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Does Balayage Damage Hair More Than Highlights 2023? (2024)

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balayage damage hair more than highlightsAre you looking for a hair transformation that will make you look and feel fabulous? Balayage is the answer! Unlike regular highlights, which involve applying lightener directly to strands of hair in an even pattern from root to tip, balayage involves hand-painting color onto sections of your hair.

Take Martha for example – she was fed up with her dull brown tresses so decided to give balayage a try.

But does this trendy technique damage more than traditional highlights? Read on to find out if it may be the right choice for you in 2023 and beyond.

Key Takeaways

  • Balayage is a gentle alternative to traditional highlighting techniques.
  • Balayage can be done on all hair types, but thin and fine hair may require pre-lightening care to prevent damage.
  • Both balayage and highlights can cause damage if proper products are not used or maintenance is neglected.
  • Quality styling services and good products are essential for preserving healthy-looking hair.

Differences Between Balayage and Regular Highlights

Differences Between Balayage and Regular Highlights
You can achieve a natural and effortless look with balayage, while regular highlights require more rigorous processing that may cause damage over time. Balayage is less harsh on the hair than traditional highlighting techniques, as it uses a special dye that does not require bleaching or lightening treatments.

The cost of balayage varies depending on factors such as hair length, colorist expertise, and salon prices.

Toner should be applied every 8 weeks to avoid brassy tones in the colored strands. This will help prolong your desired shade for longer periods of time. Celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Miley Cyrus have tried different styles using balayage to get beautiful results without damaging their locks too much compared to highlights.

Highlights involve more bleach at the root area close to the scalp, causing a greater amount of dryness and breakages if not taken care of properly by an experienced stylist.

It’s important to note that both methods can lead to damage if proper products are not used or when maintenance is neglected. Quality styling services accompanied with good products are essential elements in order to preserve healthy-looking hair.

Color refreshes might be needed after 3-6 months, but lowlights, babylights, ombres, and shadow roots also provide great alternatives for any type and texture.

Is Balayage Better for Hair Than Highlights?

Is Balayage Better for Hair Than Highlights
Comparing balayage and regular highlights, it can be difficult to determine which is better for your hair. Both techniques require bleaching time, but with different results. Balayage is a hand-painted technique that uses less lightener than traditional highlights and creates a natural blend of tones while being gentler on the hair roots.

Quality styling products are important for minimizing damage, as well as proper maintenance and care of the color with regular trims every 6-8 weeks or 3-6 months depending on the technique used. Celebrity trends have seen stars like Gisele Bündchen using balayage to achieve sun-kissed looks; however, this method requires more product usage, including higher developer levels, leading to more potential damage over time when compared to highlights due to its layering effect during the application process.

To maintain healthy tresses, use argan oil-infused conditioners and avoid chlorine pools or harsh shampoos containing sulfates. This will help keep your locks vibrant in between refreshes by toning out brassiness at least once every 8 weeks.

Achieving beautiful hues without compromising quality haircare should always be a top priority when considering any coloring service, regardless of whether you choose classic foils or freehand painting.

Both methods can cause breakage if not applied correctly, so finding an expert stylist who understands how best to suit each individual’s unique needs is essential.

Do You Need to Bleach Your Hair for Balayage?

Do You Need to Bleach Your Hair for Balayage
No bleaching is needed for balayage, making it a gentle alternative that will leave your hair looking like rays of sunshine cascading down. Instead of using bleach and foils, colorists combine the perfect mixture of colors to create an effortless transition from roots to ends.

By mixing shades close in tone or even opting for natural root variation, you can achieve subtle yet beautiful highlights with minimal damage to the strands. A toner selection may be used depending on desired outcomes and lightener choice; highlighters are also carefully chosen based on your color service needs.

With alternatives such as babylights available too, there’s no need for harsh bleach treatments when it comes to balayage highlights! Hair dye products designed specifically with this technique in mind offer maximum results while minimizing damage due to their unique formulations and application process that doesn’t require heavy heat styling tools or excessive manipulation during coloring sessions either!

From low-maintenance blonde looks right through natural browns – enjoy a look tailored just for you without having to worry about long-term effects caused by overprocessing: all thanks to the magic of Balayage!

Does Balayage Damage Your Hair Roots?

Does Balayage Damage Your Hair Roots
It’s true that balayage can cause damage to the hair roots, as it requires a stronger lightener and higher developer than traditional highlights.

To minimize potential damage when getting balayage, look for a stylist with expertise in color application techniques and make sure they use quality products. Additionally, use protective products before applying bleach or dye to help keep the hair healthy during and after coloring processes.

Afterward, be sure to follow up with regular trims every 6-8 weeks, plus toner applications every 8 weeks.

