Balayage: The Ombre Highlights Technique You Need to Try

Augusta Falletta
Balayage: The Ombre Highlights Technique You Need to Try
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While the ombre hair color trend isn’t exactly new, it’s still one of the most requested hair color techniques in salons (and on Pinterest) today. When ombre first became popular, you’d go for a dip dyed hair look resulting in a full on ombre, and as the trend has evolved, so has the technique. We’ve been noticing the trend go from total blonde to subtle ombre highlights, so we stopped by the Pierre Michel Salon in NYC to talk to Courtney Joy, a colorist who specializes in balayage highlights, the new technique for getting ombre that makes your hair look blended and gorgeous for the perfect ombre look. We chatted with Courtney about how to get ombre highlights what kind of maintenance (or lack thereof!) comes along with ombre. Below are her tips!

Beauty High: What’s the difference between balayage and ombre? How is the technique different? 

Courtney Joy: Balayage is a French technique, which literally means “sweeping,” meaning hair painting, all in the same sense. With the balayage, you’re able to customize your hair color by painting exactly where you want it, whether it be a little skinnier at the root to a bit chunkier at the ends to create more texture and movement throughout the hair. With balayage, you can get a ton of gorgeous looks, whether it be an ombre or a traditional highlight, there’s a lot that comes along with ombre and balayage. They go hand in hand because balayage is the technique, and ombre is the look. What’s really on trend right now is blended ombre. Something a little softer, not something as bold.

What’s the maintenance like when you do this technique? 

The great thing about ombre is that there isn’t much maintenance at all. If the hair gets too light from the highlights over time, then you can put a gloss in your hair, otherwise there isn’t really any maintenance with it. Unless you need a little touch-up on your root if your hair’s a little lighter and you went darker for the look, the highlights give that grown-out look so you’re not going to be maintaining the highlights as much, so it’s perfect.

So how often does someone need to touch things up? 

I would say six weeks. You can go into the salon and get your roots touched up to keep them dark and natural. If you’re out in the sun, you might need to get a gloss if you feel like the balayage gets too light over time, or you may love how light they get. Ombre’s beautiful because it grows out so nicely, it already looks nice when you put it in hair and then it gets lighter and it takes on a whole other look.

As far as at home maintenance, what kind of shampoo and conditioner would you recommend? 

I’d recommend Moroccanoil shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair – their whole line is based on color treated hair. I’d especially recommend moisture repair to keep hydration, so anything sulfate-free so it’s gentle on the hair. Depending on your hair texture, if you have finer hair you’re shampooing more often, so keeping hydration is key.

So would you recommend a hair mask at home? 

Moroccanoil has an Intense Repair Masque that I would recommend, just because everything you do with balayage is on the ends, so you want to put moisture back into the ends and put a little protein back into your hair.

More Ombre Hair From Beauty High:
How to Make Ombre Hair Last: Tips From the Kardashians’ Hairstylist
How to Get DIY Ombre Hair For Under $10
Instagram Insta-Glam: Ombre Hair

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Lily Aldridge's balayage highlights are painted on from the mid-shaft through the ends of her hair, strategically placed to give the hair the look of movement. 

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Jessica Biel's subtle balayage color is placed lightly through her ends, with a few face-framing highlights to brighten up her look. 

Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Drew Barrymore's ombre hair is an example of more of a dip dye technique, where the entire bottom of the hair is lighter, as opposed to a balayage, where the highlights are subtly painted on for a less bulky look. 

Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

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