4 Balayage Techniques You Need to Know in 2019

Find out all you need to know about the balayage technique and why everyone loves it!

When it comes to looking for fresh new ways to colour your hair, many turn to the tried-and-tested balayage technique. Balayage hair is definitely one of the most sought after colouring techniques thanks to the variations available and it requires little work to keep it looking great.

If you are interested in joining the many A-list stars who are fans of the balayage hair technique, simply keep scrolling for all you need to know about the style and for plenty of hair inspiration to set you on your hair journey.

Balayage technique: Get to know the A-list hairstyle

What is the balayage technique?

front view of model with medium blonde balayage medium length hair
Balayage tresses can be an easy way to add a natural sun-kissed finish to your tresses. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Balayage derives from the French word meaning to sweep or to paint, and is actually a hair colouring method that involves a hairstylist ‘painting’ the dye onto the hair. And over the last few years, balayage has become a common hair colouring technique for hairdressers looking to create a graduated and natural looking finish on their clients.

The idea of balayage hair is that, unlike an ombre, you will be left with a natural colour graduation. However, while freehand colouring is more common, there are other balayage techniques used.

Balayage technique infographic.
Finding the best balayage technique for your hair has never been easier.


Hair colourists use the freehand method to sweep the colour directly onto the hair using a backboard. This gives the colourist more creative freedom to apply the colour and achieve a more natural finish tailored to the client.


The V-shaped method uses a 1,2 or 3 pointed application process to build colour in specific areas. Colour is applied higher up the hair, closer to the roots, giving a more statement finish.


Ever heard of hair contouring? This clever colouring technique is tailored to suit your unique facial features and structure using a mix of shades.


The foil technique is often used on those with darker hair to help the colour develop quicker. The results can be less natural-looking than the freehand technique as the placement of colour might not blend seamlessly.

How is balayage applied?

front view of brown hair model with soft balayage
Breathe life into your tresses with a balayage colour. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Depending on your desired finish, most balayage styles are applied starting from approx a quarter way down the lengths of the hair, with the bulk of the colour applied at the tips.

Unlike an ombre style, balayage leaves no harsh or distinctive colour lines. This means hair will be left with a graduated and smooth finish that is subtle and seamless in comparison to traditional highlights or ombre techniques.

Why should I try balayage hair technique?

front view of model with brown auburn balayage medium length hair
Sultry balayage. Credit: indigitalimages.com

If even the slightest hint of regrowth causes you anxiety, or you are fed up with endless hours spent touching up your roots, balayage is the perfect answer to your hair woes.

Balayage is a low-maintenance colour option which means you don’t have to visit your salon for regular touch-ups and best of all when the balayage does grow out, your natural colour will blend seamlessly with your coloured hue – jackpot!

Balayage hair inspiration

Now you know all about the various balayage techniques, it’s time to find your next look.

Honey blonde balayage

front view of rosie huntington-whiteley with blonde balayage lob
Make your blonde hair colour pop. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

With her perfectly blonde balayage hair, it’s no wonder that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of the poster girls when it comes to balayage tresses. Rosie often lightens her medium toned blonde hair with a lighter hue to add extra depth to her tresses.

Editor’s tip: No matter which type of balayage hair you go for, be sure to try TRESemmé Colour Shineplex Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s the perfect duo designed specifically for coloured hair.

Deep brown balayage

Balayage technique: Jourdan Dunn with dark golden brown balayage hair in low ponytail with dark eye make-up, and high neck top.
Balayage hair technique looks just as good on dark tresses. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Thought balayage hair was only for lighter locks, then you will be pleased to know you can also wear the style on naturally dark tresses too as seen on model Jourdan Dunn who went for a heavy balayage on her dark tresses.

Chestnut balayage

Balayage technique: Woman with dark brown medium length balayage hair wearing a checked coat.
A balayage can even look natural on a dark base. Credit: indigitalimaes.com

There are so many colour variations you can try with brown hair. If you’re after a subtle hint of colour, this chestnut brown hue will look amazing with a dark base.

Editor’s tip: Formulated with Moroccan argan oil and keratin protein, the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Colour Smoothing Serum provides frizz control and softness to help you achieve flawless styles and keep your colour looking vibrant.

Caramel balayage

Lily Alridge long brown hair with caramel balayage
Lily Aldridge adds a caramel tone to her brown tresses. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Lily Aldridge is a poster girl for luscious-looking locks and it’s her caramel balayage that is our personal fave. Her long medium brown tresses are often coloured a light caramel tone with the colour added around the hairline, framing the face – we wouldn’t expect anything less from a Victoria’s Secret model.

Golden brown balayage

front view of chrissy teigen with dark brown balayage golden brown curly long bob
Chrissy Teigen adds a golden brown balayage to her dark tresses. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

From lengthy manes to this curly long bob, Chrissy Teigen often experiments with her hair, but she never strays far away from her trusted balayage. We love how Chrissy has teamed her dark brown hair with a golden brown hue, which adds warmth to her look.

Baby blonde balayage

Balayage technique: Woman with blonde wavy long hair with soft balayage finish.
Understated but never underrated. Credit: indigitalimages.com

If you’re already rocking a blonde hue, going from light to lighter hair can be tricky. But with the balayage hair technique, your colourist can add some soft lowlights to help give your colour more depth.

Editor’s tip: Help neutralise brassy tones with TRESemmé Violet Blonde Shine Shampoo and Conditioner duo.

The professional quality system, enriched with pearl extract and violet toning pigment, revitalises colour and shine while giving intense nourishment.

Soft brown balayage

front view of selena gomez with long bob balayage brown hair
If it’s good enough for Selena. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

What we love about the balayage technique is that you can go as bold or as subtle as you like. There is no one size fits all so if you simply want to add a few lighter strands through your tresses, follow in Selena Gomez’s steps and ask your stylist for a soft balayage finish.

Tousled balayage

Balayage technique: Woman with medium length dark brown hair with balayage finish wearing a dark jacket.
Give your tresses a tousled finish to show off your new hue. Credit: Dvora

Want an everyday hairstyle that shows off your new balayage? Try a tousled effect wavy hairstyle and channel that rock chic bedhead look we all love.

Summer lights

Balayage technique: Woman on runway with straight brown blonde balayage hair wearing a green dress.
Beige tones work a treat for brown and blonde shades. Credit: indigitalimaes.com

If your dark roots are craving a seasonal update, adding a blonde balayage will instantly have you dreaming of summer.

Blonde and rose gold balayage

Balayage technique: Woman with shoulder length blonde rose gold balayage hair on runway.
Be creative with your balayage hair colour. Credit: indigitalimages.com

The balayage technique has multiple benefits and adding fun hues like this rose gold shade is just one of them.

Wear this playful colour to a festival this summer.



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