Balayage is the infamous term that’s often mispronounced by clients everywhere and either feared or adored by colorists. The word, balayage is a French word that means “sweeping” and the name of the technique was derived from the long sweeping strokes of applying color to the hair.
Most challenges with this application arise from a misinterpretation during the consultation. Clients don’t fully understand that balayage isn’t necessarily a look, but more so a method of lightener application. Stylists who lack experience can be easily intimidated by a balayage request and provide subpar results that could have been avoided had they used a foil, thermal wrap, or other method of encapsulating the hair instead of this free-hand method.
There are certain situations where a balayage technique will indeed produce the look that your clients are asking for, however in some cases, using a traditional foil or insulation method is best. Read on to find out when to hand paint, and when to insulate for the best results.