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Balayage for 2024 with Jack Howard

With global colour and darker tones being talked about for SS24, there’s one service that will never go out of fashion – balayage.

The freehand colouring application has been a mainstay on colour menus for several years, so how can you update the look for the coming season? Colour specialist and L’Oreal Professionnel Paris Ambassador Artist, Jack Howard, says the technique has evolved for SS24: “Balayage will always be popular in some shape or form, I think the biggest difference we are seeing now is that people are using foils to achieve the lift, rather than just freehand painting. We are also seeing more colourists adapting their balayage rather than the traditional balayage techniques.

“The balayage technique is evolving; we’ve seen all over TikTok the quiet luxury that balayage can give hair, and now we are moving more towards the Mod Wife era with more balayage at the root and a little bit stronger. We are now transitioning from lived-in to more defined at the roots. It’s still quick, but more relatable and modern.” 

Jack adds: “Because traditional balayage has been so popular, we have a lot of hairdressers who don’t know how to colour the root. The last lived-in look was 1994 – so we have a whole generation of colourists who are having to rethink their techniques and skills. We are used to talking about dimensions and thinking about negative space and placement. In the UK the natural base is a 5 or 6, so using foiling techniques means we can take that colour right to the root but keep it soft. Forget about 90’s foiling techniques, SS24 is so much softer and natural, with a root stretch moving from one level to another through the ends.”

Here are Jack’s tips for creating beautiful balayage this spring… 

  • Get up to date with your foiling techniques as they have evolved over the past few years.
  • Work all the way through the whole head the first time you work with foils, then offer tweaks such as face frames or pieces through the top in further appointments.
  • Hold a colour consultation every time your client comes into the salon, both yours and their colour perceptions are constantly evolving. 
  • Language is key; use phases that beauty editors are using to describe hair colours which will make your colour menu more relatable. This is a clever move as it illustrates you know what is going on in the world of beauty and fashion. 
  • Follow the beauty editors of the magazines that your clients read; if they are a Maria Claire girl follow them on social, use the language they use, and your clients will be more engaged. 
  • Make sure you are using the very latest innovations in the salon. Clients are a lot savvier about ammonia-free, so use products such as L’Oreal Professionnel INOA and Dia Light that your clients can relate to. 
Foil It or Paint It Tour

Join Jack and Harriet Stokes on their Foil It or Paint It tour starting 8 May in Glasgow. For more information and tickets