Y’all know we’ve been on board with ombré hair and its many variations for a long time and are always scouting for a new take on the trend. Luckily, summer is the ideal season to test-drive balayage, a French free-handed (read: foil-free) highlighting technique that will make you look perfectly sun-kissed. Need a little inspiration before you hit the styling chair? Read on to see 45 gorgeous examples of why balayage is the look for you.
1. Muted Tones: For those gals looking to ease their way into the balayage trend, try opting for a more subtle shade that will blend into your natural root color. It’s like the hue you were born with, but better. (via Song of Style)
2. Perfectly Blended: You know a balayage is done correctly if you can’t see lines where it starts and ends. A perfectly blended application will leave your color looking like an upgraded version of your natural shade. No one will ever know you hit up the salon! (via Hello Rigby)
3. Monochromatic: Many people assume that balayage has to be brown fading into blonde, but you can choose to keep things simple with a monochromatic option. Opt for a gradual fade — like dark brown into chestnut — instead of a more dramatic look. (via Hair Play)
4. Warm Blonde: Keep your tresses looking California chic with a sunkissed, warm blonde on the ends. It’s the perfect look to rock as we transition from one season to another — especially when it’s warm outside! (via The Blonde Salad)
5. The Color Trio: Take note from this beauty and opt for the darkest shade at the root fading into a lighter shade followed by a bright pop at the ends. Talk about multidimensional and totally unexpected! (via Negin Mirsalehi)
6. High Up: Many hairdressers will ask where you want your balayage to start, which totally affects the overall look of your ‘do. Don’t be afraid to start it up high toward your roots for a more highlighted, lifted look. (via Tuula Vintage)
7. Cool and Warm Tones: Keep things interesting by combining both cool and warm colors in your balayage. The gradual mix of these tints makes your hair perfectly suited for any season, outfit, or destination. (via We Wore What)
8. Golden Brown: Maybe you just returned from a Mediterranean vacation spent sunning yourself on a yacht. Or maybe you and your stylist just conspired to evoke that look; don’t worry, we’ll never tell. (via Willow Lane)
9. Dramatic Red Ombré: Balayage is a super fun technique for those who like to experiment with color. Your ombré can be blended but still super-bold. (via La Folie Couture)
10. Cool Blonde: If you’ve ever been jealous of the natural highlights children develop in the summer, you can rein in your inner green-eyed monster. With a blonde balayage-d ‘do, you can look that natural too. (via We Heart It)
11. Splashlights: If you’re looking for something edgier, try splashlight, a technique where color is only painted onto the middle of the strand. We’re just waiting for this one to take over the runway. (via Everything Emily)
12. Snowy Blonde: Want to go platinum but afraid to take the plunge? Paint it at varying heights on your strands. You get all the wow of such a bright blonde, but you keep the warmer, subtler tones near your face. (via Add Hairstyle)
13. Honey Shades: Not only does balayage create gorgeous, multilayered color, it also lets you get away with stretching out salon visits just a little longer. Who’s to say if those are roots or just a part of the masterpiece? (via Gal Meets Glam)
14. Highlighted Gray: Kelly Osbourne has been telling us for ages that gray isn’t just for middle-aged women anymore, and we believe her. We’re betting more stylish ladies would rock this color if they knew they could do it with such a variety of tones. (via Miss Teacups)
15. Red Hot: Make your firey red color scream summer with simple blonde balayage. (Photo via Toby Canham/Getty)
16. Luminous Lights: Whether you’re trying to protect your hair or your wallet from the havoc chemical dyes can wreak, just a few well-placed face-framing pieces can totally liven up your look. (via Elle France)
17. Subtle Ombré: If you weren’t born with bottle-perfect color, subtle color can give that mousy brown or dishwater blonde some much needed pop! (via SS Life + Style)
20. Loose Waves: It’s no secret we’re big fans of Jamie Chung. We’ll take those loose waves and blonde accents any day. (Photo via Rich Polk/Getty)
22. Polished Tips: Update a classic lob with trendy, high-voltage tips. (via Daria Daria)
23. Caramel Blonde: Fade darker shades into bright, bold blonde for warm-weather fun. (via Hair Product and Technique)
24. Fire Red and Blonde: We just can’t get over this one. If you’re looking for something new and bold, puh-lease try this and send us a pic! (via Curled)
25. Curly Tip: Embracing your hair’s natural texture doesn’t mean you have to embrace its natural color too. Just make sure the dye is applied with your hair dried and styled, so your stylist can get the placement right. (via The Style News Network)
26. Golden Blonde: Balayage can be used for a natural look too. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to your given haircolor, just use balayage to perk it up a bit! (via Mr. Anh Co Tran)
27. Lovely Lavender: Unleash your inner rockstar with a variety of tones. (via Arsova Salon)
29. Ash Blonde: Look for dramatic color combos and more aggressive shades of blonde to be everywhere this season. (via Box No. 216)
30. Multi-Tone Burgundy: Why settle for one standout shade when you can have several? (via Love, Elizabethany)
31. Get Creative: Pink blending into grey blending into black is what we call a statement hairstyle, and this babe can rock it.
32. Serious Contrast: For a more out-there balayage, try a not-so-subtle blend featuring highly contrasting shades of brown and blonde.
33. Purple Touch: With deeper hair colors, painting in a rich purple tone makes for a subtle, yet eye-catching, look.
34. Starting Down Low: Brighten darker locks with lower lighter strands.
35. Playful Shades: To add a playful touch, hand-paint coordinating bright shades of teal and aqua.
36. Dimension: Add serious dimension with deep hues and rich shades.
37. Magenta: With fashion tones, expert blending is essential.
38. Deep Roots: Even with vivid tones like this pastel pink, you can get away with dark roots.
39. Lighter in the Front: Having the balayage painted higher on your front pieces makes the effect more natural.
40. Rose-Gold: And you thought rose gold was only a warm-tone! This icy pink-blonde pairs well with summer vibes.
41. Mermaid Shades: Keep it exciting with tones that aren’t your typical blonde, black, red, or brown.
42. Mixed Tones: Many feel like they have to choose between warm- and cool-toned blonde, but this example proves that’s not the case.
43. Caramel for Fall: We love sweet shades of caramel for year-round slayage, and this style is no exception.
44. Ice Queen: Icy blonde highlights work well with exposed roots.
45. Seamless Blend: Keep them guessing with simple, subtle hues that mimic your own natural highlights.
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