Hair Color

The Home Stylist’s Guide On How To Balayage At Home?

Balayages are not only stunning, but they grow out with natural grace unlike ordinary highlights. With some basic tools and our step-by-step guide, you can do your own balayage at home.

Written by Priya Sreekumar

On Mar 7, 2024 – 7 minutes read

How To Balayage At Home

Thinking about delving into the realm of home hair styling and taking on the challenge of how to balayage at home? Well, it’s time to uncover all the secrets behind the gorgeous and effortlessly natural highlights seen on celebrities and style icons.

Come along, and we’ll guide you through everything from choosing the perfect shades for dark hair to step-by-step instructions on how to balayage your hair at home, all the way to mastering the DIY balayage technique.

What Is Balayage? 

How To Balayage Hair Step By Step

Balayage is an innovative hair coloring method where color is hand-painted onto the hair to add depth, dimension, and a seamless, graduated highlight effect. The term comes from French, where ‘balayer’ means to sweep, reflecting how the dye is applied – with sweeping strokes along the hair’s surface.

This technique differs from traditional foiling or cap methods as it offers a more personalized, artistic approach to highlighting, resulting in a natural and sun-kissed glow. The beauty of balayage lies in its flexibility – it can be subtle or bold, enhancing your natural color with the level of contrast you prefer.

How Does Balayage Differ From Other Types Of Highlights?

How To Balayage At Home Dark Hair

Balayage differs from other highlights in its freehand application, creating a more natural, sun-kissed look. Unlike the uniform stripes from foil highlights, balayage allows for softer, more gradual lightening. This technique provides a subtle grow-out and can be customized for any hair type for more versatility and a softer and more blended appearance.

How Do You Know If Balayage Is Right For You? 

Balayage could be your go-to hair solution if you’re after a natural, low-maintenance look with depth and dimension. It’s great for those who want to enhance their natural color without the constant upkeep of traditional highlights. Balayage grows out beautifully and is less noticeable thanks to its softer lines and natural placement. It works well with various hair types, lengths, and colors, from light to dark, and can be customized to achieve the desired level of lightness and warmth.

How Long Does Balayage Take To Do? 

Balayage duration varies based on hair length, thickness, desired lightness, and technique proficiency. It generally ranges from 45 minutes to 3 hours. Partial balayage may take less time than a full head, and the process may become quicker as your skills improve.

Does Balayage Damage Your Hair? 

Balayage can be less damaging than other coloring methods as it typically doesn’t saturate the entire strand. Start with healthy hair, use quality products, and follow with proper aftercare, including color-protective shampoos and avoiding excessive heat styling to minimize damage. Consulting a professional is also advisable for the best care.

Things To Consider Before Getting Balayage Highlights 

Here are a few considerations you need to keep a check on.

  • Hair Health: If your hair is significantly damaged or over-processed, consider treating and restoring its health before applying any color.
  • Maintenance Level: Understand that balayage still requires regular care including touch-ups and color-safe hair care routines, even when it is typically lower maintenance than traditional highlights.
  • Desired Outcome: Decide what you are aiming for—subtle, natural highlights or a bold, dramatic look. Your choice will influence the technique and colors used. Explore styles like French balayage.
  • Commitment and Cost: Be aware of the time and financial investment needed for initial coloring, as well as ongoing maintenance.
  • DIY Preparation: Gather all necessary materials if you are doing balayage at home. Ensure you understand the process and follow instructions carefully.

What You Need To Balayage Your Hair At Home? 

Consider these before getting balayage highlights.

  • Hair Condition: Ensure your hair is healthy and treat any damage first.
  • Maintenance Level and Cost: Be ready for some upkeep.
  • Desired Color or Style: Decide on the look you want from subtle to dramatic.
  • Be ready with the materials: You will need materials like a bowl for mixing the hair color and a brush for applying the mix to the hair.

How To Balayage Hair At Home?

How to balayage at home dark hair is a question many want answers to. Let’s find out.

How To Balayage Hair At Home With Box Dye
  • Prepare Your Space and Materials: Start by setting up a well-lit, comfortable space and lay out all your tools and materials. Wear an old shirt or cape and have your gloves ready.
  • Section Your Hair: Use clips to divide your hair into sections. The typical method involves sectioning off the top layer and working from the back to the front.
  • Mix Your Color: Prepare your bleach or dye according to package instructions in a mixing bowl.
  • Apply Your Color: Starting at the back, use the balayage brush to apply color with gentle and sweeping motions. Focus on mid-lengths and ends, gradually building up the color.
  • Let It Sit: Allow the color to develop for the time specified in the instructions.
  • Rinse and Condition: Rinse your hair thoroughly after processing. Apply a nourishing conditioner or a hair mask to restore moisture and protect your new color.

