What are Balayage Highlights? 35 Perfect Examples

Best balayage highlights ↓ Jump to Photo Gallery
Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

Balayage highlights are rich and dimensional hand-painted accents added to the hair. This coloring technique creates a beautiful multi-tonal, natural look that gives prominence to any haircut.

Here are the balayage tips I got from Christine Sheehan, a hairstylist in Robbinsville, NJ.

💡 Key Things to Know First

  • A consultation is a must.
  • Ask for a Brazilian Bond Builder (B3) in the lightener to maintain the hair’s integrity and health.
  • Understand that transitioning from blonde to dark and vice versa takes several appointments. Trust the process.
  • Use proper professional products at home and return to the salon to have your toner refreshed.
  • Give thought to these questions before getting balayage:
    • Does it fit your budget?
    • Can you keep up with the maintenance?
    • Are you willing to use the products recommended to you?
    • Are you committed to regular salon visits?

Don’t forget to check out these images of the most popular hair ideas with gorgeous balayage highlights.

(Tap or Swipe)

#1: Blonde Highlighting on Brown Hair

Opt for a classy ash blonde balayage color. My favorite thing about this look is that it’s fun, simple, and not a lot of maintenance. It will grow out beautifully and be natural-looking. This color and cut are great for women with naturally fine hair texture, who don’t do a lot with their hair. And, for ladies who are seeking a new look that will look good straight or curly to enhance their natural hair.

Silver Balayage Highlighted Hair
Instagram @hairbyshum

#2: Silver Balayage Highlighted Hair

Silver highlighted hair requires lots of patience and maintenance. If you can afford to spend the time and money it takes to achieve these silver locks, then you will be living your best silver foxy life. It’s one of the best hair colors for women who are already blonde or have natural virgin hair that hasn’t been colored before. Silver hair is hard to achieve, but also hard to maintain. You’ll want to ask your hairstylist what they recommend you use at home to keep the longevity of your hair color and also avoid shampooing every day.

#3: Bright Golden Blonde Highlights with Balayage

A balayage with bright golden highlights is good when you want a very natural, sun-kissed look. The best way to keep this color looking fresh is by keeping up with regular 6-week appointments. When you see your stylist, ask for a balayage with bright golden blonde highlights!

#4: Light Brown Roots with Champagne Blonde Balayage

One of the most asked for looks at the moment is a beautiful lived-in champagne blonde wavy look. You don’t have to go just one color all over. Ask for a few different hues to give a soft multi-toned finish. A light blonde a golden blonde and a light brown work well together. They create softness to the regrowth root.

#5: Amazing Chunky Light Balayage Highlights

If you’re looking for a blend of light and dark colors, ask for a dimensional balayage. The contrast between the highlight and lowlight makes your color look richer. And it adds more depth. If you can ask for your balayage to be a little higher around the hairline. It will give you a longer grow out period. Though balayage maintenance can be low, you should come in every 6-8 weeks for toning and trimming.

#6: Light Blonde Highlights on Lighter Brown Hair

Looking for a low-contrast blonde hair color, but don’t want to look monotone? You could achieve this result with a balayage or foilayage. Just be sure to wait at least 48 hours to wash your hair after your coloring service. And, use cooler water every time you wet your hair. This will ensure that your toner will last longer!

Tousled Light Peach Balayage Highlights
Instagram @colorme.courtney

#7: Tousled Light Peach Balayage Highlights

A tousled light peach balayage color is a perfect transition to go a bit darker with your hair! The best way of adding dimension is with a darker peach shadow root. It’s a great way to add some depth. Style your hair with waves and enjoy your dimension.

#8: Dark Brown to Light Blonde Color Melt

A gorgeous way to go light is by going for a dark brown to light blonde color melt. This might take a few highlight sessions to achieve the bright contrast. However, the grow out is soft and low-maintenance.

Brown Long Hair with Copperish-Blonde Balayage Highlights
Instagram @alejocolorista

#9: Brown Long Hair with Copperish-Blonde Balayage

Don’t forget to ask your stylist for rich balayage. Adding pops of brightness will liven up any brunette color. And, toning with warmth will give softness to the look.

#10: Sandy Blonde and Brown Balayage

Try a sandy blonde and brown balayage color palette if you want to be light without the maintenance of a blonde. Plan to talk to your colorist about this option so you are on the same page about the ratio of blonde to brown color.

