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    The Fashionista’s Guide to Balayage

    What Celebrities Know about Balayage That You May Not Have Considered

    Balayage, meaning ‘to sweep’ in French, is a technique that the hair colorist uses a brush to hand paint lightener onto select strands of hair, applying the lightener in a sweeping motion going from thin sections at the root to thicker sections toward the ends of hair. This creates a unique look, giving your highlights that look like they were put there naturally by the sun. . . . just like a child’s hair. I love Loreal’s concept of “Less is More,” it applies with the technique of balayage.

    I began using the technique on my clients and it made me rethink how I previously thought of hair color. I fell in love with the technique and how it looked on my clients hair. And best of all, my clients fell in love with how their hair looked! It creates a more natural grow out. Balayage application creates highlights softer by the roots and bolder towards the ends, which looks more natural than highlights done with foil applications. The foil highlight application gets lost towards the ends.

    jessica biel Balayage

    Another big plus with going with a balayage trend is that you won’t need to come into the salon every 6 weeks for a touch-up as you would with regrowth from a foil application. You will get used to seeing more depth at your roots and the highlights from balayage pop out more, giving a more beachy effect. You could also learn how to balayage your hair at home if you’re brave enough.

    Attractive Model with Ombre Hair Color

    The placement of balayage or ombre hair color is more artistic and more visual than a foil highlight application. You can balayage lowlights on to the hair, which also looks more natural and not as streaky or chunky as some highlights can become.

    Most of my clients come in every 3 months for a touch-up. Some clients wait up to 6 months, but most come in-between the 3 month period to get their roots touched up or a toner/gloss, or just face frame highlight. Those of you who are used to the foil application of highlights or lowlights, don’t freak out! Talk to your hair stylist about easing you into the transition. Your hair stylist can also balayage your hair heavier around your face and hairline for an easier transition. That way you won’t feel like you still have regrowth when you leave the salon.

    Jennifer Garner balayage highlights

    As a hair stylist, I’d much prefer to see natural and subtle highlights for someone rather than the unnatural and chunky pieces in the hair. If you have a one-tone all over hair color to your hair and want to try something new, this is for you. Jennifer Garner recently had balayage highlights put into her dark brown hair and the result is a skin brightening style that is really unique to her..

    Balayage Hair High Lighting

    Don’t be afraid to try something new and break out of the ordinary. If you are always pining for highlights like the Victoria Secret models, then this look is definitely for you. Expect to spend slightly more than you would for foil hair highlighting since this is a  newer, more trendy and personalized technique, that isn’t offered everywhere.

    Long term savings may be another reason to balayage! The technique may cost a bit more up front, but since your hair will appear more naturally highlighted, you can go longer in between salon visits!!

    Balayage highlights are a definite ‘do for the summer. Keep in mind that your hair stylist can also use the balayage technique to put lowlights into hair as well, but the technique is best used for highlighting.

    So for new clients looking for that next best hair color trend . . . this is it. Remember the service will most likely cost you more because of the skill and technique level and the time involved. It’s the perfect time now to get your hair sun-kissed ready!

    Lisa Amato
    Contributing author Lisa Amato has been a hair stylist for 21 years. Specializing in natural looking balayage hair color. She is certified in Loreal Professional hair color and  INOA no-ammonia hair color. Lisa trained under Jack Howard and the “Queen of Balayage,” Nancy Braun at the Loreal Academy in New York. Lisa has worked under Kris Sorbie, Chris Baron and Sam Villa, along with Kaz Amor. Lisa is certified in Great Lengths Hair Extensions. Follow Lisa on Twitter, Facebook.


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    Things you need to consider before you try lemon juice highlights

    Are Lemon Juice Highlights an Option for You?

    Hair highlighting with lemon juice has been done for decades. I can remember my friends and I using lemon juice to try and add natural looking high lights to our hair in the summertime. Being a brunette, it never worked for me, but it did leave me with delicious smelling strands!

    If your natural hair color is like Mischa Barton’s, then hair high lighting with lemon juice would be perfect for you.

    If you are trying to avoid costly hair high lighting in the salon, you may be considering lemon juice highlights. But be forewarned, lemon juice does not work for every hair type. Lemon juice lightens hair because of the high acidity content of lemons. The acid helps to speed up the lightening effects that the sun already has on your hair.

    Woman applying lemon juice highlights

    So if your hair is dishwater blonde and lightens up in the summer time, then lemon juice may just help with the process. However, if you have darker hair like me, it probably won’t do much other than dry out your hair. Another thing to note is that lemon juice highlights won’t work on previously colored hair. So if there is any hair color leftover on your hair, the lemon juice will not lighten it.

    If you have dishwater blonde hair or lighter and want to try some highlighting at home, here are some how to tips on high lighting with lemon juice.

    Lemon Juice Highlights Tip #1:

    Mix the lemon juice with water. I’d suggest equal parts water to lemon juice to dilute the juice a bit and help it to spray evenly over the hair. Also, use the juice squeezed from fresh lemons instead of bottled lemon juice, it will be a more concentrated and in that way more effective.

    Lemon Juice Highlights Tip #2:

    Put the lemon juice mixture in a spray bottle to spray on hair. This will help to apply the lemon juice more evenly to strands. You can also easily reapply the mixture by periodically spraying your hair after it get’s dry.

