Balayage, the trendy hair coloring technique that delivers natural-looking highlights, is all the rage, especially for those with medium-length hair. To delve deeper into this captivating hair artistry, we sat down with the renowned hair color expert Katie Wells. With her extensive expertise and years of experience, Katie shared invaluable insights on achieving the perfect balayage, complementing various skin tones, maintaining the look, and communicating effectively with your stylist.
Meet The Expert
Katie is a hair colorist with over 3 years of experience.
You can find her at Maggie The Salon in Pembroke Pines, FL.
Creating Dimensional Magic on Medium-Length Hair
Katie emphasizes achieving a dimensional yet lived-in look for medium-length hair. The focal point is a heavy face-framing highlight, adding fullness and drama to the hair. “This technique creates a more captivating appearance,” Katie explains.
For an ideal balayage, ensure the color complements your skin tone. Warmer tones, such as golden or caramel blonde, flatter warm skin tones, while cooler shades, like platinum blonde or ashy colors, suit cooler or fairer complexions.
For olive skin tones, Katie suggests neutral to warm shades like beige blonde and rich chestnut brown. She adds, “For warm olive skin, go for warm shades; for cooler tones, choose colors that emphasize the skin tone.” Dark complexions can benefit from warm to neutral medium brown balayage, brightening the face and enhancing the overall look.
Maintenance Made Simple
Keeping your balayage vibrant and beautiful requires some post-service care. Katie’s recommendations include using professional products like Redken acidic bonding shampoo and conditioner, K18 molecular bonding leave-in, and Kenra professional heat protectant for heat styling.
She advises incorporating Amika purple shampoo weekly, Olaplex number 1 at-home treatment bi-monthly, and regular trims. Additionally, toner “glazes” every 4-6 weeks helps maintain the color’s freshness, especially for ashy tones that tend to fade quicker.
Consultation is Key
When consulting with a colorist, Katie underscores the importance of covering all aspects, from hair history and desired tone to budget, time, and lifestyle. Understanding the hair’s previous chemical treatments is crucial for setting realistic expectations. Bringing reference images helps the colorist comprehend your vision precisely. “A colorist’s professional input on suitable shades based on your base color is valuable,” Katie shares.
She also advises considering maintenance, as ash colors require more frequent toning to stay vibrant. Clients who swim frequently or have an active outdoor lifestyle should opt for warmer, budget-friendly options.