What to Expect at Your Balayage Appointment

If you have a balayage appointment scheduled, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what you can expect when you leave the appointment — beautifully highlighted, flowing hair. But what about the actual appointment itself? What actually happens during a balayage appointment when you're sitting in your stylist's chair? Take a look.

1. Trim, first.

With many other color treatments, a stylist will color the hair and then cut it. But with balayage, the color does not start at the roots. How far down it begins will depend, in part, on how long your hair is left. So, if you plan on having your hair cut when you're also in for your balayage, your stylist will usually do the cut first, before they start the color treatment.

2. Painting and foils.

Balayage is a style of highlighting the hair. The color is simply brushed onto the ends of the hair and blended upward, rather than being applied to entire strands. However, your stylist will still use foils to isolate the colored hair from the non-colored hair. After separating a strand of hair that will be colored, your stylist will place that hair on a foil. Then, they will brush the color or bleach onto the isolated hair. They'll add a little of the color on the upper portion of the hair (but not quite up to the roots) and more of it to the ends of the hair. They'll then fold up the foil to makes sure the color treatment does not end up on the rest of your hair.

3. Waiting under heat.

With traditional hair colors and highlights, heat from your scalp helps activate the treatment. Since balayage starts further down the hair, it is not as affected by scalp heat. So, your stylist is likely to have you sit under a heat lamp to activate the color a bit more. You'll sit there for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your own hair color and the color of your balayage.

4. A grand reveal.

After the balayage treatment is rinsed out of your hair, you can prepare for quite the big reveal! Most stylists like to curl or blow out your hair right after balayage so you can really see and appreciate the color. This will also give you some tips for styling your own hair, going forward.

If you still have any questions about the balayage process, reach out to your stylist.