All About
Balayage

Balayage is by far the most requested hair coloring service requested in the modern hair salon today.
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It is a versatile hair coloring service that is great for all of our clients, no matter their face shape, eye color, and skin tone. It can be done on all lengths and colors of hair.

It can be natural and soft or be used to pop fun fashion colors in, allowing clients with any job type to enjoy the trendy look without over stepping work guidelines.
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For more balayage examples, please visit our portfolio: hair color salon.

Expert Balayage Consultation

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A simple consultation with one of our experts at our Denver balayage salon will give you an idea of what steps are needed to achieve this popular look in addition to the services or products needed to complete the look. So jump onto your favorite social media site or visit our hair color salon portfolio and start looking at what catches your eye, then give us a call to take the next step!

What is Balayage?

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By definition, it is a French word meaning to sweep or paint.  This form of hair coloring allows the hair stylist to accurately and precisely hand paint subtle and natural dimension into the client’s hair to compliment their face shape, eye color, and skin tone.  It is more effective than traditional methods like foils at creating a “sun kissed” or “youthful” look as it relies on the hair stylist’s artistic abilities to customize and fine tune the application as the hair color is placed.

Balayage may also be used to set up more noticeable and striking colors like Fashion Colors.  By laying the foundation of subtle and natural dimension and then adding additional applications of purples, greens, blues, and/or pinks, you can keep the overall look subtle yet still express yourself.

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Who Can Have Balayage?

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Balayage can be done on any length or color of hair.  These factors do not dictate if you can or cannot have this modern yet low maintenance service.  A proper consultation with our stylist is a great way to get an idea for what can be done and how it can be executed.  Talking about what shades would compliment the client’s features, what has previously been done to the hair, how often the client is willing or able to come in, and the hair product or products the client could use to help the process and prevent future damage, are all included in a standard consultation.

Balayage is a wonderful option for those who are looking for a “low maintenance” hair color application.  With the natural placement and gradual effect, it can last longer than a traditional foil or color, eliminating harsh lines.   Many clients find that instead of needing a Balayage every visit to the salon, they may just need to do a haircut, toner, or conditioning treatment.  Some clients only reserve salon appointments for a touch up service 2 to 3 times a year after the initial appointment.

So How Do I Get Started?

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A consultation with one of our Denver balayage experts may be reserved online or by phone so that you are able to have a free 30 minute period of time to meet the stylist and talk about your hopes and concerns.  During this time, you may address what features you would like to highlight or downplay and how much or little you would like to see a color or multiple colors.  Furthermore, product options you can add to your service to strengthen or protect your hair will be discussed.

You also may have found pictures to show the stylist to give her an idea of what your desired final result should look like.  Finally, you may discuss a take home regiment along with future services to maintain your Balayage.

The consultation is an education process both for you and for your hairstylist.  We pride ourselves in conducting the highest level consultations possible so that we can manage all expectations for your benefit.

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Balayage Basics

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Balayage is typically a one or two-step process where the stylist hand paints color or lightner onto the hair.  Certain techniques will use meche foils, cotton and cellophane, or even bricklaying techniques to create the perfect Balayage look.

The first step is usually to prelighten the hair to the desired level.  If using hair color, you are able to get the desired level and tone in one step.  The second step is to put a tonal value into the hair; tone is typically described as “Ash”, “Warm” or “Neutral”.  When you lighten hair, you are removing all pigment or color, leaving it a bright yellow, orange, or red.  Obviously, this is not a desired look.  The desired final result may take two or more times utilizing this process.  Things like previous color or box color(over the counter) can build up on the hair and make lifting the pigment out hard.  Fragile, unhealthy hair may also cause a stylist to need to take it easy on a client’s hair.  It is important not to do too much at once.

Other techniques that are similar to Balayage that are popular which provide different effect include: Ombre, Sombre, Baby Lights, Bronde, and Dip Dye.

Ombre is a French word that means to shade.  It is a technique that is a solid graduation from dark to light.

Sombre is a combination of both Ombre and Balayage where 3 processes may take place.  First applying one technique, then the second, and finishing with adding in tonal value.

