Hair Color Ideas

Balayage for Medium Length Hair: A Stylist’s Guide to Nailing the Look

Curated By
Miriam Herst

Pro tip: Let your inspiration photos do the talking.

Balayage for medium length hair can be a challenging style to pin down. Understanding the difference between balayage and ombré, how exactly to describe the look you want to your stylist and when to drop the fancy lingo and just bring in inspiration photos are all part of the process. We spoke to Jazzi Ziegler, a New York-based color specialist, and asked her best advice for nailing this look.

Jazzi started off doing hair in her hometown, Detroit, Michigan. She moved to New York to pursue her hair colorist dreams and is already certified as an American Board Certified colorist. “Color has always fascinated me,” Jazzi says, “All I want to do was understand it and use it to make women feel like the best versions of the themselves.” Keep reading to learn more about how to achieve stylist-approved balayage for medium length hair.

How to Nail Balayage for Medium Length Hair

balayage for medium length hair
This is potentially one of the most low maintenance styles out there.

All Things Hair: Can you describe what the balayage technique is?

Jazzi Ziegler: Balayage literally means “sweep” in French. We as stylists and artists hand paint the areas we want to pop out more and we create a dimensional masterpiece. This technique can be done in many ways depending on the stylist’s preference when it comes to his or her tools. Some use foil, others use plastic wrap, and still others use freehand painting.

All Things Hair: How is balayage different from ombré?

Jazzi Ziegler: Balayage is a softer, more natural look while an ombré fades from dark at the roots to a lighter color at the ends. Balayage usually starts higher up than ombré, but doesn’t have a specific and steady line of variation throughout the whole head. Some pieces may be higher or lower than others but that’s what gives the style a dimensional flowing technique.

All Things Hair: How can you make sure you’re speaking the same language as your stylist?

Jazzi Ziegler: Don’t try to use professional words because you want to sound smart. We know you aren’t professional and sometimes you may be using the incorrect description and you won’t get the result you want because you were using the wrong language. Just do your best to describe your look, and be patient if your stylist ask what seems like repetitive questions; we are just trying to understand you.

All Things Hair: What kind of upkeep does this style require?

Jazzi Ziegler: That’s the great thing about balayage! There’s a lot less upkeep, usually. You may need to go in and get your hair toned to neutralize any unwanted brassiness but going back is fully subjective. Some clients want to upkeep their balayage every 2 to 3 months because they love the look. And some clients opt for a less frequent and more economical number of visits from six months to a year. It’s still important to get regular haircut/trims between color visits, though.

All Things Hair: Do you see this trend enduring through the end of 2017, or do you think it will fade?

Jazzi Ziegler: I think that balayage is one of the most varying trends we’ve seen. There are so many different versions and each one really depends on the client. I think it will always be around but small variations will continue to be made.

Looking learn more about balayage for medium length hair? Find out what sets the balayage hair technique apart.

Miriam Herst
Yours in hair obsession, Miriam
17 March 2017