How To Balayage At Home
Besotted by balayage but strapped for cash? Bookmark this page as we teach you how to DIY Balayage at home. Continuing to be a key hair trend through all seasons, the free-hand technique of highlighting hair is the only style du jour, thanks to the naturally subtle, sun-kissed finish it gives you.
While traditional highlights involve saturating sections of hair in dye and then sandwiching in foil and ombre can be a little daring - balayage instead involves lightly painting just the surface of the hair near the root, and moving down to cover the ends of the hair in dye fully. It's worth reading this guide first, on what balayage will work for your hairtype - especially if you're brunette or have afro hair, then tiger eye balayage might be suited for you.
WATCH: Balayage Hair Goals
Jonathan Long, Clairol's colour ambassador, gave us some pointers on how to do DIY balayage at home.
If we wanted to attempt balayage at home, what kit do we need?
"Along with ensuring you have the basic kit required for home hair colour, (well-fitting gloves and a towel), to achieve the balayage effect, it’s good to have a few hair grips to hand so that you can apply colour with more precision and target specific areas that you want to lighten. I’d also recommend a barrier cream such as Vaseline to apply on skin and avoid any staining."
What kind of at-home dye should we use?
"Achieving balayage comes down to expertly applying hair colour to the lengths of the hair and avoiding build up on the roots, so for the best results, use a crème formulation that allows precision application. It's less likely to run and streak as some gel colourants have a tendency of doing."
Which product do you recommend for at-home balayage?
"To achieve that natural sun kissed look and lighten the hair effectively, I would recommend using the nice’neasy Permanent Hair Colour Crème (£5.99)"
Okay, can you give us a step-by-step technique to balayage?
1. Always perform an allergy test
It is essential to carry out a test 48 hours beforehand. Even if you’ve used a product before or regularly colour your hair, you still need to perform an allergy alert test each and every time as you can develop a sensitivity to the ingredients at any time.
2. 'The hot cross bun' technique'
To section hair, use the ‘hot cross bun’ technique; divide your hair into four sections by running a comb down the centre of your head and then across from ear to ear. You can then easily work with one section at a time.
3. Don't forget your vaseline!
Apply a barrier cream such as Vaseline to the hair line to avoid staining the skin.
4. Now you can begin to dye...
To achieve the balayage effect, only apply the colourant to the lengths of the hair and in the areas you specifically want to lighten the colour on, avoiding any exposure to the roots.
5. We advice to do a small section at a time
Use hair grips to secure the hair whilst you work through each small section
6. Don't be scared to use your fingers (but remember gloves!)
Do not rub into scalp or roots. Apply the colour using your fingers to achieve the most natural effect, blending the colour through using soft downward strokes
7. Werk werk werk...
Work through the hair strands in each section to ensure full saturation.
8. Pour any unused colour mixture away.
It will lose its effectiveness after an hour.
What effect should we be going for?
"As with bronzer on the skin, apply the colorant to the areas of the hair that would naturally change after exposure to the sun; the front and side mid-lengths as opposed to the roots which generally tend to be more resilient to exposure from the sun."
How long will the balayage take?
"Depending on the desired effect you have in mind, this could take up to an hour, as sectioning off the hair effectively can take a little time if you do it right. The better you section off the hair, the more efficient use you can make of the time you spend on achieving your DIY balayage. As a rule, I always recommend doing a strand test beforehand to determine the exact time frame you should leave the colour on for, to achieve the desired colour change."
Any other tips?
"Always keep the shade you go with only up to 3 shades lighter to your existing tone, to guarantee the most natural looking effect."
Is there a Youtube tutorial I can watch?
If you need some more pointers, check out the video below...
See more balayage hair looks in the gallery below...
WATCH: ON THE GO BEAUTY HACKS