Balayage hair – DIY or go to a salon?

One of the hottest hairstyles right now is the stunning Balayage style. If you’re not familiar with this it’s a French word that means ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’. It’s been around for quite a while but its popularity is soaring currently. As a free-hand painting technique, the color is literally painted onto your hair giving a very subtle shift in color tone from dark to light. The end result is a sun-kissed look that will make friends think you’ve spent the last three months in the Caribbean.

 So how does it work?

Instead of traditional highlights which are done with foils, Balayage is only applied onto the surface of each strand rather than being saturated all the way through to the tips. If it’s not spread evenly the effect can look very harsh. You may be wondering so whether you should do it yourself or get it done at a salon?

If you’ve done your own highlights before and are confident with yourself then you can certainly pull it off yourself. If however previous hair dying attempts have not gone so well then you may want to go to a salon. Even so, if you get it wrong the first time the results won’t be too bad, the worst that will happen is your hair will be a bit lighter than initially planned. Seeing a professional hair stylist though will guarantee an amazing result, I got mine done at Arial Salon while I was in Vancouver and they did a terrific job!

For those who choose the DIY option, follow these simple results.

Follow the instructions on the box carefully

Chose a color that’s about three shades lighter than your natural hair color. Each product will be a little different so follow the instructions on the box carefully. Even if you’ve used similar products before it’s always good to do an allergy test first.

Apply the ‘hot cross bun technique’

For home balayage, most people recommend using the ‘hot cross bun technique’. Divide your hair into four sections by running a comb down the center of your head and then from ear to ear. This will allow you to work on one section at a time.

Twist and tease

Going section by section, twist your hair from mid-length to end. Then tease at the start point of the twist with a comb. This will keep the dye from running too close to your hair roots.

Apply the hair dye

Now it’s time to apply the dye. Start with the ends and then work from mid-length downwards. It’s good to use your fingers for this to spread the dye evenly. Just make sure you keep it away from the roots. Work from one section to another while using hair clips to secure each one.


Rinse and apply treatment

Using lukewarm water, rinse and apply tone if you need to. After applying hair treatment rinse again and leave your hair to dry out naturally.

And there you have it. It should take about an hour, depending on the desired effect. The better you section off your hair the easier it will be to spread the dye evenly.

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