Balayage and Ombres

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What is Balayage?

'Balayage is a French word meaning "to sweep" or "to paint"', explains Howard. 'It allows for a sun-kissed natural-looking hair colour, similar to what nature gives us as children.'

What's the difference between Balayage and Ombré?

'Balayage is a French word that means to sweep or paint; it's a highlighting technique. Ombré means to shadow, and it's a seamless gradiation from darker to lighter,' explains Howard. 'People do get confused by the two but you can also combine them in a merged technique which can be very pretty.'

Sombré is a much softer version of ombré and is still popular, especially with the charcoal grey trend.

What's the difference between Balayage and highlights?

Balayage has softer, less noticeable regrowth lines than traditional highlights - the principal idea being less is more when creating soft, natural looks. There's no stripy look like you can get with foil highlights, Balayage emulates the parts of your hair that would naturally lighten in the sun.

Why is Balayage better?

'Since 2010 I've been saying that foil highlights are dying out - it's such an 80's look and certainly not something the modern woman wants,' says Howard. 'Look at most A-list celebs and you rarely see a classic foil highlight, you see Balayage and merged techniques like ombre and Balayage, or Babylights and balayage.

'These techniques work with the individual's haircut and natural hair growth patterns as well as the variance of tones in the hair, for a totally bespoke finish. Because it's hand-painted, your colourist can choose the placements to best complement your haircut, skin and features so it looks really natural rather than actually coloured. 

'It's also super speedy, meaning you don't have to sit so long in the chair, and it grows out beautifully meaning less maintenance, so less frequent appointments.'

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