Highlight VS Balayage, What's The Difference?

highlight vs balayage

Are you looking for new hair color but don't know if you want highlights or balayage? Don't worry; you're not alone! It's difficult to understand the difference between highlights and balayage, especially when choosing the right look for your wig. That's why we're here to break it down for you and explore the difference between highlights and balayage for hair color. 

Highlighting and balayage are techniques used to lighten hair, but they are very different in their application and the results they produce.

Highlights use small sections of hair lightened with bleach, while balayage is a freehand technique where the hair is painted with a lightener.

The difference in application leads to a difference in results. Highlights can provide a more uniform, streaky look, while balayage creates a more natural, sun-kissed look. 

So, if you're looking for a new hair color and aren't sure which route to go, you're in the right place! Let's explore the difference between highlights and balayage for hair color.

Overview Of Highlights

Highlights are a great way to add depth, dimension, and color to your hair. They can make any hair color look natural, beautiful, and vibrant with the correct technique. But before you decide to get highlights, you should know all the different highlights and the pros and cons that come with them. So, let's get started! 

What Are Highlights? 

what are highlights

Highlights are streaks of color added to your hair to create contrast and depth. This technique is usually done with a special dye applied to sections of your hair.

Highlights can range from subtle and natural to bright and bold. You can also choose from different techniques to achieve the look you want. Check highlights ideas for black hair now!

What Are The Different Types Of Highlights? 

types of highlights

Highlights have three main types: traditional, babylights, and lowlights. Traditional highlights are the most common type of highlight. They are usually thicker and placed further apart. 

Babylights are thinner and more delicate, creating a subtle, sun-kissed look. 

Lowlights are darker than your natural hair color and are usually placed on the underside of the hair to add depth and dimension. 

Check trendy highlights for short hair here!

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Highlights? 

1b/27 highlight hair

Highlights can be a great way to add color and dimension to your hair, but there are some drawbacks that you should consider.

Highlights can be expensive, and depending on the type you get, they may require more maintenance than other hair coloring techniques. Getting highlights done by a professional is crucial because they can damage your hair. 

How Long Do Highlights Take? 

Highlights typically take around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. However, the time to do your highlights can vary depending on the type of highlights you get and the length of your hair.

For example, babylights take longer than traditional highlights because they are more detailed. 

how to dye highlights on hair

Now that you know more about highlights and how they work, you can decide whether they are right for you. So, if you plan on getting highlights, remember to research and find a professional who can do the job right.

Ok, now that you know more about highlights, let's explore the difference between highlights and balayage. While both techniques involve lightening the hair, they produce different results due to the way they are applied. In the next section, we'll delve into the specifics of balayage and how it differs from traditional highlights.

Overview Of Balayage

Balayage is a type of hair coloring technique that has quickly become one of the most popular hair coloring trends in recent years.

This method of hair color application offers a more natural, sun-kissed look that is gentler on the hair than traditional highlights.

In this section, we will explore what balayage is, what types there are, and the pros and cons of this hair coloring technique.

What Is Balayage?

what is balayage

Balayage is a French word meaning "to sweep" or "to paint," which is precisely what it is. Balayage is a freehand hair coloring technique where the color is applied by hand in small, sweeping strokes.

This technique gives the hair a natural, sun-kissed look that is softer and more subtle than traditional highlights. It is a low-maintenance hair coloring method that requires fewer frequent touch-ups than other coloring techniques.

What Are The Different Types Of Balayage?

You can choose from several different types of balayage depending on the look you want. The most popular types of balayage are the traditional balayage, the ombré balayage, the foil balayage, and the babylights balayage. Each balayage type has a unique look and can be tailored to fit your style.

Now that you understand balayage well, let's dive into the pros and cons of this famous hair coloring technique.

While balayage can create a natural, low-maintenance look, it comes with some drawbacks that you should consider. In the next section, we'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of balayage to help you decide if it's right for you.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Balayage?

brown balayage

Balayage is an excellent option for a more natural, sun-kissed look. It is a low-maintenance hair coloring technique that requires less frequent touch-ups than other coloring techniques.

However, balayage is more expensive and time-consuming than other coloring techniques. On average, balayage takes around 2–3 hours to complete and requires a more experienced hair colorist.

How Long Does Balayage Take?

dye balayage hair

The time required to complete a balayage treatment varies depending on the thickness and length of the hair and the desired look. On average, balayage takes around 2–3 hours to complete. This is significantly longer than traditional highlights, typically taking an hour or less.

If you're still unsure whether to choose highlights or balayage for your hair color, don't worry. In the next section, we'll compare highlights and balayage side-by-side. We'll discuss the differences in results, maintenance, and cost, so you can decide which technique is best for you.

