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Balayage vs Highlights; What’s the Difference?

Left is Balayage ||| Right is Highlights
Left is Balayage ||| Right is Highlights

The Difference Between Balayage and Highlights

There are many differences between balayage and highlights. The biggest difference is that balayage is a freehand technique where the colorist paints on the color, while highlights are done with foils. Balayage can be used to create a natural-looking sun-kissed effect, while highlights are more traditionally used to add brightness or dimension.

Another big difference is that balayage tends to be less damaging to the hair than highlights and also less time-consuming than highlights.

So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to add color to your hair, balayage is the way to go. If you want something more traditional or to add dramatic brightness, highlights are probably your best option.

The Benefits of Balayage

Balayage has been gaining popularity in recent years. The word “balayage” is a French word meaning “to sweep.” This technique is done by hand, allowing for a more natural-looking result than traditional highlighting techniques.

  • One benefit is that balayage can be less damaging to the hair because the color is applied in smaller sections and not all over the head.
  • A more customized look, as the colorist can target specific areas that need more or less color.
  • Balayage also grows out more naturally than highlights, so you won’t have those telltale roots that need to be touched up every few weeks.

The Benefits of Highlights

Highlights are one of the most popular hair color trends, and for good reason. They are always on trend and can create instant change.

  • Adds dimension to your hair. If your hair is looking flat or dull, highlights can help give it some depth and dimension.
  • Brighten up your face. If you’re looking to refresh your look, adding some highlights can brighten up your complexion.
  • You can space out your appointments and let your highlights grow out gradually.

Which is Better for You?

There are many things to consider when deciding whether balayage or highlights are better for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your hair type
  • Your desired look
  • How much maintenance you’re willing to do

If you have fine or thin hair, balayage may be a better option for you. This is because the technique uses less bleach, which can damage your hair. Balayage also looks more natural than highlights since the color is applied more randomly. If you want a low-maintenance look, go for balayage!

Highlights are best if you have thick hair that can handle some bleaching. If you want a more dramatic look, highlights are the way to go. Just be prepared to touch up your roots more often than with balayage. If you want to keep your color looking fresh and vibrant, ask for a toner. This is a mild bleach that brightens your color and extends its life.

Dawn Gorman

Dawn Gorman

Dawn Gorman is the owner of The Look Salon & Spa in Oviedo, Florida, and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. Throughout her career, she's competed at state and national levels taking home gold medals in hairstyling and working with global brands as a beauty educator.


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