What Are Balayage Highlights? Here are 14 Perfect Examples

Best balayage highlights

Balayage highlights is a free-hand technique to highlight hair for a more natural look. The word balayage comes from the French term “to sweep” and perfectly describes how the highlight color is applied to the hair.

Fashioned by nearly all celebrities, highlights are the easiest way brighten up your hair. Rather than the normal foil-in-hair technique, the ultimate goal is to create that flawless transition of impeccable hues that give a candid, sun-kissed look.

A seamless transition can easily be created on lengthy manes but it also works for any hair length and texture. Go for subtle accents that are a tad lighter than your hair color for a more natural finish to vibrant browns and blondes. Be sure to pick a blend that suits you best.

No need for high-maintenance touch-ups. Because this dye job creates a very natural grow out that lets you enjoy new hair without fuss. Just remember to use color-safe products that will make you enjoy your color much longer!

Try this trendy coloring technique and choose one from these popular balayage highlights!

Dirty Blonde Balayage Highlights on Curly Hair

Blonde hair balayage highlights on curly hair
Instagram @hairandmakeup_by_jo

Embrace your curls! Effortlessly sport volume and character when you free your beautiful natural locks.

Light Blonde Balayage on Red Hair

Red hair with balayage highlights
Instagram @desiree_styles

Feel both edgy and dreamy with pops of color on long, delicate layers. This hairstyle looks especially magical when paired with graceful braids!

Bronde Balayage on Black Hair

Bronde balayage highlights on black hair
Instagram @mizzj_at_play

Long wavy hair with the right colors would make anyone stand out – whether it be in a formal event or in the beach

Sun-Kissed Balayage Highlights on Brown Hair

Sun kissed balayage highlights on brown hair
Instagram @hairbysammcook

Want that beach glow and look on your locks? Look no further ‘cos sun-lit balayage highlights that look very best on brunette hair are easily achievable with an expert balayage.

Golden Balayage on Brunette Hair

Golden Highlights on Brunette Hair
Instagram @mane_ivy

Dark hair need not be boring. Add a handful of caramel streaks for new dimensions and you will be sure to have that glowing effect on your beautiful face!

Rose Gold Balayage Highlights

Rose Gold Balayage Highlights
Instagram @karasprinkle

Cotton candy-hair plus textured waves equals looking super cute and perky! With a spray-on hold and a few flicks of a brush, go have fun with this adventurous dark to pastel pink hair transition. Rose gold balayage highlights have become super trendy because of the unique shade that is created that can compliment many base colors.

Light Blonde and Chocolate Brown Balayage

Light blonde on chocolate brown balayage highlights
Instagram @hairbyamybee

This sexy date night look creates an edgy but sweet look. Adding a middle part to huge loose curls creates a more casual yet put together look.

Balayage on Dark Hair with Purple Highlights

Dark hair with purple balayage highlights
Instagram @elissawolfe

Intensify your lengthy mane with sexy soft waves towards the tips. This style is perfect for an everyday rocker look!

Caramel Balayage on Brown Hair

Brown hair with caramel balayage highlights
Instagram @hairmeroar

Show off those fab beach waves with sweet honey accents that add body to your look.

Subtle Face Framing Balayage on Dark Hair

Q&A with style creator, Jordan Pable
Junior Stylist @ Savvy Hair Loft in Point Pleasant, NJ

How would you describe this look?

Face framing balayage highlights are a low maintenance way to brighten up your hair while spending minimal time at the salon. This look is good for someone who doesn’t like to sit through hours of foils and/or balayage but still wants that nice sunkissed blonde. The greatest thing about this look is how much more dimension it can give someone. This is such a good example of the phrase “less is more” because those couple of brighter pieces around someone’s face can really bring out a nice contrast of color.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look is flattering on most people just because you can really fine tune it to each individual. You can adjust the tone, level of blonde (or brunette), and placement. That’s the beauty of balayage highlights, you can really adjust it to what you are looking for. This type of balayage typically looks best with a longer face frame or blunt cut but you can also do it with shorter styles and bangs.

