10 Differences Between highlights and balayage

Highlights and balayage are two popular hair coloring techniques that have taken over the beauty industry by storm. Both these techniques give your hair a vibrant and youthful look. However, there are some differences between these two techniques that people tend to overlook. This article will take a closer look at the differences between highlights and balayage, so you can pick out the perfect technique for your hair.

What are Highlights?

Highlights involve lightening your hair strands to create lightened sections of hair. These sections typically range from subtle earth tones to bright blonde streaks, depending on the look you are going for. The result is a classic, elegant look that never goes out of style.

Examples of Highlights

  • Blonde Highlights
  • Brown Highlights
  • Caramel Highlights
  • Red Highlights
  • Burgundy Highlights

Uses of Highlights

Highlights offer a few different benefits to consider. They can create additional depth and dimension to your hair, adjust the tone of your hair, and provide a brighter or more natural look.

What is Balayage?

Balayage is a French word that translates to “painting” or “sweeping.” This technique is more of a freehand technique and results in a more subtle, natural-looking effect. In this technique, the color is more concentrated towards the ends of your hair, which can give you a beautiful sun-kissed look.

Examples of Balayage

  • Babylights Balayage
  • Ombré Balayage
  • Caramel Balayage
  • Ash Grey Balayage
  • Blonde Balayage

Uses of Balayage

Balayage offers a few different benefits as well. It can give your hair a more subtle, natural look that blends well with your skin tone and provides a more low-maintenance approach to coloring.

Differences between Highlights and Balayage

Difference Area Highlights Balayage
Technique Traditional foil technique Freehand technique
Application Color applied all-over the hair Color applied mostly at the ends of the hair
Look A more defined and obvious look A more subtle, natural look
Dimension Creates horizontal dimension Creates vertical dimension
Maintenance More maintenance Less maintenance
Application time Takes more time Takes less time
Cost More expensive Less expensive
Suitable hair types Works best on hair with a solid color base Works best on natural, undyed hair
Color fade Highlights fade out quickly Balayage doesn’t fade as quickly
Color placement Highlights are evenly spaced Balayage is placed randomly throughout the hair


Now that you understand the differences between highlights and balayage, you can choose the technique that works best for your hair type. Highlights work well for adding defined dimension and lighter color, while balayage creates a more natural, low-maintenance look.

Knowledge Check

1. What does balayage mean? A technique that creates natural, sun-kissed highlights.

2. Which technique creates a more obvious look? Highlights

3. Which technique requires less maintenance? Balayage

4. Which technique works best on natural, undyed hair? Balayage

5. Which technique creates horizontal dimension? Highlights

6. Which technique creates vertical dimension? Balayage

7. Which technique is more expensive? Highlights

8. Which technique is less expensive? Balayage

9. Which technique fades out quickly? Highlights

10. Which technique is placed randomly throughout the hair? Balayage

Related Topics

  • How to maintain a highlights and balayage hairstyle
  • The best hair products for highlights and balayage hairstyles
  • The latest hair trends in highlights and balayage hairstyles

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