Icy Blonde Balayage Highlights
Instagram @glamourbycee

#11: Icy Blonde Balayage

An icy blonde balayage is a bold look. Getting to icy blonde takes patience if starting with previously color-treated hair or naturally dark hair. One of the best things to do is ask your stylist if your hair can handle being lightened to this level. Avoid high heat and washing too often. Using a moisturizing deep conditioner at home will help keep your hair healthy.

Long Choppy Layers and Brown Balayage
Instagram @_emreofficiall

#12: Long Choppy Layers and Brown Balayage

Long choppy layers and brown balayage create the supermodel chic look. If a soft highlight look on brunette hair is what you’re looking for, balayage is a great option. Balayage mimics how the sun would lighten the hair, in turn, looking very natural. Choppy layers will help support a wavy look, whether natural waves or iron waves.

sun-kissed balayage highlights on brown hair
Instagram @keziasimoes

#13: Sun-Kissed Balayage Highlights on Brown Hair

These sun-kissed balayage highlights look their best on brunette hair and are easily achievable with an expert balayage specialist. Going dark to light with these lived-in highlights requires purple shampoo to maintain its fresh hue.

#14: Dirty Blonde Balayage Highlights on Curly Hair

Embrace your curls, and upgrade them with a balayage technique to create this dirty blonde hair! Effortlessly sport volume and character when you free your beautiful natural locks.

Partial balayage with highlights
Instagram @colorbymarina

#15: Partial Balayage with Highlights

A partial balayage with highlights is perfect for brunettes wanting a sun-kissed look. The balayage hair color is placed perfectly around the face and partline while the highlights are fine to create the illusion of naturally lightened hair.

Dark and rich chocolate balayage for women over 50
Instagram @bonvoybalayage

#16: Dark and Rich Chocolate Balayage for Women Over 50

A dark and rich chocolate balayage for women over 50 is a smart choice when you’re wanting more dimensions for your black hair. Adding a subtle balayage will make the color pop! This is a perfect low-maintenance color to try.

#17: Auburn with Amber Highlights for Older Women

Auburn with amber highlights for older women brightens up the skin tone that gives a glow to paler skin tones. As we age, our skin becomes more sallow, so adding warmth back by adding brightening tones like Amber and auburn sit well against your complexion. The balance of two dimensions of color also gives more depth back to the hair giving a fuller feel.

#18: Golden Peach Balayage for Women Over 60

A golden peach balayage for women over 60 is a wise choice. It can be very youthful for women with a more golden complexion golden blondes can be modified to suit your skin tone. A balayage is a technique achieved by skillfully hand-painting color directly onto the hair. This creates a more natural, blended, sun-kissed color.

Rainbow balayage hair
Instagram @mermeg.hair

#19: Rainbow Balayage Hair

A rainbow balayage hair coloring consists of multiple colors and can range from pastel to brights. The multiple colors create beautiful dimensions and take precise placement, so find a balayage specialist.

Light Blonde Balayage on Red Hair
Instagram @desiree_styles

#20: Light Blonde Balayage on Red Hair

Feel both edgy and dreamy with pops of color from a red balayage on long, delicate layers. The balayage ends are what give the red hair a soft color melt effect. This hairstyle looks especially magical when paired with graceful braids!

Bronde Balayage on Long Black Hair
Instagram @mizzj_at_play

#21: Bronde Balayage on Long Black Hair

Bronde balayage hair ideas are true eye-catchers! Long wavy hair with the right colors of highlights balayage would make anyone stand out – whether it be in a formal event or in the beach.

#22: Golden Balayage on Brunette Hair

Let go of the traditional highlights, and ask for golden balayage pieces instead, because, let’s face it, dark hair shouldn’t be boring. Add a handful of warm caramel streaks for new dimensions and the face-frame highlights—you will be sure to have that glowing effect on your beautiful face!

#23: Rose Gold Balayage Highlights

Rose gold balayage highlights have become super trendy because of the unique shade that is created that can complement many base colors. Cotton candy or a pastel pink balayage plus textured waves are 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.

#24: Light Blonde and Chocolate Brown Balayage

Light blonde and chocolate brown balayage hair make a sexy date night look, which looks edgy but sweet. These ash bronde highlights on balayage hair look stunning with a middle part and huge loose curls, creating a more casual yet put-together style.

Balayage on Dark Hair with Purple Highlights
Instagram @elissawolfe

#25: Balayage on Dark Hair with Purple Highlights

Intensify your lengthy mane with a purple balayage and some sexy soft waves towards the tips. This two-toned balayage style is perfect for an everyday rocker look!

