What Are Balayage Highlights? Here are 20 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 to 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. 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!

Before your next hair appointment, try this trendy coloring technique and check out these photos of popular balayage highlights!

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Dirty Blonde Balayage Highlights on Curly Hair

Dirty Blonde Balayage Highlights on Curly Hair
Instagram @hairandmakeup_by_jo

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.

Dark and Rich Chocolate Balayage for Women Over 50

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

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

Auburn with Amber Highlights for Older Women

Auburn with amber highlights for older women
Instagram @savannahrbeauty

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.

Golden Peach Balayage for Women Over 60

golden-peach-balayage-for-women-over-60
Instagram @graceparente.hair

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

Rainbow balayage hair
Instagram @mermeg.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

Light Blonde Balayage on Red Hair
Instagram @desiree_styles

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

Bronde Balayage on Long Black Hair
Instagram @mizzj_at_play

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.

Sun-Kissed Balayage Highlights on Brown Hair

Sun-Kissed Balayage Highlights on Brown Hair
Instagram @hairbysammcook

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.

Golden Balayage on Brunette Hair

Golden Balayage on Brunette Hair
Instagram @mane_ivy

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!

Rose Gold Balayage Highlights

Rose Gold Balayage Highlights
Instagram @karasprinkle

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.

Light Blonde and Chocolate Brown Balayage

Light Blonde and Chocolate Brown Balayage
Instagram @hairbyamybee

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

Balayage on Dark Hair with Purple Highlights
Instagram @elissawolfe

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

Caramel Balayage on Brown Hair Color
Instagram @hairmeroar

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

Subtle balayage with cool brown highlights
Instagram @laurengrummel

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.

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. This look was created by junior stylist Jordan Pable of Point Pleasant, NJ.

“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,” explains Pable. “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 pieces around your face can really bring out a nice contrast of color.”

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

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!”

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 coloring,” 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.

Blonde Highlighting on Brown Hair

This classy ash blonde balayage color was created by stylist Dorene Camarena of Tuscon, AZ.

“My favorite thing about this look is that it’s fun, simple, and not a lot of maintenance. It will grow out beautifully and natural-looking,” she notes.

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

Ash Brown Hair with Honey Balayage Highlights

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

“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.”

Caramel Highlights on Dark Brown Hair

Caramel Highlights on Dark Brown Hair
Instagram @brushedbyaraven

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