The Other Balayage

Ladies! Big news! I have finally after several months of wishing and asking, been granted permission into the land of Fabulous Hair, currently residing at Balayage.

I admit, I didn’t try my best to get there, like venturing out of a 20 km radius to find a salon who really knew what they were on about or flying in Rachel Bilson’s hair dresser, but it was still a very frustrating process to ask three hairdressers to bestow balayage upon me.

It went a little something like this…

“Well you know… I’d like you to do balayage to my hair, when you paint lighter dye on the lower lengths of my hair so I look all sun kissed and naturally grown out. Yeah? Nah?”

Blank stare from hairdresser followed by “Umm, kind of. We could just do your foils, and then a semi around the roots?”

“Um, no. It’s like a gradual faded look …. ”

(Resembles disgruntled ape jumping on chair while pointing to computer screen showing picture of some Young Hot Thing with her way-cool hair and then frantically pointing at my head – grunts included.)

And finally settling for what I did not want.

So I decided to try another salon, Shizu, an Aveda salon, which was offering a new client deal of:

-Hair colour
-Aveda hair treatment
-Eyebrow wax

for NINETY-NINE DOLLARS. Win. Even if I couldn’t get the look I desired, at least the roots would be done with a few pretty extras for less than half of what I was paying before.

And ladies! Even bigger news! You hairdresser may just be confused by the term balayage, not the final look you’re after! I’ve totally had my eyes opened and my hair cuticles awakened to a technique I hadn’t heard of – smudging.

After going through the same consultation process as the past, explaining with aforementioned dialogue and pretty pictures, my hairdresser look confused until it clicked.

“Babe, you mean smudging, not balayage – balayage is when you… ” and she explained for some reason which I can’t explain to justice because all synapses were firing and alert once she mentioned this smudging. Smudging?! A few flicks through Vogue and we were both on the same page and I was delighted to feel understood. It’s all a girl wants right?!

Smudging, she explained, is when you apply a darker coloured semi (just one block colour) to the top half of the hair, and then ‘smudge’ it down the hair shaft to get an uneven, faded edge.

It has the same effect as balayge, just an almost opposite technique. One that works well for girls like moi who have a previous history of blonde foils, as the blonde can be kept as the lower half of the colour.

Something I had always wondered was, would they die my hair darker all over and then paint on the lighter strands down below? Well that seems like a bit of redundant effort now that I know about this glorious smudging! Just saying it makes me smile!

After the darker die was left to sit (while I drank some herbal Aveda tea), the hairdresser then rubbed and dragged the colour down a bit, finally applying toner to the ends to clean up my old blonde – all while an assistant gave me a hand massage (right up to the elbows, that’s the ticket!) with some heavenly smelling Aveda cream.

See the darker dye on top of my head?

It was then off to the basin to rinse the colour out, and have my treatment applied. A piping hot towel was left over my locks to intensify the effects and also my relaxation, before a beautiful head massage sealed the experience.

I love it! It’s exactly the look I was after, nothing too drastic and contrasting, more natural than high fashion. I wouldn’t mind the ends being a shade lighter, but for my first dip in the balayage/smudging pool it’s perfect.

I can’t wait for the lower maintenance and more importantly for me, lower cost – yippee!

A picture of the look to accompany the post would be logical, but is unfortunately currently unavailable due to a serious and debilitating condition I have, “Photo-distort-itus”, where the image presented in my reflection is sadly altered for the worse once photographed. iPhone’s do seem to agitate it. Currently campaigning for a cure. Holla at me if you also suffer.

So, to avoid becoming the angry bouncing ape I once was, have the term ‘smudging’ up your sleeve as well – it’s one more word of vocab you can learn when attempting to speak your non-native language – Hairdresser-ese.Te


14 Responses to “The Other Balayage”

  1. 1 Jade September 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Oooh so that’s what it’s being called, will keep that in mind, currently just letting my regrowth be my faux balayage 🙂

  2. 2 Kristie September 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    cant wait to see it darling, tres chic.

  3. 3 Madison September 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    oh please provide pic,i’m really curious!

  4. 5 Kimmi (@plasticdiaries) September 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Sounds cool! I too want to see a picture.

  5. 7 ampersandmel September 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Picture. Now. Get snapping woman!

  6. 8 Laura September 10, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Looks gorgeous so far!

    My salon is Aveda too, their colour and products are beautiful! Can’t wait to see a pic of the finished product 🙂 xx

  7. 9 Sharon September 10, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Sounds awesome Holly. I’ve considered getting this done myself but too afraid that I won’t like it. I’m so attached to my natural looking blonde hair.
    Would love to see a pic of the final result – make sure you update this post with one VERY SOON! xx

  8. 10 mujj September 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

    WOW – can’t wait to see it baby, at last a “happy with hair Holly.”

    I have booked myself in for this wonderful sounding ‘new client’ offer. Hoping for “happy with hair mum.” xx

  9. 11 Kathy Bierman September 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Awsome web site holly , I am enjoying reading all your advice 🙂 Kathy .

  1. 1 Vanity Shots: Smudging « Am I There Yet? Trackback on September 15, 2010 at 9:01 am

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