

  • Chocolate Balayage with Caramel Highlights:  A timeless and sophisticated combination. This adds warmth and dimension to dark brown hair, creating a natural-looking sun-kissed effect.

  • Honey Balayage:  This technique incorporates lighter honey tones throughout the hair, adding a touch of brightness and subtle contrast.

  • Bronde Balayage:  A perfect blend of brown and blonde highlights. This creates a dimensional and textured look, adding richness and depth to dark hair.

  • Auburn Balayage:  Warms up dark hair with fiery auburn highlights. This is a stunning option for those who want to add a touch of boldness and personality to their look.

  • Black Cherry Balayage:  For the adventurous souls, black cherry Balayage adds a touch of unexpected vibrancy to dark hair. This is a great way to showcase your unique style.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Balayage last? 

The brilliance of Balayage can last 6-12 weeks before a touch-up is recommended.

Can Balayage be done on dark hair?

Absolutely! Balayage is a great way to add dimension and depth to dark hair.

Is Balayage damaging to the hair? 

When performed by a skilled professional, Balayage is less damaging than other colouring techniques due to the hand-painting method.

Unveiling the Artistry:

From the graceful sweep of pigments to the personalized strokes that paint your hair's canvas, Balayage at Lavoom Salon holds the key to unlocking a spectrum of radiant hues. Delve into the secrets behind its transformative power and immerse yourself in a burst of colours that decode the vibrancy and individuality defining Balayage as the epitome of dynamic hair colour.

Masterful Application Techniques:

Explore the nuanced variations in Balayage application at Lavoom Salon, where our skilled colourists embrace a fluid approach, eschewing hair separation, or utilising cotton pieces or foil as dividers. These subtle techniques yield distinct outcomes, but the heart of Balayage lies in its personalized touch. Lavoom's expert colourists handpick strands to highlight, ensuring a customized, natural look that facilitates a soft grow-out.

More Than a Trend, a Revolution:

Balayage at Lavoom Salon is more than a passing trend; it's a revolution in hair colouring, offering versatility and a bespoke touch that caters to your unique style. As we unravel additional highlighting trends, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of how each technique contributes to the vibrant world of hair colour. Stay tuned for an exploration of sombré, lowlights, and more, as we demystify the language of hair colour. Continue reading to elevate your understanding of the artistry that goes into creating the perfect highlights at Lavoom Salon, your premier hair salon in Calgary.

Balayage Hair Colour
Balayage Hair Colour at Lavoom Salon


Embark on a journey back to 1970s France to trace the roots of Balayage, a revolutionary hair coloring technique that unfolded as a game-changer in the hairstyling world. Initially introduced by French hairdressers, Balayage quickly gained acclaim for its ability to craft a natural-looking 'sun-kissed' aesthetic with a seamless blend, setting the stage for its modern interpretation at Lavoom Salon in Calgary.

The technique reached new heights in the 1990s when renowned French colorists, including the likes of Frédéric Fekkai, showcased Balayage on international fashion runways and in prominent magazines. Its allure lay in its personalized approach to hair colouring, deviating from uniform standards and focusing on enhancing an individual's natural beauty—a philosophy that echoes through the artistic hands of Lavoom Salon stylists in Calgary.

As Balayage gained momentum, it underwent a metamorphosis. Colorists experimented with diverse application methods, customizing the approach to cater to different hair types and lengths. This evolution transformed Balayage into a versatile colouring technique, perfectly adapted by Lavoom Salon to achieve a broad spectrum of looks, from subtle and natural to bold and transformative, ensuring each client in Calgary receives a customized, exceptional experience.

The resurgence of Balayage in the era of social media, celebrities, and influencers further solidified its popularity. Its unique ability to deliver dimensional, low-maintenance hair color, perfectly complementing diverse skin tones and styles, made it a sought-after choice for clients worldwide and a signature offering at Lavoom Salon in Calgary.

Today, Balayage remains a dominant trend in the hair industry, continually evolving with new techniques, variations, and color combinations. Its rich history and widespread adoption have firmly established Balayage as an integral part of the ever-changing landscape of hair colouring, beautifully curated by Lavoom Salon, Calgary's leading destination for exceptional hair experiences.

Unlocking the Allure of Balayage at Lavoom Salon, Calgary's Premier Hair Salon: Reasons Behind Its Popularity

Balayage has ascended to remarkable popularity, capturing the hearts of both clients and hairstylists. Let's delve into the key reasons why Balayage, as perfected at Lavoom Salon, stands as a preferred choice for individuals seeking transformative hair colour experiences.

J Beverly Hills Hair Care Products

Touch-up Schedules

While Balayage offers a low-maintenance colouring option, periodic touch-ups are essential for optimal results. Touch-up frequency depends on factors such as hair growth rate, desired contrast level, and personal preference. Generally, touch-ups every 6-12 weeks are recommended. Enhance colour vibrancy between salon visits with J Beverly Hills solutions, leveraging their J Beverly Hills Glaze Me Blonde Toning Shampoo for toning and maintaining a beautiful Balayage effect.

J Beverly Hills Hair Care Products

Corrective Balayage

In certain instances, corrective Balayage may be necessary to address undesired results or make adjustments to existing highlights. This entails colour correction techniques to balance tones, blend lines, or rectify inconsistencies. Open communication during a consultation is key to determining the best course of action for achieving desired corrective Balayage results. Embrace the opportunity to learn and evolve with J Beverly Hills products, recognizing our shared humanity in the art of hairstyling.

