It’s been hotly debated whether or not blondes actually do have more fun. Even if the saying doesn’t quite turn out to be true all the time, there’s no arguing the fact that being a blonde is one of the most exciting things you can do with your hair.
That brings us to blonde balayage, a hand-painted highlighting technique beloved by French girls and Americans alike. It’s the easiest way to brighten up your strands and try on an adventurous new color without giving up your roots (get it?). Whether you're starting with or dark brown hair, keep reading.
According to Ashley Zajac, L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and colorist, you can add balayage to the list of trends that remain popular because they help women look younger.
It’s not just the richness of the color that keeps women coming back for more, however. The balayage technique is highly customizable, which means you’re practically guaranteed a flattering color in the hands of your chosen colorist.
You can contour the color to enhance natural skin tone, change the visible look of a face shape, and make someone’s eye color pop,” Zajac says. “When you have a head of solid blonde your eye has no direction. No matter how light the blonde is, it will not have any pop unless it has depth to create a shadow. With the application of balayage, each piece has a built-in shadow which will draw attention to specific areas you want to enhance.”
Before getting your blonde on, check out just a few of our favorite balayage accent colors.
Remember coating your whole head in sun lightening spray during childhood summer vacations? Light blonde balayage is basically that—but thankfully doesn’t turn your hair that brassy orange.
As the name suggests, babylights are a subtle form of highlighting meant to mimic the way toasty afternoons in the sun brighten the hair of children. That means your colorist will focus on framing your face and lightening up your ends.
Sun kissed blonde balayage is perfect for the girl who doesn’t want anyone to know her color was mixed by an (extremely talented) professional. Instead of like out-of-the-box highlights, you’ll get a natural, gorgeous masterpiece of dark and light blonde.
Champagne holds a sweet spot in our hearts for that rich, gold color and the sparkling bubbles that practically scream “celebration.” Bring that festive feeling into your life with warm, beautiful champagne balayage.
What would a conversation about buttery hair be without a shout out to the original sweet-as-candy color? On medium and dark complexions, caramel creates a glow-y effect that’s to die for. If you’re trying to look like a sun-kissed goddess, go caramel for your balayage.
At last, the mother of all blonde shades. Platinum is high intensity, high maintenance color for the lady who likes her hair to look expensive. To make your ‘do more manageable, choose balayage platinum ends.
Like the treat for which it’s named, butterscotch balayage is all about bringing buttery warmth to your ‘do. With hints of honey that make it supremely fall appropriate, butterscotch on chestnut hair is a true stunner.
Brr, it’s cold in here. Or is that just your new ‘do? For very fair complexions, cool blonde balayage is the most flattering thing you can do for yourself—particularly if you’re already knowledgeable about caring for frigid tones. If not, don’t be afraid to ask your colorist for tips on creating a customized home hair care routine.
Honey-colored highlights have a similar effect to caramel, but subtly contain amber notes that make the color considerably richer and deeper. In other words, this is an accent shade that truly packs a visual punch. Women of all skin tones should wear it at least once in their lives.
As a general rule, we support anything that’s named after cake. In this case, it’s doubly true. Red velvet balayage brings bright blonde highlights over the top of dark red roots, creating the illusion that your mane is a freshly baked goodie. Or something like that.
Think of strawberry blonde balayage as red velvet’s younger, more easygoing sister. With a base of coppery red and bright, pale ends, your red mane will take on a depth it’s never had. Just trust us on this one.
These days, ash is everything. The bright beige shade is popular on regular people and high maintenance celebrities alike, proving how versatile it can be. The darker your base color, the better you’ll like this balayage.
Combine two favorite hair trends and what do you get? A superstar trend-stravaganza, that’s what. For ladies who are practically professionals at keeping brassy tones out of dyed strands, a silver ash balayage is the perfect way to go.
For a moodier take on the old lady hair trend, temper your tone with a steely pastel gray over blonde. Instead of getting hair that’s basically tinted blonde, the way you would with silver, you’ll end up with a beautifully nuanced color.
Light Brown Ash
Light brown isn’t technically blonde, but it’s about a shade away from dark blonde so we think it counts. To give your brunette roots a boost, ask your colorist about light brown ash balayage. The subtle shade will seem natural, but so much better than anything that could grow from your scalp.
Here’s another blonde derivative that just barely ekes its way onto this list. Golden brown adds a hint of the blonde aesthetic to brunette ‘dos, particularly when applied as well-blended highlights. If you’re a brunette itching to walk on the brighter side, your colorist should lean toward golden brown balayage.
Whereas white blonde and platinum are all about frosty and frigid color, vanilla is a warm but light blonde hue that’s seem less often than its cooler equivalents. In other words, you’ll be the standout in your friend group.
Pastel hair isn’t going out of style any time in the near future, so use this cultural window to experiment with your mane. Try a watercolor wash of lavender over blonde balayage. For the slightly less bold, a statement streak here and there will do the trick.
Lilac blonde balayage is very similar to lavender, but the trendy shade features a dose of pink-hued goodness that flatters all skin tones. If you can’t decide between accents of pink and purple, lilac is the perfect middle ground.
Perhaps the trendiest blonde balayage style on the list, rose gold is all about a brilliant coppery blonde that incorporates the slightest hint of blush tones. Basically, this do is the essence of spring or summer distilled into a hair color. No beach, no problem.
