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

18 thoughts on “Acquaint yourself with Balayage”

  1. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I supply credit and sources back to your web site? My weblog is within the exact identical area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from some of the details you offer here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks!

  2. I gotta bookmark this internet site it seems very helpful . To bad your so far away. Any chance you’ll be coming to PA?

  3. I’ve been looking for someone in richmond who knows how to balyage. Your salon is located in the fan? My bf went to Nirvana back when it was a barber shop. How long have you been there?

    1. We would love for you both to come back in. We are a multi cultural salon. We don’t have “jack of all trades here”, we have talented stylist from all walks of life, who work together as a collective. I was trained in the art of balayage or hand painting hair. I would be honored to speak with you and see if balayage is the right answer for your needs. I’m new to RVA and I look forward to meeting you and your bf.

  4. oh cool, this information is really useful and definately is comment worthy! hehe. I’ll see if I can try to use some of this information for my own blog. Thanks!

  5. I love your website.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself or did you hire somebody to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own website and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

  6. I love my hair by Sterling! First of all, Sterling took the time to sit down and really listen to what I was saying even tho I couldn’t come up with the words to describe what I was looking for, Sterling asked me questions that I hadn’t thought of and suggested a cut and color that fit my lifestyle! sterling’s “balyage” saved my hair! Thank you Sterling!

  7. Hi Sterling, are the pics on this website examples of your own work or of other people’s work? Would you mind posting more pictures of the work you’ve done?

  8. I passed by Shockoe Salon many times in the past, however recently I took note to remember to go back. From the minute I walked into the salon, I was greeted by the owner and felt right at home. The space is unlike anything else in Richmond. Very open, relaxed, and welcoming not mention onsite parking.

    I moved to Richmond just over four years ago and I have had the hardest time finding anyone that I trusted with my blonde highlights, nor anyone that understood what I wanted (and could actually make that happen). Sterling signed me up for balayage… after it was all said and done, I walked out with extremely healthy and gorgeous “Victoria Secret model” hair. I’ve received countless compliments and it’s only been 5 hours since I left the salon.

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