Mon Closed

Tue 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Wed 10:00 am – 7:30 pm

Thu 10:00 am – 7:30 pm

Fri 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Sat 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sun Closed

Amaci Salon

Balayage vs Highlights Hair color compared side by side

Balayage vs Highlights: All Differences You Need To Know!

Blonde hair comes in many shades, so you can achieve blonde hair in many ways. In this blog post, we will explain two popular methods: balayage and highlights.

Balayage vs highlights  is a popular topic. Both are helpful and confusing. You may wonder, “What is the difference between balayage and highlights?” or “Which is best for your beautiful hair?”

However, we have simplified these two methods for you. In this article, we will disclose all the differences between balayage and highlights. So, keep reading!

What is Balayage Hair?

Balayage short hair is a technique where the stylist paints color onto your hair. They use a sweeping motion to create a natural, sun-kissed look. Unlike traditional methods, balayage does not use foils or caps. This results in softer, more blended highlights.

Balayage’s color grows out naturally without harsh lines, making it low-maintenance. It can be used on all hair types and lengths, allowing for a personalized and customizable finish.

Balayage Hair Color

Types of Balayage

Different types of balayage are:

Full Balayage

Full balayage covers your entire head. The stylist paints highlights throughout your hair, from roots to ends. This method creates a dramatic, sun-kissed effect. If you have dark hair, full balayage adds depth and dimension. 

Partial Balayage

Partial balayage for dark hair focuses on specific areas of your hair. The stylist usually applies highlights to the top layer or around your face. This technique is less intense than full balayage.

If you have short hair, partial balayage adds subtle brightness. This method is great for a low-maintenance look. You can still achieve a stylish effect without too much color.


Flamboyage is a mix of balayage and ombre. The stylist applies the color using adhesive strips. This technique gives a more blended and natural look. To add soft highlights to dark hair, you can try flamboyage.


The stylist applies thin strands of color throughout your hair. This technique generates a soft and subtle effect. Babylights are perfect for a natural look on short hair. You can choose colours like ash blonde balayage or balayage Rubio. This method adds a gentle glow to your hair.

Reverse Balayage

Reverse balayage adds darker tones to your hair instead of lightening it. The stylist applies darker shades to the roots and blends them down.

This technique adds depth to blonde or light hair. If you have light hair, reverse balayage creates a rich, dimensional look. This method is also great for maintaining a natural appearance as your hair grows. You can combine balayage on black hair with other colours, like red balayage, for a bold style.

How Long Does Balayage Take?

Balayage usually takes 2 to 4 hours, depending on your hair length and thickness. If you have short hair, it might take less time, but long or thick hair can take longer. The stylist needs time to hand paint the trendy highlights for short hair.

They must carefully blend the colors for a natural look. Sometimes, you might need a consultation first. This helps the stylist understand what you want. They can plan the process better.

What are Hair Highlights?

Hair highlights, which can be subtle or bold, create contrast and add dimension to hairstyles. They brighten the overall appearance and add depth to hairstyles. 

The process involves applying the color using a brush or foils. You can choose shades like blonde, caramel, or red. Highlights work well on all hair types and lengths. They enhance your hair without a full-colour change.

Moreover, the technique allows for a natural or dramatic effect. Highlights grow out in a way that blends with your natural hair, making maintenance easier. Furthermore, highlights are a versatile option for updating your look.

Highlights hair color

Types of Highlights

Highlights come in various styles, each offering a unique look. The types of highlights are:

Traditional Foil Highlights

Traditional foil highlights are a classic choice. The stylist uses foils to section off parts of your hair and applies the color to these sections for a precise result. This technique creates uniform highlights. Depending on the color, you can achieve a natural or bold look.

However, sometimes you may want balayage black hair with blonde highlights. Traditional foil highlights suit all hair types and lengths. This method gives you a polished appearance.

Chunky Highlights

Chunky highlights make a bold statement. The stylist adds thick sections of color to your hair, creating a striking contrast with your natural color. Chunky highlights work best if you want a dramatic change.

They add depth, style and dimension to your hairstyle. You can choose vibrant colors for a fun look or natural blonde highlights for cool looks. Chunky highlights are perfect for standing out.

Peekaboo Highlights

Peekaboo highlights offer a playful touch. The stylist hides the highlights on short hair under the top layer, and they peek through when you move. Peekaboo highlights work well for a subtle, stylish effect.

You can choose bright or pastel colors for a fun surprise. This style keeps a professional look with a hint of flair. Peekaboo highlights add a unique twist to your hairstyle.


