I take pleasure in the many different ways I get to work on hair. However, if you were to ask me what I get most excited about, it is without any reservations, color!

When I consult with you about your hair color, I perform a mental exercise where I run through all of the possible techniques and methods of applying hair to determine what works best with your hair style, care regimen, and desired look. Some of the color options available are all-over color, blocking, hi lights, low lights, Ombres, and Balayage.  Each technique has its place and is chosen based on the desired look.

In general, the most desired look lately is a soft, natural, and seamlessly blended hi light. That look is called a Balayage.  Today I want to focus a bit on explaining the origin of the Balayage and how it is performed.


While Balayage seems to be the newest, hottest thing at the moment, it’s actually a classic color application technique that has been around since the 1970’s. The difference now is that this classic technique has been updated using the newest formulations. The word Balayage is French and it means, “to sweep or sweeping”. In fact, the color formulation is applied in a sweeping manner throughout the hair.

Balayage is a freehand coloring technique which requires experience and a steady hand. After the color has been applied to the hair, it’s not confined in foil like a traditional highlighting application. This freehand technique is what helps create that beautiful, seamlessly natural look.

In fact, that’s really why I love to Balayage. I can see the whole head at all times; nothing is covered up. I can keep making adjustments in real time based on how the color looks based on the shape of the head, thickness of the hair, how the cut falls, and if an area needs a more generous or restricted color application. The beauty of this technique is that I can more easily visualize the end result and make modifications in real-time to achieve the desired look.


The hair industry is being inundated with tools, techniques, and products to help us give you that gorgeous Balayage. I’ve done all the hard work and ultimately determined that the product line that stands out on the crowd is Pravana. They not only have great product formulations, but they also have a line of tools specifically used for this service that assist me in producing a seamless application.

What’s different about Pravana’s new Balayage Lightener is that it is clay based. The advantage of this clay based formulation is that the outside of the product will dry and harden to create a crust that holds the moisture in. There are two important reasons why this is beneficial:

  • Once bleaches/lighteners dry out, they stop working. Pravana locks the moisture in the inner part of the application, thereby allowing it to continue working.
  • There is a tendency for bleaches/lighteners to swell. This causes an undesired transfer of product to other hairs, resulting blotches or spots. The Pravana formation keeps this from happening because the external portion of the application is not active as it has dried. Clever, right?


Here are three benefits to having a Balayage service.

  • It’s subtle and gradual lightening that occurs at different points along the length of the hair.
  • It is a lower maintenance hairstyle because the color shift is gradual and doesn’t start at the scalp. That means there is no regrowth to deal with every six weeks.
  • It’s the best way to show off your layers. If you like those beach waves, the Balayage shows them off perfectly. The color placement has been specifically mapped out for your style.

Have I inspired you? I hope so!