While so many hair color techniques come and go, balayage is truly timeless. Chances are you can't scroll through social media without seeing down-to-there hair with natural-looking, dimensional color.
If you think the balayage technique is only doable on mermaid-length tresses, however, fear not! Though it’s only the very beginning of summer, the balayage bob trend is already the biggest hair trend of the season (and has us seriously considering losing some length).
Wondering how you can pull off balayage on short hair? We chatted with George Papanikolas, Matrix celebrity stylist, to learn all about why the hand-painted color technique on shorter tresses is so on-trend for 2019. Whether you have dark brown hair or ash blonde strands, keep scrolling for everything you need to know.
Can you do balayage on short hair?
It’s no secret that long hair and balayage pair perfectly together. Though, the result of the hand-painted highlighting technique can be equally as stunning if you’re sporting a shorter cut.
"The color contrast gives the cut movement and dimension with a modern edge," Papanikolas says.
Your colorist will hand-paint highlights from the mid-lengths to ends of your strands to create a soft, dimensional look—just as it’s done on long hair. To achieve the perfect balayage on short hair, your colorist will need to make sure that the hand-painted highlights are blended carefully with the root color. If the balayage color is too close to the root, it can easily look like an all-over color application.
If you’re working with a one-length short haircut like a blunt bob, Papanikola shares a tip to make sure your color looks as dimensional as possible.
“When you’re doing balayage on a one-length bob, your colorist really only needs to focus on the exterior of the hair,” Papanikolas explains.
To achieve the most dimension on short hair, Papanikolas recommends painting highlights only onto the top half of your hair. This will give your look a pop of color with a lot of shadow underneath.
How do you care for balayage on short hair?
The golden rule of keeping your color-treated hair as healthy as possible is having a killer at-home hair care routine. Begin your routine by swapping out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system formulated for color-treated hair. The Matrix Total Results Color Obsessed system conditions hair to help protect against fading and extend your color vibrancy.
Your color-treated mane is going to need a bit of TLC—especially if your desired final look requires your colorist to use bleach. Bleach will always cause some hair damage, but your colorist will work with you to improve the look and feel of your strands before you leave the salon. For at-home color care, we recommend incorporating a weekly hair mask for color-treated hair like the Biolage ColorLast Deep Treatment Pack Hair Mask into your hair care routine.
Looking for some balayage inspiration before you head to the salon? Keep scrolling to check out six of our favorite ways to wear balayage on short hair.
Balayage On Short Hair Ideas
Ash Blonde Balayage
Who doesn’t love ash blonde balayage? This platinum, icy hue looks stunning when paired with a lob haircut and perfectly blended over a darker base color. If you’re opting to go super light with your blonde, be sure to invest in a purple shampoo like the Biolage ColorLast Purple Shampoo to neutralize brass and unwanted warm tones.
Looking for the perfect blonde shade to amp up your haircut and your tan? Ask your colorist to paint on a warm toned blonde hue like butterscotch from the mid-lengths to the ends of your hair.
Auburn To Peach Balayage
Who says blondes get to have all the fun? Redheads deserve just as much love, and if you’re looking for a subtle way to add depth and dimension to your short red hair, you’ll love this auburn and peach blend.
Pastel Blue Balayage
You’ve already got the killer short haircut, now it’s time to take a risk with your hair color! If you’re looking for an on-trend hue to kick off your transition into fantasy hair colors, a pastel blue balayage is a great place to start, particularly if you have fair skin.
If you like your statement hair colors to pack a bit more punch, a bright hair color like fuschia might be perfect for you!
Papanikolas recommends the Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo and Conditioner system for maintaining the vibrancy of fast-fading hair colors.
Interested in trying balayage for yourself? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.