It’s not just the likes of Whitney Port, Elizabeth Olsen, Erin Wasson and FOR SHAME Khloe Kardashian that have tempted me
It’s been around for a while at this stage so balayage is nothing new, but having just dipped my tresses into the ever-popular two-tone trend, I now know why its appeal is so enduring and why so many of us dedicated bottle blondes are abandoning our usual half-head of highlights in favour of this more bespoke approach to colouring.
But with so much botched balayage out there – namely the horrific two-tone black on top and copper on the bottom creations that so many women have handed over their hard-earned cash for - I have to admit I was slightly nervous about turning my back on the failsafe method I know and love.
So, what made me decide to jump on the balyage bandwagon? For any bottle blondes who have been fighting a losing battle with re-growth for most of their adult lives, listen up – balayage - when done properly - will allow you to have the kind of blonde hair that adds a sun-kissed depth to your natural colour. It gives the kind of colour that blends beautifully from root to tip without chunky streaks, over-processed ends or looking like your colour has grown out because you can’t afford to get your roots done.
And it’s not just the likes of Whitney Port, Elizabeth Olsen, Erin Wasson and FOR SHAME Khloe Kardashian that have tempted me. Some of the best examples are to be found is on Pinterest, namely the boards of hairdresser and self-professed ombre expert Guy Tang. From his salon in LA, this colouring wizard creates some of the best balayage on the block and advocates that ombre should always look subtle, seamless and NEVER like those hideous DIY jobs that some of the big brands say you can achieve from the comfort of your own bathroom.
But because funds and work commitments prevent me from travelling to LA, I took myself off to Sugar Cubed instead (Brown Sugar’s trend-driven and more affordable younger sibling) and armed with my Pinterest board bursting with hairspiration, I showed the very talented L’Oreal Colour ID Artist and Sugar Cubed manager Mark Byrne exactly what I was looking for.
He handed me over to Nikki who then applied three shades of colour to the roots, mid-section and ends with a plastic paddle shaped tray yoke. The whole process took less than an hour (a revelation for anyone who knows the pain of a full head of highlights) and although post-shampoo it looked worryingly dark, the final result was just what I asked for - chocolate-brown roots leading to softly smudged blonde ends.
I do want to go blonder but apparently I must be patient and I’ve heard from other converts that the second attempt is always better. But until then, I’ll just have to keep perving on Guy Tang’s pins and counting down the days until I can pay Sugar Cubed another visit.
Have you bitten the balayage bug? Tell all in the comments.
I’ve been working as a fashion and beauty journalist in Ireland and London since 2009 and I’m currently the editor of Creative HEAD Ireland - a magazine dedicated to all things hair. I’m a total magpie when it comes to jewellery, am extremely partial to a shiny red lip and love pedalling around the streets of Dublin on my beloved blue bike Penelope.