Highlights Vs Balayage: Tips To Choose Best For Hair

Which is better - highlights or balayage? Know the different and choose the best for your hair.

Krati Purwar
hair colouring techniques

Are you struggling to choose between highlights and balayage? This article is definitely for you. We have answers to all your queries and questions. If you are about book your next appointment in the salon, keep reading this article.

What Is The Difference Between Balayage And Highlights?


The difference is between the technique and the end result of highlights and balayage. Highlight uses sections of strands, secures them with aluminium foil, and the result offers intense colours to your locks.

Balayage gives a warm look. It creates a seamless camouflage that gives natural shades to your strands. The muted and sun-kissed result looks amazing on hair. The blended shades run from mid-length to the ends. The roots remain dark.

Highlights Vs Balayage: Key Points To Note

Process Of Application

Balayage follows a technique similar to freehand painting. Therefore, the stylists apply colour randomly on strands. On the other hand, if you get the highlights, the hairdresser at the salon has to follow a structural approach. One has to pick specific strands to give you the desired final look.

Region Of Application

When highlighting, the stylist has to pick specific hair strands and apply the dye in saturation from roots to the tips. If you choose balayage, the dye is applied from the mid-length to the tips. It leaves the roots in their natural shades, making the end result appear more realistic and toned down.

Degree Of Customisation

hair colour on woman

If you have a specific look in your mind, you must choose to go with balayage. The hairstylist can change the final look according to your request, face cut and features. If you are going for highlights, you must understand that there is less scope for personalisation.

Total Time For The Process

How much does it take for balayage?Since balayage requires random application of hair colour, it can take around 45 minutes for the process to complete. If you are going with a layered look and have long hair, the process can extend to three hours.

How much time does it take for highlights? In the case of highlights, the total time for the process lies between 1 hour and 3 hours. It is a detailed process, and the application of the dye also depends on your hair status, condition and length.

End Result Of Both Processes

Do balayage highlights damage your hair?The roots and underside of locks remain in the dark when you choose balayage. The colour remains concentrated on the top. The blended look creates a camouflage that offers a natural effect, similar to the one you get in sunlight.

The foil highlights give you a dramatic contrast at the end. The intense colour on streaks offers a funky look at the end. It does not appear blended.

Maintenance Of Hair In Each Process


Is balayage easier to maintain that highlights?If you want to colour your hair and enjoy hassle-free days after, you should go with balayage. Since the dye does not extend near roots, you will not require frequent visits to the salon.

On the other hand, if you have streaks, you will require touch-ups every month or in a few weeks. You cannot grow out of traditional foil highlights like you can do with balayage. Therefore, pick between the two according to your convenience.

How To Take Care Of Hair After Colouring?

Avoid Frequent Washes

If you want to preserve the colour after balayage or highlights, it is better to avoid washing your strands frequently. The chemical in the shampoo can result in fading of the hair colour. Therefore, you must prefer washing your locks twice a week only. You can also use a purple shampoo to maintain the freshness of the colour and minimise brassiness.

Hydration Is The Key

front highlights

Using a deep conditioner is the only way to maintain hydration of hair. It is crucial to prevent the locks from becoming dry, dull and frizzy. You must also ensure that the shampoo or conditioner you use does not contain chemicals like mineral oils, sulphate and SLS.

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Put Extra Efforts

Irrespective of the fact that your locks are coloured or natural, taking care of hair is a must for everyone. Therefore, you must protect them from direct exposure to the sun and chlorinated water.

You must limit the use of styling tools. However, if you are using a straightener or a curling iron, apply serum or heat protecting products to prevent the strands from damage. UV protecting products are also available in the market, which prevent fading of colour.

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Stay Punctual On Your Salon Appointments

Whether you choose balayage or highlights, you must not miss any salon appointments that work on retouching, nourishing and restoring colour and hair. These visits are crucial to maintaining the blended look of balayage and intense colour of streaks.

Which one did you like? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or let us know about your experience with balayage or highlights. Till then, stay tuned with HerZindagi for updates on styling, hair care and skin routines.