A while ago I wrote a fairly lenghty article for this blog in an attempt to really explain the difference between Balayage and Ombre. Since I wrote that artilce for our downtown nyc salon clients, the words Bombre (Balayaged Ombre) and Sombre (subtle Ombre) have kind of come and gone. Ombre it’s self isn’t talked about much… Unless it’s in terms of punky vibrant neon greens or pretty pastel color. Both of those things are still going strong in NYC hair salons and there has never been a time in modern hair styling where there has so many totally unique colors. Both in their application and the structure of how the color is applied hair salons in downtown NYC have had to become more and more creative to accomodate clients' hair needs. Basically no two things are the same. Pastel purple used to just be pastel purple in the 90’s IF it was achievable and I never saw it, unless it was the sweet spot of washing out and fading from something more vibrant. But there is going to be more on that in an upcoming post with more examples of fun colors or pastels.
I want to kind of continue the conversation about Balayage hand painting and all the different looks, colors and styles that this specific kind of hand painting can achieve. But the main focus will be on natural looking Balayage highlights.
First let’s get to basics and I’ll repeat this again. The word Balayage literally means “to sweep” in french. And this kind of highlighting is not new in europe. In fact it’s the european standard while here in America we are just really starting to toss out our foil packets for rigidly stuctured streaks, meticulously chosen for bold effects or natural ones. Not that foils don’t have their place in the world of hair highlights, they will always be around for an extra boost of lift on blondes or highlighted blonde hair.
The way Balayge was intended to be employed as a technique to help women appear that they had spent their summers on yachts in the French Rivera OR to extend that look into winter and spring before the sun came out again. Balayge highlights are specifically intended to mimic the suns effects. So the highlights used in the balayage technique are sometimes face framing creating lighter streaks of blonde that are most exposed when the hair is pulled back in a bun or low pony. All created by a Balayage Hair Painting expert .
If women wore their hair down in the summer, the balayge highest will follow suit: The blonde shades will be concentrated toward the top crown of the head, the front hairline and not a lot of blonde underneath in the most designs, interior areas of the hair.
These are some very natural, Balayage Highlights on curly hair. These Balayage Highlights have a slight Ombre Effect as they get lighter toward the ends of the hair. Mimicing the effects of the sun.
Balayage is also ideal for darker base hair colors. Balayage Highlights do not necessarily have to read as blonde. They can be customized caramels, chocolate browns or eve medium deep browns for hair that is almost black natrurally.
Here is a much more all over blonde look using the Balayage technique. This is a less subtle version for women who are actually looking to appear as if they were naturally blonde.
This is a more extreme version of an Ombre look achieved with Balayage highlights with bright blond ends.
Here is an example of Balayage Highlights with a fairly subtle Ombre effect on a dark brunette base color.