Balayage Isn’t Just for Blondes!

I was the guest author and wrote this post for the Hair Style Blog. Enjoy! -Lisa

Balayage: brunettes are jumping on the sun-kissed look too!

Balayage is the French word meaning “to sweep” or paint. To balayage the hair is to use a brush and hand paint highlights on to the hair. This technique allows the hair to look more natural and sun-kissed . . . just like a child’s hair. I love Loreal’s concept of “Less is More,” it applies with the technique of balayage.

I began using the balayage technique on my clients in 2007 and it made me rethink how I previously thought of hair color. I fell in love with the technique and how it looked on my clients hair. And best of all, my clients fell in love with how their hair looked! It creates a more natural grow out. Balayage application creates highlights softer by the roots and bolder towards the ends, which looks more natural than highlights done with foil applications.The foil highlight application gets lost towards the ends.

Another big plus with going with a balayage technique is that you won’t need to come into the salon every 6 weeks for a touch-up as you would with regrowth from a foil application. You will get use to seeing more depth at your roots and the highlights from balayage pop out more, giving a more beachy effect.

The placement of balayage or ombre color is more artistic and more visual than a foil highlight application. You can balayage lowlights on to the hair, which also looks more natural and not as streaky or chunky as some highlights can become.

Most of my balayage clients come in every 3 months for a touch-up. Some clients wait up to 6 months, but most come in-between the 3 month period to get their roots touched up or a toner/gloss, or just face frame highlight. Those of you who are use to the foil application of highlights or lowlights, don’t freak out! Talk to your hair stylist about easing you into the transition. Your hair stylist can also balayage your hair heavier around your face and hairline for an easier transition. That way you won’t feel like you still have regrowth when you leave the salon.

So for new clients looking for that next best hair color trend . . . this is it. Remember the service will most likely cost you more because of the skill and technique level and the time involved. But in the long run, it won’t be as many trips to the salon. It’s the perfect time now to get your hair sun-kissed ready!

Guest author Lisa Amato has been a hair stylist for 21 years. Specializing in natural looking balayage hair color. She is certified in Loreal Professional hair color and INOA no-ammonia hair color. Lisa trained under Jack Howard and the “Queen of Balayage,” Nancy Braun at the Loreal Academy in New York. Lisa has worked under Kris Sorbie, Chris Baron and Sam Villa, along with Kaz Amor. Lisa is certified in Great Lengths Hair Extensions.

The Consultation by Jack Howard

Jack Howard trained me in my first Balayage class. I love what he says here! -Lisa

One of the most important parts of our business is I would say the consultation, it’s not that it has to be a thirty minute session but it has to be clear, concise and have a goal. Given the state of our economy it’s even more important to make clients comfortable informed, special and relaxed before we start a service with them.

1 – Personally I like to greet my clients with a smile and a welcome as I take them to their chair, and then instead of talking to them through the mirror, I like to talk to them face to face at their level, I believe this breaks down the first invisible barrier.

2 – The next thing I like to ask is how they feel about their hair (people have of lots of feeling about their hair), its a great question and quite often I can gleam tons of information from them about what they like and don’t like, and it shows me to be interested in them, I am able to join in this conversation adding my thoughts and insights.

3 – The critical question is then – what would you like your hair to look like? – now we can find out if the goals are realistic, taking in to account, lifestyle, commitment to upkeep affordability and whether or not I feel it will suit them and their skin tone, eye color, natural level etc. Clients come to you not just for your technical abilities but also for what I call my eye, my taste level.

4 – I believe it’s important to be honest about what is achievable and where we can go in a period of time, but I do want my client to be happy I would rather under sell the end result than oversell it.

Over the years from my own experiences and working with others I feel clients can be broken down into three groups and within those three groups clients can change groups for different people and different reasons

1 – The do anything you want client – I am not so keen on that response from a client and always feel i need to dig a little deeper, after all I’m sure she wouldn’t want jet black, so its back to the question of how she feels about her hair and start to figure out what are her likes and dislikes

2 – The slightly neurotic client – I love these ladies, they are usually only neurotic because they have had a bad experience with a colorist and are now very keen to manage the situation. So I like to get down to the bottom of whats gone on in the past and work with them to gain my trust. I know that we might not be able to do all I want the first time round, and am okay with that.

3 – The regular client – Often the client who has been loyal and with a colorist for sometime. These are the clients we should always be checking in with, always asking how they feel about their color, never having their formula mixed up before they arrive, always offering a tweak of their formula even if they don’t want it.These ladies make us successful and should not be forgotten.

Jack’s tip: Build time into your schedule to listen and talk with your client.