Last year, I was hankering to do something different with my hair – I wanted a balayage style, but I didn’t have time to research the style, research a salon, and organise some time away to get it done.
Finally for my birthday last week, I decided, yep, it’s time for a hair change.
Balayage (pronounced BAH-LAY-ARGHE) (as in garage or mirage) is a highlighting technique where the lightening agent is painted freehand onto the hair. It’s when there’s a gradient from dark roots to light tips.
Lots of people also call the effect ombre (pronounced OM-BRAY), which refers more to a two-tone colour change, and less of a slow gradual gradient effect. And you can use the word ombre to describe a colour tone change in clothing, accessories, textiles, painted surfaces.
Whatever you call it, done badly, it looks like bad regrowth. You could look like some scary rocker chick. Done superbly, your hair can look naturally highlighted, sun-kissed, full of depth and texture and fresh.
So first I did a bit of research.
This is what I DIDN’T want.
It might look cool on Drew Barrymore, but I didn’t want such a drastic gradient and I didn’t want my ends to be so blonde!
Here Rachel Bilson and Ashley Simpson have a slightly more gradient effect in their hair.
But I still didn’t want so much of my ends to be so light. And the gradient still wasn’t gradual enough.
This is what I wanted. I loved the balayage on Jessica Biel! A gradual highlight, touches of lightened hair tousled between dark and medium colour strands.
And same again in this picture of Lily Aldridge.
(All celebrity pictures were taken from all over the internet without owner’s permission – sorry!)
SO. I called the team from Head Studio, who have done my hair before (I published a review post about them here).
I knew they would do a great job, because they seem to be constantly winning hairdressing prizes, and they are always on the cutting edge (excuse the pun) of new hair styles and trends.
I asked them if I could write a blog feature about the whole process and they kindly offered me a complimentary balayage, for my review. I hoped like crazy that it would turn out ok!!
I walked upstairs and was greeted by one of their GORGEOUS salon rooms.
This photo was taken from the Head Studio website, because when I was there, it was actually was full of women getting their hair done (and understandably, no one wanted to have their picture taken while having hair treatment!).
So this is me at 11am, with my day-old washed hair. Long, straight, black – as it has been for a looooong time.
I was given a proper flat white coffee, a stack of fashion magazines and an orgasmic head massage. Ah I love them already.
Then I met my colourist, Ashley, who had a string of impressive national achievements.
We had an extensive chat about what I wanted. She provided me with an ipad FULL of example hair photos, celebrity hair dos, red carpet photos, fashion and style photos… and we even found the photos of Jessica Beil (pictured above) it was brilliant.
In terms of her technique, when she was working away… she didn’t seem bored, or treat me like I was just-another-head-with-hair-to-colour-today. She was so skilled and attentive to my hair, as if I was a work of art. She came across as a real and rare craftsman (or craftsperson?). She was just awesome.
As for me, I had no doubt the final look would look nice.
But I was sooo nervous. Hence the funny look on my face. The last time I lightened my hair significantly… I was 15! I had bleached my fringe all by myself and it looked pretty bad haha.
But now? What would it look like? Will it suit me? What if I hate it? What if it’s too light? What if I don’t get used to it?
I was finally led to the basins, where all the colour / toner / lightening agent (I have no idea!) was washed out, and I was given a conditioning hair treatment too.
I was led downstairs, my hair was blow dried, curled a bit and THIS WAS THE RESULT!
OMG it was gorgeous!! I WAS SOOOO HAPPPY!
Like seriously, I was so thrilled that I jumped up and gave Ashley a big hug and squeal! I felt so lame, but haha I was completely over the moon!!
I feel like such a bimbo in saying this… but I TOTALLY LOVE MY HAIR!!
Gah it’s so pretty! Why didn’t I do this sooner!?!
She painted a bit of colour in small touches near my eyes and cheeks, to make the gradient more gradual. It’s colour is just perfect, the highlights are lovely, the loose curls are a perfect touch.
I think it really suits me, lifts my complexion, brightens my face and maybe makes me look YOUNGER? What do you think? Forever 25? Haha!
A BIG THANK YOU to the team at Head Studio.
They get 11 out of 10 from me… for customer satisfaction for the service, the final outcome and the overall experience.
I completely recommend these guys! Again!
64 King Street
Perth WA 6000
Phone: 08 9481 6464
Web: www.headstudio.com.au (includes prices and map)