reverse brunette balayage

Reverse Brunette Balayage: The New Hair Trend That’s Going To Turn Balayage Upside Down


The term balayage has been used in salons around the globe for quite a number of years now. Ever since we saw the sun-kissed curls of Carrie Bradshaw strutting down the street of New York City, we wanted deeper roots and bright ends to boot.

One of the biggest appeals in favour of the famous balayage is the easy maintenance. Yes, you still need a regular trim, a good hair conditioner and maybe even a leave-in treatment from time to time, but not having to top up our roots with highlights every 4 to 6 weeks is a big seller.

So, with a new year comes many new hair trends and this one could be about to turn the balayage trend upside-down, literally.

Introducing the reverse brunette balayage. Working in reverse of the original, the roots are a bright blonde sweeping down into an ombre display of multiple brunette tones towards the ends. In other words, a complete 180 to our better-known hair staple.

Like all balayages, this look is created by painting the colour on in much thicker chunks, when compared to regular highlights, giving the overall look more depth. The darker brown tones become much more saturated towards the ends of the lengths of hair, but this can be done to each client’s tastes individually, allowing for lots of creativity for hair stylists.

As with all hair dye looks, it is super important to select the right colours and tonal choices for your own skin tone. This is something that any great hair stylist will be able to help you with. Where some early-adopters of the reverse balayage have gone more subtle and natural, some have taken the look to the colour extreme.

This look, by Destiny Day from Sacramento, uses platinum blonde at the root of the hair. This bright blonde palette covers the entire crown of the head, falling approximately to the nape of the neck, where it begins to blend with a softer shade of blonde. The richer and darker brown tones sweep underneath the blonde, revealing themselves for just the last few inches of hair. It’s a bold look to try, but being aware of the root maintenance is going to be key here to keep it fresh.

The nice thing about reverse brunette balayage is how effortlessly it works with different shades of brown or blonde. Don’t fancy the platinum blonde look on top? Opt for a more natural honey, as pictured above, and flow into a darker brown for the same level of contrast, without all that harshness that platinum blonde can do to your hair.

Another interpretation of the trend, this one focuses more on platinum-grey locks that graduate in natural blonde and through into a beautiful brunette shade. Set in glam waves, the colour literally cascades down the hair, for a look that’s sure to have heads turning.

The major downside to this hair trend is the previously mentioned root touch-ups. Beginning the blonde colouring so close to the root will mean regular trips to the salon to ensure you don’t end up with a double balayage effect at both ends of the hair. This is much more high maintenance than the original balayage, where you could get away with not having colour if you did too much shoe shopping that month! However, there is an alternative for those of you feeling a bit shifty about the idea of graduating from blonde to brunette.

The work of Shear Madness salon, this look takes the idea of reverse brunette balayage, returns the brunette colouring back to the roots and then graduates to a fiery red to give the whole look a multi-dimensional effect. While not quite true to the original reverse brunette balayage, it is better for those of us not quite ready to take the leap and opt for blonde roots!

So, will you be making the switch from your regular balayage? Or taking the plunge from your usual head of highlights? It’s a brand-new look for the year, but our sources tell us that it’s going to be a big one for 2018.

What do you make of the reverse brunette balayage trend? Share your thoughts with us in the comments on Facebook and Twitter.

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