Acquaint yourself with Balayage

Level ChartIf you’re looking to brighten up your look with some sexy sunkissed highlights, it’s time to acquaint yourself with the increasingly popular balayage highlighting technique. In major cities across America (yes, including celebrity hubs like LA and NYC), balayage highlights have become just as popular, if not even more, than traditional foil highlighting. “Balayage is considered to be a specialty technique because it requires skills and training along with a naturally creative eye" says RockstarHairArtist Sterling Harrelson, a highly sought after stylist offering his guest Balayage in Richmond VA.

Ask the Salon these Balayage Hair color Questions:

If you book balayage Sterling, He will guarantee your color will be beautiful. He will also tell you if you are not a good candidate for this service. It is naturally warmer and diffused at the root. So if someone is used to power blonde at the root, its not for them. Be cautious when booking this service and always ask these questions:

1. How long has the stylist been doing balayage and where did she/he train?

2. Do they use a special product designed for balayage?

3. What method do they use?

Number 3 is important. There are several types of balayage- most colorists just don't know!

So ask these questions before you book. If you do your research you will end up with beautiful highlights that grow out well. If you don't, you could end up with a preschoolers project on your head instead of the awesome balayage color you paid for!

Balayage, which is a French word meaning "Sweeping" creates the most natural-looking results because the professional HairArtist paints on the highlights by hand, and can place them throughout your hair in a more truly “sunkissed” and natural pattern. “When using foils, you work row by row, which makes the highlight pattern leave lines on the head which are not sexy! With balayage, you have more flexibility on where you want to place the highlights so the resulting look is truly sunkissed like you spent the last two weeks in Hawaii,” says Sterling.


If you’re in search of the sexy sunkissed highlight effect, balayage is the way to go. It also has another added benefit: Longer lasting results. “Since the grow out at the roots doesn't leave you with a line of demarcation, you can wait a bit longer before getting a touch up,” he says. Foils usually require a visit to the salon every six weeks, but with balayage, a client can go eight weeks or even longer.

The “painting” of the hair also creates a more natural-looking color. “With balayage, I start painting the color on at midshaft which is where the sun naturally hits your hair the most. Then, I gently paint up to the roots, which makes the growth at the scalp look more gradient. Using foils, the entire section is coated evenly with color, then wrapped up in the foil, and the heat from the foil makes that piece uniform in color from roots to tips. Also, because you work in rows, the demarcation at the roots [when it grows out] leaves a clear line of demarcation” explains Sterling

Balayage dark

However, if you have dark brown or black hair, balayage alone may not be the best option for you. “To brighten up dark hair, you need the heat from the foils to achieve a higher and brighter level,” cautions Sterling . “I sometimes like to use multiple highlighting techniques on a client to create a mix of bold and natural-looking highlights. It’s important to find a colorist who knows how to do multiple techniques to achieve balayage highlights on dark hair. They truly are different and it’s about choosing which one is good for you, as opposed to finding a colorist who just does one technique or the other. Also its important to remember that Lightening your hair is a Color Story that can take time to achieve the desired result, so listen to the advice of your HairArtist who has your hairs integrity in mind” advises RVA Hairstylist Sterling Harrelson.

balayage before and after

And a final word, no matter which technique you get: “It takes up to 3 days for the cuticle of your hair to close after its been opened during a coloring process, so try to wait that long before shampooing. You can rinse and condition your hair, but don’t wash it with shampoo. Use a recommended dry shampoo if needed. This is especially important for redheads,” Sterling cautions