I would just advise putting a little balayage throughout the hairstyle to give it overall fluidity. This look is great for pretty much any hair type and for anyone whether you do your hair every day or just let it fly however you wake up in the morning. Face frame balayage is so versatile, and it’s really one of my favorite salon services to do.

Copper and Strawberry Blonde Balayage Highlighting

Q&A with style creator, Crystal Jasmine
Hairstylist & Makeup Artist @ Salon U in Chicago, IL


How would you describe this look?

This look features a subtle natural sun-kissed dimensional strawberry copper balayage highlights. I freehanded painted pieces of the hair that I really wanted to pop when the light hits it, but still, have that natural sun-kissed effect.

Any advice for someone considering it?

It’s very low maintenance just gives it a subtle dimension it needs. Balayage is great for the low maintenance gal that wants to dimension in their hair but no root outgrowth right away. Giving her a long layered haircut for that perfect low maintenance look. Waving the hair with a 1-inch curling iron make the color show more and pop. Finishing with Oribe Texturizing spray and R+CO hair spray to loosen the waves but gives great hold.

Everyone is a candidate for highlights – it’s just finding the right shade for your skin tone. Easy to keep up with or just let it grow out there’s no commitment that’s what makes it so fun! I always say don’t be afraid to try new things!

Ash Blonde Highlights on Light Brown Hair

Q&A with style creator, Courtney Rollo
Hairstylist @ The Room Hair Studio in Windsor, ON


How would you describe this look?

This look is current, a bit edgy, and most of all fun. Because the model’s base color was already a cooler brunette tone, these ashy blended balayage highlights complement her natural coloring. We kept the balayage highlights finer and lifted her as light as possible before toning for an easier grow-out that won’t end up brassy.

To go with the edgy ash tones, we did a fun textured angled bob and finished the look with effortless messy beach waves. The coolest thing about this look would have to be that it’s on the bolder side, and brought out a sense of confidence in my client, showing off her fun and outgoing personality.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This look and most softer balayage highlights styles can be very versatile since they allow for more time in between appointments and therefore less maintenance. Best suited for finer hair, the cut can be worn sleek and straight to show off the edgy concave shape, or wavy to accentuate the volume that can be created from having this type of cut. I used a larger barrel curling rod and finished with a dry texture spray by Kenra. Each style would show off the color and seamless blend in different ways.

Blonde Highlighting on Brown Hair

Q&A with style creator, Dorene Camarena
Stylist @ Gadabout Salon Spas in Tucson, AZ


How would you describe this look?

This look is a classy ash blonde balayage color, and my favorite thing about this look is that it’s fun simple and not a lot of maintenance for my guest. It’s a new look for her but once it grows out it will grow out beautifully and natural-looking.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This color and cut are great for women with naturally fine hair texture, who don’t do a whole lot with their hair and are seeking for a new look that will look good straight or curly to enhance their look naturally.

Busy working moms who are on the go and don’t have a lot of time to spend on doing their hair in the morning or even just simple low maintenance girls who want that beach wavy look and straight blunt look that Kylie Jenner rocks. As the hair grows out and women don’t have time to keep coming in the salon as often as needed for their color, the color will blend throughout the hair growth.

Ash Brown Hair with Honey Balayage Highlights

Ash Brown Hair with Honey Balayage Highlights
Instagram @_lexo._

Q&A with style creator, Lex Olson
Master Stylist @ Tint Color Bar in Cape May Court House, NJ


How would you describe this look?

The most beautiful thing about this look is her color. These honey tones really complement her natural base color!

Any advice for someone considering it?

Balayage highlights are the perfect introduction to someone who has never had color before but wants to try something new. For example, this guest came in with a full head of gorgeous natural hair! She wanted something a little lighter but was also not wanting to come in every month to have to touch up. Balayage is the perfect introduction to first-time color clients. With the right at home regime, these looks are low maintenance and all on your time. Techniques that lighten like Balayage can drastically improve hair color.

Caramel Highlights on Dark Brown Hair

Caramel Highlights on Dark Brown Hair
Instagram @brushedbyaraven

Stylist Nicole decided on this light roasted color on brown hair and did not disappoint. The coloring done highlights fine hair for a soft look.