Discover the best balayage in London

Balayage Explained

Visit Jack Howard at Paul Edmonds to experience the best balayage in London

long blonde californian balayage

What is balayage?

Balayage is a French word meaning ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’. In its truest form balayage is a highlighting technique, from root to tip, that creates a sun-kissed natural look on any hair colour.

Balayage is quicker to apply than foil highlights and a lower maintenance hair colour choice; so you can have beautiful lived-in colour that lasts for up to 12 weeks – or even longer.

The beauty of balayage is that it works with the natural fall of your hair and your own variations of tone to create a bespoke look that’s fresh and modern and totally tailored to you.

Balayage is all about soft contrasts that add movement and dimension for an effortless wearable look.

It’s a freehand hair painting that does not use foil or meche. It creates a very natural looking highlight or a more dramatic contrast, but your colour should grow out without any harsh lines.

Is balayage for you?

If you want to have on-trend hair that looks naturally sun-kissed rather than obviously coloured, balayage is the best choice for you.

Balayage can work for all hair lengths from crops and bobs, through long bobs (lobs) to long layered hairstyles. It is also becoming increasingly popular for men’s hair colour.

Jack will work with you to create the bespoke hair colour that will accentuate your hair and your best features.

mushroom blonde balayage
brunette balayage hairstyle model girl female

Is balayage just for blondes?

There is a bit of a myth that balayage is just for blonde hair. That not the case. Balayage is a highlighting technique that brightens and adds contrast to all hair colours. The key is to choose tones two or three shades lighter than your base colour.

As well as his blonde clientele, Jack is renowned for colouring French browns and his on-trend balayage for red heads. He has also been at the forefront of the key trends for hybrid colours including bronde, ronze and rose gold hair colours.

For clients who dare to be a little more creative with their colour choice, balayage can be applied in more dramatic bold hues or pretty pastel tones for Instagram-friendly colour bleeds and melts.

About your balayage appointment

Every balayage colour appointment begins with a thorough consultation with Jack at London salon Paul Edmonds.

You’ll discuss your hair colour and how your currently feel about it before talking about exactly how you would like it to look.

Bring some photos of hair colour you like with you and get ready to answer some questions about your lifestyle, and how much time you are ready to commit to your hair and its upkeep. Jack will then personally tailor your colour so it suits your look and your London lifestyle.

The initial colour consultation is a professional and paid for service that is essential to creating your perfect colour choice. The cost of the appointment will be deducted from your next service.

Your bespoke colour will be mixed exclusively for you and is hand-painted onto the hair based on the natural rise and fall of your locks and any natural colour variations.

Jack will consider where the sun would naturally highlight your hair and what will best complement your features and accentuate the shape and texture of your hair.

For short hair, including balayage for men, or just one or two pieces the balayage may sometimes be applied at the backwash.

icy blonde micro balayage
blonde balayage model female short hair bob

Choosing the right balayage style for you

Over the years balayage applications have changed and there are now four different types of application under the banner balayage:  Classic, Creative, Micro and Californian.

This is because classic balayage has now evolved and can be used on any hair length and for many different looks…

classic balayage hair colour


For classic balayage application the product is loaded on the mid-lengths of the hair section, feathered up to the root then spread down over the surface of the section, and saturated on the ends to create a seamless finish.

It’s the Victoria Secret girl look; perfect for longer hair, with upkeep every 8- 10 weeks.

creative balayage highlights


For creative balayage the product is also loaded on the middle of the section of hair and only feathered slightly up the hair shaft for a more lived-in finish, leaving the roots in their natural form. The ends of the section are still saturated.

Perfect for darker bases who want some lightness but nothing near the root, equally lovely on any colour because of it’s lived-in look. Great if you want lower maintenance colour, or simply like a ‘rooty’ feel.

micro balayage hair color


Micro Balayage is a finer, more delicate application which works well on all hair colours. It works exceptionally well when wanting to achieve a heavier coverage of colour and when transitioning from foil highlights to balayage. It’s also perfect in fringes and is great for guys who want a sun kissed look. It goes all the way to the root and is great on bobs and shorter hair.

This type of balayage needs upkeep every 8 weeks.

Californian balayage hilites


Californian balayage is still very soft at the root with a much heavier coverage through the mid shaft and ends. This look achieves a more visible result through the mid-lengths and ends of the hair, and is the look most seen on Instagram at the moment. It works well for people who want to be blonde and is a high-maintenance look. Californian balayage works well with root stretches or root smudges and can also be achieved by merging classic balayage with ombre.

balayage, brunette, model, balayage education,

How to maintain your balayage

Balayage is low maintenance hair colour that often has a ‘rooty’ lived-in feel to it. There is no obvious regrowth so you can expect results that last much longer than foils highlights or block colour.

However, to keep the vibrance and longevity of your colour, Jack will recommend the professional shampoo and conditioner that is tailored to your hair type to reduce colour fade. You should also avoid excessive heat on your balayage pieces and always use a heat protection spray before using irons or tongs.

Many colour clients choose to visit Jack in-between their balayage appointments for a glossing treatment to brighten up their look.

Balayage for colour correction

Whether it’s an at-home colour that didn’t do what it said on the box or you didn’t get the desired result at another salon, Jack is skilled in the art of colour correction.

Jack also has decades of experience in how to transition his clients from old-fashioned foil highlights to on-trend balayage.

bob with balayage and balayage in fringe photos

Book Your Balayage In London

Marie Claire Hair Colourist of the Year 2018 Jack Howard is renowned for offering the best balayage in London at Paul Edmonds’ Knightbridge Salon

Paul Edmonds, 217 Brompton Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 2EJ. T: 020 7589 5958.