Balayage has been one of the hottest hair color trends for the last few years, and it’s easy to see why. This coloring technique, whereby highlights are lightly painted onto the hair, creates a soft, natural look. When done deftly, balayage treatments make the hair look perfectly sun kissed.
That’s not its only benefit, though. Conventional highlights require constant touchups, but balayage limits noticeable re-growth. While this technique is certainly popular, however, achieving this multi-tonal effect in a salon setting can be pricey. Thankfully, you can achieve impressive results from the comfort of your own home.
Essential Balayage Products
- Balayage board
- Balayage brush
- A dye two to three shades lighter than your current hair color. A cream formulation is best for beginners, as it’s easier to control.
- Hair Grips
These products are a must-have when you’re trying to DIY balayage at home. It’s important not to rush the process, however. Before you start painting your locks, remember to heed the following tip:
Balayage Tip: Always Patch Test
If you’ve dyed your hair before, you may think it’s safe to coat your hair in dye without testing it first. The human body is fickle, however, and you never know when you’ll develop allergies to the chemicals in standard drugstore dyes. Two days before you intend to balayage your hair, do a patch test for safety.
You’ve bought the right products, tested for allergies, and are ready to cross “Balayage” off your To Do List.
Step One: Separate the Hair
While balayage looks effortless, you have to be methodical to achieve the best results. For successful application, separate your hair into four sections. Part your hair in the center and then part it from ear to ear. Take the sections you’re not working on and pin them into buns.
Step Two: Keep the Skin Clean
You don’t want to get hair dye on your face. To keep your skin from being stained, apply Vaseline to the skin around your hairline. The petroleum will act as a barrier that the dye can’t penetrate, ensuring that the skin won’t be affected by your balayage treatment.
Step Three: Prepare
Now it’s time to prepare your hair dye. Follow any instructions included with the dye to ensure it’s measured and mixed properly. Make sure to wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean.
Balayage Tip: Where Do I Apply?
If you like the balayage aesthetic, you’ve probably stared at pictures of your favorite celebrity dye jobs, wondering how they got that perfectly sun-kissed hue. When applying the dye, don’t apply it randomly. Think about the areas where the sun would naturally lighten the hair.
Don’t apply dye too close to the roots; new hair growth is unusually resistant to the sun. Instead, focus on the mid-length strands at the front and the sides. Paint the dye onto the hair from the mid-length to the ends and apply the dye at a slanted angle.
Step Four: Start the Application Process
When you’re trying an at-home balayage treatment for the first time, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Consider using a balayage board and brush, as they’ll help to improve the accuracy of your application. The balayage board is used to support the hair while you apply the dye. These boards often have textured surfaces that grip the hair, which improves precision. Small brushes allow you to paint tiny areas of hair. With a board and brush, you will be able to grip the strands and paint with even, precise strokes.
When you’re ready to begin applying the dye, let one section of hair down. Using the end of a comb, partition the section once more, separating out the bottom layer of hair. Clip the top layers into a bun, and then paint the dye onto the thin section, working from front to back. When you’re done, continue to partition out new layers of hair, applying dye to each in turn. Repeat this process on the right side and the left side.
Balayage Tip: What Do I Do About the Back?
With a little practice, it’s easy to apply balayage to the hair at the front and sides of your head. Applying dye to the hair in the back, however, is a little harder. You should continue to pull out small sections of hair, but instead of holding the hair in a natural position and painting in a downward direction, pull each section of hair to a 90-degree angle with your head, so that you can see it in the mirror.
Step Five: Let It Process
Once you’ve applied the dye, it’s time to wait. Let it process for the recommended time period, and then give your hair a thorough rinse. Don’t forget to use a color-protecting conditioner after you rinse!
Image source: Thriving Locally