top banner

Balayage VS Highlights, Which One To Choose?

Get Daily Blog Update
whats app qrcode

Scan The QR Code

Last updated Jan 25, 2024

There are more and more popular hair color trends in the hair market. Looking for a color change but not sure what might be the best choice? There are two popular color techniques to add definition to your hair. Balayage vs highlights, which is better for you?

Do you know the difference between balayage and highlight color? Learning some differences helps you decide which technique is best for you. Today, we will share with you the details of the balayage and highlights.

balayage vs highlights

1. What Is Balayage?

Balayage is a French technique taking the hair world by storm! In French, balayage means "to sweep up." The technique mimics sweeping a brush through the hair, applying color away from the roots to create a softer color effect than beach-fresh natural color.

The application of color can be likened to a triangle, thinner at the top and gradually getting thicker towards the ends of the hair. Balayage is often referred to as the "sun-kissed" effect because the color is applied more subtly to the hair, allowing the hair to grow beautifully.

2. The Pros And Cons Of Balayage


It always looks natural so you don't need to re-do the roots from time to time.

If you want to lighten your tresses and maintain your natural look, getting this hair color is also recommended.

You don't need sun exposure to make your hair look sun-kissed because balayage can do it for you.

It's easier to maintain than full-colored strands.


Few sessions are required to achieve the light color that you want.

It can damage your mane, just like any other coloring technique that uses bleach.

The color may become very orange when the toner fades.

3. What Are Highlights?

Streaks are thick sections of blonde on dark hair, while highlights are placed in smaller sections and are lighter than the natural color, or in some cases we can add color in between the highlights.

To accentuate highlights, you can foil your hair by placing it strategically around your head and then adding color from root to end. The foil retains heat to help the highlight reach the correct brightness level. It's not the color that stands out, it's the technique.

JuliaHair highlight wig

4. The Pros And Cons Of Highlights


It is very subtle and a great option if you don’t want to dye your whole hair. It's also perfect for the summer.

This can enhance the natural color of your tresses, adding a lot of depth and texture to them.

It offers versatility. You can choose any shade you want, depending on your locks’ natural color. This is better than dying your whole head with just one shade.


Since it uses bleach, it can dry out hair, just like balayage.

It will naturally fade, especially when exposed regularly to the sun.

Discoloration may happen as well when exposed to pool chemicals.

5.Balayage VS Highlights: The Similarities?

Balayage and highlights are both lightening processes.

Both require touch-ups after some time as the results are not permanent.

6. Balayage VS Highlights: The Differences?

1) Technology

The balayage colors are hand-painted in a sweeping motion, tending to apply color from the mid-length to the ends. And the highlights are separated with foil. Emphasis on a more even look, favoring color from roots to ends.

2) Risk of damage

Because getting that sun-kissed look requires multiple rounds of bleaching or lightening using high-volume developers, this makes balayage a relatively damaging hair dyeing technique; Highlight can be done with a low-light option on the darker side to control the extent of damage. In short, both will damage your hair.


If you want a balanced, blended, and subdued look, then balayage is for you. If you want a bright and eye-catching look, you should choose highlight.


Highlights usually require more touch-ups because the dividing line between colored hair and roots is more pronounced, requiring touch-ups every few weeks as they grow. Balayage applies color from the middle of the hair, so the roots match the color of our normal hair growth and require less maintenance.


Balayage is a more technical hair coloring technique where you can expect to pay upwards of $200 to $400, while highlights are usually much less expensive, ranging from $100 to $200.

7. Balayage VS Highlights: Which One To Choose?

It all boils down to personal tastes and preferences.

Go for balayage if:

You want subtle highlights.

You have never colored your hair.

You want low-maintenance results.

You want face-framing highlights.

You want natural gray coverage.

Go for highlights if:

You want prominent and high-contrast color patterns.

You want a uniform hair color with multiple shades for a natural look.

You can commit to regular touch-ups and maintenance.

Whether you choose balayage or traditional highlights, coloring your hair can damage your hair. Moreover, brassiness can be an issue for colored hair. In the next section, we have listed a few tips to care for your colored hair.

8. FAQ About Balayage Or Highlights

A: Yes, of course! The balayage technique adds depth to short hair.

Q: What are the different types of balayage?

A: You can go for full balayage, partial balayage, subtle balayage, American balayage, and reverse balayage.

Q: How to go from highlights to balayage?

A: You will need two salon appointments for this. First, the hairstylist will melt your foil line and add some lowlights for dimension. During the next appointment, the colorist or stylist will paint your hair using the balayage technique.

Q: What hair type is more suitable for balayage?

A: Balayage delivers results for all hair types.

Q: Should you try Highlights or Balayage at Home?

A: Highlights and balayage are more complicated techniques than all-over color, and often they are better left to a professional unless you are good at doing your hair and aren’t worried about less-than-perfect results.

If you are thinking of going more than a couple of levels blonde or you have a lot of permanent dye on your hair, it’s better to see a colorist because you may end up with very damaged hair, banding where the old dye hasn’t lifted properly or brassy tones.

If you decide to go for it, start with a few highlights and add more until you are happy with the result. Less is more, and it’s much easier to add some more highlights or go blonder than to try and darken bleached strands.


In the end, what’s the biggest takeaway in the balayage vs highlights? Balayage and highlights are both great options. Balayage is more natural and time-efficient than regular highlights. It requires less upkeep and can easily be changed without doing more hair damage. Growing out a balayage will look completely natural whereas highlights will not.

We will help you choose what is a better option for you and for your desired result. Both options could have a very different maintenance cost and the results will last for a different length of time. Everything depends on what you want to achieve.

Submit Comment


Submit Comment
Write For Us >>

Best Selling Product

You May Also Like

Youtuber Recommend