What is reverse balayage?

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Balayage highlights have been a major hair colour trend for years, but now a new colouring technique has emerged that turns the original balayage trend on its head, literally – reverse balayage.

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Traditionally, balayage features a darker colour at the roots with a gradual transition to a lighter colour on the ends of the hair. Reverse balayage is the exact opposite, with hair that has been dyed darker through the mid-lengths and ends but kept lighter at the roots.

But don’t think reverse balayage is just that late-2000s ‘top deck’ hair trend reborn – rather than a stark contrast between blonde and brunette shades, reverse balayage incorporates the gentle colour transition that balayage has become known for, with far more subtle results.

The trend started to gain traction when American hair colourist Deryn Daniels shared a photo of the look to Instagram and captioned the image ‘In a world full of blonde balayage, be a reverse’.

Image via Instagram

If you’re not naturally fair at the crown, this trend may take a little more work for you than traditional balayage as it will require dyeing your roots a lighter colour. But with the lighter hues at the top, this trend is perfect for natural blondes who are sick of dyeing their roots darker in order to achieve the coveted balayage effect.

Whatever your colour, we’re massive balayage fans here at beautyheaven and reverse balayage provides a nice change to the classic balayage highlights. To help get your head around the look (again, literally!) we’ve rounded up a few of the most popular reverse balayage colours on Pinterest.


Reverse balayage 1

The classic blonde-to-brunette gradient of reverse balayage.

Reverse balayage 2

Caramel at the roots, chocolate on the mid-lengths and ends. Sounds as amazing as it looks!

Reverse balayage 3

Clean blonde roots with rose gold ends = endlessly pretty.

Reverse balayage 4

More soft blonde-to-brunette goodness on some lengthy locks.

Reverse balayage 5

If this isn’t the perfect autumn hair colour, we don’t know what is! It even resembles the colours of an autumn leaf.

Reverse balayage 6

Rich like your morning coffee, we’re calling this reverse balayage hue ‘The Espresso’.

Reverse balayage 7

Perfect for brunettes who don’t want to hit the bleach too hard to get the reverse balayage look, this is subtle blonde-to-brunette at its best.

Keep your chosen colour locked in place with dedicated hair wash and styling products, especially if you’re going lighter at the roots. bh loves: Dove Colour Radiance Shampoo and Conditioner,  L’Oreal Paris Elvive Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioner, Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Tri-Blo. Would you try reverse balayage?

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