How is Balayage different from Highlights?


Within the vibrant realm of hair colouring at Lavoom Salon, both Highlights and Balayage play pivotal roles in adding depth and brilliance to your locks. These techniques, however, chart distinct paths. Highlights, utilizing foils, create evenly distributed strands of colour, while Balayage, the artistic touch of Lavoom Salon's skilled professionals, employs a freehand painting technique for a more natural appearance. Balayage's allure lies in its versatility of colour placement and the creation of a softer transition between colours.


Navigating the rich tapestry of hair colouring techniques, Balayage and Ombre, both expertly executed at Lavoom Salon, reveal their unique characteristics. Ombre, with its dramatic colour transition from dark to light, often traversing from mid-lengths to ends, showcases Lavoom Salon's commitment to creating striking looks. In contrast, Lavoom Salon's Balayage expertise focuses on crafting soft, natural highlights seamlessly blending colours. Ombre delivers a noticeable contrast, while Lavoom Salon's Balayage ensures a subtle and customized result.


In the artistic sanctuary of Lavoom Salon, where creativity flourishes, Foiling, akin to traditional highlights, and Balayage emerge as distinct approaches to hair colouring. Foiling meticulously sections the hair, applying colour or pre-lightener to each section, and wrapping it in foil for precision and control. Lavoom Salon's Balayage, a freehand technique, showcases the artistry of colour painting onto the hair without the confinement of foils. While foiling provides uniformity and controlled placement of colour, Lavoom Salon's Balayage stands out for its artistic flair and natural, harmonious outcome.

Balayage vs highlights

Balayage vs. highlights. There’s a subtle distinction between these two hair-lightening effects, and it’s all in the technique.

What Is The Process

The process of getting a balayage appointment varies in length but takes on average between 3-6 hours. Different colourists at Lavoom Salon have their own methods but generally, the process will follow the following steps:

  1. Consultation – You’ll start with a consultation, in which you discuss with your colourist what you want, show them any reference pictures you’ve got and talk about what’s possible on your hair.

  2. Application – Your colourist will then section your hair and apply the colour with a brush or their hands. They may use foil or cotton wool to keep certain sections separate.

  3. Developing time – The hair colour is left on to develop, which can take around 30-40 minutes.

  4. Rinse – Once the colour has developed, it will be washed out, shampooed and assessed by your colourist.

  5. Toner – Depending on the colour you’re trying to achieve, you may then need a toner to be applied to achieve your perfect shade.

  6. Blow-dry – Finally, your hair will be blow-dried and styled to your chosen finish.

Read more about our Balayage Hair Service

What are the best Balayage Colours?

While blonde balayage is a classic favourite, this technique works wonders for brunettes, reds, blacks, and even trendy shades like rose gold and purple. Explore the richness of caramel, the allure of rose gold, and the vibrant sophistication of copper. Balayage isn't just a technique; it's an expression of your style.


Blonde Hair Colour

If you want to go blonder but still want it to look as natural as possible, balayage is the ideal solution. And best of all, you won’t have to worry about the regrowth coming through.


Brown/blonde hair colour

Working in some lighter tones a couple of shades lighter than your natural colour will add a sleek fresh dimension to brunette locks.

Dark Hair/Black

Dark Hair colour

Dark brown and black hair can have a tendency to look flat and one-dimensional and balayage is a flattering way to lift the colour without changing your look too drastically.


Caramel Hair Colour

Blending chocolate and light golden tones, this dreamy caramel balayage gives a rich warmth to the look.

Brown Blonde

Brown Blond Balayage hair colour

The perfect middle ground between blonde and brunette, bronde balayage is the ultimate look for beachy, cali-girl vibes.


red hair colour

Maintaining bright colours like this vivid red requires a lot of upkeep, but blending your roots through with balayage means you can go longer between salon appointments.


copper hair colouring services

Copper hair is effortless having a moment right now and we love the way this balayage flows into a striking, vibrant copper at the ends.

Rose Gold

rose gold hair colouring services

Making it your mission to be more experimental with colour? Let this modern Instagram-approved rose gold balayage inspire your next look.

Dark Blonde

Dark Blonde Balayage Hair Colour services calgary

Rather than simply dyeing over blonde hair with a darker shade, a dark blonde balayage like this will add depth to faux and natural blondes alike.


curl balyage hair colour

The sleek balayage technique works on any hair texture – including natural hair, making curls pop and giving them a more defined look.

Final Thoughts

Balayage stands as a revolutionary art form, meticulously crafted by the experts at Lavoom Salon, Calgary's best hair salon. Beyond its French origins, this technique has evolved into a globally adored trend, offering a personalized touch that transcends traditional hair colouring methods. Balayage, with its natural-looking highlights and seamless transitions, is a testament to the artistry of our skilled professionals, ensuring your locks receive the best in Calgary's vibrant world of hair colouring. As you embark on your Balayage journey, remember that Lavoom Salon not only masters the science but also channels the creativity required for a truly breathtaking and customized result. Discover the allure of Balayage at Lavoom Salon, where every brushstroke is a masterpiece, and every client leaves with vibrant, dynamic, and effortlessly chic hair.

Ready to try?


What's your favourite Balayage transformation, and how has it elevated your hair game? Drop a comment below and let's celebrate the vibrant world of personalized color at Lavoom Salon, Calgary's best hair salon! 💇✨ #BalayageMagic #LavoomSalonExperience

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