Balayage vs. Highlights


Want to make a change but not sure what? You’ve heard of balayage but you’re not sure what it is exactly? We are here to help you and answer all your questions!


So…what is balayage?

Balayage is currently the top hair coloring treatment at salons. Everyone is raging about it. Everybody wants it. So…what is it exactly? The word balayage is the French term “to sweep”. It is a highlighting technique where the hair color is painted onto the hair by hand, giving it a natural-looking effect.

Because of this there is so much freedom to what you can do with it! You can go for a more natural look or you can go for a bolder look with the colors you choose. Either way it’s a beautiful edgy style.


How is it done?

Balayage can take several appointment sessions in order to get the desired look and color depending on your hair type. At Lola Hair Studio, we like to start off with a consultation to ensure we meet expectations and then the magic begins. The color process can be done by our stylists applying the product, (lightener or color) directly to your hair, essentially painting the hair by hand. Some stylists can also choose to use a backing board or paddle to apply the color or foils to help the lightening process. 


So…what are highlights?

Highlights are now more commonly known as “foils”. Foiling is another technique for lightening strands of hair to create the highlight effect. They tend to give a more consistent, defined look to the hair since all the hairs being colored are consistent throughout the strands and look more purposeful.


How are foils done?

Foils involve sectioning and weaving of the strands to give the desired look. Once the hair is sectioned, the strand is painted with a lightener or color and then wrapped in foil. The process is then repeated throughout in a pattern form. The foil helps the color lift quickly and evenly from top to bottom.


So now that you have more information on each you must be asking yourself which to get? What’s the difference? Well both are successful techniques to lighten strands of hair. The question comes in what effect you are looking for. Balayage gives a more gradual look from the base color to the lightened color at the ends. Foils lighten the hair evenly throughout and start from the root to the ends. Because the hair color trends have been a more natural, grown out look, guests have been asking for balayage.  Plus, who doesn’t want their hair to be “hand-painted”.   Furthermore, since the lightening starts further down, there’s less maintenance and the effect will last for a longer period of time than with foils. The bottom line really is, consult with your hair care professional and decide what is best for you, your hair and your lifestyle.  Your color service should always be customized.


Home care/maintenance

To care for your new hand painted locks, you will want to use a professional color safe shampoo and conditioner such as Oribe or Goldwell Kerasilk.  It will help to maintain the proper pH balance in your hair.  To combat any brassy tones that might pop-up if you are a blonde, the Bright Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner for Beautiful Color by Oribe is for you.  If your hair is feeling a little dry, a 10-minute masque such as the Signature is a great once/week treat and added insurance.  You can talk to one of the staff at Lola Hair Studio and we can help you decide!

Since this service can sometimes mean you can go a little longer between highlighting, you may like to come in between for a glaze to add back in some tones that may have worn off or turned due to the environment.  Also, an in-salon deep conditioning treatment or bond booster will ensure you are keeping your hair in tip-top shape and keep it looking shiny and fresh. 



Posted on July 27, 2017 .