Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Getting Your Hair Balayaged

Welcome to our new post, Hair By Lisa Port Macquarie. Think of it as your direct line to the designers, stylists, beauty experts, editors, and tastemakers who are shaping the fashion and beauty world.

When we first heard about Balayage, it was a hair game changer.

No longer did we have to sit, head in foils, for what felt like three days only to end up with hair so stripy it brought to mind images of Nicole Richie circa 2003.

No, because Balayage is the hair dye trend that changed everything.

From Alexa Chung to Rihanna, anyone who was anyone was asking for Balayage to achieve that dreamy 'just been kissed by the sun in the Maldives' caramel hair.

But could we explain what it was? Probably not...

Until now. We caught up with pro international colourist based at Paul Edmonds hair salon, Jack Howard, and John Frieda colourist Shannon Gallacher to find out exactly what Balayage is and what all the hype's about...



What is Balayage?

'Balayage is a French word meaning "to sweep" or "to paint"', explains Howard. 'It allows for a sun-kissed natural-looking hair colour, similar to what nature gives us as children.'

Paul Edmonds hair salon A-list hairdresser Paul Edmonds is a star in his own right, with regular clients including Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and the Made in Chelsea cast.

What is Ribbon Blonde Balayage?

Summer 2021 is nearly here and with it, the newest interpretation of balayage: Ribbon Blonde. Originating in Australia (home of the sun-kissed blonde look, obvs), Ribbon Blonde is the ultimate out-of-lockdown transition colour for those who have come to love their natural shade but want to zhush it up a bit.

“Ribbon blond” was originally coined by the experts at Los Pastel's dreamy salon (based in Australia, but with a bunch of inspo on Insta).

Infusing tonal 'ribbons' of blonde against a darker backdrop, this style of balayage nods to an awareness of how attitudes have changed towards colour upkeep during the pandemic.

The best part is that it's completely customisable and therefore looks great for every hair type and skin tone. Whether you want the blonde to add high contrast definition or something a bit softer, your colourist can incorporate a mix of blonde tones for Bondi-beach worthy dimension.

What is 3D Balayage?

Surely all hair is 3D right? Well, arguably a dodgy dye job can make your hair colour look as flat and lifeless as if you'd hair straightened it within an inch of its life. Which is where 3D Balayage comes in.

3D balayage involves lightly sweeping sections of hair with colour to create light and shade.

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The latest techy update on the classic Balayage hair dye technique, 3D Balayage is all about adding multi-tonal dimension - think of it like contouring for your hair.

'3D balayage is great because it takes traditional balayage and makes it more multi-tonal, instead of streaky or flat', colour specialist at Jo Hansford salon in Mayfair, Shannon Lewis, told Refinery29. 'Rather than dyeing the hair with one single lighter colour, there are two shades, and one is always slightly darker.'

The result? Ultra 3D looking lights and shadows that create the illusion of thicker, more voluminous hair without any harsh lines or streaky highlights.

How can you tell if your Balayage has been done properly?

'The Balayage pieces should be very close and soft at the root leading to a thicker highlight at the ends of the hair,' says Howard. 'Balayage should be applied on the surface of the section and not saturated through the section until the very tips, otherwise you would have a streak of colour that isn't vey soft at all.'

'It can be tailored to any skin tone - anywhere from pale icier blondes, to golden shades can be used. It's a gorgeous low-maintenance colour to take you through the entire summer as it'll start out heavy and then grow out into a lived-in finish so the upkeep is completely dependent on the wearer.'