Balayage or Highlights: Which Is Best for You?

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You might find yourself wondering what to ask for at the salon to go blonde. Or, you might just want to freshen up your natural colour with some lighter shades. 

Balayage and highlights can help you achieve both of these things, but which is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about balayage and highlights.


What is a Balayage vs Highlights?

Balayage is a lightening technique where your stylist will hand paint the colour directly onto sections of the hair. The result is a very natural, blended look with the ends of the hair typically being the lightest.

Shiny Balayage Hair Using Aveda Hair Products

Whereas highlights (or foils) are created by weaving fine sections of the hair and separating them with foils before applying bleach or colour. By weaving the hair, not every strand of hair will be lightened, however, the high will be lightened from root to ends. 

blonde hair highlights done at shai hair and beauty london

Should You Get a Balayage or Highlights?

1. Consider Your Desired Look

Both a balayage and highlights will make your hair lighter. But how light do you want to go and where do you want the lightness to be in your hair?

If you want to be blonde or lighter from roots to ends, then highlights are your best option. However, if you want to add a more natural-looking lightness to the hair, then balayage is likely the better option. The hair colour is placed by hand and it can be placed near the roots, but your ends and mid-lengths will be the lightest. 


2. Colour Maintenance 

Do you have time to visit the salon every 6-8 weeks? If you do, then you’ll be able to maintain your highlights.

However, for those who want a much more low maintenance look, balayage might be the way forward for you. Since the colour is placed towards the ends of the hair, you’ll find that you won’t get harsh roots when your hair grows out. 


3. Consider Your Personal Style

If you like the beachy, sun-kissed and effortless look, then a balayage can help you achieve exactly that. However, foils are much more uniform and tidy, so whichever you choose will depend on your style and preferences.


4. How Blonde Do You Want to Be?

Generally, if you want to be completely blonde then your colourist will advise you to get highlights. This makes it easier for them to lift the hair more levels and will give a very even result.

However, with a balayage, you don’t necessarily have to go blonde. Your ends can be lightened to any level you like, so if you have dark hair, you could have a light brown balayage.


There Are Endless Possibilities with Each Technique

Even though each technique creates quite different results, individually, they have a variety of possibilities. 

For example, with foils, you can also have low-lights which are darker shades to add more dimension to the hair. With a balayage, you can have a variety of colours painted onto the hair to also add dimension.


Balayage and Highlights at Shai Hair & Beauty

Are you looking to get highlights or a balayage in London? Our colour experts at Shai Hair and Beauty are on hand to give you your dream look. 

Check out our balayage and highlight services here.