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What Is Balayage

Balayage, Sombre & Colourmelt.


Every week we take part in countless colour services.
Gone are they days where you had only a choice of caped highlights or stripy foils. Not only has the choice of product rapidly increased but within these makes are hundred of colours ranging from dark to light and cool to warm tones. Fashion colours last that little bit longer and with the right range, brassy tones are a thing of the past. With the correct colour knowledge and technical skills, anything is possible.

Our latest fashion craze started from the ‘DIP DYE’ look. This look was ‘exactly what it says on the tin’. The hair is one colour at the roots and the ends literally look like they have been dipped in another colour. While this look was very popular, the looks created from this basic colour method have dominated the hair scene since.

So what is Balayage?
This is a service that we get requested on a daily basis but many asking for it don’t really know what it is. The main reason so many people love it is because its a low maintenance colour, they get to keeping their deeper root colour and having lighter ends (the best of both worlds).
The reason it has been so popular is because anyone and any age can wear it, and there are so many different variations. I have never taken a class myself but I have spent many a night studying via the good old internet and I use the texture of the hair, my colour knowledge and the desired look to decide which technique and colours to use.



Balayage is just one method of colouring to create one of three similar looks but they all have subtle differences.

Balayage is a blend from a darker root to a lighter end. This method consists of free painted highlights through the mid-lengths and ends, creating dimension and tone that reflects from all angels. The roots are generally a colour similar to the natural base shade but can be darken and a toner is ALWAYS use to create that seamless finish.
The ends are heavily lighter however the point at which it changes from highlights to block colour should be seamless so that you cannot tell where one colour ends and another begins.
I generally take my highlights higher around the face to frame and to enhance a natural look that would be created on sun kissed hair.


Sombre is a mixture between Balayage and Ombre in my opinion. Sombre consists of babyliights (tiny highlights) through the top section of the hair from the roots and then into a heavily based lighter colour at the ends. It still has the characteristics of the Ombre & Balayage but a much subtler finish.
As with all these techniques, the colour placement isn’t ridged and the tones can be played around with to create unique results for each client. In theory this technique would be slightly more high maintenance than the Balayage because the highlights are to the roots however because this highlights are so tiny the regrowth will be hard to detect.


Colour Melt.

Colour Melt is probably one of my favourites of all techniques. This is normally made up of 3 or more colours and these colours overlap to create the seamless blend. To help create that seamless blend it is important to use colours from similar families i.e coppers and red which will all help towards a colour result that shows no signs of where one colour ends and another begins. This can be done from light to dark or dark to light.

The similarities of these techniques are that they are all low maintenance. The are easy to change, work well on all hair types and suit almost anyone. The results can be dramatic or subtle and colour mixing can be so exciting. Its worn best on wavy, curly hair but equally when the results are seamless it can look great on straight hair to.

These results are great and a price guide is below however I would like to make everyone aware that if you hair is previously coloured and/or a dark brown/black in colour then this would be classed as colour correction. Consultations are FREE of charge and we can give you all the advice you need from colour choices to aftercare.
Matrix have a great and affordable range starting at just £6 for a bottle of shampoo which last a massive amount longer than store bought ranges so you save money in the long run.
Dont believe me? Try one for yourself and I can guarantee you’ll feel the different.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next blog.
Love, Care & Respect
Something you want to know about?
Tips and Tricks from behind the Rapture Chairs can be yours to read. Just send me a message and Ill get to work on the next blog with your topic in mind.


Price guild for senior stylist. Prices vary for junior stylist and style directors and include a cut and blow-dry.

Balayage £85

Sombre £80

Colour Melt £85

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