Californian balayage is quickly becoming summer's hottest hair-color trend.
Remember when balayage burst onto the hairdressing scene back in the ’90s and changed hair color forever? The coloring technique involves sweeping sections of hair lightly with blonde and golden highlights. But, unlike other coloring techniques, the highlights are blended seamlessly throughout the lengths (think soft caramels harmonized with luminous blondes) to ensure that there's never a band of color or telltale roots left visible. In fact, it only gets better and more blended with time. And it’s the only hair-coloring technique to opt for in the summer months.
Tommie Gleed, color director at Nicky Clarke, says the balayage trend shows no sign of abating this summer, but the trendiest girls in Cali are plumping for a more polished version. Enter Californian balayage.
The term comes from the French word balayage, which means sweeping, referring to the way the color is applied to the hair, but the trend has become increasingly popular the past few years.
“While ‘lived-in color’ remains very popular, many clients are requesting a polished, Californian balayage,” says Gleed, who adds that 2022 is all about glossy, warmer toners to complement every skin tone. “Californian balayage is created with a more lived-in root and lighter ends and is normally paired with bangs or grown-out bangs. The look is all about the beachy ‘SoCal’ vibes, and color is distributed throughout to mimic the look of naturally sun-kissed strands and give a gorgeous glowing ‘holiday hair effect.’” Think liquid gold hints, strawberry blondes, and defined eye contouring.
If you're looking for inspo, blondes can look to Khloé Kardashian, sparkling medium-brown brunettes can be inspired by Lily Aldridge, brondes can look to Beyoncé, and rich brunettes can take cues from Selena Gomez.
Gleed says he's noticed that there is even more demand for the style postpandemic, as everybody is busy catching up on socials, going on vacation, and making up for missed time. “They tend to want a look that is easier to style and is relatively low-maintenance, for that ultra-effortless, cool undone look,” he said.
If you're interested in trying the trend, Gleed suggests asking for free-hand balayage, focusing on the face frame with a liquid gold gloss to enhance the shine all over.
“I would recommend going into the salon around the three-month mark and requesting face frame foils, toner, treatment, to keep the look maintained,” he says. “Every six months, I would then opt for the full-head balayage to completely refresh the color again. The style I personally feel this looks amazing in is a loose braid or soft beachy waves with smoother ends, as both styles fit in perfectly with that relaxed cool-girl vibe.”
As for summer hairstyles? Well, we love them too, since festivals and summer holidays give us the freedom to experiment and get more creative. Plus, with the temperatures the way they are, we're all more likely to look for ways to hitch our hair up and out of our faces.
If your styling repertoire is limited but you want something fresh, there are plenty of styles that will look amazing without having to spend too much time on them or learning complicated hairdressing techniques. And there's tons of ways to personalize your summer updo to you and your style. Check out our guide to the best summer hairstyles to keep your hair in check in the heat.
Summer hair, sorted.
This post originally ran in Glamour U.K.
Originally Appeared on Glamour