January 13, 2014

Ringing In 2014 With Balayage

It's a new year. I'm feeling it, too. I'm excited! And what better way to ring in the new year than with new hair, right?

For me, it was time for balayage highlights. I've been Pinning ideas for months, just waiting for my hair to get long enough really. While the kids were gone I spent a few hours at the salon.

Balayage is a French term (which does feel very fancy if you're curious) for "sweeping" highlights through hair. Not all stylists know how to do it or are good at it - you must ask. With balayage, low volume bleach is applied so that the lighter hair bears a very close resemblance to the person's natural hair color. The bleach paste is applied with a paintbrush by hand. No foils, just painting. Some stylists use cotton and saran wrap to separate layers. Since this was my first time and my stylist didn't dig super deep into my hair layers, she didn't need them. Next time.

Classic highlights are isolated strips of hair with applied bleach, which are wrapped in foil in a pattern around the head. This reveals a definite line of demarcation near the root. With balayage, a strip of hair is isolated and a low volume bleach is painted on MIDWAY down, through the end. Then, the stylist divides that bleached strip in half and paints half of it a bit higher, and then in half again and paints a bit higher yet. This technique blends it. It can take 2+ applications to dial it in and it only gets better as your hair grows out and you paint in more. You can also add lowlights to keep the dimension going later down the road.

In my case, the stylist did the process twice, the second time using a slightly higher volume so that I'd have multidimensional balayage. Love. The effect is complete blending, as if you just sat around a beach and were Gisele Bundchen. Gorgeous.

Audrina also has great balayage.

I mean, you can tell there are highlights, but it looks so blended. Sun-made. My lighter pieces look like my haircolor as a kid. I love it. My 30 gray hairs will love it, too.

In preparation for this change, I created a new private Pinterest board called "For The Beauty Operator," which I pulled up on my phone from the chair. Lulu will appreciate.

I also took with me a photo of an example of what I did NOT want to look like (I find that's a great way to give a stylist a stopping point. Goes great with, "if I look like this at the end, I'll break your knees.".

Happy 2014!

And now:

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