Balayage isn’t a new technique. I remember my first job in the late 1980’s in Scottsdale Arizona as an Aesthetician for a salon that was co-owned by Jose Eber…remember him? The French Stylist who set up shop in Beverly Hills and was famous for doing Farrah Fawcett’s hair. All the Stylists were French and the first thing I noticed was how they lightened hair. I had never seen anything like it! During this time only really upscale salons were using foils to highlight hair and most salons were still using a plastic cap/bonnet that they would pull over the clients head and then proceed to pull strands of the hair through punched out holes on the cap with a crochet hook…no joke! Go ask your Mom…and it was painful!! So when I saw the Balayage technique being done I was in awe because of how graceful it looked. The stylist literally had a paint brush and a wooden board where they would take a strand of the clients hair, place it on the board and paint the color on in a sweeping motion. Balayage literally means “to sweep” in French…So much nicer than the crunching sound of foils being folded up or worse yet the dreaded “frosting” cap.
The Balayage technique came to the united states via France in the late 70’s and it never really gained in popularity once foiling caught on but the one thing I remember distinctly about the clients that came in for Balayage besides their Chanel handbags, smelling like Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, stirring their cappuccinos with crystal sugar swizzle sticks and speaking softly in French was how gorgeous their hair looked after the color service. It seemed like it was lit from within and reminded me how children’s hair looks at the end of a Summer spent at the beach. Natural and pretty.
Balayage has been back in the limelight for the past few years and is definitely here to stay with our clients asking for the technique by name and it’s not just for Blondes. Brunettes and Redheads can achieve beautiful, blended, multidimensional highlights that grow out seamlessly. Although the initial service is a bit more pricey than a tradition highlight its much more cost effective since you don’t have to come back in as often being there are no lines of demarcation at the roots.