07 Jul 2015 AT 05:52 PM

Why is balayage the hottest hair trend?

Everything you need to know about the celebrity colour technique
07 Jul 2015 AT 05:52 PM
Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson
ShortList test out balayage at Marquee Salon
ShortList test out balayage at Marquee Salon
Marquee Salon
Marquee Salon

First we had the ombre and dip dye brigade making grown-out colour en vogue. But sophisticated stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker and Elle Macpherson have been rocking the two-tone look for years in a much more subtle way. Balayage – where colour is applied freehand to areas of the hair where the light naturally hits – may have been popular for a long time, but it’s only starting to gain the recognition it deserves.

We sat down with Cat Hawkes, Artistic Director at Marquee, to find out how to achieve the perfect balayage effect, and try it out for ourselves.

Who would you recommend this hair treatment for?
It can be done on any type of hair as long as the hair is not damaged, in which case we would recommend using pre-treatments to strengthen the hair before a colour service. Biolustre is a great hair repair treatment to have before colour to strengthen the strands, and it will also allow the colour to hold for longer.

Is it suitable for all hair colours, even girls with really dark hair?
Yes definitely, but it all depends on getting the tone of the lighter areas just right to blend with your existing colour. Usually with balayage we lift the hair a couple of shades lighter than the natural shade to give a more sun kissed look.

Is suitable for all lengths?
It works best on hair that is at least jaw length. It would be hard to achieve the desired effect on short, cropped hair, especially as you need a little length to achieve dimension between the shades of colour vs. natural hair.

What does the process involve?
I have so many clients come in asking for balayage, ombre, somber, ecaile but as there as so many colour trends at the moment many of my clients often are often a little confused when it comes to seeing and asking for what they would like. Balayage is actually a technique, not a colour effect or end result. Many colouring looks are perfected using the art of balayage. It is essentially the freehand method of applying colour to lighten or darken the hair using your hands instead of foils or a cap. 

How does it differ from other hair treatments like ombre for example?
Ombre is a graduation of colour from dark roots to light ends, it’s very obvious. Balayage gives a more highlighted effect, it’s more subtle.

Is it moreor less harmful then other types of hair colour?
No, it’s not any more or less damaging than any other colouring technique. It really depends on the condition of your hair and how much chemical or mechanical damage the hair goes through – for example if you straighten your hair daily then colour is going to weaken the hair further. Adding a treatment such as Olaplex to your colour can actually help to repair the hair whilst the colouring process is happening. It’s the latest celebrity secret and was how Kim Kardashian managed to go bleach blonde back to the dark side in a matter of weeks without damaging her hair.

What’s makes it so popular?
Celebrities have defiantly made balayage a popular choice. Women aspire to have that Khloe Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Lilly Aldridge look, and it looks very natural.

Does it require a lot of maintenance?
No. It’s perfect for ladies who don’t want to have regular colouring or a fearful of damaging their hair. It’s also a subtle way to introduce colour for some clients that want a change but not something so dramatic. The best thing about balayage is its very low maintenance. You don’t need to come back too often to touch up the roots and so you can let it grow out naturally.

Marquee Salon, Arabian Ranches Golf Club, +971 4 420 7700

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