Can I do a balayage if I have dark hair?

It is one of the most popular techniques of the moment, and also one of the most appealing. Balayage conquers half the world through its natural degraded effect on our hair, which instantly looks like it has been sun kissed. A perfect look when we want to give shine to the hair and especially a glow for the summer season. However, not everyone can enjoy this magical touch. As always, darker hairs see, resigned, as the world of dyes resists them again. This is already the case with fashionable shades such as pink, for which a bleach must be applied. But what about balayage? Is it recommended for this type of hair?


Our tests


Still hopeful, we spoke with a colorist, who gave us the answer we feared: “It’s relative… It will always depend on the shade and level of lightness we want to achieve. Balayage as such must be worked on light natural bases, so it is not recommended for dark bases, as its purpose is to achieve blond tones by imitating the sun’s rays”. Well, our joy left. However, we must not lose hope, because there is a more effective solution to light up dark hair.

This is the idea that the colorist proposes to us: “One technique that we could use in dark hair obtaining a similar effect, would be the tiger, inspired by the tiger eye stone, acquiring some hazelnut, golden and even bronze shades”. We like the idea! Both the balayage and tiger techniques are especially recommended for long or mid hair,” she explains, “so if you’ve just cut your hair to wear, don’t be afraid, because you’re not going to lose your new color.

Now we’re ready to know what to ask our hairdresser. Let’s go!


Is balayage better than Californians?


Balayage or California fuses? That is the question. Yes, we already know that pink hair is taken, that platinum is the most popular at hairdressers and that Americans are crazy about red wine. But what if you don’t want to dye your whole hair and just want to give it light, movement and a little contrast? Yes, in that case, Balayage and Californians are your techniques. But now it’s time to decide which one suits you best, and above all, which one is best for your hair.


How are they different?


First of all, we must be clear about the keys to both techniques. Balayage is based on a sweep (that’s just the meaning of the French term) of color starting at the root and reaching the tips, achieving a degraded effect throughout the entire length of the hair. This is the first difference from Californian wicks, which are only applied from the middle to the ends, imitating the effect of the sun on our hair. But that is not all, because the application also differs. While the balayage is applied with a brush and by hand, the Californians use aluminum foil, and need heat to make the discoloration effective.


So, is the balayage better for hair?


If you are concerned about the health of your hair, you should choose balayage. The Californian wicks are applied using aluminum foil with heat, to achieve the oxidation of the hair (so its effect is much more visible and the contrast with the base shade, higher). That’s why the technique is more aggressive.

Another aspect to take into account is the result. If you want a more natural finish, where you can’t see where the wick starts, choose the balayage. With this technique, the root is blurred and when the hair grows you don’t notice the difference so drastically. In addition, a color of between one and three shades less than the base color is applied, so it is illuminated without drastic contrasts. Californians, on the other hand, start in the middle of the hair, so they are more artificial, especially if your hair is dark.


And what do the trends say?


We’re already in swampy country here. Although the Balayage continues to be strong (they have been done so since 2016), it seems that the Californians are experiencing an upturn. In addition, with the arrival of summer, the surfing effect of the Californians is more appealing, because the discretion of the balayage is friendlier to winter.


Do you want to know more about beauty trends? Read our Beauty and Fashion category to know more.