Furthermore, take care of your newly colored hair by avoiding chlorine pools and styling tools such as straighteners or curling irons too often.

Finally, don’t forget that celebrities like Gisele Bündchen have embraced balayage, giving their locks an effortless sun-kissed look.

Is Balayage Bad for Thin Fine Hair?

Is Balayage Bad for Thin Fine Hair
Thin and fine hair can often be fragile, so it’s important to consider the damage that balayage may cause. To prevent this, pre-lightening care is key. This includes protective styling such as braids or twists for several days before coloring your hair.

Additionally, conditioning masks and deep treatments should be used to ensure the scalp and strands are adequately nourished during lightening services like balayage highlights.

Color refreshes every 8 weeks will help keep your look vibrant while minimizing damage from over bleaching or processing with dyes at home. When swimming in chlorine pools or saltwater oceans, wear a swim cap if possible; otherwise, rinse out immediately afterward with fresh water to avoid fading of color on thin fine hair roots.

Protective products like leave-ins also help shield against UV ray exposure that can fade away natural-looking shadow root tones added through balayage services even faster than traditional highlight techniques.

This is due to its freehand painting technique application process instead of foiling techniques utilized for regular highlighting applications. Lastly, avoiding heat tools on those delicate locks is essential since too much heat causes breakages leading towards an unhealthy head full of frizz.

Instead, you can achieve a gorgeous mane featuring warm coppers blended into softer blonde ends by applying creative hand-painted balayage strokes onto thin fine hairs.

Types of Highlights

Types of Highlights
Are you looking to change up your look? Highlights are a great way to add dimension and depth, from full highlights that cover the entire head of hair, to partial or mini highlights for subtle accents.

There’s also foil highlighting which uses sheets of aluminum foil placed below sections of hair as it’s lightened, and cap highlighting which involves placing strands through tiny holes in a plastic cap.

Full Highlights

Full highlights are a great way to add dimension and brightness to your hair, creating a stunning look that will turn heads. This process involves pre-lightening the hair with foils or lightener before using toning products for color customization.

A color consultation is recommended before proceeding as this determines the type of product used, whether shadow roots should be applied, and if full highlights are necessary. Foiling techniques create traditional highlights, while balayage offers a visual hand-painted technique that creates subtle highlights without needing heavy bleaching on each strand.

Partial Highlights

Partial highlights give you the perfect amount of sun-kissed color, adding dimension and depth to your look. These tinting techniques are done using a combination of pre-bleaching and home coloring, with help from professional hair colorists.

Protective treatments like masks or oils can be used before application for healthy locks during the process.

Partial highlights create natural-looking results that require less maintenance than full foil highlights. They are hand-painted on in strategic sections to achieve subtle results without overprocessing the hair strands.

Mini Highlights

Make your locks come alive with mini highlights, a daring and delightful way to show off your hair! This highlighting technique provides subtle pops of color that create a multi-dimensional look. It’s perfect for the ombre transition or used as an all-over color melting technique.

For those who want something more than babylights but less dramatic than partial highlights, mini highlights are ideal. To achieve the best results, deep conditioning is recommended before application to tone and neutralize warm tones in the hair.

Foil Highlights

Foil highlights can create a dramatic look that adds dimension and depth to your hair, making it appear thicker without any of the harshness associated with bleaching. The application method involves using foils and a lightening service, resulting in lower maintenance than balayage while still providing an attractive result.

To prevent brassiness or damage from chlorine in swimming pools, toner application every 8 weeks is recommended, as well as deep conditioning treatments for added care.

Foil highlights are generally considered less damaging than balayage, but they should be done by a qualified stylist to avoid over-processing or breakage.

With proper care and quality products, you can enjoy this stylish look with minimal impact on your hair health!

Cap Highlights

Cap highlights provide a low-maintenance color option that’s ideal for busy lifestyles, blending in seamlessly with your natural hair. The cap construction allows the stylist to manipulate texture and remove foils without damaging the hair.

During your service appointment, you’ll discuss your desired look and any maintenance requirements needed to achieve optimal results based on the base color of your hair or pre-existing highlights – whether it be full highlights or cap highlights! With a little bit of planning ahead of time, you can easily reach all of your desired hair goals in one visit!

What is Balayage?

What is Balayage
Unlock the secret to beautiful, effortless-looking hair with balayage! This celebrity trend has become more and more popular as it allows for a subtle sun-kissed look that is low maintenance. Balayage is a freehand painting technique used to create natural looks of depth while avoiding dramatic color changes.

It can be applied in partial or reverse balayage styles, depending on your desired look.

When done correctly using quality products and proper protective care, this method will prevent brassy tones from appearing over time. To maximize its effectiveness and minimize damage to the hair, use shampoos without sulfates or conditioners with silicones instead of harsher chemicals like chlorine when swimming pools are involved.

