Balayage. What is it? What does it mean? How do you pronounce it? Isn’t balayage just an ombré?
These are all questions we get in the salon on an almost daily basis. Firstly, let’s talk pronounciation. Balayage is the actual hardest word to say correctly. So, don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right, most people struggle. Let’s try together, bah-lay-yazh, balayage (if you click on the link you can watch a quick video on the pronunciation).
The word balayage gets tossed around a lot, whether it be an idea thrown out by a stylist as a suggestion, or on social media. But what does it mean? Balayage was taken from the French word balayer, which means “to sweep”. That’s exactly what the stylist does when applying lightener (or color) to the hair. We sweep in a sometimes downward, sometimes upward direction to achieve a seamless, natural looking hilight.
Our favorite way to describe it is, Balayage is the technique used, Ombré is the look. Now, that being said, there are so many different things you can do with a balayage.
You can really go for it, with a nice slow gradiation into really blonde ends. This will be more of an ombré look.
Another way is by adding some “sun-lightened” pieces for a really natural look.
What if you’re already blonde? Well, you can do a “root smudge”, which will really give you that balayage look without having had one.
Balayage is also an awesome way to add dimension, if you love light pieces but hate the maintenance of highlights this would be an awesome alternative for you.
Regardless of if you want to be an all over blonde or if you just want a few “sun-lightened” pieces, there is a type of balayage that is perfect for you. Most of the clients in the salon, getting balayage for the first time, really like to play it safe (a lot like the last image). That way, it’s easy to change if they don’t like it. But, almost all of those people come back in the future and ask for more. Balayage is hands down one of our favorite things to do and, can be incorporated into almost any style.