Matrix Blog

This Season’s Big Balayage Trends

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Sep 192019
By Amy Lawrenson
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Here’s what you can offer to boost your client’s crowning glory…

Now that summer is over (sob!), you might be thinking about heading to your local salon for a colour switch-up. The hair rules may very well state that we should be lighter in summer and go darker in winter, but rules are there to be broken! Are you a rule-breaker? Then how about treating your strands to a little balayage this season? Online, balayage is the most mentioned hair colour technique with a huge 3.1m mentions each year. We have a sneaky suspicion that’s because balayage can be customised to suit you—from your skin tone and eye colour to your personality—making each balayage look as unique as its owner. Sounds tempting, right.

And, while we’ve all heard of balayage, there are actually a ton of different balayage techniques that have flooded the hair world of late—from the Ombré to the Sombré, the Foilyage to the Layage. Whether you’re naturally red or brunette and want to lift your look or you’re blonde and want to go blonder—these balayage techniques are a fun way to switch up your look this autumn. Keep reading for the balayage 2.0 techniques you need on your radar…

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The Guide: Which Balayage to Get

What is Balayage?

Okay, let’s all get on the same page: For anyone unsure about what balayage is, it’s where the colourist hand paints strands for a look that can appear naturally sun-kissed or more full-on. What’s great about this technique is that the highlights are often painted a few centimetres down from the roots, which means you never have to worry about re-growth! Can we get a “heck, yeah!”?

Balayage works well on all hair colours, whether you’re blonde, brunette or red, the colourist will look at everything from your skin tone and personality to create a balayage look that suits you and your vibe.

Which is Better Ombré or Balayage?

One isn’t necessarily better than the other, it comes down to which look you prefer. The classic ombré is still going strong! For those who don’t know, ombré is where the hair gradually transitions from one colour at the roots to another at the ends. It might not be as talked about as balayage, but it still gets around 1.3m online mentions every year. If you’re dark brunette, for example, you might want to transition to bright blonde at the ends. Once you’ve lifted the pigment out of your strands you can then experiment with wash-in, wash-out colours which is always fun! Perfect for colour chameleons. Speak to your colourist about your in-salon options and keep your colour looking its best at home with the Total Results Keep Me Vivid range.

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What is Sombré?

Sombré is kinda like ombré’s older, more responsible, sister. It’s more subtle and soft. Where ombré is hardcore, sombré is more about playing with natural colours that suit you, gradually and seamlessly melting from light to dark or dark to light. 

Is Foilyage the New Balayage?

Foilyage (sometimes spelled, Folyage) is one of the fastest growing colour techniques, with online mentions spiking +111% YoY. It’s similar to balayage, except the lightened strands are wrapped in foil to prevent the bleach from drying. The finished effect? A brighter blonde! “Foilyage is amazing for brunettes and darker bases because you really get that extra pop of lift,” says Ashleigh Hodges, Matrix Artistic Director.

Keep blonde tones looking bright and brass-free for longer by using the Total Results Brass Off range at home.

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Is Layage the Same as Balayage?

Layage is well worth having on your radar. In fact, it’s so on-trend it gets 2.7m online mentions each year. The result is a subtle gradient effect which is a mix between balayage and sombré. With Layage, the hair is sectioned and splayed out onto a flat board (you just have to lay there! I mean, the dream) so the colourist can paint the colour onto strands using a delicate brush without the colour bleeding or moving.

What is Root Smudge Balayage?

Root smudging is so hot right now. In fact, online searches for root smudge have grown +125% YoY. A Root Smudge is a freehand technique where either a root is added in, depth and richness is added to existing roots, greys are covered or the root section is extended to span a larger area. It’s a subtle way to conceal root regrowth for those of us who want to stretch out our salon appointments for longer (that’s most of us then). Going to the salon for a root smudge touch-up and gloss will be cheaper and quicker than a full head of colour and will refresh your look, add shine and remove brass tones between balayage appointments.

It’s also a cool, grunge-y way to add roots into a full-on blonde look. "The root smudge is so on point because it really enhances the rest of the hair colour," says Ashleigh. “It’s all about the 90s this season and that grunge feel is definitely coming through – but in a chicer way. Deepening the roots makes the colour look more natural, but also makes the blonde look blonder.” Lean on the Re-Bond range if your hair is colour-treated and needs some TLC.

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Want to find out how to keep the brass off your balayage? Click HERE.

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