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What is Balayage?


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I hear these 3 terms a plenty: 'Ombre' and 'Balayage' and the latest trendy term 'Sombre'.

I'd like to clarify the many misconceptions I've been hearing over the past several months. Let's begin..

Most new clients I meet confuse Balayage with Ombre. Bal-a-yage is a Technique; a way to perform a highlight. It means to 'sweep' or 'brush' in French. You use Balayage to create an Ombre type look (among other looks). Balayage is a softer highlight than your classic weave/foil technique. You literally brush on the highlight with color and/or lightener with a color brush. Pros: softer grow out with no harsh lines of demarcation. Cons: will cost a little more than traditional weave/foil highlights. You need a practiced hand that is experienced with the brush strokes. This is the preferred method because the grow out is so seamless that you can extend your visit to the salon exponentially.

Now 'Ombre' technically means to transition from one color into another or from dark to light. Ombre is a LOOK not to be confused with Balayage. Again you use the Balayage technique to create an Ombre Highlighted look. In my opinion it is the classic 'Bronde' look most used for brunettes who want to spice up their dark hair in a more drastic way.

Last but not least the newest term I've been coming across is 'Sombre'. The way I see it it is a softer version of Ombre. Very subtle and mostly happening from underneath, like a peek-a-boo highlight. Again best performed by the Balayage technique.

Hope this was informative and helps clear up the confusion when you are explaining to your hairdresser what it is you exactly want. I myself prefer when clients bring in inspiration photos. It's very easy to get bogged down with trends and terms. A picture is worth a thousand words!

Also on a side note. Balayage is not to be confused with Dip-dye! Again a picture is worth a thousand words...

--Have A Good Hair Day! #rhahghd (rayna-hair-artistry-have-(a)-good-hair-day)



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About the Author

Rayna Wrighton, Rayna Hair Artistry
1250 North La Brea Avenue #106
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(310) 954-0994

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