Opal and pearl-inspired hair colors are relatively new on the market, but they’re making a seriously reflective statement. Who needs shine when you can have hair that literally shimmers? Make yourself into a semi-precious statement with the help of a colorist who’s well versed in the trend.
Shadow root blonde balayage is the perfect marriage of aesthetics and function. Dark roots create the illusion of more volume, but that’s not all—they also mask new growth, meaning you can stretch your color further between salon appointments.
Tend to lean toward cool shades? Ash blonde balayage is about to make your day. This flattering, cool-toned look has “it girl” written all over it.
We love a dramatic lady, especially one who appreciates how much of a statement blonde balayage can make. Like a wink to the chunky highlights of the early 2000s, the bright pieces of color in this look stand out from a much darker base and create a visual masterpiece. Who wouldn’t want to try it?
Super Long Blonde Balayage
The ultimate hair goal for blonde is always strands that look and feel as healthy as a shampoo commercial (cue the strobe lights and hair flipping, obviously). Celebrate how far your blonde has come by wearing all those inches out in public with a natural-looking blonde balayage. Can’t get your hair to grow to your waist naturally? No worries! This is the perfect opportunity to have your stylist custom dye some clip-in extensions.
Extra Dramatic Roots
The rooted trend kicked off last year, seriously benefiting everyone who can’t regularly make it to the salon. Instead of shaming visible dark roots, we’re celebrating them! Take the technique one step further by wearing super dramatic roots with crisp, light blonde balayage.
Blonde Balayage Crown Braid
There’s a reason your favorite stylists show off their color work on models with braided hair: All those bends and dips catch the light, ensuring the most dramatic shots of reflective, fresh hair color. You don’t have to be a professional to work the braid for your own hair! We love the simplicity of a crown braid, especially for special occasions.
Meet the money piece, a term hair pros coined for the dramatic block of color that sits right next to your face and makes you look incredibly expensive in photos. If blonde balayage has been your go-to for years and is starting to feel a little tired, add a money piece and see how you feel.
Blonde Balayage Top Knot
Blondes sure do have more fun—it’s just that even they need a break from time to time! Ensure your blonde balayage gets shown off the best way possible with the help of this chic (and easy to wear) top knot situation. Adding a few embellished bobby pins makes this ‘do appropriate for workplaces and Friday nights on the town!
Bright Blonde Balayage
There’s nobody we admire more than really reflective, light blondes. It’s clear they’ve put in endless salon hours and plenty of coin to reach their current color! If you’re interested in going really blonde, make sure you’ve taken the time to work out a long-term plan as to how you’re going to get there. Salon magic (particularly when it comes to beautiful, healthy-looking blonde) doesn’t usually happen in a single session.
Half Up Blonde Balayage
Barrel curls and beachy waves are both tried-and-true methods for showing off fresh blonde balayage, but don’t feel like you’re stuck with stiff, untouchable strands afterward. We love a soft half-up ‘do, one that only requires twisting a couple strands away from your face and pinning them at the back of your head. Boho vibes are always in style.
Blonde Balayage With Statement Clips
The return of hair clips has meant great things for women who’d rather spend less time styling their hair and more time looking stylish out on the streets—AKA us. Help preserve the longevity of your blonde hair color and skip excess shampoo sessions in favor of refreshing dry shampoo and a statement hair barrette or two.
There’s a common misconception that balayage is best on long, elegant manes. That’s not the case! Talk to your stylist about a blunt lob with luxurious blonde accents.
Blondes aren’t the only ones having fun—at least not when it comes to balayage on dark hair. Play with a color that’s outside of your normal wheelhouse with the help of your colorist.
Hair stylists might have spent the last three years begging you to take off some length, but you’ve yet to cave. Celebrate that force of will with a hair color that brings serious dimension to your mane.
Got a sweet tooth? So do we—particularly when it comes to toffee blonde balayage. Over a dark base, we love the shimmer of this flattering shade.
Unlike other hair colors, silver hair is truly a timeless (and ageless) hue. If you’re interested in channeling a high fashion granny, schedule a consultation with your colorist.
Building on our enthusiasm for dark roots, this curly look drives home how beautiful blonde balayage can be. Treat the bright color as an accent color instead of the main focus, creating a voluminous ‘do that’s a true showstopper.
The lob shows no signs of ending its years-long grip on the hair industry, so it’s time to finally give this stylish ‘do a shot.
Beige furniture may have a bad reputation, but beige blonde balayage is truly a showstopper. Subtle pieces of beige are an easy way to test out a lighter blonde without committing to platinum. As an added bonus, this muted neutral looks gorgeous on pale skin and pairs well with a chic bob.
You don’t have to pack up your surfboard and escape to the beach to get color that looks so natural the sun herself might have created it. With the help of a skilled balayage artist, choice honey-colored pieces will help create the illusion of added thickness and flatter your complexion—even if you’re stuck in an office all day.
When it comes to blonde, you can either go for piece-y, individualistic color or something soft and smooth that blends like a dream. We love the latter for experience blondes who veterans of purple shampoo and regular hair salon appointments.
There’s no substitute for quality butter—the kind that’s golden yellow, fragrant, and hard to resist. Think of butter blonde balayage as the perfectly irresistible hair equivalent of your favorite luxurious addition to any meal.
Mushroom brown hair color started a movement in 2018, which means blondes got totally jealous. This year, we’re all about the newest addition to the color family: mushroom blonde hair color. This dreamy, ash-driven blonde balayage is fresh and modern—just like you.
Interested in blonde balayage? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.
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