Most commonly, balayage consists of different shades of blonde applied over a darker blonde or brown hair. But balayage has more possibilities that just lightening: it can also be used to create a multitude of brunette looks... Read on for our take on the brunette balayage...
5 reasons to choose a brunette balayage
1. Be your best brunette
Brunette hair is now back in the spotlight, especially in combinations of cool and warm tones. This is where balayage can come in: ask your stylist to use the technique to apply multi-tonal shades that effortlessly boost your natural brown colour.
2. Go darker gradually
Thinking of taking your hair darker, but don’t want to make a sudden, drastic change? A brown balayage can blend your current shade with darker hues like cool mocha and/or warm chocolate to subtly darken the overall look.
3. Lift your brown hair colour with highlights
Even if you don’t want to lose your lovely brunette shade, a few subtle highlights created using a balayage technique can give instant radiance and update your look dramatically. Your stylist will help you choose one or a handful of shades that are just a few tones lighter than your current colour, for a bright and glossy finish.
4. Create volume and depth
The art of balayage application can be used to create the impression that hair is thick and full, making it ideal for those who have naturally thin, flat and/or aging hair.
5. Cover greys entirely or transition discreetly
On the subject of aging hair, balayage is also ideal for subtly disguising sections of greying or white hair. Your stylist can apply the colour on part, or all, of the grey sections. Then, with every following appointment, they let a little more of the grey/white show, so that you subtly transition into a gorgeous grey without any glaring root demarcations.
Ahead of the trends: Balayage Ambre
When it comes to balayage for brunettes, an upcoming trend is the Balayage Ambré (amber-coloured), a balayage techniques specifically for creating multi-tonal brunette creations. Ask your hairdresser about no-ammonia INOA, which offers amber shades, infused with cool iridescent shimmer.
To create multi-tonal amber hair colour, your stylist will pick a double-tone shade with both warm and cool shimmer, or pair shades together from opposite ends of the colour spectrum. Why? Opposite shades on the colour wheel will counteract or neutralize each other, and are also complementary. For example, a customised amber balayage look can be created using warm copper and cooler violet tones.
The key to a standout, unique look is all about the personalisation. But balayage isn’t the only way your stylist can give you stunning colour contrasts...
Get creative with your brown hair colour
There are other ways you can get gorgeous brown hair colour with highlights and lowlights:
Foilyage is another colour application technique similar to balayage, except the coloured sections of hair are wrapped in foil after being painted freehand to give more definition to the colour.
Strandlights involve traditional foils, but using much smaller sections of hair. Just a few strands at a time are painted over the foil: the result is particularly natural looking, making it ideal for subtle colour creations.
Ombré and sombré are two hair colour techniques that create a colour gradation, but are not as subtle as balayage. Ombré sees the hair lighten gradually down the lengths, while sombré (unsurprisingly) is a darker, more sombre combination, usually of cool-toned and neutral brown and darker blonde shades.
Dip dye is the least subtle of all the colouring techniques. This fun style involves two contrasting shades of hair colour that make the hair look as if it has literally been dipped in dye.
Contouring really shows the artistry of a professional hair colourist. Highlights (whether balayage or traditional foils) are placed strategically around the face to highlight and give shadow to your unique facial structure to create the most flattering effect. When it comes to using light shades to bring radiance to the face, experts call this “strobing”.
Caring for multi-tonal hair
Caring for balayage-dyed hair is the same as for any coloured hair. Opt for haircare specifically designed for coloured hair that won’t strip the pigment and cause premature fading. A weekly hair masque is a good way to restore any most moisture, and heat-protectant is a must for whenever you use heated tools like straighteners and curlers. Avoid over-washing (dry shampoo is a great between-wash option) and rubbing wet hair roughly with a towel.