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This month’s post is going to cover the oh-so popular service request balayage.
Before we start, let's get the pronunciation thing out of the way. BAH-LEE-AHGE.
Say it with me...Bah...lee..ahge.
Okay, now that’s out the way we can talk origins of the word. “Balayage” comes from the French term, “to sweep”. Balayage has been around for a long time despite gaining huge popularity in the last decade. A Google or Pinterest search of balayage will turn up all kinds of different looks, so you may wonder how they’re all considered the same thing. First of all, balayage isn’t a look so much as it is a technique.
Remember in French it’s meaning is “to sweep?” That's exactly how your stylist is applying your lightener. In fact, because balayage services are so different from traditional blonding services there are specific hair bleaches made exclusively for balayage. The clay base of these special lighteners is meant to be applied open-air (directly onto the hair vs enclosed in a foil) and process gradually for results that are soft (blended) and subtle (less contrast than a traditional foil highlight). Think of it in terms of how the sun might naturally lighten your hair or how little girls have the prettiest sun-kissed blonde hair until they grow out of it. Balayage is the practice of recreating that natural beauty.
Why balayage and not just highlights?
The best-selling aspect of this technique is the undeniably low maintenance of the color. Some clients can go 3-6 months between a touch-up, though they still come in for regular haircuts and Olaplex treatments! *Olaplex is another buzz word which we’ll go over another time* The trick to this no-fuss blonde is in the application. Hand painting a balayage allows the lightener to saturate only what it touches. This means a lot of your natural hair is left out and -depending on your goal -creates lots of depth and dimension. This also means your balayage will leave your root exposed. Leaving sections of your natural means you’ll never have that unfriendly stripe of grow out; a seamless blend instead!
However, balayage isn’t for everyone. If the desired results are several levels lighter than the natural level other methods might be needed to get you there. It’s so common that clients with a naturally dark root want to be lighter blonde that other techniques have been coined such as “foiliage”. This gives the stylist a more controlled lift (more power for getting pale blonde) for even the most stubborn dark haircolors. You get the best of low-maintenance and lighter blonde shades! Here at Azarra Salon & Wine, you can trust your stylist to communicate what the best methods are to create the look you desire and the expectations you should have of your hair along the journey.
It’s important to keep in mind there’s no one-size-fits-all coloring in the salon. Going lighter can be tricky, especially using balayage. Often times the process of getting to your dream hair is exactly that; a process. Your first appointment (every appointment, really) begins with an in-depth look at your #hairgoals, the required maintenance for health/happy hair, and your current routines which may or may not need to be updated. Luckily, we’ll walk you through it all!
How about some examples?
Here is a balayage on naturally blonde hair which was lifted to a pale blonde in one service. This look is balayage in its purest form.
Here is a balayage service which utilized other techniques (foiliage) to expedite the blonding. In this case, the client wanted pale blonde while maintaining her natural root and keep the blonde as cool (ash) as possible.
Here is an example of a client who’s natural root is stubborn dark AND has been color processed for years. Not only was the client looking for a smooth grow out she also wanted to stay away from warm or coppery tones. This meant the balayage technique was not right for her desired look. Yet, as you can see her end results were incredibly similar. This was a collaboration of foiled highlights, a shadow root and a few other magical ingredients that she and her stylist agreed upon that would get her on the path to her hair goals without over-compromising. Wow!
Want to try it out?! Get in contact with a balayage certified stylist on the Azarra Salon & Wine team for a free consultation!
1944 Pacific Ave #202
Tacoma, WA 98405
January 10, 2019
Happy New Year!
This is our first blog post of the year (well, the first ever, really) so we’d love for you to leave feedback and ask questions!
At Azarra Salon & Wine we use a variety of different color brands. While each stylist is independent and has the ability to work with any tool of their choosing, most of our stylists use Pulp Riot (fashion), Goldwell Colorance (acid demi), Goldwell Elumen (fashion permanent), and Tutto (low ammonia Italian tint.) While your colorist can help you understand which color is best for you in each circumstance, you may want to do your own research.
We selected the products we use for a number of reasons: We always like to work with products that are as safe as possible for you and for us and we want to be able to offer consistent results. We do extensive in-salon testing of all products (we have a massive collection of mannequin heads who serve as our test models and we also test everything on our staff before offering it to you.)
One of the unique products we use is Goldwell Elumen. We’ve been using it in the salon for nearly twenty years (Aura Mae was on the education team that launched Elumen in the US!) What makes Elumen different? It’s a permanent color that comes in natural and rainbow shades. Unlike most other fashion color lines, these pigments don’t fade away after a few weeks. Elumen is a great choice for people who are looking for vibrancy and durability. It is a deposit only color, so if your desired color is lighter than what you have, we will lighten your hair first before applying the Elumen. But not all Elumen shades are of the rainbow. We can create most haircolor shades using Elumen. It’s more translucent than traditional tint, so while it covers grey hair beautifully, the color may be sheerer than you are used to. Elumen doesn’t use ammonia or peroxide but adheres to the hair though polarity.
Here’s a quick lesson: healthy hair has both positive and negative charges. Damaged hair has more negative charges and fewer positive. Most fashion colors are positively charged and rely on the negative charges in the porous hair to attach. The downside of this is that porous hair has a hard time holding the color so these shades are notoriously quick to fade. (This is a great thing if you want to be a whole new unicorn every visit, but not so good if you want your color to be more consistent over time.)
Elumen is different. It is an acidic color with a negative charge which allows it to adhere to hair that hasn’t been damaged. We only need to lighten the hair if we want a color that is brighter/lighter/more intense than the existing hair.
This is your chance to dream big! What’s your favorite color? Have you always imagined how cool it would be to have purple hair? We can help you get it and keep it!
Goldwell Elumen colors are no joke. If you’re looking for fiercely bright color and the lowest maintenance on the market then Elumen is your new BFF! So what’s the catch?! Remember how Elumen is uniquely created as a permanent color line? Color is classified as permanent because they permanently alter your hair shaft. This just means that after Elumen there’s no going back. If you like frequent and dramatic color changes it may be a harder transition with Elumen. We can help you shift from one color into another, but you won’t be platinum blonde after being violet.
Check out these photos of a project done by Carrie (a Board Certified Haircolorist.)
This particular client was able to go over 12 weeks before a touch up of her fashion shade AND -as you can see -it’s still beautiful!
Carrie painstakingly crafted each shade and the placement of every gradient.
I’m truly impressed with the level of execution our stylists provide and the jaw-dropping works of art our colorful haired clients leave with!
If you have wondered if colorful hair is for you come in for a free consultation with one of our Elumen colorists and have all your questions answered. See our website for scheduling.
1944 Pacific Ave #202
Tacoma, WA 98405