Difference Between Balayage and Highlighting Hair

Difference Between Balayage and Highlighting Hair
Comparing balayage to traditional highlights, you can achieve a softer and more natural look with the former while saving time in-between touch-ups. Balayage is a freehand technique that involves painting on color for gradual lightening without using foils.

It’s also gentler on hair compared to regular highlighting due to its lower developer levels and fewer bleaching products used. The expertise of the colorist plays an important role in determining the outcome of this gentle process, as well as maintaining the health of hair during treatment.

The ombre technique uses different shades or tones blended together, creating depth. On the other hand, babylights are thin, subtle highlights that create a natural blend with base colors or lowlights.

Although both methods require special care and attention, balayage causes less damage overall since it does not use harsh chemicals like bleach.

Maintenance Routine for Balayage and Highlights

Maintenance Routine for Balayage and Highlights
To keep your balayage or highlights looking vibrant and healthy, create a maintenance routine that includes deep conditioning treatments and nourishing products. Avoid sulfates in shampoos as they can strip hair of its natural oils, as well as silicones in conditioners that weigh down the hair shaft.

Look for natural oils like argan oil to help protect from environmental exposure while maintaining color vibrancy between touch-ups.

Deep conditioning is important, but make sure not to over-condition your locks. Over-conditioning can cause them to become brittle and dry out quickly. Tone any brassiness with a professional product every eight weeks to avoid extreme lightening or striping effects in unwanted areas.

When applying lowlights, always alternate colors to create the most natural blend possible and avoid harsh lines. Lastly, moisturize regularly with quality shampoo/conditioner combos tailored specifically for highlighted/color-treated locks.

This will help protect against fading due to environmental stressors like UV rays and saltwater.

With proper care and maintenance, balayage or highlights can look fresh all season long!

Pros and Cons of Balayage and Highlights

Pros and Cons of Balayage and Highlights
Considering their distinct differences, you may be wondering what the pros and cons of balayage and highlights are. Interestingly, one survey found that up to 80% of people prefer balayage for its natural look.

  • Balayage requires less bleaching than traditional highlighting techniques but does use a higher developer, leading to more damage over time.
  • Traditional highlights need frequent touch-ups every 6-8 weeks, whereas balayage can last 3-6 months with a proper maintenance routine such as avoiding chlorine in swimming pools or using color protecting products like toners regularly.
  • It is also important not to forget the importance of quality styling products that will help minimize root damage due to bleaching effects while achieving desired results without compromising on hair health.
  • On the other hand, highlights offer faster coverage with intense colors if desired but require more lightening treatments, which can cause dryness or breakages when done incorrectly.

Lastly, it’s worth noting there has been an increased trend towards choosing less intense coloring methods such as babylights or ombre instead of traditional highlighting techniques – so always make sure you get a good color consultation before deciding how best to go about coloring your hair!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to choose between balayage and highlights?

Choosing between balayage and highlights is a personal decision. Consider the desired effect, your hair type, and maintenance needs – all can affect the outcome. Balayage offers natural-looking color with less damage potential but requires more frequent touch-ups than traditional highlights.

How often should toner be applied for balayage?

To keep the color vibrant and prevent brassiness, toner should be applied to balayage hair every eight weeks. Replenish your mane with this essential step for a natural, sun-kissed look that lasts! Regular trims are also key in maintaining healthy strands while avoiding damage.

What type of products are best for caring for balayage hair?

For balayage hair, use a gentle cleansing conditioner like Pantene Gold Argan CoWash to keep it moisturized and soft. Look for natural oils such as argan oil in products, avoid sulfates and silicones in shampoos and conditioners.

Deep conditioning can be done more often, but don’t overdo it or your hair can become brittle.

How long does balayage typically last?

Balayage typically lasts 3-6 months with proper care and maintenance. Regular trims, avoiding chlorine and swimming pools, using products without sulfates or silicones can help extend the life of balayage hair color.

Can balayage be done on all hair types?

Balayage can be done on all hair types! The sun-kissed look it creates is perfect for those seeking a subtle, natural finish. From thick to thin, long to short—you’ll love the multi-dimensional color this technique offers.


In short, balayage and traditional highlighting both involve lightening the hair but have different techniques and effects. Balayage is a freehand painting technique that gives a more natural, sun-kissed look, while traditional highlights use foils to create a more uniform, dimensional look.

While balayage is generally less damaging and requires less maintenance, it still needs to be done correctly and cared for properly to avoid damage. Quality products, regular trims, and avoiding chlorine and swimming pools are all important for keeping hair healthy and maintaining the color.

It’s best to consult a stylist to determine which method is best for you and your hair.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.