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Balayage of '18: How all the “It” girls of Instagram are colouring their hair

Is there a difference between Balayage and highlights? We spoke to a Japanese hairstylist to find out more about this hair colouring technique
 

Photo: cabeloscurtosdivos and bella_su0718/Instagram 

Balayage might not be anything new, but this hair colouring technique is hotter than ever. This hair technique has been a celebrity favourite for a while now but it is only getting more interesting as stylists experiment with new colour combinations like darker tones.

 

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When it’s time to get your hair coloured at the salon, the imagery that would come to mind would probably be a head full of foil.

Well, there’s another popular technique that colourists use to achieve a more natural, slightly lived-in sun-kissed look.

Unlike traditional highlights that is typically done with by “creating thin uniform strips of the same colour (lighter than your base colour), starting from the roots”, the balayage effect is usually created “with more than one colour and by alternating the thickness with some strips of colour starting at the root and others from the mid shafts,” according to Japanese hairstylist Linh from 1tto+Lim salon.

With the balayage method, your hairstylist has more freedom to add colours to flatter your cut and face shape. Also, unlike highlights that start from the root, dye can be applied starting from the mid-section for the balayage technique.

 

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Additionally, while the “saturation is consistent throughout for highlights (from roots to the ends), your root hair colour gradually fades into a much lighter colour at the ends for the balayage technique,” added Linh. For that reason, balayage is more ideal for creating face-framing highlights.

This same characteristic of balayage also makes it a better choice if you are looking for a hairstyle that allows you to go longer between salon visits since it’s going to be less obvious when you roots starts to show.

That said even if you’re going with the balayage effect since, “hair dye fades quite easily on Asian hair, we recommend doing a touch-up every three months otherwise you might look quite washed out, especially if you have fair skin,” said Linh.

Linh also recommends using a shampoo formulated specifically for coloured hair to extend the life of your hair colour.

To achieve this look, you might need to bleach the hair if you have dark hair that has never been dyed or darker hair. This hair technique works on both long and short hair but “would show up better on long hair.  We usually would recommend applying bleach to the whole head if you had short hair,” said Linh.

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