From Subtle to Striking: Our Fave 15 Ideas for Balayage Straight Hair

A gallery of balayage winners to inspire your new look.

This one goes out to all the women with straight hair who struggle with styling challenges.  You know the drill: Curls that go limp by lunchtime, dealing with hair that’s too straight and slippery to hold a braid, or simply feeling bored with your strands day after day. To amp things up a bit, why not try to add some color? Balayage on straight hair is an easy way to add some visual interest to your hair via subtle or bold balayage highlights. So regardless of whether your hair feels like holding a curl, you’ll always have a little unexpected color to fall back on.

Read on to check out some of our favorite straight balayage hair ideas that we hope will inspire your new look this year.

1. Super Long Balayage

balayage straight hair sharp contrast long hair
This straight hair balayage style works for girls with super long strands.

Take your super long strands to the next level by adding a high contrast dose of balayage. Bleach blonde ends will make your dark roots-pop and will help elevate your waist-length strands.

2. Warm Balayage

balayage straight hair warm highlights
A soft and warm straight balayage style we can’t get enough of.

The warm tones in this balayage make it the perfect blend to pair with darker roots. The transition feels effortless while it still manages to make a major statement. Talk to your stylist about finding a warm shade of hues that perfectly complements your skin tone.

3. Subtle + Natural

balayage straight hair super subtle transition
This is the best option if you’re looking to make a very subtle statement.

By choosing a straight balayage hair route that only lifts your color by a few shades you’ll nail the natural balayage look. Subtle and barely-there, this look could be a confused with natural highlights that have been heightened by the sun.

4. Blended Balayage

balayage straight hair subtle long blended
This is one of our favorite balayage looks of all time.

The balayage technique works by pulling strategic strands out to highlight. When expertly executed, you’ll be loved with a beautifully blended result like the one pictured here.

5. Just the Ends

balayage straight hair subtle ends medium length
This if ideal for all the low-commitment babes out there.

Nervous about making a big commitment when it comes to coloring your strands? Consider a balayage option that includes just the ends of your hair. If you decide to get in on the bob trend later this summer you can easily let go of the extra colored weight.

6. Amp Up the Contrast

balayage straight hair short gradual contrast
High contrast means high payoff in the style department.

If you’re working with a shorter haircut and you’re worried that your balayage won’t have the impact you’re looking for then you’ll want to consider amping up the contrast. Pair much lighter ends with your dark roots for a style that makes a statement, with a shine spray, like Bed Head by TIGI Headrush Shine Spray, giving your look more gleam.

7. Balayage on the Ends

balayage straight hair medium lengths balayage ends
How to turn heads this summer.

If you’re worried about your hair looking over-processed and damaged then this might be a good option for you. This is what we like to call ‘second glance balayage’ because, well, it requires a double-take to see the subtly lighter ends. Talk about a head-turning style!

8. Rooted Balayage

balayage straight hair medium length rooted
The best option for the ladies who are low on time and expendable income.

What used to be considered a faux pas is now a major statement—in a good way. Rooted balayage works with your grown-in roots for a low maintenance style that’s super easy to keep up with.

9. Soft and Feathered

balayage straight hair rooted subtle and feathered
A.k.a. how to avoid too bold a change.

This style also highlights darker roots but the contrast is a little softer. A honey blonde keeps this look soft and subtle. Want more body? Make sure your hair is refreshed and clean-feeling by spritzing with dry shampoo at the root. We like Dove Between Washes Clarifying Dry Shampoo.

10. Blunt Balayage

balayage straight hair short blunt
Looking for something modern? This is the balayage of 2019.

While this balayage is particularly well-blended, the blunt short haircut makes a real statement in contrast with the coloring. This style is modern and edgy, and easily one of our favorite looks of the collection.

11. Face Framing Balayage

balayage straight hair long high contrast
Pay attention to where your eye goes when you first glance at the photo above.

Choose a balayage that hits just at the tops of your cheekbones for an ultra-flattering, face-framing option. Any style or cut that draws attention to this part of your face will draw the eye upwards for an instant facelift.

12. Red-Toned Balayage

balayage straight hair long gradual transition
An unexpectedly natural balayage option.

Many brunettes find that some natural red highlights emerge when they’re out in the sun. Opt for a bold, red-toned balayage to beautifully compliment your brown hair. A serum, like TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum, helps keep colored/bleached ends looking and feeling healthy.

13. Short and Choppy Balayage

balayage straight hair choppy bob
We can’t get enough of this easy transition between dark and light.

Pair a short and choppy bob with a balayage that’s mostly light-colored. The lighter ends will highlight the blunt nature of the haircut and will make your hair your favorite and constant accessory this summer.

14. Golden Balayage

balayage straight hair dark brown with golden highlights
A touch of gold never hurt anyone. Photo credit:

Get in on the gold trend that’s been taking over Instagram by adding subtle gold balayage into your brown strands. These subtle yet impactful strands of gold add a sun-kissed element to your look.

15. Barely-There Balayage

balayage straight hair long brown
Balayage is so subtle you’ll almost miss it. Photo credit:

This is another great option for those of us who have a hard time committing to one specific bolder style. By starting with a color that’s pretty close to your natural shade, you can slowly transition to a lighter color down the line or stick with something subtle yet equally striking.

Are you thinking about trying out one of these styles? Be sure to share the results with us over @AllThingsHairUS!

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