The balayage color technique is a very natural highlight could almost be confused with ombré, given that it is lighter on the bottom than the top. It’s been a thing now in LA and NY for some time. Miami, however, has been a bit behind the curve on this great hair trend. We’ll, we’ve fixed that now that Danny Jelaca’s salon has brought on Emily Sikes who learned the technique at Frederic Fekkai in Greenwich, Connecticut, and perfected it at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door on 5th Avenue.
The technique is, like so many great things, French. The word means “to sweep” and that’s exactly what it looks like when they are delicately applying the color back and forth on strands of hair. Foils are not generally involved. Sikes uses cellophane to keep the color separate. “Nobody uses foils at the good salons in New York. You can’t really grab the ends using foils,” explains Sikes. And coloring the ends is important in balayage, just as it is in ombre.
Other practitioners use different techniques including teasing the hair to get strands to stand apart from each other. The process is a bit more labor-intensive than standard highlights, and costs a good $75 more to reflect that. “This isn’t something they teach you in school,” says Eduardo Bravo, one of the salon’s expert cutters. “You have to learn on your own directly from someone who is an expert.”
As usual, all the extra trouble is totally worth it. The effect is very natural and grows out well liberating women from the dreaded linear grow-out that forces them to return to the salon like clockwork. While it might be new to the MIA, it’s not really a new trend for celebs— we’ve been seeing balayage on Sarah Jessica Parker, Giselle Bündchen and even Lauren Conrad for years. The best part is that now you won’t have to fly to LA or NYC to find a colorist who knows how to do it right.
Will it work on you? Most likely. The effect works on a range of hair colors, but it is best for longer hair, styled naturally in flowing waves or loose curls.