Balayage on short hair: Celeb looks to inspire your next salon visit

Balayage on short hair? Yep, it is possible – let us show you how...  

We have some breaking news: balayage on short hair is a thing and we’re about to show you how to pull it off – no Rapunzel-esque locks required!

What makes this much-loved trend so great for short hair, is that it works to accentuate the movement of your short ‘do, while giving it texture and dimension, as well as a pop of colour. And while there may be less hair to work with, this soft, highlighting technique can still be incredibly flattering, helping to make your tresses look more interesting, yet effortlessly lived in.

So, forget everything you know about needing length to transition the colour and read on to see how these short-haired celebs are making the style their own.

A-list celebrities with balayage & short hair


jessica alba wearing a cream dress with caramel balayage bob length hair
Opt for a mix of delicious caramel hues. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Caramel hues

If you’re blessed with naturally dark hair like Jessica Alba, you can still dip into the balayage movement.

To rock this look, simply ensure you invest in fudge, caramel, toffee or coffee-coloured balayage highlights, which work to enrich your natural hues. You’ll still look like you’ve just come back from somewhere fabulous, only in a much more natural way. 

margot robie on the red carpet with a wet look hairstyle in a blonde balayage colour
Margot knows a good hair trend when she sees one. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

The beach babe look

If you’re going for colour that literally looks like you stepped off the beach, rather than just stepped out of a salon, this sun-kissed balayage look will work equally well on short hair, as it does on tumbling locks.

We’re currently crushing on Margot Robbie‘s colour, because of its laid back appeal and naturally grown-out vibe. And since she has also decided to work her balayage with wet-look strands, she is effortlessly rocking two trends in one. Nice work, Margot!

Editor’s tip: Before you style your freshly washed locks, give your hair a good spritz of a sea salt spray (like the TONI&GUY Sea Salt Texturising Spray) to help keep frizz at bay, while giving your short hair texture and definition.

kristen stewart wearing a white top and black blazer with blonde short hair and dark roots
Stay true to your roots, like K Stew. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Stay true to your roots

The big bonus of balayage, is that it helps to make your natural root colour grow in gracefully, so re-growth appears less obvious than with other colouring techniques. Of course, roots are only subtle if you want them to be – as Kristen Stewart shows with her dark (and totally on-trend) root exposure and contrasting blonde locks. 

To make this uber short style even more dramatic, the Twilight actress has deliberately swept her tresses to the side, displaying her darker undertones perfectly. Balayage on short hair just got edgy. 

evan rachel wood on the red carpet with a smooth pixie cut and a silver balayage colour
Go for a 2-in-1 look with silver balayage. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Sleek silver

Even with short locks, Evan Rachel Wood manages a gradual silver transition, from dark roots to a light gunmetal base. The trick to achieving such a seamless colour change lies in keeping hair in tip-top condition, so that it beautifully reflects the light! 

Editor’s tip: To lock in the shine of your short locks, invest in the TIGI S-Factor Silky Smooth Moisture Serum.

This clever little elixir possesses light-reflecting qualities, which make balayage hair appear smoother, shinier and healthier-looking. The result? A cool finish that’s not exclusively reserved for ice maidens.

chyler leigh wearing a one shoulder halterneck black dress with bouncy balayage hair
Whip out the tongs for added bounce. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Balayage with bounce

Grey’s Anatomy star Chyler Leigh knows a thing or two about utilising balayage colour to give the hair bounce.

In this style, a flat middle parting works to highlight darker roots, which seamlessly transitions to auburn tips – you would never guess this wasn’t her natural hair! Then, going the extra mile, she styled her hair in loose waves to add plenty of movement to her chin-length bob. 

Mel B with silver balayage highlights
Balayage just got wild. Are you brave enough to try it?
Credit: Photo by Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

Embrace your wild side

We’re just going to come right out with it: this look isn’t for the shy and retiring. Think wild, bold… scary even? Whatever you make of this daring balayage look, Mel B’s hair has done the rounds when it comes to trends and you can’t help but admire a gal for jumping on board.

Here we see dark roots transition to brown, then silvery-white – and we think we even spotted a sneaky bit of blue in there. See, we told you balayage could also be wild!


If you’re ready to give your short hair a balayage transformation, but you’re still deliberating on the colour, check out our dedicated Hair Colour page for beautiful ideas that you’re guaranteed to love!

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