Hair Color 101


Hair color can be the most transformative salon service.  As many of you know, I have always done more color services than anything else.  There’s not much I haven’t seen and done, over the years.

Hair color trends come and go, chunky highlights, anyone?  Today, it seems, the easier the better. We’ve been riding the wave of more natural looks for the past few years.  Natural sun kissed highlights can be a very low maintenance option.  Highlights can be achieved several ways, foil, balayage, and ombre.  What’s the difference?




  1. a technique for highlighting the hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.

    Balayage is a French hair color technique that goes way back to the 70’s.  It refers to the sweeping motion of manually placing the highlights in the hair.  We use cotton and sometimes plastic wrap to separate the hair.  There are lots of options with balayage.  It can involve a base color or be done without one.  There’s the hair line balayage, which is exactly what it sounds like, hand-painted highlights around the hairline with a couple on the part line.  There’s a partial balayage.  Much like a partial foil, it covers the top and sides of the head.  Then, the Mack daddy, the full balayage, pretty much the whole head.  Balayage is more time and labor intensive, thus costing more than a traditional partial or full foil.  Balayage can be a low maintenance option, as it still looks good with some outgrowth.  You see so many super models with this look, pick up any fashion magazine, and it’s everywhere.  Think Gisele!




    adjective: ombré

    1. having tones of color that shade into each other, graduating from light to dark.

      Ombré is a color service that involves creating a darker base at the roots, and gradually lightening the ends.  It can also be referred to as dip dyeing.  It can be super easy, or super complicated, depending on the starting color of the hair.  It’s the most trendy option right now, with lots of celebrities rocking roots on purpose.  It can last forever, with infrequent base color touch ups.  It’s not for everyone, as it tends to look better on wavy, more textured hair.  Think Khloe K!

      What is the difference between foils and balayage?  I’m so glad you asked.

      Foils make a more dramatic impact.  They gather more hair in each subsection than a balayage, so you get more hair being lightened or colored.  Foils can be done with a base color, or without.  Maintenance on a foil is anywhere between visits every 6-8 weeks.  There’s nothing like a foil for bright blondes, and that continues to be my most popular service.

      There’s a highlight option that fits everyone.  You just have to decide how much maintenance you’re willing to do.  Before any color service, be sure that your stylist does a thorough consultation.  Discuss maintenance, cost, skin tone, and realistic desired results.  Happy highlighting, ladies!

      Of course, I’d be happy to do a consultation for anyone in the Charlotte area.

      8 the Salon


      Charlotte, NC

      Until Next Time,


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