How To Update Your Balayage Hair Colour

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If you’re one of the many who have dipped their toes in the balayage pool, and are itching to update your ‘do, you’ve got three options with your hair colour: go darker with a block shade, lighten your locks starting at the roots or change up your balayage with a bit of a refresher.

Here’s how to update your locks in no time!

POST-BALAYAGE OPTION #1: Lighten up

Lightening your hair can be addictive – ask anyone who’s ever gone from subtle highlights to full-on blonde. If you’ve loved having lighter ends but feel like you need more, then why not take that blonde all the way to your roots?

THE PROS:
If you choose to put different tones of blonde throughout your hair, you can hold on to that textured look you loved about balayage. Also, depending on your skin tone, lighter hair can complement your features and make your skin glow.

THE CONS:
As beautiful as blonde hair can look, you have to be on top of the upkeep. If your hair is naturally really dark, it will only take a few weeks for your roots to show. So if this is the direction you’re looking to go, be mindful of the time and money it’ll take to maintain it. Oh, and don’t forget the lighter your hair, the more you need to care for its condition.

bh loves: Schwarzkopf Extra Care Blonde Toner, Blonde muk Toning ShampooTIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo and TONI&GUY Purple Conditioner for Blonde Hair.

RELATED: How to protect blonde hair in summer

RELATED: What is reverse balayage?

POST-BALAYAGE OPTION #2: Go darker

If your roots are naturally brown, embrace a darker, richer hair colour – especially as we head into the cooler months.

THE PROS:
Darker hair automatically looks shinier and healthier, and you won’t have to worry about things like topping up the balayage as it grows out. Going all-over dark after having the ends light can change your look quite drastically, so if a hair overhaul is what you’re looking for, this could be just what you need.

THE CONS:
Blonde hair doesn’t hold onto pigment as well as virgin or brown hair, so you might find your balayage will start peeking through after a few washes (which is why you should definitely use a colour-safe shampoo and conditioner!). Also, keep in mind some hairstyles (like boho waves or curls) may not look as textured with a block hair colour as it does with balayage.

bh loves: A’kin Colour Protection ShampooL’Oréal Paris Colour Protect Elvive Colour Protect Conditioner, Aveda Black Malva Shampoo and Restoria Discreet Colour Restoring Shampoo.

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POST-BALAYAGE OPTION #3: Change it up

If you love your balayage but need to do something to change things up, there’s no harm in just tweaking it slightly. Take Gisele Bündchen’s approach, and work in some fancy ecaille tortoiseshell ombré, take your cues from a delicious bakery treat or go down the bronde route and follow in JLo’s footsteps. Adding a more honey/caramel tone to your ends, or adding a few lighter highlights so they’re almost ash-white is a subtle, yet very effective way of upping your colour without doing anything too dramatic. Another approach? Change it up with a cut. Go shorter or add a fringe – you’ll be surprised at how much a snip will make to the overall look of your hair. 

THE PROS:
You get to hold on to your beloved balayage while still changing your look ever so slightly.

THE CONS:
Unless you were dead-set on getting rid of your balayage, there aren’t really any negatives to this option. Just keep in mind things like conditioning hair treatments to nourish your ends and prevent them from looking dry and ratty.

bh loves: Pantene Intense Miracle Shot CollagenKérastase Paris Elixir UltimeRedken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In TreatmentDe Lorenzo  Prescriptive Solutions Intense Moisture Repair and GROW Longer Stronger Anti-Breakage Hair Mask.

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*This article has been updated since its original publication.

Do you have balayage and are looking for a change?

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Comments 45

  1. I think I have what people may call balayage but its natural and its got natural streaks on top of it. I have no upkeep – it just keeps coming! lol If I want to freshen my hair up I go for a blonde hair toner shampoo/conditioner. I love the way Aveda ones are very gentle and gradually build up.

  2. I went lighter last time (by accident). People who know me like the change interestingly. Yes I do toning regularly, so light parts are really shiny, cool toned and bright.

  3. My daughter who is the hairdresser is now living in Victoria and due to coid who knows when we will get to see each other again so im simply putting a colour through my hair this weekend before i go back to work on Monday.

  4. I had balayage for many years, but working from home last year, decided to grow it out, I now have my natural hair colour for the first time since I was 14. (I’m 32 now) going to leave it natural for as long as the grey’s don’t come in.

  5. I laughed when I read “it will only take a few weeks for your roots to show”.
    I tried this years ago. I went blonde from dark brown. My roots showed after 3 days. My hairdresser couldn’t believe it.
    Think hard because it is a lot of expense & upkeep. Thankfully I wasn’t paying because I was doing some modelling for my hairdresser at the time for the IHS.

  6. I did the same ccw – haven’t had foils in my hair for about 8 years now and went a la natural. I am now officially platinum. To think people pay to get my colour 🙂

  7. Mine is 1.5 years old now, I’ve just been letting it grow out and will stay natural after that! The balyage cost me a lot, it didn’t like it (didn’t look like what I asked for) and the bleach ruined my hair.

  8. Haha yeah yay gotta love that!! That’s great jatz – I want to see a photo!! It is amazing how good natural hair can be. I know a lady with amazing blue-ish grey hair and it is actually natural and people think she dyes it!

  9. This look is great. After not being able to colour my hair for four months during lockdown I was rocking balayage. I love that you can add colour and there’s less commitment. A good colourist will place the colour in a way that blends with your darker roots.

  10. Has this been updated? It’s been years since Astrid was with BH – please correct me if I’m wrong. Going back to 2013 seems a bit of a stretch. I understand the difficulties at the moment but I would have thought that articles really have a shelf life. Sorry for the negativity but……………………….

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