In the early 70s, there was a gentleman by the name, Yvan who worked in the Carita Salon (Paris) and he invented this new technique – “Balayage Au Cotton”. He started at the nape and lifted the fine strands. After that, he applied a lightening paste using a thin brush. Rather than wrapping the hair with foil, he had inserted pieces of cotton wadding in the hair to hold up the strands of hair and separate them from the rest of other hair. He had already used an amazing 1,000 feet of cotton stripping by the time he had performed three quarters of the whole head. His client, Miss Weston looked like she was wearing a huge white wig. This is the evolution of the word, Balayage, which means “sweeping”, is a method of lightening fine hair strands.

Balayage is one of the most popular and exciting highlighting techniques in a very long time. The amazing results are loved by both clients and colorists alike. The natural, organic look of color placement is similar to the effortless sun-kissed hair colour of what you would get after a summer at the beach.


Balayage, also spelled ba-lie-azhe or baliage, is the art and technique of hair painting. It is a French word which means “sweep away” or “balayer”. The term, Balayage was exclusively named at this Carita Salon in Paris in early 1970’s which became a big easy-to-use name for its sun-kissed effortless appearance and a very popular style. Below is a link to the 1974 New York Times article.

“Color Your Hair Simply, or Turn It Blue—Salons Can Do It All” by Angela Taylor New York Times Apr. 1, 1974.

Today, Balayage is a very popular service in many salons. However, not all results are the same. It’s not as simple as it seems! The colorist should be very skillful and well-trained as well as they must be well adept of the texture and movement of hair. The colorist is not the only one who needs to be skilled in balayage, the brush used by the colorist is also very important tool. It is the ultimate finishing results that will appear most natural which are normally those of the most random and without any specific patterning. This requires a very precise as well as artistic placement strategy.

This technique was first called “Balayage au Cotton” in the 70’s because it used cotton strips to isolate colored hair from the untouched hair sections. The Balayage technique was exceptionally revolutionary in its day just the perfect timing as frosting caps and solid color were also the norm and trend. The hairdressing industry had invented many foil highlighting methods in the 80’s, but Balayage was not popularized until the early 1990’s. It caught the attention of many famous celebrities and quickly became one of America’s most popular color trends till now.

Even though it is very popular, there are still many clients who highlight their hair regularly are afraid to try balayage because it is something new to them, and it may seem daunting.

Balayage is a great choice for highlights, and it’s better than the Foil method! For the foil technique, the hair is cut into sections and then “weaved” or sliced in to foil. This gives the hair a uniform, dense look that is more unnatural as the colour appears more saturated. You will begin to notice the regrowth or demarcation lines within weeks hinting you to go for your retouch.

Balayage is a softly hand applied technique that paints on the hair’s surface. It leaves you with natural-looking streaks of color, ranging from thin to thick. The colors are subtle and blend in with the natural movement of your hair. Balayage is less likely to cause breakage than traditional foil highlights as the lightening is more slower and softer. The of balayage is easily maintained and looking great for months with no retouching. You can use any variety of color you want, making it easier on your budget. Here are some things to consider before you book your next color service.


Balayage is not only for blondes. This hair painting technique is a great option for brunettes, redheads and even black hair. Although the results may be soft and not so obvious, they will add dimension to your hair. For example, a brunette with dark brown hair can get stunning caramel or cinnamon swirls and ribbons.


Foils can look artificial and sloppy, with a row of identical highlights. The foil color typically will be used to color the whole sections of hair. This results in highly unnatural, concentrated colors stripes.

Balayage is a soft, sweeping stroke of color across the hair surface. It leaves you with natural-looking thin and thick streaks of color that flow naturally from one end to the other and compliment the natural movement of your hair. Balayage will not leave you with demarcations lines, making it easier to manage and maintain your hair when it grows out.

FOILYAGE is the Latest Trend

This technique combines the Balayage technique with the bright color payoff of foil highlight. Balayage is a technique that involves hand painting directly to the hair’s surface. However, this can cause hair to become too dark and messy as the lightening may not be sufficient. Foilyage is a technique that colorists use to achieve more lift and lightening effect than balayage. They then go in and do balayage within the foil. Foilyage is a hand-painting technique that uses foil to enhance the lightening effect that you cannot achieve using the balayage alone. You can achieve a stunning natural-looking highlights at the end.