What Is Layage, And How Is It Different From Balayage?

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  • We quizzed an expert on the difference between two of the hottest hair colour trends ever

    Layage hair is shaping up to be the hottest hair since, well, balayage. But how is it any different? We spoke to colour expert Michael Kelly of Taylor Taylor London to get the lowdown on how to pull it off.

    Read on for your complete guide to the newest hair trend on the block…

    What is layage?

    Layage is the hot new highlighting hair trend we want done on our locks, and involves dividing the hair into sections and splaying it on a large, flat board (hence the name layage), and painting the colour onto strands using a delicate brush.


    Source: Instagram/bprsocial

    What does layage look like?

    The technique is like a more subtle version of ombre hair, and can be used to create natural, subtle tones or simply to give your natural colour a little lift by blending complimentary hues.

    Because the client’s hair is is laid flat on a surface with the head tilted back (hello, relaxation time) the colourist has maximum control over how the dye is applied, which results in a merged, gradient effect.

    Who can pull it off?

    The great thing about this latest hair trend is that it pretty much suits anyone, of any hair type (yay). If you’re blonde, you can go for a blended sun-kissed look like Gigi Hadid and if you’re darker, then layage can be used to lighten your ends like Lily Aldridge’s locks. Other A-listers who have inspired this hot look include Miranda Kerr and Rihanna.


    What’s the difference between balayage and layage?

    ‘Layage, like balayage is a technique where your colourist freehand paints strands of colour to form a cohesive blend of complimentary tones that create dimension and depth to your hair’ says Michael.

    ‘Unlike balayage, this technique is designed to be done whilst resting your head on a specially crafted table.

    ‘Some articles have explained that layage is more fluid way of hair painting but I disagree. Balayage is designed to replicate what the sun has done to the hair naturally whereas fluid hair painting is balayage done differently’ he adds.

    ‘Good colour should be graduated seamlessly, uninterrupted in cascading hues and look as though you’ve been on a tropical holiday.’
    OK, as much as we loved balayage, we’re all for a hairstyle that will make us look like we’re on a permanent holiday. Sign us up for an immediate make-over please…

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