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  • Writer's picturePaige Pareti


Balayage and highlights are both hair coloring techniques used to add dimension and depth to the hair. However, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Technique: Balayage involves a freehand painting technique where the colorist strategically hand-paints highlights onto specific sections of the hair. The color is applied in a sweeping motion, typically from mid-lengths to ends, creating a natural, sun-kissed effect. On the other hand, traditional highlights involve sectioning the hair and using foils or caps to isolate specific strands for color application.

  2. Placement: Balayage focuses on creating a more natural, blended look. The colorist selects sections of hair that would naturally lighten in the sun, such as the ends or around the face. This technique allows for a softer transition between the colored and natural hair. Highlights, on the other hand, can be placed throughout the hair, including the roots, to create a more defined contrast.

  3. Result: Balayage typically results in a softer, more subtle effect compared to traditional highlights. The color tends to be seamlessly blended, giving the hair a more natural, lived-in appearance. Highlights, on the other hand, can provide a more noticeable contrast between the colored strands and the natural hair color.

  4. Maintenance: Balayage requires less maintenance compared to highlights. Since the color is applied in a more natural and blended way, regrowth is less obvious, and touch-ups are not needed as frequently. Highlights, especially if placed close to the roots, may require more frequent touch-ups to maintain the desired look as the natural hair grows out.

Overall, the choice between balayage and highlights depends on the desired outcome and personal preference. Balayage is often chosen for a more low-maintenance, natural look, while highlights can offer a more dramatic contrast and defined color placement. It's always a good idea to consult with a professional colorist to determine which technique would best suit your hair and desired style.

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