Balayage and ombre–two of the most common terms used within salons today, but what do they really mean?
As hairstylists, we like to think and speak the same language as our guests. However, as much as we try, that may not always be the case.
Baylay, Homebre, Balajay, Ambrey... Do these sound all too familiar? Educating your guests on the type of service you will perform can be the key to unlocking their happiness when it comes to a color service.
To decide which technique is best suited for the guest in your chair have a thorough consultation with referencing pictures.
Ombré: To create a gradual transition of color
If your guests do not mind seeing their roots when they look in the mirror or seeing the darkest color of their hair when putting it up, then ombré could be their desired look.
An Ombré can be subtle or drastic, depending on the look you want. Usually transitioning from two to three colors from the root to the mid-shaft of the hair, then the ends.
Tips to remember:
- Begin with the darkest color at the root, moving to your buffer color or medium shade tying in the lightest color at the bottom.
- There should be no visible lines of demarcation or bands even when worn straight.
- Majority of the color should be focused on the ends, creating a grown out polished look.
- Always use a toner for the desired end result to tie in the finishing blend to the previous lightened hair.
Difficult to perfect, but ombré can give beautiful results for guests desiring a blended look with the majority of color on their ends. When done right, it can look like a true work of art blended with colors.
Balayage: To create a natural, blended look
Balayage comes from a French word that means to sweep. Using a freehand painting motion, the color or lightener is placed in a sweeping motion without combing through the hair with your brush to create a subtle yet blended look.
Balayage can be used to create highlights or lowlights a little further down from the root of the hair. The color is placed to mostly affect the surface of the hair to create a dimensional look without the harsh lines of traditional highlights.
Tips to remember:
- Balayage works best for levels 7+, unless the goal is a warmer caramel tone.
- Clay lightener should be used to avoid swelling of the product, reducing the chances of bleeding color.
- Open-air, foils, mesh, cotton, or balayage film can be used to separate the colored pieces.
This color application can be used for guests desiring for more dimension throughout the hair or guests looking for a seamless growing out phase. Unlike an ombré color, the balayage color is dispersed throughout the hair to create a more natural, sun-kissed look.
It is the stylist's job to educate guests on the difference between these two popular services. Leave them speechless and ready to come back for more!