When we first heard about Balayage, it was a hair game changer.
No longer did we have to sit, head in foils, for what felt like three days only to end up with hair so stripy it brought to mind images of Nicole Richie circa 2003.
No, because Balayage is the hair dye trend that changed everything.
From Alexa Chung to Rihanna, anyone who was anyone was asking for Balayage to achieve that dreamy 'just been kissed by the sun in the Maldives' caramel hair.
But could we explain what it was? Probably not...
Until now. We caught up with pro international colourist based at Paul Edmonds hair salon, Jack Howard, and John Frieda colourist Shannon Gallacher to find out exactly what Balayage is and what all the hype's about...
WHAT IS BALAYAGE?
Balayage is a French word meaning 'to sweep' or 'to paint'. It allows for a sun-kissed natural-looking hair colour, similar to what nature gives us as children.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR BALAYAGE HAS BEEN DONE PROPERLY?
The Balayage pieces should be very close and soft at the root leading to a thicker highlight at the ends of the hair. Balayage should be applied on the surface of the section and not saturated through the section until the very tips, otherwise you would have a streak of colour that isn't vey soft at all.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR BALAYAGE HAS GONE WRONG?
If the right products aren’t used and monitored,or product is rinsed off too quickly the hair may not lift correctly and will appear orange.
It's important when using bleach that the person applying it knows when to take it off - this depends on your hair type and colour. If you think your Balayage looks patchy, this will be because of wrong application and placement.
Remember, Balayage is an art so either go to a professional or make sure you watch plenty of tutorials before attempting at home.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF IT HAS GONE WRONG?
If you've had Balayage but aren't happy with the result, don't worry, this can be fixed but may involve a colour correction depending on the damage.
This could involve various techniques including a root melt and blending the Balayage or toning down and starting again. Always go to a professional for a consultation and opinion.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BALAYAGE AND OMBRÉ?
Balayage is a French word that means to sweep or paint; it's a highlighting technique. Ombré means to shadow, and it's a seamless gradiation from darker to lighter. People do get confused by the two but you can also combine them in a merged technique which can be very pretty.
Sombré is a much softer version of ombré and is still popular, especially with the charcoal grey trend.