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The beauty of balayage

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

While I always emphasise how important it is to embrace your hair’s natural colour, there will be times when you just can’t live without a new hue. And that’s perfectly okay: as they say, a change can be as good as a holiday! When it comes to lightening up, one of the most natural-looking and modern colouring techniques available right now is balayage. Essentially, balayage involves painting sections of the hair freehand, rather than using foils or a streaking cap. The end result is a sexy “grown out” look that takes literally minutes to achieve, and requires less maintenance than traditional highlights. Sounds about right for you? Read on!
Balayage is already popular among celebs like Kate Moss and Sienna Miller because of its casual, rather bohemian style: the look is sun-kissed, outdoorsy and very natural-looking. Its popularity is set to increase even further in the near future, says Marie Cain, artistic director at Head Studio in Perth, and previous winner of the L’Oreal Professionel Colour Trophy. “It’s been creeping up for the past five years, but in 2010, the trend for balayage will be stronger than ever,” says Cain.
The reason for balayage’s increasing popularity? Society’s elite moving towards a more natural look in hair colour, and consequently stepping away from stripy, zebra-like highlights. Elite fashion models, socialites and Hollywood’s brightest stars have lately been embracing the natural look, and of course, where the stars lead, the people shall follow! “As fashion-conscious consumers, we are strongly influenced by celebrities and fashion icons,” says Cain. Think about it – when was the last time you saw like Emma Watson or Isabel Lucas with bold, unnatural highlights?
Aside from its popularity among celebs, one of the greatest things about balayage as a colouring technique is its versatility. Because the colour is being painted on, you get to choose exactly which sections you want to be lightened, and by how many shades. Whether you want a barely noticeable colour shift or a dramatic change that will make your friends give a double take, balayage is likely to work in your favour. And best of all, you won’t be forced to visit the salon every month for touch-ups, as the very essence of balayage is in its “grown out” look. “You can leave it a little longer between colours – around six weeks – and then you’ll only need retouching and refreshing,” says Cain.
Balayage is an ideal colouring technique for any kind of lightening, whether you’re after a blonde boost or want to add some caramel tones to your naturally brown hair. Not all salons will have a balayage colour expert on hand just yet, so it’s definitely worth doing your research and calling a few salons to ask in advance. And whatever you do, don’t try it at home: it may look easy while you’re sitting in the chair, but it is definitely one for the professionals.

So if you’re sick of your current colour and feel the need to lighten up, then why not give balayage a try? Like many celebs and models before you, it might be exactly what you need to boost your hair’s beauty without looking fake and unnatural.

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