Call nowBook now


balayage vs highlights

Balayage vs Highlights: Which Is Right for You?

The season will be changing soon and with that often comes the desire for a new look. Whether you need to freshen up your summer hairstyle or are looking for a complete change, balayage or highlights are often the answer.

At first glance, these two hair techniques may seem similar, but there are subtle differences between the two. Let’s look into the differences between balayage vs highlights, and weigh the pros and cons to help you decide on your next style move.

A Closer Look At the Balayage Technique

Balayage, also called hair painting, is a more subtle approach to traditional foil highlights. It’s softer at the root and gets lighter toward the end of the hair. These types of highlights are typically just a few shades lighter than your hair color.

During the balayage technique, the color is painted onto strands of hair without using foils. It results in a more natural multi-tonal and blended look.


If you prefer a more effortless style, then balayage is for you. Since these highlights produce a sun-kissed result, it looks more natural. This means less maintenance and upkeep required, and fewer visits between sessions.


If you’re trying to cover gray hairs, balayage may not be your best option. It doesn’t cover grays; however, it helps blend them into the rest of your hair. Now, if you don’t mind making an appointment for root touchups every few weeks, there’s no reason to shy from balayage.

All About Traditional Highlights

Highlights are the traditional method of lightening hair and adding dimension. If you’re looking to make a more noticeable color shift, then you’ll want to go with highlights.

The traditional highlight process involves lightening woven strands of hair from the root to tips.  These strands are sectioned out from the rest of your hair and wrapped in aluminum foil.

This results in more of a contrast between your natural hair (or base color) and the highlighted strands.


If you like a uniform highlight look, or you want to go significantly lighter, foil highlights are the best option for you.  Your stylist can control how dark or light the highlights will be so if you’re interested in going blonde, highlights will give you what you’re looking for.


Foil highlights need more work to keep them looking fresh so you’ll find yourself visiting the salon regularly to keep it up. If you don’t want to commit to this upkeep, foil highlights may not be the best choice for you as they do require regular visits.

Now You Know the Difference Between Balayage vs Highlights

Now that you know the difference between balayage vs highlights, it’s time to make your appointment. Whether you’re looking for a subtle change or want to make a major change to your look, we can help.

Get in touch with us today to start your hair transformation. We can’t wait to see you.