To balayage or not to balayage

If you’re not familiar with the term balayage, it was a major hair trend back in 2009 and for some unknown reason leaving hair roots much darker than the ends was the ‘in thing’. Looking back only two years later it’s already cringe worthy. So why am I telling you this? Well, the cool kids are still doing it and the good news is since the early adopters went all out with the skunk look, it has now paved the way for a subtler trend to emerge.

Beauty guru Zoe Foster balayaged back in 2009 and is doing it again now. She may have once declared it as over as one of her readers at Primped kindly pointed out, but as Foster explains it’s about the technique, not the trend.

Zoe Foster’s before and after using O&M’s new product

“Balayage is a technique whereby hair colour is painted onto the hair to create the illusion of naturally-caused, (often sunbleached) highlights, rather than the kind we pay for in salon that involve foils or caps. It is how you apply the colour, not where, but we have all been confusing the two. What a bunch of coconuts!”

In other words, if you were thinking you had missed the balayage boat, that was the green light you’ve been waiting for. Foster is doing it on her “Journey to go Lighter” i.e. dying her hair back to her natural blonde. With the help of her hairdresser, Janelle Chaplin, Creative Director of hair care/styling brand O&M (before you rush off to Google her – she’s in New York, I already tried) she’s road testing a new product, O&M PEARL Ammonia Free Powder Lightener. You can see the results of Zoe’s hair on the right, this is apparently after only one application.

If you want to try out balayage, the key to getting it right is to communicate with your hairdresser/colourist on the exact level of colour graduation you want to achieve. That and cross your fingers they’re not too heavy handed with the bleach.

Just a few parting words of advice, if you already have light roots, you may end up several hundred dollars poorer looking exactly the same. Not that it happened to me or anything.

Have you tried balayage? Will you be trying it out now? What other hair trends do you cringe about now?

Here are some celebrities rocking subtle and er, not so subtle balayage.