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The Basics of Balayage Highlights

There is a serious change afoot in the hair highlights world and many women are quickly discovering that the traditional method of using foil to create highlights is not the best option out there. The challenger is a technique called balayage, a process invented in the 1970s in France. Although it enjoyed a brief popularity in the 1980s, it inexplicably went out of fashion due to the ease of getting highlights using foil. Now, balayage is back and bigger than ever, winning over fans with a set of features that make it the right choice over foil for many women. Celebrities around the world are asking their favorite hairdresser for balayage highlights and the style is quickly crossing over into the mainstream as well.

Basically, balayage is little more than coloring the hair, but the difference in the application of the dye is what makes it so successful. Instead of putting dye in the hair and wrapping foil around the strands, the dye is applied like paint, meaning that a more full coverage can be obtained. Most commonly, balayage is used by women who want to avoid the awkward look developed when hair grows out and there is a very clear line between the natural color and the dye.

The main argument for balayage over foil is in the subtle transition of color. With the major complaint of foil-based highlights being too stark a contrast between colors and abrupt changes, the balayage technique is able to mitigate this issues. Because balayage is basically painted on, the transition between colors is more gradual than foil and this melding of colors gives more of a warm tone. With the summer months coming up, having a warmer hair color is essential for any stylish woman. At the same time, balayage works better for some women than others and there are certain hairstyles that will merge better with the new style.

One type of woman's hairstyle that can stand to benefit from a balayage treatment are the shorter  looks, like a pixie cut or short shag. The reason for this is that because there is less hair to work with, foil highlights will stick out more and look less natural. On the other hand, a natural appearance will be created by the balayage and the different colors will be much more subtle. Another area where balayage reigns supreme is for adding color to the finer hairs found at a woman's hairline. Foil simply cannot reach these points and the balayage technique will make the hair more manageable by requiring less frequent visits to the salon.

A woman who is ready to experience the balayage difference first-hand will be best served by going to a professional stylist that has experience with the technique. It's true that balayage can technically be a DIY project, but a small mistake can easily lead to a problem that even a professional will have a hard time fixing. If a woman is dead set on doing the project herself, it's a good idea to enlist a friend to help. In addition, the woman should remember that getting the right dye is critical to a good coloring and be willing to spend a few extra bucks for a quality product. Whether the balayage treatment is done in the home or at a salon, a woman will immediately be able to see the difference and why this technique is a hot new trend among celebrities.

Contributor: DailyMakeover.com - Virtual makeovers, styling tips, fashion trends and beauty advice from expert beauty bloggers.

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