41 Hottest Balayage Hair Color Ideas for 2016

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If you want a hair style that is considered to be low-maintenance, won’t leave you in the salon every few weeks, doesn’t matter if you let your roots grow out and can even be done from the comfort of your own home, you need to look no further. The answer is simple – balayage.

Almost like ombre but less structured than that, the balayage style is a free-hand design normally incorporating light and dark shades of browns, blondes, reds, coppers and more. If you don’t think this look could be right for you, keep on scrolling. There’s a look to suit everyone – that’s the greatest thing about the balayage highlights!

1. Medium Cut + Balayage

Instagram / beautiful-hair

Source: @beautiful.hair

If you want to get balayage hair just right, you need to do things in the right order. First, you need to determine the cut of your hair and then you need to go ahead and add the color. If you do this the wrong way around, cutting your hair after dying can change the entire look and dynamic of the effect. You might find that you don’t see it at all.

This look shows you how to balayage on medium length hair to give it some extra depth but when done properly, this is a look that will perfect any length.

2. Caramel Balayage on Long Hair

Instagram / beauty_supreme

Source: @beauty_supreme

Long hair gives you the chance to play around a little more and although you can go brighter and bolder if you wanted to, there’s nothing to stop you from using neutral, understated tones for a look that is simply stunning. Darker going to lighter, this is a great way to grow out those roots. Give your hair a break from all that bleaching and over-dying. Let the natural come through and blame it in on the balayage!

3. Blonde Ombre Balayage

Instagram / off7thsalon

Source: @off7thsalon

Believe it or not, balayage hair isn’t a new technique. It was actually first used back in the 1970’s in France. Going back to basics and working freehand, rather than using foils to achieve lowlights or highlights, the dyes are added to the hair as and when, taking the natural movement into consideration when placing the color sections.

This blonde look shows you how to incorporate ombre in with your balayage and although it might take a while to achieve, is a look that everyone will be talking about for all the right reasons.

4. Orange Balayage

The aim of the game with balayage hair is to use the same principles as you would with your makeup bronzer. You want to hit the hair that would normally be bleached lighter by the sun. Let your hair flow free and apply the contrasting shades and tones to just the areas the sun would naturally have a chance to get to. It’s a more natural look than highlights and lowlights, and that’s what makes it so wearable.

5. Copper Balayage Highlights

Instagram / off7thsalon

Source: @off7thsalon

Nothing looks better with the balayage style than corkscrew ringlets and they don’t need to be super tight like those old 80’s do’s either!

Using wide-barrelled curling irons, hold it vertical to achieve these twisted curls and don’t brush them out when you’re done. Leave the individual corkscrews in place.

6. Sunrise Color Melt

This look is high fashion and high style… Whilst still being super low maintenance. You could wash your hair the night before and throw in braids over night to get these beautiful multi-tonal waves. Add some sea salt/beach spray to give it that added boho crunch, and maybe even some flowers too!

7. Soft Blonde Balayage

The look screams ‘I’ve been away all summer on a yacht’ and with the right tan… Perfection! We won’t tell anyone you spent all summer in your own back yard and neither will your hair stylist. Just ask her to follow the pattern the sun would normally lighten your hair and you’ll have a natural balayage look.

8. Natural Base +  Balayage Highlight and Lowlight

Instagram / beauty_supreme

Source: @beauty_supreme

Penelope Cruz is a fan of this brown and red look and she’s actually sported a balayage look or two over the years too. If you don’t fancy going quite as copper as this, add more blonde into the mix to mute it down, or add more cherry/mahogany browns.

9. Long Bob + Blonde Balayage

Instagram / habitsalon

Source: @habitsalon

If you fancy going really light blonde but without all the hassle and hardship on your hair, this long bob with beautiful bright blonde tones running through it is just perfection. It’s a great way to wear shorter hair (who said shorter hair couldn’t rock curls) and the different colors and shades will help to add a bit of depth if you have fine or limp hair.

10. Tousled Melt

This is the kind of look you would normally only see on the likes of Latino lovelies such as Jennifer Lopez but with balayage now bang on trend, there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a go. This trend has quite the celebrity following with J-Lo herself sporting it as well as Beyonce, British TV girl Cat Deeley, Elizabeth Olsen and more.

11. Copper Hair + Blonde Lowlights

Instagram / hairloungeno1

Source: @hairloungeno1

Once upon a time, you’d only see blonde and copper together in the early 90’s back when Ginger Spice used to rock it. It’s become more popular these days however and this blonde and copper balayage look is great if you fancy taking a trip back to your younger years!

Great for mature hair and young hair alike, it’s a great way to go back to your roots if you’re a natural redhead too!

12. Gold Blonde Balayage on Dark Hair

Instagram / jadergeneroso

Source: @jadergeneroso

Dark roots and blonde ends are not normally two things you’d associate with high-fashion but as this newest hair color design shows you, anything is possible. Even dark roots CAN be made to look great. Whether you’re growing out your previous lighter blonde, or just want to add something new to your ‘do, the dark and blonde balayage look is just perfect.

13. Violet Balayage

Instagram / hugosalon

Source: @hugosalon

The style of balayage means that you can go as bright or as daring as you like. Although many women opt for a more natural effect, there’s nothing to stop you adding a pop of color as shown in this dark to purple look. Not quite an ombre but almost, there’s a lot of depth to this look and with the right wide-barrel curls, can give you a high-fashion glam style that’ll get heads turning.

