Balayage vs. Traditional Highlights: What’s the Difference?

Balayage vs traditional highlights

In recent years, hair coloring and highlights have surged in popularity as a way of expressing personal style and enhancing natural beauty. Especially in the world of hair fashion, two methods have notably risen to the top: Balayage and Traditional highlights. But what exactly is the difference between these two techniques? Let’s delve into it.

What are Traditional Highlights?

Traditional highlights have been a go-to technique for hair stylists for decades. This method involves sectioning off strands of hair and applying lightener or color from root to tip using foils. The foils allow the colorist to control the placement and saturation of the highlight, resulting in a uniform and consistent color throughout the selected strands.

The result of traditional highlights is a well-blended, even, and uniform look that provides contrast and brightness to your overall hair color. It’s perfect for those who want a dramatic change or wish to cover up grays.

What is Balayage?

Balayage, on the other hand, is a French word meaning ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’. This technique involves freehand painting the color onto individual hair strands without using foils. The color is applied more heavily towards the ends of the hair, while the roots are left darker to create a gradual, more natural-looking transition.

Balayage gives a sun-kissed, natural look as if you just spent weeks holidaying on a beach. The outcome can range from soft and subtle to bold and dramatic, depending on your preference.

Balayage vs traditional highlights

Key Differences Between Balayage and Traditional Highlights

The key differences between Balayage and traditional highlights lie in the technique used, the resulting look, and the maintenance required.

With traditional highlights, foils are used to achieve an even saturation of color from root to tip. Balayage, however, uses a freehand painting technique to create a gradient effect with darker roots and lighter ends.

In terms of the outcome, traditional highlights provide a more uniform, consistent look. On the contrary, Balayage offers a more organic, subtly illuminated look.

With regards to maintenance, balayage is typically lower maintenance than traditional highlights since it grows out more naturally and doesn’t leave a noticeable regrowth line.

As for suitability, both methods can be adapted to most hair types and colors. However, your stylist will be able to recommend the best technique based on your hair condition, desired result, and lifestyle.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Highlights

Traditional highlights come with many benefits including precise control over color placement and saturation, great for covering grays, and can dramatically change your look. However, on the downside, they require regular touch-ups to maintain the look as the regrowth line can be quite noticeable.

Pros and Cons of Balayage

Balayage stands out for its numerous advantages. It offers a more organic, subtly illuminated look reminiscent of natural highlights. This technique is notably low maintenance, growing out gracefully without any severe regrowth lines. Balayage provides a customizable color application that can be tailored to individual preferences, adding depth and dimension to the hair. It also strategically places highlights to enhance facial features, proving its versatility across different hair lengths, types, and colors. Above all, Balayage promotes healthier hair, as it avoids saturating the entire head with color.The drawbacks include it may not provide as much lightness as traditional highlights and it may not fully cover grays.

Balayage and Traditional Highlights at Bronde Blvd Salon

At Bronde Blvd Salon in Chandler, AZ, we offer both balayage and traditional highlight services. Our team of experienced stylists are skilled in both techniques and are dedicated to helping you achieve the look you desire. Whether you want a dramatic transformation with traditional highlights or a natural sun-kissed effect with balayage, we have you covered.

Balayage vs traditional highlights at Bronde Blvd Salon


In essence, the choice between balayage and traditional highlights largely depends on your personal preference, lifestyle, and desired result. Both methods have their pros and cons but can deliver beautiful results when done by experienced stylists.

So, whether you prefer the classic uniformity of traditional highlights or the low-maintenance natural look of balayage, the choice is yours. At the end of the day, it’s all about what makes you feel most beautiful.

Ready to transform your look with either balayage or traditional highlights? Book your appointment at Bronde Blvd Salon today and let our skilled stylists bring your hair dreams to life. We can’t wait to meet you and make your hair goals come true!

Hair Styling & Trends