DIY Balayage Ponytail Technique

Nail your balayage with this ponytail technique:
1. Hold apart a section on the top of your head.
2. Now take a triangular section below this section. Secure it in a ponytail at the very top point of the triangle.
3. Separate the adjacent section in an inverted triangle and position the pony at the bottom point.
4. Continue around the head with alternating top and bottom pony positions.
5. Finally color each pony, varying the distances from the rubber bands.

How To Maintain Your Balayage?

  • Color-Safe Products: Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for colored hair to minimize fading and extend vibrancy.
  • Deep Conditioning: Incorporate regular deep conditioning treatments to nourish and restore moisture.
  • Heat Styling Caution: Minimize the use of heat tools and always apply a heat protectant to prevent damage and keep your balayage looking fresh.
  • Routine Touch-Ups: Plan for touch-ups every few months to maintain the desired color contrast and refresh the look.
  • Sun Protection: Use hair products with UV protection like scalp sunscreen to shield your balayage and prevent color fading.

Best Products For Balayage Hair

Here are a few balayage at-home kits you can look out for.

1. Revlon Color Effects Frost & Glow Balayage Kit

Balayage Step By Step Pictures

Price: $15.51

  • Features: It has a cap and hook system for precise application, and includes a lightening powder and cream developer.
  • Pros: Affordable, easy instructions, good for beginners.
  • Cons: Some may find the application challenging; practice is required for the best results.

2. L’Oreal Paris Couleur Experte Color + Highlights

How To Section Hair For Balayage At Home

Price: Starts at $16.57

  • Features: All-over color and highlights in one kit, various color options.
  • Pros: Convenient, quality color, natural-looking results.
  • Cons: Precise timing is needed and additional tools may be required.

3. Madison Reed Light Works Balayage Highlighting Kit

Diy Balayage Ponytail Technique

Price: $60

  • Features: Clay-based lightener that includes toning glaze and bonding cleanser.
  • Pros: Has salon-quality ingredients and includes toner for color customization.
  • Cons: Higher price, requires more skill for application.

4. Glaze Super Color Conditioning Gloss, Caramel Lights

Balayage At Home Kit

Price: $18

  • Features: No-mix, 10-minute application for 2-3 treatments; semi-permanent in Caramel Lights.
  • Pros: Quick and easy, ideal for immediate results; quality shine, and color.
  • Cons: Semi-permanent may require frequent reapplication; color results may vary.

5. Four Reasons Color Mask – Chocolate

How To Fade Balayage

Price: $28

  • Features: Color depositing conditioner in Chocolate, part of a 27-color range; 6.76 fl oz, vegan, cruelty-free.
  • Pros: Wide color variety, environmentally friendly, great for color maintenance.
  • Cons: May need frequent reapplication, color results may vary.


1. Can I do a balayage on myself?

Yes, with the right tools, technique, and patience, you can achieve balayage at home.

2. Is balayage a bleach or dye?

Balayage can be done with bleach or dye depending on the desired level of lightening and color.

3. Is balayage very damaging to hair?

It can be less damaging than other techniques, as it doesn’t fully saturate the hair, but it still involves chemicals.

4. Is balayage safer than highlights?

It is generally considered gentler due to its targeted application, but all coloring techniques involve some risk.

5. Does balayage only use bleach?

No, balayage can use various dyes and bleaches to achieve diverse coloring effects.

6. Can balayage make your hair darker?

Yes, you can use darker shades to add depth or lowlights.

7. What’s the difference between ombre and balayage?

Ombre is a style featuring a smooth transition from dark to light whereas balayage is a technique used to create natural-looking highlights.

8. What can I do instead of balayage?

Consider highlights, lowlights, all-over color, or temporary color sprays for a less permanent option.

9. Does a balayage touch your scalp?

As the color is painted on the mid-lengths and ends, it doesn’t touch the scalp.

Wrapping Up

Worry no longer about how to balayage at home!” But always remember to consider your hair’s health and your desired outcome before starting and follow each step diligently. You will grow more adept at creating the perfect blend of color with each balayage session and your hair can be a testament to your skill and style. 

  1. National Library of Medicine. (n.d). Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?. [Online] Available at:

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Priya Sreekumar

Priya is a go-to expert who is always up to date in the latest trends in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She has been a trusted voice for readers looking for lifestyle advice.

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