How to Maintain Your Balayage Hair and Keep It Looking Its Best

Last Updated on February 13, 2023 by Gaga

Make Your Balayage Like Queen Bey’s

No, it’s not the name of a sunny, luxurious new island in the South Pacific. Instead, Balayage is a subtle hair-highlighting technique that gained popularity in recent years due to its ability to produce natural-looking, eye-catching color. The pieces of hair are colored a few tones lighter to add a dimensional look and seamlessly blend into your hair. This highlighting technique helps create a beachy, sun-kissed hairstyle on long hair and looks stunning on shorter pixie cuts. Join the red carpet of celebrities from Queen Bey, Chrissie Teigen, Jessica Alba, Lucy Hale, and others who have debuted this sensational look, and let your hair feel like royalty!

The results are more natural than traditional foil highlights as you can apply the color only on your ends or other specific areas to tailor it to your face and taste. This highlighting technique can be customized for each hair type and texture; what’s more, it looks fabulous on all shades of hair. Autumn isn’t just for gorgeous colored leaves anymore, so treat your hair with some balayage flair!

gorgeous woman with balayage hair

Ready to be a DIY diva? There’s a certain level of skill required to do the job correctly. However, in situations when you’re unable to visit the salon, you can purchase a kit for doing balayage highlights on your own;  plus, it’ll save you money from a $200 salon balayage job, all without tips, coffee stops, and parking fees.

Paint Like a Saint: How’s Balayage Done?           

Balayage is a freehand technique, which means that you don’t need traditional foiling or caps with holes.

Channel your inner Frida or Picasso since Balayage highlights are painted on the sections of the hair using a highlighting board and brush. Color is applied to sections of hair where the highlights will look best, while the roots remain untouched. This makes Balayage less damaging to the hair than other coloring and highlighting techniques.

Balayage highlights done in a beauty salon

Extend That Color Friend: How to Maintain Balayage        

Balayage lasts a good amount of time and requires lower maintenance than full-head coloring. Because they grow out evenly and softly, without leaving an obvious regrowth line,  you can go longer between touch-ups. Perfect for all the quarantine kings and queens out there!

After using balayage, lightened areas of your hair become more porous, in contrast to the rest of your hair. Lightened strands are more vulnerable to the negative effect of environmental factors, such as sun rays, hard water, and pool chlorine. These harsh environmental factors can lead to color fading, discoloration, and frizz.

With proper care, your balayage will last longer before you have to retouch them. The products you use after the treatment can make a big difference.

Maintain That Mane: Hair Strengthening and Nourishing Treatments

To minimize damage from bleach, use an at-home bond-reinforcing product once a week. Suggested brands include Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment, Hairgenics Pronexa Hair Bonder, and B3 Brazilian Bondbuilder Instant Restore & Protect Reconstructor.

Are you ready for a masquerade? A hair mask designed for dry and colored hair will further provide your hair with the moisture and intense nourishment needed to keep your balayage looking its best. Do this deep conditioning treatment at least once a month.

Apply a small amount of lightweight hair oil to the ends of your damp hair after washing. Argan, avocado, and macadamia oil will do.

beautiful hair balayage hair in a beauty salon

Suds, Not Duds: Best Shampoo for Balayage Hair

It’s recommended to wait at least two days before washing your hair after you get balayage treatment.

To avoid overuse of chemicals and to keep your hair hydrated and shiny, use gentle sulfate-free shampoo designed for color-treated hair and moisturizing color-protecting conditioner.

Make sure not to shampoo too frequently and avoid using hot water when washing your hair.

When using dry shampoos select a product that is designed for colored hair such as Klorane Dry Shampoo Powder with Oat Milk or amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo.

Purple Rain: Purple Shampoo for Balayage  

If your balayage color is blonde, use a purple shampoo to prevent your balayage from going brassy and to keep the color fresh. Good sulfate-free purple shampoo brands include Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Hair Shampoo and Loma Hair Care Violet Shampoo. Use a purple shampoo once a week and don’t let it sit longer than recommended as the product can leave a purple hint on highlighted parts of your hair. Save “Purple Rain” for the music, not your tresses!

To counteract orange tones, use a blue shampoo such as Aveda Black Malva Shampoo or Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo. Since purple/blue shampoos tend to dry out your hair, be sure to follow with a conditioner.

Purple hair masks have more nourishing ingredients than purple shampoos, while shampoos generally have a higher concentration of pigments. If you suffer from dry hair, use a purple mask in place of a purple shampoo.

Weather Report: Heat Styling

Try to minimize heat styling and use only low to medium heat settings. Using heat can also cause some fading of a glossing treatment, which is often applied as a complementary treatment after a balayage color service.

If you do blow-dry or heat-style your hair, use a heat protector like Pureology Colour Fanatic Leave-in Conditioner or Redken One United All-In-One Leave-in Conditioner. 

Beach Babes: Sun Exposure

Apply a leave-in product with sunscreen before going outside in the sun to protect the hair from UV damage, color fading, and brassy tones. Using a protective leave-in conditioner helps minimize the effects of external factors and environmental pollution. Quality hairsprays with sunscreen include Sun Bum Revitalizing 3 in-1 Leave-In Conditioner Spray and Paul Mitchell Color Protect Locking Spray.

Take the Plunge: Swimming

When you swim in chlorinated pools, chlorine and copper can ruin the color and turn light hair green. Apply a hair conditioner generously to prevent chlorine from entering the hair shaft to minimize its damaging effect on the hair. Use AquaGuard pre-swim hair defense to saturate your hair before swimming. Allow a few minutes for the product to absorb into the hair before entering the pool.

Use a swimmer’s shampoo like Ion Swimmer’s Shampoo to remove the chlorine residue and prevent chlorine damage to the hair.

a woman with tbalayage hair in the salon

Fresh Prince/Princess: How to Refresh Balayage Hair between Touch Ups

  1. Applying hair glaze or hair gloss is the best way to refresh faded balayage. Glossing treatments also help reduce brassiness and impart gorgeous shine. Hair glossing or hair glaze treatment should be done every three to six weeks to add smoothness and shine and refresh faded ends. After doing a glossing treatment, wait at least two days before shampooing your hair.
  2. Alternatively, you can use shine spray when finished styling to add shine to your balayage hair. Good shine enhancers include TIGI Unisex Bed Head Headrush Shine Mist Hair Spray and Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray.
  3. There’s also a wide selection of balayage hair extensions that will seamlessly blend in for a temporary style refreshment and fuller-looking hair.

If I Could Turn Back Time: How Long does Balayage Last?  

Balayage can look great for a longer period, as there’s no visible root line. However, once you feel tired of them, it’s time to refresh your look.

It’s recommended to visit the salon every 3-4 months to retouch the dulled color and to add new subtle highlights to replenish the hair’s natural glow.

Discuss with your colorist about possibly adding a bond protector to the color for extra hair insurance.

If you are not able to visit the salon for a touch-up, purchase an at-home balayage kit as an alternative to expensive salon jobs.

elegant woman with balayage highlights

About the author

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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.


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