I love to make a mess with hair colour! There’s nothing better than watching someone completely transform just by lightening or darkening their hair colour. That’s why ombre and balayage suit me perfectly! They give me the freedom to alter colour in any number of ways – dramatically, subtly, in chunks or in strands.
I love these two techniques, the possibilities are endless. I believe that ombre and balayage are revolutionizing the hair colour industry because of the natural and long lasting looks you can achieve, or the outrageous and different textures you can place in the hair. There simply isn’t another colouring technique that can offer hair stylists this range of creative possibilities.
These techniques can achieve the avant garde or they can give you completely smooth and natural hues. Ombre and balayage are the gateway to any number of styles that can add drama, restraint, striking or gentle gorgeousness to anyone’s hair.
As an artist, I love the process of applying the colour. It’s a very raw process. Something akin to the way a painter would approach a canvas or a sculptor would approach a slab of marble. I call on a variety of tools – sponges, brushes and even my hands to scrunch the colour in. It’s a beautiful messy and tactile process that is so far removed from the ‘set and forget’ process of traditional hair colouring.
As you can see from the picture below of my lovely client Elaine, we have taken her to a wonderful and flattering golden blonde with deeper hair colour on her roots and she looks completely natural. A lot of the time foul highlights can give you the colour that you want, but the final look can be too obvious and too posed.
I have been doing a lot of ombre and balayage through the summer months to get people beach ready! It’s the perfect technique for blondes that want to look natural but heavily textured and be maintenance free right through their holidays. It’s also perfect for giving brunettes that sunkissed, healthy look.
I am so looking forward to doing ombre and balayage through autumn, I’m already working on some beautiful coppers and other warm tones that sing the season and give a completely new and fresh look to the hair.
New techniques in ombre and balayage emerge all the time, and what I love is sometimes they just come to you whilst applying hair colour to my clients or just while I’m out and about! (I never switch off or stop creating!) The freedom of the application and the improvisation it allows means you can literally dream something up and create it.
Ombre and balayage have provided so much creative freedom to me as a hair artist and a hairdresser, I love monitoring the development of the techniques and the development of my own techniques. Ombre and balayage have really opened me up as an artist and the two techniques have breathed a new life into hair styling and artistry.
Foil highlights definitely have their place, but it’s about remembering where that place is. Techniques like ombre and balayage allow you to step out of the box and smash some of the rigidness that hairdressers can sometimes fall into. Ombre and balayage have restored the hair stylist to the position of the artist.
The only negative about ombre and balayage is that the stylistic effects last for so long that I see my clients half as much! This drawback pales in comparison to the sheer thrill and passion that my entire team feels when we get to call upon all of our skill and artistic endeavour to literally paint a new hairstyle.
Hairdressers all entered the industry on the back of a passion for creation. Unfortunately, this passion can get lost amongst the repetitive nature of applying foils, doing blow waves and trimming hair. It becomes a mechanical rather than a creative process.
Thanks to balayage and ombre, we can shake off the mechanical and embrace sheer, raw creation. Hair stylists need to remember that their canvas is living. The styles they create inform the way a person feels about themselves and construct their identity. We need to honour the gravity of the task we have been given and regain that passion for creation we started off with. We need to become artists, not machines and ombre and balayage is the perfect way to achieve this.