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Balayage on Dark Hair: How to Perfect Brunette Balayage

balayage on dark hair before and after
People always say that blondes have more fun, but when it comes to balayage, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Although you might believe that balayage and blondes go hand-in-hand, brunettes can certainly get in on the fun, too. When used on dark haired clients, balayage can deliver a lived-in, natural brunette (or bronde) look.

Luckily, the technique used for a balayage service on dark haired clients isn’t really different from the technique you’d use on blonde clients. The same things apply, including an analysis of the desired end result, the current canvas, the approach you’ll use to reach the goal.

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There are, however, certain considerations you should bear in mind when performing balayage services on brunettes. Here’s a closer look at what you need to watch out for when it comes to balayage on dark hair.

Considerations for Balayage on Dark Hair

1. Avoid unnecessary warmth.

One of the most common challenges stylists face when performing balayage on dark hair is the battle against blorage. In other words, brunette hair is known to lift warm due to the underlying pigments in the hair. Without the proper technique, this can leave the client with unwanted warmth and an overall brassy finish. Remember that this is just one of many reasons color theory is so important to your work as a stylist.

Due to the tendency for dark hair to lift warm, it’s also critically important to communicate with your client and set clear expectations. Balayage is not intended for a clear finish—it often provides a warm to neutral finish. If this isn’t the result your client is looking for, you’re likely going to need to use a different technique to create the desired effect.

2. Choose the right technique.

The beauty of balayage often comes down to the gentle lifting process which creates a natural, sunkissed look to the hair. For this reason, this technique is best suited to clients who want to achieve anywhere between three to six levels of lift.

technique balayage on dark hair

If a client sits in your chair looking for a more dramatic change, traditional foil highlights, foilyage, or another technique will typically be needed. On the other hand, if balayage is actually the right approach for the client but you know you’ll need multiple sessions to reach their end goal, you’ll need to communicate that with them upfront. This way, they’ll have a clear understanding of the time and budget commitment involved in the process.

3. Use the right tools, product, and placement.

Finally, just as with any other balayage service, you need to be sure you’re using the correct placement, tools, developer, and product consistency. To help make these choices easier on yourself, we recommend always conducting a thorough hair consultation at the start of each appointment. This will allow you the opportunity to assess the current state of the hair and formulate a plan of action to bring the desired results to life.

product balayage on dark hair

Mastering Brunette Balayage

Even if you’re most comfortable performing balayage on blondes, there’s no reason not to branch out to clients with different hair colors, lengths, and textures. As always, your technique should be specially tailored to the client in your chair during any given appointment. With a clear idea of the canvas in front of you and the desired outcome, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the right technique and tools to create a stunning look.

To become a master of brunette balayage, you’ll need to keep the considerations above in mind. Going into each appointment with a strong foundation of knowledge is key to perfecting the look.

Want more great balayage tips and advice? Download our Balayage Root Color Tips PDF, or consider signing up for one of our balayage classes or workshops!

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