Best DIY Balayage Technique Ideas
Meaning of Balayage: a technique for highlighting the hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.
From celebrities to housewives to college students, just about everyone has joined in on the balayage craze. No matter how many times it leaves the spotlight, it’s guaranteed to come back. However, getting it professionally done in a salon can cost hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, the technique is actually fairly easy to pull off in the comfort of your own home—and bonus, you don’t even need any special equipment!
Pick the Right Shade
There’s nothing worse than going for a sweet and subtle sun-kissed glow and ending up with stripes of unnatural blonde that’s lightyears from your natural hair color. Balayage is an homage to the natural way the sun softens and lightens your hair, so picking the right color is very important when choosing to try this technique on your own. Find a shade that is one to three shades lighter than your current hair color—any more than that and you’ll risk looking a little too unnatural. That being said, if you’re wondering how to balayage highlights on dark hair that is black or dark brown, try reaching for lighter shades—otherwise, the difference may not be great enough to notice.
Split Your Hair into Sections
If you’ve ever colored your hair, this step is probably familiar. Split your hair however is most comfortable for you. Some colorists like to pin the hair into three different parts—top, middle, and bottom. Others prefer to section it into even quarters. Either way, you want to start with a thin bottom layer that’s easy for you to work with. As you begin to add color, pull from the sectioned off hair bit by bit, working on small sections at a time. Keep in mind that the main idea is to add color mainly where the sun would hit. Therefore, certain sections should receive more color than others; make sure to give special attention to top layers and any hair framing the face.
Professional colorist Jack Howard says that one of the beautiful things about balayage is that it’s so low maintenance—because the color fades into your natural roots. When you are applying the color to your hair, start with the ends first. From there, work more dye up to about the middle of the hair shaft, depending on your hair length and the look you are trying to achieve. The key, though, is to remember to make it look natural. The sun has a more difficult time bleaching the roots of your hair, so avoid hitting that area with dye and work on blending the two different colors into each other seamlessly. The effect will not only look charming and beautiful but allow you to have a little more hair growth and extend the time between touch-ups!
One of the marvelous things about balayage is that it’s a technique literally anyone can do—there is no special equipment, no harsh bleaching, no tinfoil, and no exposure to heat. Professional stylist Trina Miah says that balayage is a freehand technique applied only to the surface of the hair, as opposed to complete saturation—which would create a much harsher look (http://www.beautyandthebalayage.com/). To get this soft look, you may even want to toss your brush aside. Applying dye with a brush is excellent for techniques that require lots of coverage and precision, but balayage needs a gently and freer touch. To create a natural-looking ombre effect, use your fingers to work in the dye to each section of your hair instead.
Follow the Instructions
To avoid any nightmares or just a huge waste of your time, make sure you pay close attention to the instructions on the box of dye you are using. Here you will find the amount of time you should let your dye sit. Don’t fudge this time too much—the manufacturers put it there for a reason. After you have rinsed the dye with lukewarm water, follow up with a toner if you feel it’s necessary and a conditioning treatment. Rinse again with lukewarm water; this time, let hair dry, and voila! Perfect balayage highlights.
It doesn’t take much to get fabulous, professional-looking hair—and balayage is one of the trends that anyone can learn how to do. These techniques are solid, fail-proof ways to help you achieve the subtle ombre-like effect for which you’re aiming. Afterward, you’ll be loving the natural-looking glow and all the compliments it will get you.