The word “Balayage” comes from another French word meaning “to sweep”. Now, if you have ever seen someone get a balayage in the salon, this probably makes sense to you. When applying the color for a balayage, you sweep the color through small triangle sections of the hair onto a board or foil, giving it the natural transition down into the lighter color.Balayage uses a surface highlight process which creates a sun-kissed effect and a contrast between your natural color and the highlighted areas.   It creates a beautiful illusion, as though your hair had been piled into a pony tail and released so that the contrasts are soft at the root and heavy on the bottom.  The colorist can create this by using a 1 point, 2 point or 3 point technique.

The word ombre comes from the French word “shadow”. Ombre is the actual style. It is the transition of a lighter shade from a darker shade. That technique is more subtle, hence the word sombre. Ombre is definitely more noticeable and typically more maintenance. Ombre is kind of like color blocking, there are no dark pieces left on the bottom to help keep it natural, just a nice transition between the colors.

Hair painting is similar to using foils – you’re saturating the hair exactly the way you would do in a foil . Clay lighteners make hair painting more interesting because you can paint with them without bleeding through the hair creating spots.   So, if you want a more natural look like you were on the beach, ask for a Balayage.  If you’re looking for heavier technique, hair painting is for you.


For more information on Balayage- Celebrity hair colorist and one of the most sought-after Balayage experts – Michele Fury – provide tips and demo’s on the perfect Balayage treatment to incorporate either Blonde, Brown, Caramel, Red, or Colorful highlights on a variety of hair. Balayage is a form of freehand hair coloring where the desired hues are painted on, rather than the standard highlighting methods that use foil or caps. The French technique is a universal trend that works on a variety of hair lengths, textures and colors.