How-to: Alexa Chung’s textured balayage strands


It’s safe to say the world has a bit of a crush on Alexa Chung. But the funny part about said infatuation is that it mainly exists because of her hair. Yes, her hair. I’d be shocked to meet a woman who wouldn’t want to wake up with Alexa’s sexy, tousled, imperfect (but never messy!) waves; one who doesn’t agree that her balayage always look chic. Stylish. Dashing.

Despite this love affair with Alexa Chung’s sun-kissed strands, many of us still find the notion of balayage confusing. I mean, we want it, and we want to come out of the hairdressers looking like we own her hair, but do we know what to ask for? Um, no.

That’s where Haleema Harris, colour director at Renya Xydis’ Valonz Haircutters, comes into play. She’s like a dictionary on hair colour and styling, and truly understands why we’re all a wee bit obsessed with this on-trend colouring process…

“Alexa Chung’s colour is a warm chocolate brown with soft balayage,” Haleema says. “If you want to get this look when you go to the salon, ask for a natural, sun-lightened look. Just make sure you ask for not too much contrast to your base colour.”

And why are we so in love with this hand-painted colouring technique, Haleema? “It’s on trend because it looks quite natural, and is brilliant for brunettes especially as they can go lighter without the high maintenance of a regrowth,” she says. Yep, we brunettes will avoid regrowth in any way we can.

Got balayage? Here’s how to style it like Alexa Chung…

STEP 1: Spritz a sea salt spray like Wella Professionals High Hair Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray evenly throughout your hair.

STEP 2: Tip your head upside down and shake until dry.

STEP 3: Working around your head in chunky vertical sections, wrap and curl only the mid-lengths of your hair using a tool like the Cloud Nine Wand [$270 | 1300 437 436]. The key is to leave the roots and ends straight.

STEP 4: To finish, blast your hair with a hairdryer using the cool setting. Then, using your fingers, gently massage the root area to create texture and loosening the waves for a casual, laidback effect.

TOP BALAYAGE TIP: make sure you treat your strands to regular at-home treatments. Balayage strands can easily look unhealthy and dry if you don’t.

ANOTHER TOP BALAYAGE TIP: always remember the key to this Alexa Chung look is imperfection, so don’t be afraid to leave your locks a little less perfect than normal.

Do you like Alexa Chung’s textured balayage strands as much as we do? Is this a hair colour you’d adopt? What about the style? Do you love her casual waves?

PS. Would you try out this dip-dyed reverse balayage look?

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