Caramel Balayage on Brown Hair Color
Instagram @hairmeroar

#26: Caramel Balayage on Brown Hair Color

Show off those fab beach waves with sweet honey accents and a caramel balayage that add body and dimension to your brown hair. Shades like this look stunning on any hairstyle, whether it’s wavy or straight.

Subtle balayage with cool brown highlights
Instagram @laurengrummel

#27: Subtle Balayage with Cool Brown Highlights

Rock a subtle balayage with cool brown highlights if you’re wanting to see a bit of dimension to your locks. Stylist Lauren Grummel of New York used the teasy light foil application to get the look.

Balayage works for most women, Grummel claims. Her biggest recommendation? “A good shampoo and conditioner. These will help to keep your color fresher and longer. As well as to nourish your hair,” she adds.

#28: Subtle Face-Framing Balayage on Dark Hair

Face-framing balayage highlights are a low-maintenance way to brighten up your hair while spending minimal time at the salon.

It’s good for the woman who doesn’t like to sit through hours of foils and/or balayage but still wants that nice sun-kissed blonde hair highlights. The greatest thing about this look is how much more dimension it can give you. This is such a good example of the phrase ‘less is more’ because those couple of brighter money pieces around your face can really bring out a nice contrast of color.

Such hair color ideas are flattering on most women just because you can really fine-tune the tones to each individual. You can adjust the tone, level of blonde (or brunette), and placement.

#29: Copper and Strawberry Blonde Balayage Highlighting on a Dark Root

This look features a subtle natural sun-kissed dimensional strawberry copper balayage highlights. It was created by hairstylist Crystal Jasmine of Chicago, IL. “I freehand-painted pieces of the hair that I really wanted to pop when the light hits it, but still, have that natural sun-kissed effect,” explains Jasmine.

It’s very low-maintenance while it gives that hair 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.

“All women are a candidate for highlights – it’s just finding the right shade for your skin tone,” she adds. “Easy to keep up with or just let it grow out there’s no commitment that’s what makes it so fun!”

#30: Ash Blonde Highlights on Light Brown Hair

These softer balayage highlights were created by hairstylist Courtney Rollo of Windsor, ON.

“Because the model’s base color was already a cooler brunette tone, these ashy blended balayage highlights complement her natural color,” explains Rollo. “To go with the edgy ash tones, we did a fun textured angled bob and finished the look with effortless messy beach waves.”

These styles can be very versatile since they allow for more time in between appointments and therefore less maintenance. They would allow your natural roots to grow out. Best suited for finer hair, Rollo believes 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.

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

#31: Ash Brown Hair with Honey Balayage Highlights

“The most beautiful thing about this balayage hair is its color. These honey tones really compliment the natural base color,” says master stylist Lex Olson of New Jersey.

“Balayage highlights are the perfect introduction to women who have never had color before and want to try something new,” explains Olson. “For example, this guest came in with a full head of gorgeous natural hair! Balayage is the perfect introduction to first-time color clients. With the right at-home regime, these looks are low-maintenance. Techniques that lighten like balayage can drastically improve hair color.”

#32: Caramel Highlights on Dark Brown Hair

Stylist and colorist Nicole decided on this caramel highlights balayage with a light roasted color on dark brown hair and did not disappoint. The coloring done highlights darker hair and a fine density for a soft look.

#33: Balayage Rose Gold for Long Hair

When choosing a color for a new summer style, consider a balayage rose gold hue for long hair. With long hair, your color specialist can hand-paint lightener and tone with rose gold to give your hair a lighter look. Add some loose curls for extra body and movement to show off your new color!

#34: Electric Blue Balayage Hair

Shock your friends with something exciting like electric blue balayage hair. Balayage, as opposed to ombre, is hand painted lightener to give a more organic growth period from the roots. You’ll want your color specialist to be an expert in getting the right hues and toning to set this color off. Ask your stylist to send you home with Olaplex number 3 to maintain your hair’s strength while taking on such color intensity.

#35: Light Balayage Brown Hair

Try light balayage on brown hair if you’re looking for a pop of color with a seamless root blend. Keeping the sections thin allows the balayage to be sprinkled in, which creates a beautiful dimension against the natural brown canvas. Use a 1.25-inch curling iron, starting a few inches off the root for loose beach waves.

Posted In: Balayage Hair Colors