There's no hair color more popular or highly requested than balayage. The painterly technique results in a dimensional color that reads, "I just came back from a two-month summer vacation spent seaside" and never "I just came back from an appointment with my hair colorist." The results are always natural-looking since the highlights and lowlights intermingle throughout the hair.
As stylist Janna Velasquez of Bomane Salon in Beverly Hills puts it, "Balayage is a freehand painting technique, usually focusing on the top layer of hair, resulting in a more natural and dimensional approach to highlighting."
Choosing a Shade: Talk with your stylist. "They will help you choose a blonde tone that not only complements your complexion, but also base your balayage color choice on how much maintenance you can commit to, how often you will need to retouch, and color-care products for your at-home regimen," says Erica Conan, director of education at ColorProof.
Maintenance Level: Low-to-high. Balayage is "completely customized to your hair needs and overall goals," which will impact the frequency of salon visits, says Conan.
Goes Great With: Natural blonde hair, warm skin tones
Price: "On average, expect a starting price around $160 for an all-over balayage or some places charge around $25 'per piece' for enhancement balayage," notes Conan.
Blonde balayage is a particular favorite for the warmer seasons of the year (especially for people who live on the sun-washed West Coast). It offers a natural-looking way to go blonde—one that's softer and subtler than other trendy blonde shades like golden or platinum blonde. If you're feeling inspired to lighten and brighten your strands, then keep scrolling to discover 25 examples of blonde balayage before booking your appointment.
Short Blonde Balayage
We love actress Zendaya's blonde pixie, which calls to mind a 1990s chop. Her eyebrow color matches the bronde tones at her roots, giving the entire look a natural effect.
Choppy Balayage Blonde
Rez proves that one of the best colors to accompany a choppy lob is dark blonde balayage. The waves add texture and volume, mimicking the glorious effect of salt water on the hair.
Cool-Toned Balayage Blonde
If you're trying to avoid any warm tones, draw inspiration from this cool blonde masterpiece.
The closer your base color is to your natural hair, the less often you'll need touch-ups. "You can pair your balayage with other color techniques to help stretch your salon visits," notes Conan. "Talk to your stylist about shadow or smudge roots as a possible option for you."
Subtle Balayage Blonde
Rez also counts Riverdale actor Lili Reinhart as a client, and, as we all know, Betty Cooper has some of the best blonde hair in the game. Whether she's promoting her hit show or attending a red-carpet event, her color is always perfectly glossy and melded.
Balayage Blonde Melt
Garrison's Instagram caption described this blonde color better and more succinctly than we ever could. All he wrote was "melty," and it truly captures the magic of this color. The highlights and lowlights blend together so seamlessly, it's difficult to tell where they end and begin (which, in this case, is exactly what you want).
Strawberry Blonde Balayage
Janibell, of janibellrosanne.com, wears strawberry-blonde balayage highlights throughout her springy curls. We love the way her hair transitions from dark brown to blonde at the ends (and, yes, we're obsessed with her eyeshadow in this picture).
Volumizing Blond Balayage
With hair this full and luscious, you don't really need balayage. But it sure can give the illusion of endless depth.
After-care is just as important as what goes on in the salon chair. Conan recommends investing in "healing products" like ColorProof Boabab Heal & Repair JetSet ($36) to restore hair health after a balayage treatment.