What’s the Best Balayage for Me? It’s Time to Get Personal!

best balayage

Brown is such an ordinary word, and it doesn’t begin to do justice to the incredible and beautiful range of brunette haircolor shades. From honey to cocoa to chestnut to mahogany, the haircolor options for brunettes are unlimited and truly gorgeous! Here are 23 of the best brunette haircolor shades around, handpicked and customized for every skin tone by the pros at Matrix.

Want to find the perfect balayage effect for you? Then you’ve come to the right place…

The internet is filled to bursting with near-identical pictures of balayage on long, wavy hair, but there are so many different ways to wear it! The best thing about balayage is that it’s a hair colouring technique that can be totally personalised to you and your hair, whether it’s long, short, blonde or brunette, whether you like a bold look or something more subtle. Want to find the perfect balayage effect for you? Then you’ve come to the right place…

Will Balayage suit me?

First things first, balayage can suit everyone. The freehand technique - brushing bleach onto different strands - means that your hairdresser can tailor the look to suit you and your hair.

If you’re blonde or a redhead you can use balayage to go lighter or darker, brunettes can have blonde strands woven through. Once the hair is lightened, your colourist can then use a toner to get the exact shades of red, blonde or light brown that you want. This season, cool brunette is trending, which is great for anyone who tries to firefight that warmth; but with balayage it’s often less about the trends and more about the shades that suit your skin tone, eye colour and wardrobe.

Be sure to book in for a consultation with your colourist before your appointment. Take lots of pictures with you of the balayage looks you are drawn to, so you can get across what you like about the placement and the colours. It’s also really useful to tell your colourist what you don’t like, too!

Can Balayage be done on short hair?

Yes! What’s so brilliant about balayage is that it’s a technique that works on all lengths, textures and colours of hair! From seriously long, curly hair to a pixie crop, everyone can get on the balayage bandwagon. Balayage is used to create highlights and texture in the hair using colour, which is ideal for making fine hair look thicker and which is why, on a short haircut especially, it can work beautifully to enhance your chosen style. On curly hair, it can make your strands look sun kissed whatever the weather.

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In fact, every great colourist knows that balayage can brighten your complexion and even help to contour your face shape.

If you have a long face ask your colourist to paint light pieces around the front to back on the mid-lengths to ends to create an illusion of width.

If you have a heart-shaped face lighter pieces around the cheeks and ends can soften a pointy chin.

If you have an oval shaped face ask for balayage so it’s level with the middle of your face to accentuate your cheekbones. It’s like contouring with hair!

If you have a round face your colourist can create the illusion of length by keeping the top dark and graduating to lighter ends. A few subtle, light pieces around your forehead and cheekbones will also create an illusion of length.

If you have a square, angular face a very subtle and pretty gradient from dark to light can soften everything up!

What is a Root-smudge Balayage?

If you find balayage a little too pretty and girly for you, then ask your colourist about the option of a root smudge. Adding darker roots to your balayage gives the whole look a more grungy vibe. “The root smudge is so on point because it really enhances the rest of the hair colour. It’s all about the 90s this season and that grunge feel is definitely coming through – but in a chicer way,” says Ashleigh Hodges, Matrix Global Artistic Director. “Deepening the roots makes the colour look more natural, but also makes the blonde look blonder.”

Is Foilyage better for my hair? 

best balayage

Foilyage uses the same freehand technique as balayage but the colourist wraps the strands in foil to enhance the development of the bleach. This means you get a brighter blonde for a more impactful result. “Foilyage is amazing for brunettes and darker bases because you really get that extra pop of lift,” says Ashleigh.

With foilyage, the bleach is able to develop more intensely, so your hair needs to be in good condition before booking a foilyage sesh. Try using Matrix Total Results Re-Bond shampoo and conditioner to ensure your strands are as strong as possible before heading to your colourist. 

Which is better, Balayage or Baby lights? 

Baby lights:

Whether one is better than the other, totally depends on preference! Baby lights are seriously subtle highlights that are meant to mimic those natural sun kissed highlights kids get after a summer spent outside. Balayage, on the other hand, is a bit more of a “look”. If you’re totally new to colouring your hair, baby lights is a brilliant way to test the water, it’s also a great technique if you want your hair to look youthful and in good condition.

What is Ombré and Sombré?

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Okay, so ombré and sombre are another freehand technique, but the results are totally different to balayage! Ombré is where all the strands merge from one colour at the roots to another shade at the ends. You can keep things in the natural hair colour world or experiment with bold transitions of brunette to blue or blonde to pink. It’s a super creative way to play with colour! Sombré, on the other hand, is a more subtle take on ombré, perhaps you go from dark brown to light brown or auburn to copper? It’s a slightly more sophisticated take on the trend.

Whichever look you go for, be sure to keep your hair in tip-top condition with the Matrix Total Results ranges. We love Brass Off for brunette balayage and Keep Me Vivid for those who have opted for a bold and beautiful colour!