Celebrating 40 Years of Balayage!

Celebrating 40 Years of Balayage!

At Elayne James Hair Salon & Color Studio we're committed to enhancing your confidence and charisma through beauty! And Balayage is one of the methods we use to do so. Keep reading to learn more about this revolutionary color and highlighting technique that might be older than you think!


What is Balayage?


Glad you asked! Balayage (Bah-Lee-Ahje) is a French word meaning "sweeping" or "scanning"- this is referring to the freehand painting technique used by our service providers. Brushes or combs are "swept" on or through the hair to achieve a natural gradient of color, usually dark to light but it can be done in reverse as well. This technique debuted in the 1970s in Paris under the service name of "Balayage à Coton" named for strips of cotton used during the process in that time period, in the salon "Carita." From there it "swept" (see what I did there?) through Paris as it become more and more famous, even being featured in a 1974 NY Times article titled "Color Your Hair Simply, or Turn It Blue — Salons Can Do It All."

"Balayage was truly revolutionary, created at a time when the industry standard was a frosting cap. The ‘80s brought a wave of foil highlights, so it wasn’t until the ‘90s that balayage made its first inroads in the U.S., mainly among celebrity-early adopters."

Is It Similar to Highlights?


Yes and no! It's important to note that while the same or similar tools are used, the result of these techniques can be VERY different. Highlighting your hair in 2021 more often than not involves foils. Hair is saturated with lightener in a uniform manner to achieve dense stripes of color. Balayage does not use foils- it is a freehand technique wherein our stylist paints the lightener onto or throughout your hair using a brush or comb. This results in a natural gradient- or gradual change- of color throughout the length of your hair with thin and thick pieces that play off of your hair's natural movement. 


How do I know if it's for Me?


Counter point- how do you know it's not for you if you haven't tried it? Balayage is for everyone! It really depends on your hair preference. It's an economical service, there's no harsh line of demarcation with your regrowth and it better preserves the health of your hair than foiling does because of the slower lightening process. Not just that, but by choosing Balayage, you can go longer till your next refresh and it will maintain that blended, free-flowing look! 

"It’s important to note that balayage is definitely not just for blondes. Brunettes, redheads, even those with black hair can all take advantage of hair painting.  The results will be subtle, but they’ll add the dimension that everyone craves, giving a dark brunette swirls of cinnamon or caramel, for example."

Can it be Combined with Other Services?


Absolutely! Balayage is an extremely versatile service that can be combined with almost anything else! We here at EJS would recommend Hair Extensions to even further safeguard the health of your hair and help prevent breakage! We offer Seemless Tape-in, Weft & Hand-Tied Hair Extensions as well as Custom Wigs & Installs!

The best and easiest thing to do is try it out! Highlighting and Balayage can be combined for a unique to you look, and we here at EJS are always available for questions.



For further questions, please call 302-376-5290 and speak to our Guest Services Department.

Written by Yours Truly,
Dean Stirling
Digital Marketing Expert
Elayne James Salon & Hair Color Studio