We all want hair colors that look natural and last a long time. That’s why balayage can be a great option for its natural vibe. But one of the primary concerns is how long balayage hair color lasts.
As we saw with the pandemic, having a hair color that lasts a few months without touch-ups helps when we cannot get into our salons. Or if funds get tight, and you need to space out appointments.
The longevity of hair color, particularly techniques like balayage, has grown in importance because you can’t easily touch up balayage at home.
So, I would like to share the longevity of different balayage treatments, based on my experience as a hairstylist.
How Long Does Balayage Hair Color Last?
Balayage lasts for 8 to 14 weeks before fading. However, its longevity can vary based on factors like color choice, how you maintain it at home, hair texture and length, and the specific balayage technique used.
Here are some different factors affecting the longevity of balayage hair color on your hair.
Bold color choices will not last as long as more natural color choices. For example, if you choose to have a pink balayage with an all-over color choice of Mahogany. As soon as your roots grow in, you will see a distinct line.
The ribbons of pink will move down the head and not be close to the roots. This choice will only last 4–6 weeks before you will need it to be redone.
More natural color choices will grow out seamlessly and last longer. You will be able to go months without re-touch if the lightened pieces in a balayage are only a few shades lighter than your natural base color.
For example, if a person’s natural color base color is dark blonde and they get a balayage that is only a few shades lighter than their base, being a light to medium blonde, it will last up to four months.
Use professional products for color-treated hair to improve your balayage time. Regular moisture treatments at home will help to reduce fading.
Using a shampoo without sulfate and paraben as ingredients will fade your balayage a lot quicker color. So avoiding these ingredients in shampoo will make your balayage stay longer.
Your balayage can last four to six months with proper maintenance at home (except for balayage colors that are not close to your natural color base.)
Length and Texture of Hair
Your hair length and texture also determine how long your balayage will last. Balayage is more likely to fade quickly on fine hair than on thicker hair because color absorbs and fades faster on fine hair.
When you have longer hair, that is below your shoulders, your balayage will last longer purely because it doesn’t show regrowth as quickly as short hair.
Short hair above your shoulders shows regrowth as soon as your roots start to grow. Thus, your balayage will have to be redone sooner.
So, even if your balayage doesn’t fade, you have to get the balayage redone within 6 to 8 weeks since the regrowth is more visible on short hair.
Different Balayage Techniques
Certain techniques can alter the time the balayage will last. For example, a balayage technique that includes a money piece will show the regrowth quickly.
This is because a money piece is the bolder color choice. And it is right in front, where everyone can see. So, you will need your money piece to be redone every 4–6 weeks.
We’ve already mentioned that all-over color with a balayage lasts up to four months when the color is closer to the person’s natural hair and 1-1.5 months with bold color.
For the babylights balayage technique, you will see the regrowth sooner than a traditional balayage, but not as soon as a money piece would show. This puts your retouch timing right at 5-8 weeks.
Why Does Balayage Last So Long?
The technique of balayaging is meant to give you a natural look. When they apply the lightener, the stylist brushes it towards the roots. This gives a flawless blending of colored strands into your natural strands.
Stylists only surface-paint the sections. By applying only to the surface of the section at a backward angle, it also creates that sun-kissed effect. So, as it grows out, you can’t really distinguish where the highlight begins and the natural hair ends.
If you are getting a balayage that is with bold colors or the blonde is much lighter than your natural color, you will see re-growth quicker.
It will still be around two months but you will have less opportunity to stretch the time because of it being more noticeable.
However, by not covering the roots all over with highlights, you do not get that harsh regrowth line. The natural hair by the roots for the most part is left untouched and the highlighting is focused on the middle to ends of the hair.
Your hair, on average, grows out half an inch a month. Since only a few strands would have color on the roots, it would take quite a few weeks for the majority of the highlights (which are middle to ends) to grow out enough to look old.
How To Get Balayage Last Even Longer
Just like it is with any colored hair, maintenance is key for your color-lasting longer. With no maintenance your color will change as free radicals in the air, the sun, and harsh products attack your hair.
Maintain Your Vibrancy
Using sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoo and conditioners is a good start. This will prevent the washing from fading your color.
Yes, balayage is done with permanent color or lightener, but tones can change with the above-mentioned elements.
You will also want to use paraben-free and sulfate-free styling aides, like hairsprays, mousse, and pomades. Sulfate and parabens can cause your balayage color to go wrong.
One of the most common balayage hair colors is a multi-tonal blonde. Purple shampoo, and conditioner can make sure your blonde strands do not turn brassy and keep the tone you had in the salon.
Protect from External Factors
The longevity of your balayage also depends on some external factors. So, in addition to the right products, you need to protect your balayage hair from environmental factors.
The sun can fade your color dramatically if you don’t use hair sunscreen. You can also wear a hat or scarf when going out on a hot summer day.
Chlorine is an enemy of balayage as it has bleaching properties. Put chlorine on a colored shirt, it will take the color right out or fade it to a weird version of the original color.
It does the same thing to our colored hair. That’s why it’s important to put a swimming cap and hair product on before jumping into the swimming pool.
When your hair becomes dry, it can lose color as well. Always use a heat protectant spray before blow drying or using a hot iron on your hair.
So, keep those strands moisturized with a leave-in treatment, and once a week treat yourself to a hair mask. There are many deep conditioning treatments on the market. As long as they are sulfate and parabens-free, and are for your type of hair, you are good to go.
When to Get Your Balayage Re-done
You have followed all the rules, and it is four months after your initial visit to the salon where you received your balayage, you will see your highlights are about two inches lower than before.
The color itself has faded a little. And your roots look like they are completely your natural color, with no hint of the sun-kissed pieces that were there.
If you had a money piece in the front, that would be around two inches from the scalp. It is now time to get your hair done again.
If you’re tight on budget you can stretch it another month or two. But after that, your balayage will look like it needs to be done again.
|Pro Tip: Some choose to go in and just get their money piece redone or added in. This helps them wait another couple of months to have the expense of re-touching a full head balayage. Or they get a partial balayage, where they only apply color to the crown and hairline of the head.|
If you don’t want to see any change in your color at all, you have to go back to the salon every 6-8 weeks. This is mandatory if you have medium to short hair length.
The shorter the hair the more frequent your salon trips will be. But ultimately, It’s up to you and how you want your hair to look.
Balayage is great for its longevity. You have months instead of weeks like it is with traditional foils. But all things do come to an end, and it is true with balayage too.
So, now you know how long balayage lasts. Over time, you will need to have it redone, but at least you know exactly when.