Summer Hair – The Color: Balayage (Part 3 of 3)

After cutting my hair into a long bob (Part 1) and perming it to add texture and volume (Part 2), I finally achieved my ideal summer hair by getting a balayage. Endless thanks to Robert Leonard Salon & Day Spa (in Seattle) for generously treating me to an appointment with the amazing balayage-queen, Allison Heuer!

Here are 3 basics that convinced me to go for a balayage:

1. Balayage vs. Ombre: Ombre is when the roots are darker and fades into a lighter color at the strands. Balayage is a French technique that sweeps the highlights towards the face for a sun-kissed look. (The balayage technique could be used for an ombre to soften the blending.)

2. Natural: Sombre (subtle ombre) is the new ombre! Foiled highlights can look too uniform and thus a bit unnatural. A balayage is up to the artistic strokes of the colorist, and blends more subtly into the hair.

3. Low-Maintenance: Because the color doesn’t get too close to the roots, the roots aren’t as obvious when they grow out. This means less frequent touch ups!

Since my hair is doubly chemically treated, I am gung-ho about keeping my locks healthy. I wash my hair every other day or less and use dry shampoo (Alterna). Use color-safe shampoo (Bumble and bumble) and conditioner (DevaCurl) to keep hair from turning brassy, and a moisture mask once a week (Gloss Moderne). For daily shine, I apply hair oil (Josie Maran) and oil treatment mist (Wen).

If you have any more questions about balayage, ask in the comments below and I’ll respond!

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  1. August 8, 2014 / 11:14 am

    I always wanted to cut my hair and perm it a little, you have my dream hair! Beautiful 🙂

  2. August 8, 2014 / 2:15 pm

    Your hair is gorgeous! Love the colour!! X

  3. August 8, 2014 / 2:16 pm

    Love the way you did your hair hun. So glad I clicked on your comment on KARLA'S CLOSET's blog and got led back here to yours. It's seriously full of GREAT info and juicy pics here! Just followed you on GFC and bloglovin', be sure to see more of you soon. By the way, please do check out and comment on my newest and MOST provocative summer outfit to date! I guarantee! Featuring HERMES wrist bandanas, plus Chanel SS14 pearl gloves, SOPHIA WEBSTER clutch, and ALEXANDER WANG runway mid-heels, if you're into that sort of 'thang'. Hope you enjoy the humorous writing too! #PROVOKED

    xx The Provoker

  4. August 8, 2014 / 5:33 pm

    Ah I'm dying to bayalage my hair (but I'm totally scared because I've never colored it and I don't want to have someone do it poorly and hate it) – and also a digital perm seems SO appealing, my hair is already naturally kind of wavy but a little more wave would make it so much more low maintenance. I'm having hair envy over here!! xo

    • August 8, 2014 / 8:52 pm

      You have a gorgeous natural color! I rarely color my hair because of the same fears too, but I feel like a balayage is "safer" in the sense that it looks more natural, thus maybe less chances of me turning out with zebra highlights? 😉 And I totally am an advocate for digital perms! I'm so lazy and unskilled with hair, and a perm has given me way more volume and texture than I could ever create on my own.

  5. August 8, 2014 / 6:58 pm

    So perfect!! Our textures are similar, but mine is just boring black. I need to start experimenting with color. Love your look, Carolyn! Gorgeous!

  6. August 8, 2014 / 7:00 pm

    I didn't even know this technical term existed, but I really like the sombre effect that you have going on here. I'm also scared of foil highlights because I've seen too many Asian girls with thick "skunk" highlights!

    Another Beautiful Thing

    • August 8, 2014 / 8:54 pm

      haha It sure seems like there are terms for everything nowadays! Apparently an ombre + balayage combo is a bombre. 😉

  7. August 8, 2014 / 8:17 pm

    I want to do this so badly to my hair. It is so hard to find something to do to your hair when it is dark! Love how yours turned out!


  8. August 8, 2014 / 11:43 pm

    We've never heard of this style before but looks so amazing on you. We love everything you do with your hair though so it's not saying much lol.

    xx 365hangers

  9. August 9, 2014 / 4:00 am

    Your hair is absolutely gorgeous! Love your blog! I'd love to stay in touch via Google Friend Connect 🙂
    Legally Brunette

  10. August 9, 2014 / 2:48 pm

    Gorgeous hair! I wish I could have my hair like that as well
    Hair routine pls?

    • August 11, 2014 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks! 🙂 I'll write up a post about my hair routine soon!

  11. August 9, 2014 / 3:30 pm

    Amazing post! And I love your blog:)
    I am now following you on Bloglovin, follow me back?

  12. August 10, 2014 / 12:47 am

    OMG love it! I have a hair appointment to get this done actually. So excited! Thanks for the 101 in difference between balayge and ombre. But often times I think they use balayge as a technique to achieve ombre as well!

    Lets keep in touch and follow each other on bloglovin! I always follow back!

    Love from Canada,
    Marie from

  13. August 10, 2014 / 2:07 am

    I love it!:D Your hair still looks so healthy & fresh and your post is straightforward and on-point!:)
    It really looks gorgeous and makes me want to get my hair done that way as well.

    ♥ Charms | My ∞ Fashion Confession

  14. August 10, 2014 / 2:45 am

    Love that Dolce Vita dress you have on xx

  15. August 11, 2014 / 11:53 pm

    Great post! This is so helpful Carolyn. I've always thought it would be cool to ombre my hair but I keep chickening out. This seems like a great alternative and looks so pretty too!

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