You may have just checked yourself in your rearview mirror for the seventh time and can not believe how good your new balayage hair looks. Have you spent a good amount of money on it and are now worried about maintaining your balayage? We’ll discuss how to care for balayage and keep its vibrant look.
Now, you don’t want to do anything that might ruin your new, fabulous hair. You find yourself confused: should you wash my balayage or not? And what about curling it?
Let’s go over what a person should and should not do after they get a balayage. Because with a balayage, it does not end when you walk out the salon doors. There is maintenance involved to keep it looking fresh; both at the salon and at home.
What Do Stylists Recommend Immediately After a Balayage?
The obvious question that comes to mind after getting balayage hair is: What is the first thing you should do after your balayage?
It’s good to let your hair settle down for the first few days after a balayage. The first thing you do is actually a “don’t.” Hold off washing your hair after balayage for two to three days.
With each wash, your color fades. Even if you use a sulfate-free shampoo, it will still fade, but it will be a fraction of what a shampoo with sulfate will do.
This advice becomes even more crucial if a toner is applied following the highlighting phase. Toners, which are typically either semi-permanent or demi-permanent, retain their color for about 28 washes.
When styling or drying, always put a protectant on the hair. Heat is damaging and can also fade the color. Make sure the protectant is appropriate for temperatures up to 450 degrees.
Stylist’s Tip For Second-Day Hair
To keep your hair in great shape for “second-day hair,” you want to wrap your hair in a silk cap. If the cap idea sounds too much, at least get a silk pillowcase.
The silk will let your hair strands move freely, thus keeping their shape and not causing friction. The cotton of regular pillowcases causes strands of your hair to not move as you unconsciously shift your head during your sleep.
If you are worried about oily hair on the second day, check out Dry Shampoo. This product will absorb extra oils on your scalp. They have even come up with dry shampoo for dry scalps.
Test some out before you make your final decision on which one to get. Because all dry shampoos are not equal.
Maintaining Your Balayage
The next step is maintaining how your hair feels and looks when you step out of the salon. You must take care of your balayage to keep it looking the way it did at the salon.
Because of the lightening process, you will now need specific products for your hair. But first, let’s find out why you need to use good products when you lighten your hair.
When you do any kind of balayage, you are using a lightener, which is basically bleach. Lighteners open the cuticle of the hair shaft. It is like putting tiny explosives on the hair shaft. And once they explode, the lightener starts mining the natural or already-colored pigment out.
Hair color involves combinations of blue, red, and yellow tones. Dark hair tends to have more blue undertones, while lighter hair has less blue and red. During the lightening process, these pigments are broken down, causing the hair to lighten over time until the desired shade. When it reaches the desired level or the time limit is up, you rinse it out.
The toner (which is put on after rinsing the lightener out) fills in all the holes the lightener has created. It does this with gloss and puts a tonal shade all over the hair. That is why using a professional, reputable hair color line is extremely important.
Shampoo and Conditioners for Balayage
There are also color shampoos and color conditioners that can enhance the tone.
Purple and gold shampoos are for blondes. Red and brown shampoos are for brunettes. These shampoos and conditioners can be used every other wash to maintain the original tonal look.
In most cases, the stylist will want to put a deep conditioner on after the toner. This is to help fill in any cracks in the cuticle after the toner. I recommended doing a deep conditioning treatment once a week after a balayage.
Stylist’s Warning: If your hair is brittle, you will need to incorporate a protein treatment. Both deep conditioners and protein treatments can be done in a salon or at home. To find out if you have brittle hair, take a strand of hair and try to stretch it. If it breaks, then you have brittle hair if it stretches and bounces back, your hair is strong.
Make sure that you use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. The products need to be able to penetrate the shaft and not just sit on top. It needs to help heal the hair. This will allow the hair to continue to get colored without ruining it.
Quality styling products are necessary. Products that contain parabens can cause discoloration and hair loss.
Spending the extra bucks and getting quality products pays off in the long run. Remember all that money you paid to get the wonderful balayage? Well, you can ruin it by using poor-quality products.
When to Re-Touch Your Balayage
The perk of balayage is that you do not need to go in as often for retouches. It is recommended to go every three to four months. Then you can get the lightener reapplied.
Human hair, on average, grows half an inch a month. In four months, your balayage will be two inches lower from where it was originally applied.
If that amount of regrowth does not bother you, then stretch out your appointments a little longer in between.
But know that the toner will be washed out in about three to four months. It is recommended to go in to have the toner redone, which is a lot less expensive than a full balayage.
You will also want to keep up with a regular trim to cut off the ends that begin to split.
When your hair starts to split at the bottom, it will continue to split up the hair shaft and weaken the hair. A regular trim will help the balayage look fresh in between services.
As you can see, the balayage technique is a great low-maintenance hair color choice. You do not need to get it done as often as traditional foils.
But you do need to do home maintenance. These balayage maintenance tips will keep your balayage looking and feeling fabulous.
At home, maintenance is crucial. So keep admiring your hair in the rearview mirror as much as you want. But don’t forget, that anything good in life takes some sort of continuous effort.
The effort you put into maintaining your balayage will also ensure that continuing to color your hair will not end up damaging it over time. Be brave, be bold. And go get that balayage!
How to Care for Balayage: A Quick Recap
- Avoid washing hair for the first 2-3 days after getting balayage to let the color settle.
- Use heat protectant when styling or drying to prevent color fading.
- Sleep with hair wrapped in a silk cap or on a silk pillowcase to maintain shape and reduce friction.
- Use dry shampoo to manage oily hair without washing.
- Invest in color shampoos and conditioners to maintain tone; blondes use purple, brunettes use red or brown.
- Do weekly deep conditioning treatments; incorporate protein treatments if hair is brittle.
- Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner for better color retention.
- Avoid products containing parabens to prevent discoloration and hair loss.
- Plan re-touch appointments every 3-4 months; reapply toner separately as needed.
- Keep up with regular trims to prevent split ends and maintain the balayage look.