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Balayage is a French term meaning "to sweep" or "to paint." This hair dye game changer is hand painting color onto your hair. Hair stylist, Evelise Batiz, brings the shine to clients at her salon, Feathered by Evelise, in Temecula, California, and says when it comes to trends in highlights, balayage is queen.
People love the results of this technique because it emulates sun-kissed hair. Batiz explains, "It's lighter toward the bottom, and it gets darker as it goes to the top, which is what hair normally does in the sun...so it's more of a natural highlight." Pasadena, California-based hairstylist, Maggie Manley agrees, "Natural color will always be in, and balayage is a great way to achieve a low maintenance natural look."
There's also a hybrid technique, foilyage. Foilyage beautifully unites the subtlety of hair painting (balayage) and the power of foil. Foilyage is generally seen as the most effective route for darker manes. It can give them the lighter hues they're looking for, but not as harsh as traditional highlights. "For brunettes, a little goes a long way. Don't over highlight, so you keep the dimension and sparkle," says Manley.
Batiz always recommends a deep conditioning treatment, like our Mane Goals Deep Repair Hair Mask, for clients who come in for highlights. She also suggests using a protein bond builder product. When you use any color, it has to create holes in the surface of the cuticles. The bond builder fills in those holes like spackling on a wall.
According to the professional colorists consulted by Elle UK, "Ombré means to shadow, and it's seamless graduation from darker to lighter." Batiz clarifies that ombré isn't necessarily in the same genre as highlights. "I wouldn't consider that a highlighter. The bottom is completely light as it moves up into the dark, so it's a whole separate technique." With an ombré dye, all the hair's ends are impacted. Also, the transition between deeper roots and lighter ends are not very long.
Let's not forget the baby sister of ombré, the sombré. Sombré is the less intense version of the ombré. It's a softer, more subtle transition of color from roots to tips. With either look, be sure to keep those tips hydrated with a formula designed to combat dry ends, like our Not Your Basic Ends Sealer.
"If you ever feel flat or one dimensional ask for lowlights!" says Manley. While highlights are a shade or two lighter than your natural hair color and are used to soften and brighten up the overall head of hair, lowlights are at the opposite end of the spectrum, being a shade or two darker than your natural base color. They add depth and dimension, making hair look thicker and more voluminous.
Batiz sticks to lowlights "mainly on light brunettes, to deepen their hair color and make it richer." But the lowlight magic can work for blondes too. Manley believes lowlights "are a great way to add depth to a blonde. It will also make the blonde pop again!" Add even more subtle shine to lowlights with a tiny dose of the NuMe Gloss Boss Serum.
Blue or pink strands are becoming more popular than ever. Batiz says the key with these highlights is, for example, "mixing up colors and not doing a solid blue or solid pink". "They're doing the colors with different variations of that color, and making it look...like a balayage, but with blue hair." In particular, "younger kids between nine and 13 are utilizing a lot of color—leopard, flowers on their head, pictures, tie-dye..." While ombre was the go-to technique for adding non-traditional color to hair for a while, it's not uncommon for clients to now ask for the balayage version, if not full-on color.
There's never been a better time to achieve natural looking highlights or even natural looking non-traditional hair colors. And thanks to the 'gram, it's easy to see the work of so many stylists so you can find one that you vibe within your area. For more highlighting trends, and all things hair, be sure to follow us on Instagram @NuMeStyle. Sign up for our NuMe Rewards & Loyalty Program to earn points so that you'll be on your way to achieving gifts, products, tools, and even tickets to exclusive NuMe events!
Author: Mary Patterson Broome