It wasn’t long ago that I didn’t know how to pronounce the word balayage (bal-ay-arge). Now not only can I tell you all about it, but having had it done I can tell you how much I love it.
I went along to Chapel Place in Islington to have it done by the amazing stylist Daniel Knight.
When I was a teenager it was all about stripy highlights – on both men and women – and then when I hit my twenties it was bleach blond hair with dark, grungy roots.
Later came ombre, which saw a lightening towards the end of the hair. Thankfully, hair style has matured and now the focus is on looking as natural as possible. This is where the sudden surge of popularity for balayage has come in.
It is a gradient colouring that starts away from the roots so as your hair grows those around you are none the wiser. This was the biggest draw for me – desperate to add a little life to my hair but unwilling to commit to regular touch ups.
The word comes from the French word ‘to sweep’ and it is a freehand technique in which colourists sweep the colour down your hair using a brush and paddle board. After the dye is placed on it is secured in place with good old fashioned foils, resulting in a less symmetrical and more sunkissed colouring.
It works well on all colours, styles and lengths – as long as there’s enough hair to sit on the board – and is tailored to you and your skin tone.
Before being balayaged by stylist Daniel Knight. I had a consultation a few days before and sat down with Daniel on the lush, velvet sofas to discuss what to do with my locks.
The 10 minute chat we had was tantamount to what I went for. I walked into the salon with my mind set on a soft shade of peach. Daniel, who was more than happy to go ahead with my wishes, took some time to explain to me that the light colour would require bleaching and then continued upkeep as the damaged hair below might not hold the colour well over time.
That certainly wasn’t what I wanted, so I dialled it back a bit and went for a natural blonde balayage.
Three hours with the perfect amount of chit chat later and these were my results. Those who knew I was having my hair done showered me with compliments, and those who didn’t took a while to realise and were then amazed at how natural it was.
I’ve already had a few friends ask for the name of the salon and stylist. If you’re interested I urge you to get in touch.