How Long Does Balayage Last?

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Balayage is one of the latest and most popular hair trends, and it’s easy to see why. Who doesn’t want natural-looking highlights with no visible regrowth lines? But how long does balayage last?

When cared for properly, balayage can last 4-6 months! The whole point of balayage is that it blends into your hair naturally, and as your hair grows out, you don’t see that obvious transition from dyed highlights to natural hair.

In this article, we are going to be looking at what balayage actually is, the difference between balayage and highlights, how long it lasts and how to maintain your balayage.


What is Balayage?

First and foremost, Balayage is a very complicated and specialized technique that you should not try doing yourself. It’s going to require a salon professional colorist with experience doing balayage.

Don’t be going to the local discount Super Chops hair-cutting place asking for balayage if you want it done right!

“Balayage” is taken from the French word for “sweeping” and is a freehand coloring technique that brushes the color directly onto designated sections of the hair. The result is natural-looking sun-kissed highlights like you just spent the summer sipping margaritas poolside at your hacienda in the Caribbean.

Balayage is applied starting with fine sections near the top, but not at the roots. This leads to a thicker highlight at the ends of the hair.

Balayage is applied just on the surface of the section of hair, and not saturated all the way through the section until the very tips, giving you authentic-looking highlights that would get naturally from the sun.

What’s the Difference Between Balayage and Highlights?

Balayage comb

Balayage is a freehand coloring technique, whereas traditional highlights usually use foils.

With balayage, the re-growth is less noticeable, and the lines are more delicate, creating a more natural look than the highlighted streaks you get from foil highlights.

With balayage, the brushed on color doesn’t start at the roots, so it looks more like the organic highlights we all wish we’d been born with while being very low-maintenance because the regrowth is never obvious.

This also means that it ends up being more cost-effective because you won’t have to head back to the salon every few weeks for root touch-ups.

How long does balayage last?

One of the main benefits of balayage is that it’s designed to seamlessly blend into your hair! It looks as natural as it grows out as it did when it was first applied.

Balayage uses permanent color, so the colored sections will grow out and fade as any other color would on your hair, but without the harsh regrowth lines and visible ‘roots’.

With balayage, you can go anywhere from 4-6 months without touching up, as opposed to the 4-6 weeks for foil highlights.


Is balayage a lot of maintenance?

No, balayage is ideal because it’s so low maintenance. Once your style is done, you don’t have to do anything unusual to maintain it. Your typical hair care routine should keep your balayage looking gorgeous for months without regular visits back to the salon.

Does balayage fade naturally?

Yes, balayage fades naturally. As you’re only using permanent dye on your highlights, only these areas will slowly fade. But because the highlights are spread throughout the hair, there’s no obvious root line that starts to come through as your hair grows.

This is arguably the best aspect of balayage. Once it’s done, your hair will look beautiful for months and months, and it will fade gradually.

Does My Balayage Have to be Blonde?

Although blonde highlights are the most popular go-to colors for balayage, balayage can be done with just about any color. Apart from using balayage to get the sun-highlighted look, balayage can also be used to create more movement and dimension.

You can use almost any color and incorporate a mix of multi-tonal shades to add depth and texture to your hair for an effortlessly natural look, without necessarily looking like you just stepped off the beach.

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How many sessions does Balayage take?

Balayage process

The number of sessions will depend on the base color of your hair and what color tone(s) of balayage you want and the look you are trying to achieve.

If your hair is a light to medium tone, it should only take one session. If your hair is black or dark brown, and you are doing a balayage effect with complimenting medium/dark tones to give your hair a boost, that too, should take one session.

But if you have black or dark brown hair and you want the blonde balayage, you may require more than one session, depending on the tone and complexity of the balayage you are trying to get.

How long does balayage take?

As balayage involves lightly hand-painting the surface of the hair, it depends on how many highlights you are opting for. A simple balayage can take 45 minutes, whereas a layered balayage can take up to three hours.

Does balayage ruin your hair?

Because Balayage highlights don’t involve completely saturating your hair in bleach or color dye, it’s a much less harsh process on the hair than other hair treatments that involve permanent hair color and bleaching.

That having been said, it’s still a process that involves color and/or bleach, which can damage and dry out the hair. But the good news is, we have some hair care tips for you to ensure your hair stays healthy and looking fabulous.

Is balayage hard to maintain?

One of the best things about balayage is that it allows for your hair to grow without the visible roots you would get with normal hair color or traditional highlights. This means you can go much longer between touch-ups, so it’s much less maintenance.

And if you take care of your hair properly after your balayage, not only will you keep your hair healthy, it can prevent your highlights from fading and looking dull, and you may be able to extend the time between salon visits for a refresh.

Does washing hair ruin balayage?

Over-washing your hair can ruin your balayage, so yes. But normal hair washing and conditioning shouldn’t be harmful to your balayage highlights.

If you’re shampooing every day, you’ll fade the permanent dye more quickly than if you don’t. You can give it a few days between shampoos, and give your hair a chance to rest a bit.

Also, be sure to use a conditioner with your shampoo to keep your hair as healthy as possible.

Take Away

How long does balayage last? Balayage lasts about 4-6 months, depending on the color you’ve chosen, the growth of your hair, and how you care for it afterward.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).