Balayage has blown up over the years, and I personally can't get enough! It is much less maintenance than a traditional full foil highlight that often needs to be touched up every 4-8 weeks while balayage highlights often don't need to be touched up for at least 8 weeks. As a stylist I often get asked, what is the difference between balayage and ombre? Balayage is a technique for highlighting the hair in which the lightener is hand painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect. Ombre however is the effect of graduation from dark to light which can be achieved with several methods such as balayage, color melting, baby lights and many more. The beauty of balayage is that each person's balayage is unique to them and as you do more it only gets better!
If you have a balayage or are interested in it, this is for you!
The first and best way to properly maintain your balayage is to invest in great products! Balayage is an investment and can often cost anywhere from $150-250 per service. When you spend money on a Mercedes, you put premium gasoline in it.
This relates to any color or chemical services really! Often times, high quality products use higher end ingredients while drug store brands use cheaper ingredients. Cheap products are high in sulfates and parabens which fade your color and dry out your hair. This is important to balayage clients in particular because the lightening process itself may dry out your hair and fading the toner will cause your color to become brassy.
My favorite color safe shampoo and conditioners for balayage clients are from Eufora. I particularly love the beautifying elixir line if your hair feels slightly dry or damaged.
The next rule of maintaining your gorgeous balayage hair is to use heat protectant. Heat can often fade your hair color causing it to become brassy and lose its shine. There is also the obvious damage that heat causes as well, so I usually recommend a good heat protectant for anyone who heat styles. My go to for curling and flat ironing is Retain from Eufora. It is designed to protect from heat, while sealing in your natural luster and providing a lightweight hold as well.
If you are simply blow drying, you could use a leave in conditioner, or several styling products from the Eufora line.
This brings me to the last key point. Although balayage is known to be low maintenance hair color, that doesn't mean you should only get your hair done every six months. It is highly recommended that you treat your tresses to an in salon glossing or toning treatment and haircut (trim) every 6-8 weeks. Even using all professional products, hair color will fade. Toners usually last around 6-8 weeks and at that point you may see some unwanted brassiness from your underlying pigment. Retoning will not only refresh your color, but will add shine! You also want to trim around the same time to prevent those pesky split ends and damage.
I could probably write about this all day, but I will leave you with this, you get out what you put in. (This is pretty much with all things in life.) If you want great hair, you will need to put in some work. You wont regret the results!