3 Things to Ask Before you Book Balayage

Real Balayage Salons

By now,You know now we love balayage highlighting, and we’ve been doing it for years. It is the method used to achieve the popular Ombre look, and has only recently became a well known method in the Kansas City area. Unfortunately, things are slow to get to the Midwest. I love this video done by the talented Siggers Salon of Atlanta in the link below. They are using the Artego lightener we use. Before there was an Artego supplier in the Midwest, we ordered our lightener from this salon. They are a very talented group and I’ve been following them through the years because they are truly a balayage master salon.  This is a great video of different ways balayage is used! Check out how the balayage hair color looks done is by real pro’s!

 Look at this example of a common situation we see in our salon. This client received a balayage elsewhere, then sought help from us to fix her color.                      

Balayage before and after photo by Studio 39 Salon  614 West 26th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108Many of our new balayage clients are clients who have been to other area salons, claiming to be “balayage specialists” only to have an inexperienced colorist performing a service that requires years to master.  If I were a client seeking this service, I would think all salons knew their stuff. However, in the last 2 years clients have come to our salon seeking color corrections from salons in the area. Many salons say they are “masters” of coloring services, and unfortunately for you,  some  of what is advertised is an inflated perception of their capabilities to deliver the service.

Balayage Before and After

This picture is common  of many before and after clients we see. This client went to an area salon and received this from a stylist who said she did balayage hair color.

You can see how the hair color on the left model is blotchy and yellow (indicating the color bled). She payed for bayalage and did not receive it.  The photo on the right is a picture of her hair after one of our stylists Megan, did her color correction. Megan did a balayage highlight and low light with 2 paddles to correct the previous attempt of the other stylist. This created the sunny, dimensional look the client desired.

This concerns me as a salon owner.  Studio 39 Salon sees this more and more. As social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram become more popular with hash tags like #balayage , these incidents are more common. Clients show these pictures to stylists who say they can do it because perhaps they watched a YouTube video about it.  From there its a hot mess! Real training on this is rare and hard to come by, especially in the Midwest. As the Siggers video shows, a real balayager makes it look simple, which in turn makes an average hairdresser think “I can do that”! In my opinion, when balayage hair color is done well, it looks easy and a stylist who hasn’t received formal, extensive training on this service should not be attempting the technique. So many salons book on the motto” fake it till you make it”. In our salon this common industry belief is unacceptable.

What good balayage  haor color looks likeA Studio 39  balayage colorist interns and trains with me directly. They have to have a natural ability and talent for free hand color work, that falls outside of traditional foiling. They also need good judgment and self confidence to tell a client when this service is not the service for their type of hair. Eight years ago I traveled to New York to learn this method. Even after I went completed the rigorous training, It still took about 2 years until I felt confident to perform this difficult method. I have been asked by area salons and beauty supply stores to teach classes on this service. Although I’m flattered, I always decline because it takes more than a seminar to learn this. It simply cannot be learned or taught in a day. I was shocked to learn large chain salons are teaching this is day classes. These are clearly places not owned by a stylist who works behind the chair.  Because of the liability and room for error with this service, I would never permit an inexperienced stylist to perform this service. These places might be o.k. to purchase a hair brush or nail file, but not for refined and technically challenging coloring techniques like balayage.

I know that sounds harsh, but we’ve seen the above scenario dozens of times since search words like ombre and balayage have been flying across cyberspace.

Ask the Salon these Balayage Hair color Questions:

If you book balayage with us, I guarantee your color will be beautiful. I will also tell you if you are not a good candidate for this service. It is naturally warmer and diffused at the root. So if someone is used to power blonde at the root, its not for them. Be cautious when booking this service and always ask these questions:

1. How long has the stylist been doing balayage and where did she/he train?

2. Do they use a special product designed for balayage?

3. What method do they use?

Number 3 is important. There are several types of balayage- most colorists just don’t know!

So ask these questions before you book. If you do your research you will end up with beautiful highlights that grow out well. If you don’t, you could end up with a preschoolers project on your head instead of the awesome balayage color you paid for!

6 Replies to "3 Things to Ask Before you Book Balayage"

  • comment-avatar
    Rose
    November 22, 2015 (8:20 am)
    Reply

    I just read your article. I am a stylist and have been for 30+ years. Although I do lots of coloring I must say I’ve never truly felt confident . Balyage is a technic I would love to learn and master. Can you tell me where in NYC you received your training? I’m at a loss of where to go. I live in Southern California but would not hesitate to make a trip to NYC!
    Thank you

    • comment-avatar
      Gemy Chiarizio
      July 9, 2017 (3:01 pm)
      Reply

      Thank you for reading! The Loreal Academy under the wonderful Jo Blackwell! That was years ago and now she is The international creative director for LP but I love the products and education of Loreal Professional!

  • comment-avatar
    Lisa Davidson
    August 16, 2016 (10:22 am)
    Reply

    I live in Minnesota and I’m looking for a well trained stylist and or colorist as well trained as you in Balayage. Do you know if any one you could recommend in the Minneapolis area?

    Thank you,
    Lisa Davidson

    • comment-avatar
      Gemy Chiarizio
      July 9, 2017 (2:58 pm)
      Reply

      I recommend searching salons in the area and looking at pictures of their work!

  • comment-avatar
    Mary Kay
    May 3, 2017 (6:53 pm)
    Reply

    SOOO GLAD I read this !!!

    Oops! I guess going to the beauty school is out of the question !!! 😊 Ya think ???

    As a former hairdresser, I would be better off just painting lowlights (caramel/ sunlit brown) around my face for framing on my VERY light ash blonde hair. I’m from the “VERY old school”, where SHOWING roots is a ” no no”.
    OMBRÉ is not for me. I would continue touch ups, unless the blonde could be neutralized back to pure white. Then I would just let the balayage get grow out for a balayage touchup.

    Hope I get a true ARTEEST !!! 😃

    • comment-avatar
      Gemy Chiarizio
      July 9, 2017 (2:56 pm)
      Reply

      Thank you for reading! I would save balayage for an experienced colorist lol


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