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The Beauty of the Bespoke Balayage

The Beautiful art of balayage continues to flourish as both hairdressers and their clients show no sign of falling out of love with the trend anytime soon!

So, who better to talk to about what lies ahead when it comes to balayage than the incredible Jack Howard? Good Salon Guide member Jack, who runs Jack Howard at Paul Edmonds, was taught the art some 20 years ago by Nancy Braun, who is considered the pioneer of the technique in the USA. Nancy and Jack taught thousands of hairdressers in the USA how to successfully use balayage - a French word that means to sweep or paint. When Jack moved back to the UK in 2010, the technique was little known, so he started to teach it having recognised that British women were ready for a change.

Unlike foil highlighting, balayage is quick, does not need too much upkeep and is extremely flattering. The colour can be bespoke and tailored to suit an individual haircut. To help understand more about the technique and decide what type of look is right for you, or your clients, Jack has identified four main types of balayage.

Classic Balayage

This is when the hair is saturated at the ends and product is loaded in the mid-lengths, feathered up to the root and spread down over the surface of the section for a seamless finish. This is perfect for the woman who wants her highlight to the root; she’s probably got longer hair and would need to come into the salon around every eight weeks.

Creative Balayage

Again the hair is saturated at the ends and product is loaded in the mid-lengths. The difference here is that whilst the product is spread down to the ends, the hair shaft is only feathered slightly for a more lived in feel and finish. This is great for women who want a lower maintenance look and is perfect for all hair colour types. It’s edgier than classic balayage and great for longer styles, shag lobs and mid-length looks. Upkeep is around the 10-16 week mark, but can be longer.

Micro Balayage

This technique requires a finer more delicate application and works well on all hair colours, but is exceptional for women who want a heavier colour coverage, women transitioning from foil to balayage or those who like to flip their partings around. It can also be used on fringes. As this application is very soft, regrowth is minimal and salon visits will be between eight to ten weeks.

California Balayage

This is a much heavier incarnation of any of the applications - think cool, icy, metallic blondes. This is a high maintenance look and application; it’s still very soft at the root but gives heavier coverage through the mid-lengths and ends. This is great with a root stretch which builds up more contrast and works well on longer hair.

So now you know; and thanks to Jack for sharing his knowledge. One thing’s for sure, whatever style of balayage you pick, the look will be bespoke to you and therefore unique! We reckon that’s pretty special.