Baby Lights are super fine strands of hair that may or may not start at the scalp to add in dimension.

Bronde is for darker hair types who want dimension but are not able to have blonde due to skin tone and/or eye color or integrity of the hair itself.

Dip Dye is a sharp contrast between dark and a color.  Usually used with bright colors or fashion colors.  Fashion colors are usually achieved with a direct dye or vegetable dye.  This means that no chemical processes are taking place.  The dye stains the outside of the hair shaft and can have a very unpredictable time of staying power.  Things like not washing your hair everyday or using cold water temperature aid in prolonging the fashion color; however, a client may still need to come in every 4-8 weeks to have the fashion color reapplied to keep it up.

Lightener vs Color

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When receiving a balayage, there are two options when going lighter.  The two different chemical options are Color or lightener.  Color is a permanent solution that can lift the level of hair and also deposit a tonal value in one step.  Color does have ammonia in it, but the levels are very low, and with the Balayage technique, it does not even touch the scalp.  Color is for hair that is virgin or does not have color previously on it.  Lightner is also known as bleach and removes pigment in the hair but does not deposit any tonal value.   When using lightner, more damage can happen.  A proper consultation with your stylist will establish what chemical would be best for your Balayage.  If lightner is needed, there are new color additives that can prevent damage and even make the hair feel better than before!

Olaplex – A Supercharged Treatment that Strengthens your Hair!

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Doing any sort of color can break the bonds in your hair down leaving it brittle, dry, and unhealthy.  Thanks to modern science, there is a new product on the market that not only keeps hair healthy, but leaves the hair feeling better than before the color is applied.

Olaplex is the modern hair stylist’s newest weapon in their arsenal.  Olaplex multiplies bonds and cross-links broken bonds in the hair shaft.  This Silicone and Oil free treatment actually rebuilds the hair during the chemical service and leaves hair stronger than before.

The 3-step process starts with a solution added into the actual color or lightner.  The second step is added after the color or lightner is rinsed and left in for 5 minutes.  An additional 5 to 10 minutes may be required for very damaged hair.  The third step is a take home treatment to be used once a week to keep the hair strong and to be used as a pre-treatment for future coloring services.

You may also choose to do an Olaplex Treatment after your color service; some do it even while the haircut is being performed.  Periodic Olaplex treatments help keep the hair healthy and shiny.  Learn more about Olaplex here: Olaplex Hair Salon.

Why Does Balayage Cost More?

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A balayage specialist should always keep up with the newest trends, fashions, and products to offer their clients the most up to date looks.  Colorado is one of the States that does not require continuing education; states like New York and California require 40 hours a year.  What this means is that there are stylists in Denver that have had their license for years and have never taken any sort of ongoing education.  Classes are hosted by beauty wholesale supply houses, product companies, and private educators and usually cost between $50 and $500 per person.  Classes help teach stylists, allowing them to practice new techniques and skills.  Continuing education sets the truly professional stylists apart from those without the hunger to learn and offer their clients the newest skills.

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The balayage experts at Do the Bang Thing Salon take a minimum of 6 classes a year and have educators from across the world come in to teach us.  We also travel to different states to do classes for days at a time.  We have the passion to obtain the knowledge to deliver the best experience with the most effect system out there, and will do whatever it takes to be on the cutting edge of hair.  Because of our passion and consistent education, we are proud to offer Denver’s Best Balayage.

Social Media’s Role in our Hair Services

Social media plays a large part in most modern client’s lifestyles.  Many clients find inspiration on social media like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.  With so many options and beautiful hairstyles to choose from, it can get over whelming.  Keep in mind that just because someone else has their absolutely gorgeous hair posted that you would absolutely love to have, it does not mean that this is a good choice for you.  You also do not know how long the service took to achieve the look or how many times the client went in to the salon, or if Photoshop was involved.  Ask your hair stylist these questions during the consultation.  Find out what kind of an investment of your time, effort, and money will be required to maintain the hair style you want.

Read our other guides: Choosing the Best Hair Salon & All About Mermaid Hair Color