This 'reverse balayage' technique is the totally dreamy new hair colour trend you need to know about
Feel like shaking things up and doing something different with your hair? Look no further, because inspiration is all around. As of late, we've been introduced to the alluring mulled wine hair as well as the super-dazzling holographic hair. But if you're after a look that's a little more natural looking, yet something that's still bold, then this new technique may be exactly what you're after.
We all know and love the OG balayage:
Dark roots that gradually fade to a lighter, blonde colour. It's the answer to making your grotty regrowth actually look nice and as weird as that sounds – it works. 'Balayage' is a French word that means "to sweep or to paint", which refers to how the dye is applied. The end effect is of soft, subtle highlights at the roots (compared to the tacky-looking streaky kind you get with foils) that gradually blend in with a stronger, fuller colour at the tips.
And now, someone's gone and reworked the old classic to create the opposite effect of the technique in something called a "reverse balayage". Yup, it means you've got the lighter, blonde colour up top, leading to a mix of darker brunette shades at the bottom. The results? A look that seems like it could be something that's naturally occurring, but that you know couldn't because most of us always have darker roots. It's a subtle kind of edgy, and I like it.
We were first introduced to the reverse balayage thanks to Colorado hairstylist Deryn Daniels, who uploaded the picture below to Reddit with the caption, "In a world full of blonde balayage, be a reverse."
And people were quick to pick up on the trend and try it out themselves.
You can get it looking convincingly natural:
Or go for a more dramatic version:
It looks fab on straightened hair:
And just as good in tousled curls:
NYC colourist Cassie Cohen says the look "defies what the sun will naturally do to your hair colour," which is make it lighter the longer it is exposed to the outdoors (explaining why your tips are always lighter). "This is a trend that is edgier than your average ombré and can be altered to flatter any skin tone or natural hair colour," Cohen added.
But while it's quite a versatile and a not-too-OTT look that will appeal to many, remember that the reverse balayage will actually have the opposite level of maintenance required of a regular balayage.
Another colourist working in New York, Gynna Cayambe, explains: "the original balayage rose to fame because it allows clients to try colour without having to commit to maintaining their roots on a consistent basis. This is the opposite of that. With the lighter colour at the roots, the reverse balayage is beautiful, but high maintenance. If you aren’t ready to commit to regular salon visits, it’s better to go traditional."
Experts estimate that you'd probably have to schedule touch up appointments every four to eight weeks. So if you're ready for that kind of commitment, then go right ahead and clear out your calendar to make room for some frequent visits to the salon.