Hair Colours: All About Balayage

We’ve talked about highlights, and we’ve even zoomed into ombre hair. Now, it’s time to talk about that one ‘hair color’ that everyone’s been pining for these days: balayage.

zala Hair Colours- All About balayage

What is ‘balayage’?

Just like ombre, balayage also comes from a French word that means ‘to sweep’.

The Oxford dictionary has this to say about the word as a hair technique: “technique for highlighting the hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.”

In the strictest sense of the word, balayage is not actually a color, but rather a technique. And if the word ‘graduated’ looks familiar to you in terms of hair color, that’s because it’s the exact same word used to describe ombre hair.

What’s the difference between balayage and ombre?

To the untrained ear, a balayage look and an ombre look may look completely similar. They both have light and dark parts, they both look pretty natural, and they’re equally gorgeous.

At the same time though, most people tend to view them as different ‘hair colors’, when this is not the case.

To put it simply, ombre is a type of hair coloring. But balayage is a type of hair technique that can also be used to create an ombre effect.

How can you tell the difference?

If you go to a salon and say that you want balayage hair, they already know that what you want is the kind of hair where the highlights look natural and are distributed evenly throughout your hair.

Meanwhile, If you say that you want ombre, they may use this technique to create the effect. Generally speaking though, a balayage will create a more ‘sweeping’ effect than just simply the ‘graduated’ effect that ombre hair offers.

Tamara Bellis

(c) Tamara Bellis, Unsplash

How much does balayage cost?

This coloring technique is pretty hard to DIY, especially if you’re a beginner, so it’s best to go to a professional salon to have it done.

The only problem with it is that it can be costly, given the sophisticated technique as well as the tools and materials needed to get the job done.

Depending on where you live, it cost anywhere from $150-$300. The price also depends on whether you want your hair done by a junior stylist or a senior stylist. A junior stylist is cheaper compared to a senior stylist, but a senior stylist has more experience. And that experience could be worth way more than the extra dollars you’ll be paying for gorgeous locks.

The good thing about balayage though (and even ombre)  is that it’s generally low-maintenance, compared to other hair colors. Since the roots at the top are kept dark anyway, you wouldn’t need to get frequent touch-ups at the salon, which can also be quite costly.

How to make balayage hair last?

Since balayage hair jobs can be quite costly, it’s important to know how to make your hair color last. Here are a couple of ways that you can extend the stay your hair color:

  • regular foil treatments
  • using hair products made for colored hair
  • applying hair protectors when going out
  • avoiding harsh treatments after hair coloring
  • using less heat on your hair

If you’re interested in more hair techniques, feel free to check out our ZALA blog!


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