What’s The Difference Between Balayage & Highlights? Explained Everything!

Balayage vs highlight

Over time, you might be hearing a lot about balayage hair color– whether from your friends, social media, or the lady next door. 

This is one of today’s most heated discussions about hair color. Which is better, then? How can I pick the best one for me?

There is a distinction between the two procedures, and each has benefits based on the aesthetic you want. However, you’re in luck because many stylists and colorists are proficient in both methods and can guide you in selecting the one that will produce the style you want. 

If you’re confused and want to learn more about highlights vs balayage, stay tuned as we break down the facts on traditional highlights vs balayage, including definitions, similarities, and differences.

Let’s get started.

What is balayage highlights hair color? 

The French word “balayage” translates to “to sweep.” In this hair coloring method, highlights are “swept” or hand-painted over the surface of uneven hair parts. Your hair gets that gorgeous yet natural sun-kissed hue since the color is swept over the surface of the hair. 

The hair is very fine at the top and progressively becomes thicker through the mid-lengths and ends.

Contrary to popular belief, balayage hair color is not a particular style. It’s a technique in which the process of creating highlights hair color is done without the use of foil, unlike typical highlights. 

Balayage highlights color hair typically only differ by a few shades from your base color, giving your hair a rich, natural depth. It provides the required effect while blending in flawlessly with your natural appearance. 

What are traditional highlights in hair color? 

Highlights are a classic method of hair coloring, just like balayage. It is yet another traditional method of highlighting and strengthening your hair. Aluminum foil is typically used to generate highlights, which helps saturate exact strands from root to tip for a stronger lightning appearance.

In this procedure, a few hair strands are divided into smaller portions using a pick, and the split strands are then wrapped in aluminum foil. 

Finally, highlights help to give your hair a lovely dimension. They are ideal for people with thick, naturally colored hair. As it is lighter than your actual hair color, you should simply apply it to a few tiny portions of your hair to add the needed texture and depth.

Balayage and highlights are two popular hair coloring techniques that create different effects on your hair. 

Here are the 5 common differences between the Balayage and highlights! 

Balayage vs highlights – The process! 

Hair highlight process

Balayage: This process of balayage highlights technique usually involves hand-painting the color onto your hair in a sweeping motion. The color is applied in larger sections, starting from the midshaft and blending down to the ends. It creates a more natural, sun-kissed look with softer transitions between colors.

Highlights: Traditional highlights, on the other hand, are achieved by applying color to smaller sections of hair. The color is typically saturated from the roots to the ends and can be done using foils. This technique creates more noticeable streaks of color and provides a contrast to your natural hair color.

Balayage vs highlights – The end outcome! 

Balayage: The end outcomes of balayage highlights result in a more blended and flawless look, as in this one-of-kind technique the hair color is painted onto the hair in a way that showcases your natural highlights. Also, it significantly adds dimension and depth to your hair while maintaining a soft and natural appearance.

Traditional Highlights: The end outcomes of traditional Highlights results in more unique and defined streaks of color throughout the hair. Also, the traditional highlights will appear lighter and more noticeable in the end, offering a bolder contrast to your natural hair color.

Balayage vs highlights – Maintenance. 

Balayage: The maintenance of the balayage highlighting technique is minimal Balayage highlights because the hair color is applied in a way that seamlessly blends with your natural hair – while reducing the need for maintenance. As your hair grows, the roots will not be as noticeable, due to which the time is typically longer between touch-up appointments compared to the traditional highlighting technique.

Traditional Highlights: Traditional highlights on the other hand, comparatively require more maintenance as the contrast between the colored strands and the natural hair color becomes more noticeable as your hair length grows apparently. And in this, regular touch-ups are recommended every few weeks to keep the color looking fresh and vibrant.

Balayage vs highlights – The overall cost

Balayage: The overall cost of the balayage highlighting technique is comparatively more expensive than traditional highlighting. As in this technique, the specialist has to do hand painting – the time and effort required is more. In general, the prices for balayage can range from around $150 to $180 and even further, depending on the salon and stylist.

Traditional Highlights: Traditional highlights hair color are generally more affordable than the balayage, with prices starting at around $100 for the initial service and subsequent retouches. To get an accurate estimate, reach out to a professional hairstylist and get an accurate quote. 

Balayage vs highlights – Time Required 

Balayage: Balayage hair color is surely a time-consuming process, especially if you have long or thick hair because (for the same reason), it is a hand-painting technique. It can take up to 4 to 6 hours or more to achieve the desired result, depending on your hair’s condition, density, length, and requirements.

Traditional Highlights: As compared to balayage, traditional highlights require less time for completion, because the hairstylist is using foils for the same. The process can take around 2 to 3 hours or maybe more, depending on the number of sections you want to highlight and the length of your hair. 

To conclude 

So, here’s a wrap on everything about balayage highlights and traditional highlights hair color. We have explained what exactly it is and the differences between balayage & highlights. 

Considering the explanation, its differences, and other things – you can decide what is best for you and why it is best for you taking into factors like price, time required, maintenance, and much more. 

If you are still confused and want expert guidance in choosing the right technique, then reach out to professional hairstylist Houston. Greg Decker is the leading hair colorist in Houston who gladly assists you with end-to-end consultation and best-in-class hair coloring services as well.  

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