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The $160 balayage myth.

- Monday, March 29, 2021

The $160 balayage myth.

So you want balayage. What exactly do you mean by that ? As balayage is a technique. Not a result. Its what most people call Ombre, which is a dark to light effect. Balayage is a common technique to achieve that look. But not the only technique, and in some cases definitely not the technique. Whats even more confusing some people still hold onto the idea that a balayage and an ombre are two different colour results. Remember one is a technique of colouring, the other a result.

So the $160 balayage. Why a myth ? Well it’s not to say its not possible. But reality is majority if not 99% will not achieve their balayage idea for $160. Its a common figure thrown about that “may” work if you have virgin hair (no colour) and happy with the slightest effect without being too picky about the tone. 

Reality is most desired results are way removed from current start point. Sometimes completely the opposite. You’re not going to go from a dark brunette to a faded to Platinium blonde in an hour or two. Probably not even a day. As for $160. Try adding another zero for the first day. 

This is why their are so many variations of ombre around. Because good stylists give good advice and educate their clients with what “their” reality is. Results at one appointment are limited by several factors.

  1. Time available 
  2. What your hair can handle
  3. Where your hair is currently at (start point)
  4. Your budget 


Lets say you’re brunette and have dark coloured hair. 

A more standard 3-5 hour appointment will give you a warmer tone as its more likely will only be able to lift to a coppery level. Exactly what tone ? No idea. You’ll know towards end of appointment as we’re dictated to your hair, how easy it lifts, and what it lifts too.

You’ll need to understand that prior to accepting the booking

Want it lighter, cooler, not as coppery ? No orange. That’s right orange. We’re being realistic. Then maybe by 2nd or 3rd appointment ? As over time more of the older tone can lift out. 

Can you see ☝🏻 above. Its a journey. Not a “lets book an appointment i’m getting balayage today” Sure you can. But results take time. 

Want quicker results. Then we start with a colour correction. We need to strip out the existing darker colour to start with a lighter base. Depending on start point, amount of hair etc. this could take a whole day or longer. Thats where point 4. Comes in. Budget. But remember. We’re also restricted by what your hair can handle. The lighter you want to go the more process’s the hair has to go through. 

Now what if you’re naturally very light ? And even have no colour on your hair. Thats the easier ones. You have a lighter, cleaner base to start with. So its mainly just applying the product and there’s your results. Unfortunately the majority already have a lot of hair history and that gets in the way of quicker more perfect results. 

Your journey is yours and determined by the four points above. But remember all the money and time in the world does not always mean you get what you want. Its still down to your hair. 

Blondes > Foils > Highlights

- Sunday, March 14, 2021

Blondes  > Foils  > Highlights

.....and doing without using a toner. Like this foil application

We see problems almost weekly with new clients coming to see us for foil work. Some in the industry may not like what we’re about to highlight (excuse the pun) But we’re here for our clients We have a bit of a reputation for no toner blondes, and to some extent bagging toners. But we use toners too.

We use when we need too. Unnatural tones, ash, silver. Colour corrections counteracting unwanted tones. Creative ombre effects etc. BUT for every blonde ? No. Thats just wrong.

Full head foils and Olaplex. No toner

If you can place a foil well enough, fine enough and close enough, or exactly where its needed with the right product within. Once you take the foil out the results there. You won’t need to then place a toner over the top. Why ?

Why a lot of toners are used is because all of the above has not been achieved. Namely achieving the desired result. We often see a lot of stylists whose foil placement is too far from scalp, too squared off, bleeding colour and poor angles. Put the right toner over and all that's covered up. That's why most toners get used. Because no ones taking the time to train the techniques to do it right.

Because bleach foiling and toning over is easier. But what about the client ?

Half foils with base colour at roots. No toner. Cold rinse do Base does not muddy the foils.

We have blondes returning 6-8 weeks (even longer) later and their blonde is still bright and clean. They’re only back because of regrowth. Because no toner was used. You can tell a toned blonde after a while. Flat, murky and dull. A toner is literally a colour. They will wear off before your regrowth is due in most cases and if the toner was covering up not so good foil placement its going to look worse.

Its sad that some stylists root fade every blonde to cover up bleeding foils. We said “some” and yes we root fade too. But for effect not cover up 😉

Three quarter foils. Base colour at roots. All one application. Cold rinse so Root colour does not dirty the foils. No toner. PCC Bond repair used

We just had a new stylist start a month ago. We put a lot into education and this stylist can foil. But has always toned every blonde. This result (first picture in this post) is a half head foil application and no toner was required. It will grow out beautifully and not end up flat and murky.

Now this is foiling and stylist now has her A game on with foiling

Below half head foils. No toner 

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