Highlights VS Balayage, What's The Difference?

In coloring your hair, there are so many options out there that it's difficult to choose the right one. Two of the most popular options are highlights and balayage, but how do they differ?

Let's look at the differences between highlights and balayage in color and style, application procedure, result, and maintenance.

Color & Style

highlights vs balayage

Regarding hair color, highlights, and balayage offer two distinct styles. Highlights are created using a foil-wrapping technique that allows for precise color application. This technique allows the stylist to place color in specific sections of the hair, creating a bolder look with more contrast.

Balayage is a freehand painting technique that creates a more natural, sun-kissed look. By hand-painting the hair with a brush, the stylist can create a subtle, nuanced color that looks effortless and natural.

Application Procedure

The application procedure for highlights and balayage is also different.

For highlights, the stylist will section off the hair and apply color to each section, typically using a foil-wrapping technique.

Balayage is applied freehand with a brush, allowing for a more natural, effortless look. The stylist can apply the color to fewer sections of the hair, allowing for a more subtle look.

Dyeing Result

The results of highlights and balayage are also different.

Highlights typically create a bolder look with more contrast, while balayage creates a more natural, sun-kissed look.

Also, highlights are more versatile and can create a wide range of looks, from bold and dramatic to subtle and natural. Balayage is more versatile and can create a wide range of looks, from sun-kissed and subtle to bold and dramatic.


In maintenance, highlights and balayage require different levels of upkeep. Highlights must be touched every four to six weeks to keep the color vibrant and fresh. Balayage usually lasts up to three months since the color is applied naturally and fades more gradually.

How To Choose Between Balayage And Highlight?

Choosing between balayage and highlights can be a tricky decision. Ultimately, it comes down to the look you're trying to achieve and the level of commitment you're willing to make.

Balayage is a freehand technique that creates a more natural, softer look, while highlights are more precise and create a bolder, more artificial look. Balayage requires less maintenance and is less likely to look damaged or brassy. 

highlight pk balayage

Highlights can create dramatic color changes but require frequent touch-ups to keep the look vibrant. Consider the level of maintenance you're willing to commit to, the look you're trying to achieve, and the cost associated with each technique before you decide.

Another factor to consider when choosing between highlights and balayage is your hair type and texture. Hair types may react differently to the various techniques, so choosing the one that works best for your hair is essential. In the upcoming section, we'll discuss how highlights or balayage can be good choices depending on the situation.

Highlight Wig Or Balayage Wig Can Be A Good Choice

1b/613 highlight wig

Highlight wigs offer a great way to add some pizzazz to your look without going through the entire process of dying your hair. You can choose various colors and styles to transform your look in minutes. Highlight wigs are less damaging than traditional hair dye, leaving your natural hair intact.

1b/30 balayage wig

Balayage wigs also offer a great way to switch up your look without a major commitment. Unlike a highlight wig, which has a more uniform look, balayage wigs are painted on to the hair and have a more natural look. This means you can achieve a sun-kissed look without worrying about maintaining the highlights.

Whether you choose a highlight wig or a balayage wig, you can switch up your look without worrying about the damage that traditional hair dye can cause. So why not try out one of these wigs and see what they can do for your look?

How Can You Care For Your Colored Wig?

1. Be Gentle When Handling 

Colored wigs require extra care when handling. This is because dyeing can make the wig delicate and prone to damage. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle the wig, as regular combs can cause breakage. Avoid pulling or tugging on the wig, as this can cause the hair to weaken and become prone to breakage. 

2. Use the Right Water for Washing 

When washing your colored wig, using the correct type of water is crucial. Using too hot or cold water can cause the color to fade or become discolored. Use tepid water and soak the wig for about 15 minutes before washing. This will help to ensure that the color is not washed away. 

3. Use Mild Shampoo or Special Shampoo 

When washing your colored wig, it is vital to use a mild or special shampoo specifically made for colored hair. This will help preserve the color and keep the wig vibrant and fresh. Avoid washing the wig too often, as this will reduce its lifespan. 

4. Apply Hair Care Essential Oil 

When not wearing your colored wig, apply some essential human hair care oil to the colored hair. This will help to keep the wig looking healthy and vibrant. 

5. Store on a Stand or Mannequin 

To maintain the shape of your colored wig, it is best to store it on a stand or mannequin. This will help to keep the wig in the best condition possible.


Highlights and balayage are two popular methods for coloring hair, but they differ. From the time required to the look achieved, exploring the difference between highlights and balayage can help you decide which style best suits your needs. So, don't be left in the dark—try the latest hair color today!

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