The 13 Best Balayage Hair Ideas To Try For Summer

If you’re a regular hair dyer, you’ll be all too familiar with the damage hair colouring can cause to both our locks and bank accounts. Keeping up with dreaded root grow-out can push many of us to look for cheaper, more low maintenance solutions to managing our manes. Enter the balayage hairstyle. Saving you serious time and money, balayage hair colouring blends your current colour into your natural roots for a softer, more subtle finish. Whether you want to boost your hair quality, limit your trips to the salon, or try out a new summer hairstyle, balayage is here to save the day (and your strands).

From the best balayage hair ideas and looks to the best balayage hair products, we’ve gathered all the information you need to nail this look for yourself.

What is balayage?

Creating a more a natural finish than traditional foil highlights, balayage is a freehand colouring technique that involves painting colour directly onto sections of hair. This method can be used to strategically place highlights to complement your hair colour, face shape, and skin tone. The result? A more natural, softer, and seamless blend that should be free of harsh lines and blocks of colour. Grow out should appear gracefully and require fewer touch-ups, making it the perfect choice if you’re after a life of less maintenance.

What’s the difference between highlights and balayage?

While both techniques have the same end goal – to lighten your locks – they differ in their application process. Highlights involve sectioning off and bleaching strands of hair, which are often isolated by foils to create defined streaks of colour. This technique leaves hair with a more structured look, which creates clear lines of contrast when your natural hair begins to grow out. 

Balayage, on the other hand, typically involves painting colour or bleach onto the mid-lengths to ends in a more random, sweeping motion. This creates a more subtle, blended effect between the coloured and un-coloured sections of hair, for a more natural-looking, softer finish which requires less upkeep.

Is balayage bleach?

The term ‘balayage’ means ‘to sweep’ in French and refers more to how a product is applied rather than the specific product itself. While balayage hairstyles most commonly use bleach, other lightening products and colours can be used to achieve this look.

13 Different Types of Balayage You Should Try

1. Boho blonde balayage

Close up of blonde balayage

Perfect for festivals, we’re obsessed with this bright blonde boho balayage moment from @nicolawelshhair.

2. Partial balayage

Partial balayage

Bringing a barely-there movement of colour to your hair, you need to recreate this ultra natural, partial balayage from @cristinaceveshair.

3. Money piece balayage

Money piece balayage

Our favourite face-framing hairstyle, we love how this money piece balayage from @eniolahair_ flatters the facial features perfectly.

4. Ash balayage

Ash balayage

This cool-toned ash balayage from @hairby_sadie_manchester blends light shades into deep, dark tones of grey and silver for a contrasting, sleek look.

5. Natural balayage

Natural balayage

Ideal for those who want the your-hair-but-better look, this balayage from @hairbysems could be the one for you if you’re looking to subtly enhance your natural colour.

6. Sunkissed balayage

Natural balayage

Give your hair that beachy, sun-soaked effect with this softly lightened look from @hairby_aimeemorris. It’s giving summer.

7. Creamy blonde balayage

Creamy blonde balayage

This blunt, professional look from @mustbylook seamlessly blends cool-toned, dark blonde roots with ultra-creamy ends for a shiny, smooth finish.

8. balayage bob

Balayage bob

@jenghair has contrasted darker brown shades with warm, chestnut-toned highlights to add depth and dimension to their locks.

9. Pink balayage

Pink balayage

Add a pop of colour to your look with this vibrant pink balayage from @mopheadzhair. This one is sure to turn heads in the best way possible.

10. Grey balayage

Grey balayage

Putting a darker, modern twist on the classic balayage, we can’t get enough of this effortlessly cool-girl grey blend from @lanhair.

11. Contrast balayage 

Contrast balayage

This bold, dynamic balayage from @stylesbystaceee contrasts dark brown colour with light, sun-kissed strands to create a striking effect.

12. Caramel balayage

Caramel balayage

Adding some sweetness to your strands, this indulgent caramel balayage colour from is the perfect balance between warm blonde and rich brown tones.

13. Subtle blonde balayage

Subtle blonde balayage

Take your blonde hair to the next level with this soft balayage from @jemima.hair_. The subtle, natural transition from root to tip creates an effortlessly flattering, low-maintenance look.

What should you do after balayage?

Now you’ve got your balayage hairstyle, there are a few steps you can take to keep it looking its best.

1. Try to minimise your hair washes and opt for products specifically formulated for colour treated hair, as this will prevent premature fading and boost the condition of your strands. 

2. Use heat protection before any heat styling, as this will prevent breakage and damage.

3. Add a deep conditioning treatment to your haircare routine once a week to help keep hair nourished and hydrated.

4. Although this is one of the lower maintenance hairstyles, it’s still important to schedule regular trims (we recommend every six to eight weeks) as this will keep your locks looking their healthiest.

Your balayage hair essentials