Balayage, the hair highlighting technique that results in a subtle color fade from root to tip, has held court as a dominant trend these past few years. It's easy to understand the appeal: Not only does balayage give hair a cool ombre appearance, it's also low-maintenance, allowing the roots to grow in without disrupting the overall look.
We've witnessed blond, brunette and even technicolor unicorn takes on the trend, but what you're about to see is new to us:
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Reverse balayage?! There's no denying the execution is lovely. The question is ... why?
"It's something fun and different," Deryn Daniels, an Evergreen, Colorado, hairstylist who performs the technique, told TODAY Style. "It's something cool that can be done for people who have naturally blond hair and wouldn't really want to bleach it."
She continued, "Even for blondes, the style of balayage appeals. It's naturally painted, and it blends in easier when it grows." Basically, reverse balayage lets the fair-haired get in on the fun — and lets anyone else who's tired of the same old look stand out in the crowd.
Feeling the reverse ombre vibes? There are a few things you may want to keep in mind before jumping in. First, this is a lowlighting technique, meaning you'll be adding color to the hair rather than stripping it out. All dyes fade with time, so you'll have to get your ends periodically refreshed to keep them from looking mousy — not an issue when going lighter.
Additionally, balayage typically builds on the natural shade of the roots, allowing any new growth to blend seamlessly. That means if your strands aren't sunny blond, you'll have to dye (and re-dye) your whole head frequently to maintain the light-to-dark look.
That's why Daniels recommends this technique for a natural blonde who might be hesitant to fully go to the dark side. "It would be perfect for someone who likes a low-maintenance style but wants to jazz it up and express themselves through hair color," she said.