I have had dark hair, all one shade, from a box of at home hair color, for over 7 years now.
This is for a few reasons…
- I am too cheap to go get it dyed at the hair salon. Hence doing it myself with all over color from a $12 box of hair color is easier on the wallet. (I know all of you hairstylists are shaking your head and rolling your eyes so hard right now!!)
- My grays are popping up so often at 41, that I have to dye my roots all the friggin’ time and I don’t want to go to spend my life in the salon.
- I really like my dark hair, and going dark all over is much easier than going lighter at home.
Dying my hair at home is also similar to the reasoning behind why I don’t do gel nails, or SNS nails, or get eyelash extensions – they all require WAY too much maintenance outside of the home for this chick. I just don’t have the time, patience, or money for any of it.
So recently my hairstylist, Lyric of Republic Salon here in Athens (she has been cutting my signature bangs + long layers for years now) suggested Balayage to me. She knows that I often get bored with my hair and complain about it each time I’m in her chair especially around summertime. However, she also knows I’ll never cut it short. Like never.
Yes, I’m one of those pain in the butt hair clients that doesn’t give her much to work with and I know it. Self awareness is a good thing right??
And since I won’t let her cut length, then really the only chance for change, is to change the COLOR. But I need low maintenance color – which is exactly why she suggested this technique and style of color to me.
THE GREAT THING ABOUT BALAYAGE OVER HIGHLIGHTS.
Because the color is painted onto the ends of the hair (so not the roots like highlights) it gives a more natural look with no harsh or obvious regrowth lines. Aaaand I can still dye my roots at home like normal as long as I do not pull the color through to the ends and only keep close to where the gray is actually growing out.
Balayage is known for being a great method to use if you want to refresh your color but don’t want a bold overhaul of color change.
It’s also nothing new. This hair technique actually been around since the 1970’s and started in France when thigh high boots and the word groovy was popular!!
Another reason it’s so popular? It has an anti-aging effect for brunettes like me. How is this so you ask?
Because by adding patches of the caramel lights, it helps to warm and soften my facial features. (Unlike my all over dark hair which can tend to look a bit harsh as I age) These lighter pieces in turn add dimensional looking volume to the hair and the impression that it’s fuller and more youthful. Yes Please to all of that.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
I had the pleasure of getting two colorists to work on my hair – Clare and Danny, from Republic Salon in Athens. My girl Lyric admits she doesn’t really have the patience for Balayage…Ha! I love it when people are honest with their strengths.
Balayage works by the stylist painting on the surface of the strands of hair but not saturating the section of hairs until the very tips. No foils are used to create this look.
Also, I must give the salon props for doing their homework prior to me going for this. When I agreed to get this done, because I box dye my hair (gasp**) they took a long clump of my hair and tested it first a few weeks before to see how my hair would take to lightening. See actual photo below…
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DO?
It didn’t take Clare and Danny as long as I thought it would to complete honestly – because I’ve got lots of hair!! I mean, it’s longer than the 30 minutes it takes me to actually dye and wash my roots at home, but that really takes zero skill.
I got into the salon at 3:30pm and was walking out of the salon at 5:30pm. They took around 25 minutes to paint it all over, with adding a few lights under my bangs, then I sat maybe 45 minutes total for the color to get to the level of lightening the duo seemed happy with.
Now of course, this timing will totally be different depending on the person, their hair type, and the outcome of color expected/wanted. So take my time frame with a grain of salt I guess!!
Then it was just washing my hair, drying it, and adding the beach waves I long to be able to do with the flat iron they used. Man, why can’t I seem to do this at home?? And honestly, a good 15 minutes was me taking selfies with my fresh new look before I left the salon!!
Shop My Style Below :
**Style Break** I have to pass along my dress details I wore to my appointment that day. It’s from Amazon, and it’s only $18 and comes in a bunch of colors! Find the wrap dress here. I’m wearing a small for reference and it does run a tad bigger in the chest area. I’m also wearing miracle Spanx underneath, duh 🙂 Shoes here. In all of these before and after pics, I’m wearing the Charlotte Tilbury “Pillow Talk” lipstick I’m kinda obsessed with and talked about here.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST + HOW TO MAINTAIN IT?
One of its big perks of Balayage is it doesn’t require nearly as much upkeep as traditional color or highlights. That’s because of the blended finish without lines or blocks of color. Apparently I’ll be able to go between 4-6 months without having to go back into the salon for touch-ups. Nice. I bet this is unique depending to the amount of grow-out a person can stand however.
And in between those months, they suggested I use SULFATE FREE shampoo in order to keep the color fresh. This Redken Color Extend One is an Allure Best of Beauty winner and gets the highest reviews on Ulta’s website.
I must say I’m thrilled with the outcome. I wasn’t so sure and was terrified it would come out stripe-y, but I’m loving it and feel like a new woman for summer! I might even keep it into fall, and winter, and….
Have you ever tried Balayage? What did you think about it?
*Thanks to Danny, Clare, and Lyric at Republic Salon here in Athens, GA. Y’all knocked my hair outta the park and I’m so grateful.*