Skip to content

Balayage Hair Highlights

Ah, the joie de vivre of living life with beautiful, dimensional hair filled with rich color and just the right amount of highlights. If that sounds delightful, but you aren’t quite there yet, Elena has a secret ingredient to help you find your path forward. Balayage hair highlights are the style secret of the world’s most sought-after celebrities. You’ll find it on runways, in fashion magazines, and in the movies.

The Art of Balayage Hair Highlights

Balayage is a hair coloring technique that involves painting highlights directly onto sections of hair, feathering them in close to the root. This produces a softer, more natural sun-kissed look and/or subtle depth that makes hair really “pop.” Hair blends effortlessly into your natural rootage, too, making the regrowth line far less obvious.

Well-done balayage hair highlights won’t need adjustments for up to three to six months unless your hair is particularly prone to fading. This saves you money on maintenance and helps to limit the amount of damage to your hair over time.

So, Balayage and Ombré Are the Same Thing?

Absolutely not! Ombré, a shadow technique that darkens the hair strategically to blend it in from root to tip, also produces incredible results. But it focuses on depositing darker color at the roots and then blending it downward. Balayage, on the other hand, lifts color instead. Highlighting formulas are applied from the tip, and then feathered towards the root.

Results might seem deceptively similar at first glance, but that’s really only because both techniques blend the hair just under the rootage. Only balayage preserves more of your natural root color, which is the key to masking regrowth. And only balayage has the power to create such a flawless blend – especially if your natural hair is chestnut brown or black.

The Four Balayage Application Methods

Balayage hair highlights are intensely creative. In fact, you might even call it one of the most artistic techniques in the salon – and that includes both the process and the results! Each stylist has their own unique way to apply the highlights, but most fall into at least one of the following categories.

Open Air Balayage

Open air techniques paint highlights directly onto the hair either freehand or in a specific pattern. After they’re applied, the hair is arranged and left to process in the “open air” – no covers, dryers, or other heat-boosting measures. This can help to keep the end result a little more natural and less damaging, too.

Semi-Closed Balayage

This method of balayage follows the same process, but wraps each section of hair in either foil or film. This is a compromise between achieving intense results and limiting how much lift you get, reducing the risk of going “too white” or experiencing damage. It’s a “step up” from open air.


When you really want to ensure maximum color lift, foilyage works best. Stylists encase the most saturated portions of highlighted hair in foil to give lightening agents more power. This is a must for people who have hard-to-lift or very dark hair.

Palm Painting

Want more highlighting just at the very ends, rather than all over the entire section of hair? Trying to achieve a super bright and shiny champagne or rose gold just at the tips? Palm painting lets Elena get her hands dirty (pun intended) by directly applying more color to these zones. The result is a bright, vibrant pop of color with a more subtle blend higher up.

Thinking of Getting Balayage Hair Highlights?

Ready to see what balayage can do for you? Schedule a free consultation and Elena will help you identify a path to the perfect hair. In the meantime, here's a three-step plan for getting the perfect balayage hair highlights every single time:


If your hair is really dark, you may not get the results you want in a single session. It can take a couple of applications to lift hair to the right level, especially if you want something particularly dramatic – at least if you want to limit damage, anyhow. Not to worry, though; Elena only creates hair journeys that respect both your time and the health of your hair.


Stylists apply balayage to suit your cut, rather than cutting to suit the balayage. If you have balayage now, but take off several inches later, your highlights might not be as suitable. That’s why it’s best to have a fresh cut either just before or during your first highlighting session. Bring in a few pictures of hairstyles you love for best results.


You know how balayage hair highlights always look so incredible in magazines and movies? That stems from the fact that most people have a hair gloss treatment directly afterwards. Hair gloss lets each strand reflect more light, making highlights stand out and almost glow. You’ll love how shiny, iridescent, and beautiful your hair looks afterward.

let’s start your complimentary consultation

Balayage Hair Highlights - HER Hair by Elena

I was referred to Elena and I was nervous to try a new hairstylist. Our first consultation was an eye opening experience. She listened to my ideas and gave me her expert option. I appreciated her honestly and believe she had my hair's best interest.

She was able to take out the red dye and turn me into a blonde. I never thought I could have healthy long blonde hair before her. She is talented and very patient with me. I definitely recommend to call and book an appointment with Elena Rosas!!!

Los Angeles, CA

When I first went to Elena I had never colored my hair because there was never anyone I was able to trust with that responsibility. The first few times I went with her I just got cuts until I started to see her work. I took the chance and allowed her to do her "magic" on my hair & I am so happy that I did. I have not once been disappointed. She is 100% honest and refuses do a session on your hair that will damage your hair in one sitting.

When I first wanted my hair colored I showed her a color that was about 5x lighter than my actual hair color and she refused to do it in one sitting because it would damage my hair tremendously. I wasn't upset I was glad that she was honest because majority of stylists will do it in one session which makes hair look very unhealthy. She is unlike any stylist out there, she is an incredible woman with a whole lot of talent who knows her job better than anyone I know! I love Elena, she's the BEST!!

Santa Paula, CA

I drove an hour and a half round trip to have Elena fix some highlights-gone-awry and a haircut that I knew was off but was too afraid to be critical of it. Rome can't be built in a day but she wisely suggested a gradual route towards fixing and moving towards what I'm sure will turn out to be perfectly natural highlights and a great cut that just needs a little time to grow into itself.

If you want wonderfully natural highlighted hair, you can tell by her pictures & Instagram that she completely knows what she's doing! She's so skilled at her craft and she takes your hair seriously - both its health and color and what you're able to keep up. Go to Elena if you are looking to take your color to the next level and not just settle for what is typically offered; she does a great job!

Santa Barbara, CA