Balayage, curlyage, ombre and highlights: What is the difference and which is best for me?

How often do you experiment with your hair colour? Have you had highlights or lowlights, tried ombre or balayage? Whether you're stuck in a colour rut or you jump feet first into every big new trend, this article will outline everything you need to know about some of the most popular hair colour trends and whether they're right for you.

Highlights and Lowlights

Highlights and lowlights are a traditional colour technique that will allow you to get a dynamic change with a natural look. These techniques offer dimensional hair colour by going either a few shades darker (low lights) or lighter (highlights) to suit your skin tone and desired look.

Both highlights and lowlights are achieved by colouring small, strategically chosen strands of hair. Foil is often used to keep each section from dyeing the hair beneath each highlight.

Regular maintenance is a must with highlights. As the colour grows out, your roots will show.

Ombre and Balayage

These sound like totally different techniques but the truth is, ombre and balayage are very similar and both use the same "painting" technique to subtly saturate areas of your hair with dye. This technique of applying hair colour by painting it or gently sweeping colour across the hair is called "balayage". If you get balayage you get the standard painting technique across your entire hair whereas an ombre look would be using the balayage technique to create a fade from dark roots to light tips.

The benefit of the balayage technique (used in both ombre and balayage) is that it creates longevity as the subtle colour application grows out more naturally. It can be free-hand painted or done with foils. Every stylist has their own technique that works the best for them. When we talk about balayage as a style, it means a soft, sun-kissed look that alters the colour of the hair. With ombre, the gradient of colour goes from dark roots to light tips. This is especially great for those who seek longevity. Busy moms and even pregnant mamas who don't want dye anywhere near their scalp can benefit from this look.


Have you heard of curlyage? Balayage is fairly simple to apply to straight and wavy hair types, but when it comes to curls, you want the colour to be applied more specifically to show off the texture. Curlayage is the same technique as balayage with specific care taken to highlight your natural waves. The outcome is a dynamic and personalized look that fits your curls perfectly.

Here are the best products to keep coloured hair fresh and vibrant:

BB cream by AG
BB Cream is a hair primer, protecting and smoothing the hair before styling and ensuring that colour doesn’t fade. With thermal protection, this product is perfect for moisturizing frizzy hair, adding silkiness and protecting against UVA and UVB rays even when using heat for styling. 

Deflect fast dry heat protection by AG
Deflect is an amazing product that reduces drying time, protects hair from the damaging effects of heat styling and adds shine and vibrancy to your coloured hair. 

Sterling Silver Shampoo and Conditioner by AG
We know that blonde and silver need a little extra conditioning and toning. Sterling Silver Shampoo and Conditioner by AG is formulated to keep hair vibrant, conditioned and to eliminate brassy and yellow tones. 

Angel Wash and Rinse by Kevin.Murphy
Kevin Murphy’s Angel wash and rinse is an antioxidant rich product that protects against heat and colour damage, strengthening the hair and reducing breakage. It is colour safe and amazing for all hair types. 

Blonde Angel Wash by Kevin.Murphy
Specifically for blondes, the Blonde Angel Wash by Kevin Murphy added brightness and shine to all tones of blonde. It reduces brassy colouring and helps prevent colour stripping.

Colour Me Angels by Kevin.Murphy
The Angel Colour Treatments by Kevin Murphy are a family of four colour enhancing treatments which are designed specifically for your specific hair tone, leaving your hair shiny, nourished and illuminated

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