What Is Balayage Hair? Blonde Balayage Before & After on Short Hair

what is balayage
what is balayage hair
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What is balayage hair?

I get asked this question a lot as Balayage seems to be my go to style these days! I first had balayage done back in 2015 (on my SUPER long hair!) and absolutely loved it. It was a game changer for me being able to change the colour of my hair without any roots growing out or monthly trips to the salon. It’s the perfect lazy girls style!

Over the years I’ve had lots of different tones of balayage (and even tried out Sombre, ombre’s more sophisticated cousin!) but it’s a style I keep coming back to again and again.


Balayage is a french word that means to sweep or paint, and it’s often used to describe that sun-kissed look with natural blonde highlights effortlessly sprinkled throughout the hair. If it’s done right, balayage hair leaves no visible regrowth and will growth out with your hair looking natural from start to finish.


I was over-due a colour, so I let Helen from Francesco Group work her magic on my grown out locks and filmed the process to show you how a balayage appointment works, how long it takes and answer everyone’s question of: what is balayage hair!

What is Balayage Hair:
The Process

I wanted a real transformation and that’s certainly what I got! With added layers, a beautiful blonde balayage fade and brighter colours throughout – my colour and style was completely transformed.

New hair, who dis?!

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Colours and Products Used (for the pros who want to know):
Babylights with L’Oreal Pro Multi Techniques Powder and 12.5vol + Smartbond

Freehand Balayage with L’Oreal Pro 9Levels powder ad 30vol + Smartbond

L’Oreal Pro Toner DiaLight 9.31 and 9vol through the babylights and DiaLight 9.02 and 6vol on freehand areas. Both with Smartbond added.

Rinse and applied Smartbond step 2 for 10 mins

Rinse & Cleanse with Keretase Blond Absolu range – shampoo with Bain Ultra-violet and a fusio dose treatment.

My Short Blonde Balayage Before & After

You can really see the colour difference in the video above – it’s hard to get an accurate before and after photo 5 hours apart! But the balayage Helen painted gives such a beautiful fade and really lifts the entire colour of the hair without block colouring. It just looks a bit more interesting doesn’t it!

She’s accentuated my natural blonde highlights around the face and left my roots completely alone apart from a toner which will gently fade after about 10-12 washes.

With a style like this, my layers will need a trim long before my colour needs a touch up, so balayage is perfect if you don’t want to be dying your hair too much or spending every 4 weeks in the salon.

Keep your Balayage looking amazing:

The BEST Shampoo & Conditioner for Balayage Hair
– both budget and high end!

How long does balayage take?

My balayage took around 4-4.5 hours from start to finish. This included a complete style change with the cut too, chopping off around 2 inches and adding lots of layers. Your stylist will judge how long they need to leave colour on to develop according to your hair type and shade, but I developed for 20 mins, wash, 10 mins, wash and 10 mins again before the cutting began.

I love long hair appointments though – I find them very relaxing!

My TOP SECRET Purple Hair Mask for INSTANT Results!
Go from washed out brassy to cool ice blonde
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So there you have it! A sneaky peek into my balayage appointment and exactly what it takes to create that gorgeously popular sun-kissed fade!

PIN THIS FOR LATER

what is balayage hair

I hope you enjoyed my what is balayage article and let me know on instagram @xameliax if you decide to take the plunge!

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