Balayage Hair Highlighting Buzz: From Blonde And Beyond, The DIY Dyeing Technique Takes Off

The popularity of the hair-dyeing technique called “balayage” continues to be a popular one, as witnessed by the amount of posts on social media about the process. On Instagram, the #balayage hashtag has a whopping 1,914,124 posts — nearly 2 million posts full of images and videos from colorists or non-professional stylists, usually showing the results of their balayage creations.

As reported by Vogue, supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the woman being credited with first sporting the balayage hair highlights — at least the first woman who showed off her balayage highlights in a way that has gained plenty of attention since 2010. The publication notes that balayage works best on healthy hair, and that the balayage hair-dyeing technique isn’t limited to those seeking blonde highlights only. Balayage is a more natural way to sport highlights, as they are artfully painted onto the hair by hand, instead of painted on using the foil technique — or other techniques that might make highlights appear chunky and harsh throughout the hair.

“The [balayage] technique has been around for so long and will remain an integral part of the way we colour in the salon for as long as I can foresee. However, the trend at the moment with the heavy graduation from dark to light is constantly changing. It started out about five years ago being very subtle with people like Gisele Bundchen being a favourite. A more natural, sun-kissed effect was desired then. In the last few years we have seen much stronger effects being worn, for example [stylist] Pip Edwards, who has really taken it to the next level. This winter we have seen the same techniques used but with a warmer, deeper feel. Lots of celebrities have their balayage finished with copper or red glosses and this is now being called the new ombre look.”

Whereas the ombre look of dyeing hair involves dyeing the ends of the hair a lighter color — usually — balayage offers less of a “grown-out roots” dye job. Balayage highlights seek to hit the hair in places where the sun would naturally highlight the hair, and therefore appear more natural and softer. Folks have taken the balayage hair highlighting trend to a whole new level by marrying a variety of colors together in the process, from strawberry blonde to blue to copper red against champagne blonde.

Multiple DIY videos on YouTube show people how to perform the balayage hair highlights at home. Other videos from inside or outside of salons show the varying tools that those who create balayage hair dye jobs use to separate the hair being dyed. The process itself can represent artwork in and of itself based on the way the separation method is displayed.

Whilst some use a balayage braiding technique, others perform their balayage process by placing parts of the hair in ponytails, as each section is dyed separately.

The balayage method is expanded by techniques like Flamboyage, as seen in the popular Facebook video demonstrating the process — which has quickly swelled to more than 14,000 views. That method of hair dyeing uses a clear tape-like substance to stick to pieces of hair that are lifted and hand-painted with hair dye. Other sections are left alone whilst the color goes to work on the portions of hair being dyed. The sticky side of the tape like-substance is rinsed off along with the hair dye, and claims not to damage the hair at all.

While there are plenty of online discussions about the differences between balayage, babylights, and ombre hair highlighting styles, some folks are still just learning of balayage — with many wondering how to pronounce balayage.

[AP Photo/Andre Penner]