When mono-toned hair seemed to fade out of the picture, balayage continued to rise above as the hair trend of 2018. Its lighthearted approach to a multi-hued color gradient seemed to captivate every beauty guru and influencer we could think of—and who could blame them when their hair looked so damn good.
The Balayage Approach
For the few of you who tend to mix this popular trend with its drastic cousin (the ombré), this French-born style literally translates to “sweep,” and creates a more natural dusting of color than other forms of dying.
“Balayage is more of lightening sections of hair at the ends whereas ombré is more of lightening all of the ends and blending upwards into the darker color,” says celebrity hairstylist Andrew Ftizsimons.
“Ombré and balayage are similar, but on an ombré you are focusing the light on the ends, and there is still a strong contrast,” adds celebrity colorist, Christophe Robin. “Balayage is painted into the hair giving it the subtle highlighting effect. Both are a more natural looking and lower maintenance way of adding highlights to the hair.”
While balayage is usually created with warm-toned swirls of chestnuts, golden blondes, and light honeys, there’s a cooler-toned approach that people are opting for this winter: ash blonde.
Gracing the crowns of Sky Ferreira and Jennifer Lawrence, this hair color was one of the most popular colors of this winter. But, according to Robin, it’s a pretty difficult color to get right: “A good ash blonde is a blonde with no warm or brassy tones,” he says. “It is actually one of the most photogenic hair colors but can be difficult to maintain.”
But, the good news is that it’s great to incorporate to your hair in small doses, which is why it ties perfectly with a balayage style. “Since a pure ash blonde is difficult to maintain, just giving touches of that icy color in your balayage is a great way to play with dimension and contrast,” says Robin. “The key is to make sure that the color doesn’t turn brassy.”
Want to keep your new ashtray-chic hue in tact? Then check out our favorite blonde maintenance products, below:
To make your highlights last, revive your color while balancing out brassiness with this fortifying mask from Robin’s hair care line. “It’s great for neutralizing brassy tones,” says Robin.
Afraid of washout? This purple shampoo will give your ashy-toned locks a purifying cleanse, without sacrificing your new color.
Conditioner is a hair care 101, but not all are created equal. This purple conditioner softens your locks with hair-strengthening proteins while counteracting fading and brassy undertones.
This nourishing hair mist may be an extra step to your hair care routine, but is oh-so worth it. It helps increase elasticity of your delicate color-treated locks and hydrates dry strands to give hair a stronger, healthier look.
PSA: the sun’s UV rays can wreak some havoc on your locks. So, just like sunscreen for skin, you should always keep your strands protected with a lightweight guard, like this hair mist from Klorane. Bonus: it also protects colored hair from fading from sunlight, making it a necessity in your hair care arsenal.