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What is a Balayage?


Although it appears to be a new hair colour trend, it has indeed been around for some time. With the help of technology and extremely creative hairstylist pushing the boundaries, this timeless classic keeps reinventing itself. I know from speaking to both clients and fellow hairstylist it is one of the most requested services in Nanaimo hair salons.

What is balayage?

Did you know that Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint? Hairstylists from Nanaimo and around the world apply it as a freehand hair colouring technique. It allows a very natural blend between colours applied to your hair and your natural colour.

Depending on the style of Balayage, you can achieve a sun-kissed natural-looking hair colour, with softer, less noticeable re-growth with ease. Thus, reducing the need for so many root touch-ups. Of course, a personal favourite is the blonde balayage.

To achieve this look, it is a good idea to go with the idea that less is more, an idea that some hairstylist struggle with as they want to impart their creative flair via colours.

Balayage is great if you want to refresh your colour but don't want to go for a bold colour overhaul.


How is balayage applied? Balayage is painted on the surface of the hair strand and not saturated through the section until the very tips. This ensures a smooth, blended stroke of colour. It is also known as the freehand technique because no foils are used to create the highlights. Hence the huge range in quality, it takes skill and practice to produce an excellent balayage.

How long does it take to do balayage? This is similar to how long is a piece of string as the depth of balayage can vary so much from a 'few small highlights that will only take a matter of minutes to a full-on, triple process look that can take up to 3 hours. It can take some considerable time to do a multi-tonal, layered balayage compared to regular colour. Balayage has the benefit that when carried out correctly you be able to leave longer between colour appointment. Balayage babylights may take as little as 45 minutes.


What sets it apart from traditional hair colouring? Balayage difference from traditional highlights is the lack of use of foils and it totally freehand so needs a highly skilled hairstylist. Giving a less uniformed look to the finish. If you are concerned about having a striped colour look to your hair, balayage is a sure way to avoid that harsh contrast between colours – especially if you're going blonder.

Another advantage, the colour created is totally bespoke to you and can even be placed in a way to compliment or distract attention away from certain features on the face.

What's making it so popular recently? Ten years ago balayage wasn't the colouring phenomenon it is today, why, well it is quite a specific method of colouring that takes time to teach and a lifetime to perfect.  As more stylist become proficient in the art, this makes it more affordable to the average person. So it is no longer an exclusive hairstyle of the rich and famous.

Just because you don't have long hair you can't achieve the look. No matter how short your locks are, you can rock balayage.



Does it require a lot of maintenance? On average, balayage requires far less maintenance than traditional colour because it grows out beautifully and there are no strong regrowth lines. It also means you can wait for longer between appointments so it's 'the perfect technique for a modern, busy woman or a lady on a particular budget.

Investing in some good quality colour care styling products is also advisable to keep your colour looking fresh for longer.

If your colour turns brassy after a while you can 'refresh it without going for a full top up with a toner or gloss to give your shine back.

How long does balayage last? One of the biggest perks of this style is that 'it doesn't require as much upkeep as traditional colour, due to the blended finish, meaning you can leave it longer between your salon appointments, and depending on the style you go for you can leave up to four months between top-ups.

What makes it timeless? Balayage creates a totally bespoke, personalised colour finish. Healthy, natural-looking hair will always be 'in', which is why the technique has remained popular for so many years. Depending on what you're looking for the finish can be subtle or quite bold. It's the ability to completely tailor the colour effect that makes this such a popular colour choice. It works well on long, short, coloured, natural and grey hair.

If you would like a free consultation to see how Balayage can make your hair look even more amazing then please get in touch with me here at Belle Femme Boutique  Hair Salon.

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