Hello my little hair fairy’s, its been a while but I am back to keep you updated on all the topics, trials and tribulations of handling those lovely locks and making them look and feel good.

So to get started I wanted to talk about Balayage and what it actually is. Everyday my clients ask me what it is, where it originated from and how I do it, as they have been to many hair colourists in the past and they mess up their once healthy hair.

I have been doing this technique for a long time and transform my clients hair day in and day out with smiley faces afterwards. Its quite a popular technique that allot of people in my profession pretend to know and do badly. So a big tip from me “MAKE SURE YOUR HAIRDRESSER KNOWS WHAT THE HELL THEY ARE DOING”, Research my friends..Research

So I am going to give you a list of points you need to know to make sure you understand what Balayage actually is…..


  • Balayage means to sweep, comes from the french language… Reason its called this is because we sweep/paint the colour onto the hair.
  • Balayage and Ombre are quite different.. Balayage is the technique used to create Ombre. Balayage itself can be painted anywhere on the hair but Ombre is where the colour is saturated on the ends to create a graduated dip die look, but more natural.
  • Balayage is generally done with pre-lightener/Bleach to lift the hair and create a graduation in the hair
  • Balayage is only applied on the surface of the hair to create a sun kissed look, If Ombre is being created though, the ends are saturated in colour.
  • A toner is nearly always used in the creation of Balayage, as darker hair generally turns brassy. This can take a number of hours and expense to get that look you really want, “SO BE PREPARED TO PAY A WEEKS WAGE”….Kim K has allot of cash and allot of time on her hands so be reasonable in what you ask for.
  • Backcombing sections for Balayage is a NO NO and if you see it leave the salon ha ha … Its the lazy way out to try and get a gradient look, A colourist should have the skill to paint soft fine highlights without backcombing.. and it damages the hair.
  • Balayage has many different looks and names… The ones you have probably heard of are Ombre (Basically a gradient from dark to light) Sombre ( A subtle ombre for you natural ladies) Balayage ( Hand-painted highlights to give a better regrowth).
  • Balayage is less damaging than highlights… It doesn’t penetrate through all of the hair, overlapping bleach on top of old bleach isn’t as common, and generally clients want a natural look so you don’t lift the hair as much.
  • Balayage is best worn curly or wavy as it creates more dimension but if done properly can look fantastic straight. That is why most pics you ladies see are all wavy and curly so make sure you look up straight Balayage to make sure it is what you want.
  • If you see your hair colourist weaving highlights underneath you hair this is not Balayage they are cheating a look using a completely different meathod.
  • Make sure you don’t have and oily products in your hair especially the ends as it makes the hair harder to lift… So clean those locks.
  • If you have pre-existing colour or as I said before dark hair, expect red tones or brassy tones the first or even second time… We are not hair wizards.
  • Bring photos and make sure you mention where you want the gradient look to start and whether you want to frame the face, but only pick hair that is like yours and be realistic.
  • Balayage can be used in all hair lengths, its all about picking up the right hair and lightening it to give it that natural sun-kissed look.

So my little hair Fairys I hope all these pointers will help you on your hunt for good Balayage and if your in Toronto come see me at Kearns and Co Hair, or call to make an appointment on 416-967-6014. xxx

Check our my latest video from what is to soon be a big collection of how to hair tutorials

5 thoughts on “BALAYAGE

  1. This. This is the color I’ve been searching for! The one in the balayage makeover video. I have tan skin with simmilar undertones but I’ve never been able to find a color other than my natural black that wouldn’t just make me look ill! Are there any photos of her hair available? Or what should I tell my hairstylist when she asks what kind of color? I would love to schedule an appointment but Toronto is pretty far for me!

  2. Hi, 3 years later I am reading this.. Just got home from a salon visit, having not had colour for ages (years!) & a big birthday this year – so birthday present. Anyway I asked for a few painted blonde & red highlights wherever she thought, I have lightish brown hair, and a cut. Wasn’t so keen on foils as I don’t like the obvious stripey highlight look, prefer freehand painting where it looks most natural & underdone. I ended up with an ombre look done the backcombing way & possibly with the highlights underneath the hair! Just as you have written! And no cut, as we ran out of time! Combing out the backcombing took ages & I’m not really keen to repeat that experience! Hair was coming out on the comb & I have super long hair trying to grow it. Otherwise fairly healthy, so I hope it’s ok. She also foiled the front of the hair on my shortish long fringe & it’s pretty obvious, not quite the subtle sun kissed idea from hair I had as a kid. I don’t hate it & I will go for a cut next week & ask them to blend the fringe part a bit better & maybe highlight more obviously through the lengths.. It’s very hard to know the terminology of what you are after, even when I research the heck & bring a photo it’s not quite how I think.. Doing lots of reading helps, so thank you for your site. I don’t blame the stylist as I wasn’t completely clear on my terminology but it’s hard when you have an idea in your head & you assume they can do/know the techniques celebrities might use & also don’t know the salon. I am newish to my city, looking for a hairdresser & was recommended these guys although I couldn’t get an appointment with the girl I was recommended to. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant, if you get to read this, I don’t hate it but it’s good to have the tips you have written. Thanks!

    1. Thanks you for reading my blog, im glad the info helped. You can always address your concerns to most hairdressers and if you dont love it they can always tweek it. If you need any more information about anything, feel free to ask.

      1. Thanks Aaron. I will go for a cut sometime in the next couple of weeks & get them to do the fringe. I also am noticing no colour in the sides, usually wear my hair up so can’t see anything! My problem is I am bad at speaking up & usually just go somewhere else instead. I really need to find some place I can trust! Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s