Babylights create a soft, natural look. The stylist applies very fine highlights throughout your hair, mimicking the sun’s natural lightning effect. Babylights work well for a subtle enhancement. 

However, babylights or blonde highlights in brown hair add a gentle glow and dimension to your hair. This technique suits all hair types and lengths.

Balayage VS Highlights: A Detailed Comparison

Balayage and highlights colors enhance your hair. They both add dimension and brightness. But they differ in application, maintenance, and overall look.

However, the differences between balayage and highlights are:

Aspect  Balayage Highlights
Application Method Hand-painted, sweeping motion Foils used to section hair
Appearance Natural, sun-kissed look More defined, uniform color
Maintenance Low maintenance, blends with natural growth Higher maintenance, visible regrowth
Ideal For Creating a soft, blended look Achieving bold, noticeable color changes
Hair Types Works perfectly on all type  of hair and lengths Suitable for all hair types, more noticeable on longer hair
Time Required 2-4 hours 1-3 hours
Customization High, personalized color placement Moderate, specific sections highlighted
Popular Shades  Ash blonde, copper, red, and natural hues Blonde, caramel, and vibrant colors

Balayage is low-maintenance and blends with your hair as it grows. It allows for high customization. Popular shades include ash blonde, copper, and red.

Highlights, however, use foils to section off parts of your hair. This method gives a more defined, uniform color. Highlights require more maintenance because the regrowth is more visible.

They suit all hair types but are more noticeable on longer hair. Highlights help achieve bold color changes with shades like blonde, caramel, and other vibrant colors.

Balayage vs. Highlights: Which Type Should You Choose?

Balayage and highlights both add brightness and dimension to your hair. You should choose depending on your style, maintenance preference, and desired look.


  • Application Method: Stylists hand-paint the color using a sweeping motion.
  • Appearance: It creates a natural, sun-kissed look.
  • Maintenance: It is low maintenance and blends with natural hair growth.
  • Ideal For: Balayage is perfect for those seeking a soft, blended look.
  • Hair Types: Balayage is effective on all hair types and lengths.
  • Customization: High, allowing personalized color placement.
  • Popular Shades: Ash blonde, copper, red, and natural hues.
  • Time Required: Takes 2-4 hours.


  • Application Method: Stylists use foils to section and color hair.
  • Appearance: It gives a more defined, uniform color.
  • Maintenance: Requires more upkeep due to visible regrowth.
  • Ideal For: Those wanting bold, noticeable color changes.
  • Hair Types: Highlights are suitable for all hair types, especially noticeable on longer hair.
  • Customization: Moderate, with specific sections highlighted.
  • Popular Shades: Blonde, caramel, and vibrant colors.
  • Time Required: Takes 1-3 hours.

Balayage vs Highlights: Pros & Cons

The unique pros and cons of balayage and highlights are:

Feature Balayage – Pros  Balayage – Cons  Highlights – Pros  Highlights – Cons
Technique Freehand painting for a natural look Can be more expensive initially Precise and uniform application Can appear less natural
Maintenance Low-maintenance Requires a skilled stylist Can be high or low-maintenance depending on the look More frequent touch-ups needed
Blend with Natural Hair Blends seamlessly with natural hair May not be as vibrant on darker hair Creates defined, bold streaks Obvious regrowth lines
Customization Highly customizable Requires careful application to avoid patchiness Easier to achieve dramatic changes Less customizable
Initial Cost May have higher initial cost but lasts longer Higher upfront cost Lower initial cost Higher overall maintenance cost
Touch-Up Frequency It requires less frequent touch-ups It may require toner applications Frequent touch-ups keep hair looking fresh Frequent touch-ups can cause damage
Time Required for Application Typically takes longer but results last longer Longer application time Quicker application process Faster application but more frequent visits
Effect on Hair Health Less damage as fewer touch-ups are needed Can dry out hair if not properly maintained Can give your hair a thicker appearance It can lead to more damage due to frequent chemical treatments

The Bottom Line

We are at the end of our guide on balayage vs highlights.

When deciding between balayage highlights and traditional highlights, it’s essential to consider which will best enhance your unique hair style and add a new dimension to your hair. 

However, both techniques at Amaci Salon offer different benefits suited to various hair types and styling preferences. Balayage involves freehand painting, resulting in a more blended look that’s usually lighter than your base color.

It offers a low-maintenance way to achieve sun-kissed hair. Traditional highlights, on the other hand, create precise and accentuated strands but may need more frequent touch-ups.

Before choosing, a professional consultation is recommended to protect your hair and ensure the new colour matches your base colour and hair goals. Whether you opt for a full balayage or specific lighter streaks, this decision will significantly impact your hair’s appearance and health.