Balayage on a budget.
For lazy girls like myself, balayage is the ultimate hair color trend – the naturally sun-kissed, grown-out look doesn’t require much upkeep, so I don’t have to keep running to the salon every 3 weeks for a touch-up. That being said, it can still be quite expensive – typically around $200 per visit. So, being the dedicated beauty editor that I am, I decided to put my locks on the line in the name of science and attempt DIY balayage.
It’s worth mentioning that my only previous experience with at-home hair color was an unfortunate incident involving a full bottle of Sun-In the summer before 8th grade—my hair was orange until winter break. But I figured now that I’m an adult, I’m fully capable of handling this. I think.
I decided to go with the ‘twisting’ technique, which involves twisting your hair into a bunch of small sections and painting color onto the ends. It seemed fairly straightforward, and I already had most of what I needed:
For the rest I moseyed on down to the closest beauty supply store. Trying to decide which color dye to use was a bit overwhelming, but I went with one about 3 shades lighter than my natural color, a good starting point for balayage.
Total damages: $16.04.
48 hours before the big event, I did a patch test just to be sure I wasn’t allergic to any of the ingredients in the dye… am I the only one who follows manufacturer’s instructions to the T? Once I was in the clear, it was time to begin. Deep breath, and:
When I got out of the shower, I was expecting to look in the mirror and have an out-of-body experience. But I was surprised to find that, once dried, my hair still looked like my hair – just with that beachy, sun-kissed vibe. The twisting technique kept the dye from creating a drastic line of color all the way around my head.
Instead, it blended gradually into my darker roots. All in all, this DIY balayage process saved me about $140, was fairly simple and only took about an hour. This beauty editor says: approved!