    Lemon Juice Highlights Tip #3:

    For natural looking high lights, pull your hair back into a loose ponytail, then spray the mixture all over hair until damp. Do this sometime when you will be out in the sun for a few hours (don’t forget your sun block) to get your best sun-kissed results.

    So why do lemon juice instead of heading to the salon? Well, if you have the right hair for this, then it can give you natural looking highlights without the cost. If you don’t have the right hair for lemon juice, I wouldn’t even bother trying, you may only end up with hair that is more dried out!

    Hair High Lighting with Lemon Juice

    Redken’s Color Extend Sun After-Sun Mask is a great choice for deep conditioning your hair after at-home lemon juice highlighting. The acid in lemon juice will dry your hair, not unlike using other hair coloring techniques to lighten your hair color. So, be sure to follow up with a good deep conditioner that will remoisturize your hair and give it lots of body and shine!

    For more highlight ideas check out our Pinterest Hairstyles with Highlights Board.

    Barb Quinn on Google+  


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    Hair Highlights for All Hair Colors

    Hair Highlights

    Marco Pelusi’s Guide to Hair Highlights

    Have you been feeling like your hair color is a bit dull lately? Not enough spark? Or is the hair color growing out too fast? Are the ends of the hair darker than the roots? Or just needing to blend away some unwanted gray hair? Whenever I run a few highlights through just about anyone’s color – man or woman – he or she will usually feel better about most of these scenarios!

    It’s all about feeling good. In the end, isn’t that what we all want? Guys and gals BOTH are getting highlights placed throughout their hair in order to brighten up their hair color especially during the spring and summer months – and that’s what it’s really about – a simple BRIGHTENING of the color – it doesn’t even have to be too far from the natural color. As a matter of fact, going drastically lighter than your natural or base color is not recommended – because then the opposite happens – and you will look washed out.

    Many of you might stray to the grocery store and attempt to do highlights on your own and place color directly on your scalp – the problem is the unwanted orange or ‘brassy’ tones that usually result from a home hair color. Ask your hairstylist to ‘glam’ you with some natural looking highlights – maybe 2-4 levels lighter than the natural hair color.

    Hair Highlights

    If you’re a dark blonde, your hairstylist can strategically place slightly lighter blonde highlights throughout your hair. If you’re a brunette, then ask for honey or caramel tones – simply lighter brown or very dark blonde highlights. Even a redhead hair color can dull with age, so ask to infuse some natural looking strawberry or dark blonde highlights placed throughout to zip up the color.

    Placement of the highlights is very important, if not crucial, to your end result. Your hairstylist should not place highlights at the back of the neck. No one has lighter hair at the back of the neck.

    Natural hair lightens easily on the top of the head at this time of the year, especially on kids and who spend more time outside. So ask for a partial highlights, many women don’t need a full head of highlights in order to accomplish the objective. What I recommend is simply a partial, top and sides of your hair only. It’s more natural for the nape of the neck to be darker – just like natural hair.

    hair highlights

    If you have some gray hair highlights can be a great solution! Almost anyone in the country male or female, who has any shade of brown or dark blonde hair, with a percentage of gray hair, will be an eye catcher with a few highlights. An overall color laid directly on the scalp can definitely cover all the gray hair, but you are left with the regrowth in no less than four to six weeks and be forced to do it again right away, or you will see the line of demarcation quickly. With a partial highlighting, you can possibly extend the life of your hair color up to a few months perhaps, depending of course on the percentage of gray, and hopefully, if you keep the highlights not too much lighter than your natural or base color. The line of demarcation blends away with some highlighting. The gray hair blends in with the highlights.

    A naturally dark blonde haired person is the luckiest of all, because highlights are a smart way to go rather than having to use a color lay directly on the scalp.

    A hairdresser having a conversation with client on a couch in hair styling salon

    The Consultation

    The consultation is truly THE MOST IMPORTANT step when you are receiving any hair color service. Challenge your hairstylist to determine which tone will suit and flatter your skin and eyes and wardrobe and makeup. Do your homework, know what colors will suit you best. If you’re very pale, you may look best with cooler color highlights.

    Hair Highlights

    If you have freckles and are tan, you may look best with warmer highlights. You can discuss this with your hair colorist. The consultation should be built in as part of the service. You also need to make sure that you take care of your new color and use products specifically formulated to prevent premature color fade and create the most positive, therapeutic environment for the hair and scalp. I feel so passionate about hair color, that I created the Marco® Collagen Color Guard™ HairCare System the first and only complete collagen system for color and chemically treated hair.

    Hairstyle Blog contributing author Marco Pelusi
    Contributing author Marco Pelusi is globally recognized as a leading hair color authority, renowned platform artist, educator, and fashion-forward celebrity hair colorist. Early on in his career, Marco became a top educator at a world leading Milan hair color company. Soon after, he opened Marco Pelusi Hair Studio in the heart of the ultra-chic West Hollywood design district. There, he and his talented staff of seasoned Hollywood hair stylists offer world-class hair fashion to numerous celebrities and trendsetters. The luxurious, spa-like salon is the premier retailer of the Marco® Collagen Color Guard™ HairCare System, the first and only complete collagen-based system developed for color- and chemically-treated hair. You can follow Marco on Twitter.


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