Far from the graphic wicker effect of the 1980s / 1990s, the balayage has been given a new lease of life and is available in a multitude of versions. What to find the one that will give us that extra light that tempts us so much. Today, there is no longer any question for colorists of working from roots to ends all over the head. They brighten up hair neither seen nor known by creating contrasts and highlighting the reliefs of each cut. As proof, the work done for years by Michael Canalé, colorist in Los Angeles, on Jennifer Aniston. “At the start of the ‘Friends’ series, for Rachel, I worked a streak-by-strand effect on a ‘bronde’ base”. The sweep he made twenty years later for the character of Alex in “The Morning Show” is different, more diffuse. “I accentuated the contours of the face, played with a sand tone on the front and opted for more golden highlights on the back. This gives more punch to its look. Another variant of the 2021 balayage, the “rogue hair”, which is making a comeback in a modernized version, especially at Jean Louis David. Twenty years ago, this colo inspired by Rogue, the heroine of “X-Men”, played with flashy shades (pink, blue…). The principle? Apply a lighter and very contrasting color to the two strands that frame the face. Today, the rogue hair is more subtle since the locks play the lightening in a melted way to bring a touch of radiance to the face. “It adapts to all types of women, and to all ages,” underlines Vanessa Giani, training manager at Jean Louis David.
SWEEPING FOR ALL
the sweepis it only for blondes? “It’s a received idea,” recalls Charlotte Catherin, hair artist at L’Oréal Professionnel. It can be done on redheads, browns and even brunettes. He illuminates them with Venetian blond, honey or caramel reflections. The degree of lightening varies depending on the method. The products, powders or creams, are always based on bleaching agents sometimes combined with pigments and associated with oxidants. Soft techniques are worked out in the open air. They modulate the contours of the face, bring relief to the hair. With them it is possible to lighten the hair from three to four tones. For more intensity, “wrapped” techniques are required. The wicks are then trapped in thermal paper (aluminum, etc.) to push the lightening up to six or seven tones. The products used by the pro influence the lightening but also the quality of the hair. The ammonia-free formulas are gentle on the hair fiber, but do not provide intense lightening. Among them, the clay sweep is the most respectful of the hair. It is carried out with oxidants from 5 to 25 volumes. Ammonia-based formulas, mixed with oxidizing creams of 10 to 40 volumes, are more lightening, therefore more straining for the hair fiber. But the arrival of treatments like Olaplex, pioneer of formulas capable of reconstructing disulfide bridges broken by discoloration, has revolutionized sweeping. Today, similar care actives are already present in the balayage powder,
THE RIGHT INVESTMENTS
“Without going as far as tie and dyeing, it is essential to keep shadow points at the root, over one or two centimeters”, underlines Charlotte Catherin. The result will be more natural and in-salon touch-ups will only be done quarterly. It is less restrictive than coloring. For a smoother and softer start, some colorists crinkle the hair before lightening. A technique widely used on short hair, because it avoids demarcations. Thanks to it, the roots keep depth and the sunny tips gain an aerial effect. It is also essential, according to Charlotte Catherin, to work from the styling to highlight a lock, a gradient. She does not hesitate to tie the hair of the women who wear this hairstyle in bun, and to work the edges, so that the points of light stand out. Morgane Stephanazzi, hair stylist and founder of L’Endroit Paris, recommends starting the session with the haircut. “This will allow you to choose the right placements of the balayage and adapt them to the hairstyle. “
COMBOS TO AVOID
Balayage should not be performed on overly sensitized hair. Be careful also with vegetable coloring, not all of them are compatible with a balayage which, carried out over this type of coloring, oxidizes the color. And in certain nuances, it can turn into a disaster. Romain, colorist and founder of the Romain Colors salon, warns: “If your vegetable hair color contains indigo or katam, balayage is contraindicated. This can be the case with medium chestnut, dark chestnut or brown vegetable colors. These indigo plants may oxidize on contact with the sweep, even if it is clay. The hair will become waterproof and the bleach will not work inside. It will reveal blue-green pigments, which are very difficult to remove. “On the other hand, the color