For those not in the know, balayage is basically a free-hand hair colouring technique. Your hairdresser will usually use some expert weaving and teasing to separate your hair strands (this is what gives that natural finish), some bleach, and a freestyle motion to paint the colour from your mid-lengths down to the ends. The result? A subtle sun-kissed finish that needs very little attention in terms of touch-ups.
But that’s not to say balayage doesn’t need any attention at all. We asked Simon Bright, Creative Director of Sydney salon Jonny + June for his top tips for having the best balayage of your life.
1 Refresh your balayage on occasion
While balayage doesn’t quite require the six-weekly appointments that highlights at the roots do, that’s not to say you can leave it forever between salon visits. Bright’s advice? To keep your balayage fresh, look to make small tweaks. “For a good balayage, I always recommend going to the salon every four months. So we get the initial one done and then balayage is all about tweaking it each time - getting it moved up or keeping the colour fresh. Sometimes we just do baby foils or micro-foils around the hairline, and sometimes we might do a stretch foil, which gives a grown-out effect. What we’d usually do with a client who comes in every six weeks is do a ‘basin balayage’. We literally just refresh at the basin for 10–15 minutes.”
2 Look after the colour at home
There are so many things that can affect your balayage colour once you leave the salon. Swimming in chlorine pools, your hair tools, and even washing your hair too much. It’s important to make the effort to use certain products between your salon appointments to keep the look of your balayage fresh.If your balayage has started to look a little brassy, Bright recommends using a purple shampoo, or purple toner, like bhave Bombshell Blonde Shampoo, to help lift the colour and keep the blonde more ashy. If you are looking to change the colour slightly into a more bronde or caramel balayage, try a colour depositing product like Redken Professional Nutri Color Créme in a brunette shade.
3 Maintain the health of your hair
While you can try your hardest to maintain the colour of your balayage, if you’re not looking after the health of your hair, it’s all for naught. Dry, damaged and brittle hair will leave your hair looking a little rough and frizzy - not the best canvas to show off your balayage (or any colour, for that matter).
Remember when we said that your hot hair tools could be compromising the colour of your balayage? This is why having the right tools is important. We’re loving the Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer. Not only does it have you covered when it comes to a fast blow-dry, but the clever technology also helps to prevent extreme heat damage and protect your hair’s natural shine – a combination that will help leave your balayage looking a whole lot better. The Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer controls the temperature coming out of the hair dryer to ensure your hair isn’t exposed to excessive temperatures (the attachments are also cool to touch, even during close-up styling, so you can literally put your hand near the nozzle and barely feel the heat). The result? Shiny hair and balayage that looks amazing no matter how you style it.
4 Don’t forget weekly treatments
Another one of Bright’s recommendations for keeping your hair healthy and your balayage looking amazing? “Treatments. Not enough people do treatments. And you don’t need to go in to the salon for one; the best natural treatment is actually almond oil. It’s amazing. Rinse your hair with hot water so the cuticle is opened, put the oil in and let it sit for as long as you possibly can. Put some Glad Wrap around it and then what I like to do is use a hairdryer to activate it a little bit more with the heat for literally 30 seconds, then shampoo and condition afterwards. Almond oil is one of the best treatments you’ll ever do.”
This article originally appeared on BeautyCrew.