Balayage, the French word for ‘sweep’, describes the form of highlighting that is done with a
color brush and an artist’s stroke. Balayage lightener, which is vastly different in both consistency and
chemical make-up from traditional foil lighteners, is painted directly onto the hair. Balayage wrap or
film is used to separate sections of hair but no aluminum foil is used. The results are natural looking
‘sunkissed’ hair like that of a child that spent the summer at the beach. Regrowth lines are much less
obvious with balayage. With the proper balayage lightener the hair is left in excellent condition. Clients
and celebrities adore the results.
It’s hard to argue with the basis for the coming ‘Balayage Revolution’, says Candy Shaw who’s
leading the charge. First, balayage is much faster than foils. An experienced stylist can paint a full-head
of highlights in about ten minutes compared to upwards of an hour for foils, vastly improving a salon’s
bottom line. Second, balayage is more profitable than foils. Not only because it can be done much faster
but also because a salon can charge a premium for the service since it’s trending. Third, balayage is
much ‘greener’ than foils. Used foils cannot be recycled and end up in our landfills. Balayage consumes
much less fossil fuel and emits much less green house gas. It’s a more sustainable practice. Finally, and
perhaps most important, balayage is more fun than repetitive foil highlighting. Balayage allows a stylist
to release their inner artist as they paint their way to financial freedom.