Dip-dyed, two-toned, sun-kissed, top-deck, re-growth – whatever you want to call it, there’s no disputing that balayage has quickly become one of the most talked about hair colouring techniques in the world. From fashionable aussies like Lara Bingle, Pip Edwards, Elle Macpherson and Isabel Lucas, to American trendsetters like Rachel Bilson, Erin Wasson and Lily Aldridge – balayage has well and truly earned its style cred.
Used to create a sun-bleached effect, it’s all about painting highlights on hair to give locks a beachy look. And as experts in all things summer and balayage advocates since Aussie girl Pip Edwards made it a global trend back in mid-2000s, we get A LOT of enquires through about it. So to give you the low down on this colouring technique, we talk to our amazing stylist – senior colourist and balayage specialist Jasmine Connelley from YM Salon in Paddington, Sydney.
TIL: How long have you been working as a hair stylist and what inspired you to become one?
Jasmine: I’ve been a hair stylist for 16 years and I suppose I have always been quite creative and loved making people feel good so it just seemed like an awesome career where I get to do both on a daily basis.
TIL: Balayage has been around since the seventies, but it’s only had a resurrection in recent years. When did you first notice the balayage trend?
Jasmine: Well my mother always had long beachy hair with balayage as a teenager and I have always loved how natural it looked. I have to admit the next time I saw it as a trend again was on none other than the amazingly cool Pip Edwards. She is really brave with her hair and it wasn’t long before clients were asking for the “regrowth look”.
TIL: Every stylist has a different way of doing balayage – what’s yours?
Jasmine: My technique changes depending on the client and the condition of their hair. Most people have had some type of colour in their hair so a lot of it is correcting the tone and placement of the blonde. Let’s say there is a degree of back combing to achieve the faded look.
TIL: What type of hair does balayage work best on and what’s the best way to wear it?
Jasmine: The amazing thing about balayage is that it really suits so many peoples hair, skin and length. You could have your hair long wavy/curly/bob/straight. Obviously if you have a very structured or short cut it probably wouldn’t work. When styling balayage I like to prep the hair with a good leave in moisturiser to make sure those faux beachy ends don’t resemble straw. It always looks great with a bit of movement not ironed flat.
TIL: What about the cut – does balayage work on shorter hair?
Jasmine: As I mentioned before it can definitely work on shorter hair and I think Lara Bingle is a great example of how to work a bob with balayage.
TIL: Lily Aldridge is our poster girl for the look. Who are your celebrity balayage favourites?
Jasmine: I have always loved Sarah Jessica Parker’s hair, also Giselle Bündchen. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that Pip Edward’s. She’s the most unapologetic with her hair and she has the confidence and the ability to make it look so good all the time.
TIL: How are you rocking your hair in terms of colour and style?
Jasmine: Having had a baby a year ago it’s been a great opportunity for me to grow it and reduce the blow drys/straightening/tonging. I have variations of balayage because it’s just so low maintenance and I still get to be a blonde without getting my roots done every 6 weeks. My cut is sympathetic to my natural curls but if i want to have a Victoria’s Secret blow dry I can.
TIL: Who do you get to do your hair and are you ever tempted to cut and colour it yourself?
Jasmine: It can be hard when everyone is so busy making everyone else look good but I trust all my coworkers with my hair. It can happen sometimes (the temptation to snip your own hair) but its just too risky even for a stylist.
TIL: When balayage hit the scene five years back we thought it was just another trend. But as seasons and trends change, it has continued to evolve. What’s your take on this? Has balayage evolved beyond a trend and now here to stay?
Jasmine: I think balayage is here for the long haul it really is something that can vary on the colour scale from platinum to soft honey tones and has the ability to soften without a hint of a stripe. There will always be foils there will always be tint and I think now balayage has placed itself nicely between the two. Best of both worlds…
TIL: What’s the look for hair this summer in Sydney?
Jasmine: I think its all about healthy natural looking hair and the GHD being used to create waves not poker straight hair. High buns, pony tails and soft blow drys.
TIL: If you were stranded on a deserted tropical island and could only take one hair product, what would it be?
Jasmine: Very tough and very cruel. Have to be my Anti Frizz conditioner by La Biosthetique.