14. Caramel & Blonde Balayage

Instagram / glamiris

Source: @glamiris

If you have thin or fine hair, the balayage look is great to help add volume and thickness. Because of the different shades and tones in the colors you’re using, your hair will look revitalised afterwards. The light-catching shades will make you look as if you have much thicker hair.

15. Red Balayage

If you fancy giving red hair a shot but don’t really want pillar-box red, why not opt for an orangey-red balayage instead? Combining different shades of the color will help it to look more natural if you don’t really want ‘crazy hair’ which is what has made it so popular among women – there are a hundred ways to wear it, from natural to out-there.

16. Medium Length Hair + Copper Balayage

Instagram / ks_studio_

Source: @ks_studio_

Fuss-free and flattering too, this copper balayage look shows you how you can rock the latest designer color styles even if you don’t have long, luscious locks. Give your hair a break and leave those extensions out. Going back to basics is what it’s all about with balayage designs.

17. Strawberry Blonde Balayage

Is it red? Is it ginger? Can you see pink in there too? It’s a mix of all the colours of red and strawberry blonde and somehow, it just works. You get the opportunity to play around with much brighter colors with a look like ombre or balayage, and as this look shows, even redheads can benefit from a bit of multi-tonal color. It really makes your hair come alive!

18. Gold Caramel Highlights

Instagram / off7thsalon

Source: @off7thsalon

If you want an easy start with the balayage look, start the colouring off further down. If you have longer hair, you can play around a little more with how you apply the color and as you can see here, even the lighter tones on the very ends of your hair can make a big difference. You can also do this easily yourself at home.

19. Bob + Balayage Highlights

Instagram / salsalhair

Source: @salsalhair

Who said you couldn’t do a balayage bob? Even super-short hair can benefit from this color sensation although be careful with how much of the color you’re applying otherwise it’ll just look like highlights and lowlights.

20. Dimensional Balayage Colormelt – Mochas and Caramels

Instagram / glamiris

Source: @glamiris

Getting a look like this at home is really not difficult when you consider most of this would have been done free-hand. All you need is some gloves and the right color combinations, a friend to give you a hand, some grips to pin hair out the way, and plenty of petroleum jelly to place on your eyes and around your hairline to stop the dye from going all over the place. Put as much or as little of the contrasting color on as you wish but it might be easier to start with the very ends of your hair and build your way up gradually. Otherwise you could make the mistake of dying your entire head of hair a contrasting color…

21. Red & Blonde Balayage Hair

One of the best things about balayage hair is that it gives you the option to play around with hair combinations you wouldn’t normally have paired together. Blonde with orangey-red tones like this wouldn’t look great in any other way but in this muted and well-blended balayage look, it is beyond beautiful.

22. Rose Gold Tone

If you’re not bold enough to try a completely different and contrasting color for your new balayage style, you could just blend multi-tones of your existing color for a slightly more discreet effect. The variation of these shades are only slight, but it makes the world of difference when it comes to making your hair three-dimensional.

23. Copper & Blonde Balayage on Long Hair

Instagram / paintedhair

Source: @paintedhair

Once you’ve finished with your balayage coloring, leave the hair to do what it wants to do. The style is all about natural lines and highlights so over-styling your hair afterwards is pretty pointless. Add a few waves with the help of your hairdryer and a large, round brush, but don’t go too over the top. Give your hair a break.

24. Neutral Blonde Balayage

If you need an easy way to give your hair a break and stop all that bleaching, lightening and over-heating, the balayage hairstyle is perfect for you. You have the chance of growing your roots out naturally and is perfect for those colder, winter months. When the summer comes around, you go lighter again but for the winter, there’s everything right about going back to your roots.

25. Silver Blonde

Instagram / romeufelipe

Source: @romeufelipe

Silver hair was all the rage over the summer and winter of 2015 but the trend doesn’t look set to end at any point soon. If you want the platinum blonde/silver look but without the hard work and hassle that goes with it, why not opt for a silvery-blonde balayage instead? The roots are always hard work when it comes to going silver or gray anyway… (Spoken from experience!)

26. Rose Gold Colormelt

Instagram / rubydevine

Source: @rubydevine

This year, every girl wants a rose gold Michael Kors watch. Not just that, they want rose gold balayage hair too. Rose gold is so beautiful for this time of year and with more red-heads embracing their inner feistiness, going ‘strawberry blonde’ has never been so in-fashion.

27. Soft Rose Red Hair

Instagram / orbite_com

Source: @orbite_com

Many of us won’t ever have the luxury of saying we are a natural redhead but with this beautiful rose red balayage look, you can at least fake it for a while. Beautiful hues of browns and reds help to keep the look muted, well-blended and neutral, and makes the perfect base for any autumn or winter look.

28. The Colors of Fall

Instagram / little_lb

Source: @little_lb

The colors of fall are best worn… Well, any time of the year really. This simple, elegant look is one that can easily be worn all-year round. Boho-braids for the summer will help to show off the multi textured shades and tones of your new balayage color, and in the winter, you can allow for richer, warmer hues. It’s the perfect all-year-round style.

29. Natural Base + Caramel Lowlights

The good thing about the balayage hair style is that you can leave it for a few more weeks than you normally would in between salon visits. If you’re a new mum or are just looking for a way to make your time and your money stretch a little further, this almost-ombre balayage look does just that.

30. Copper Caramel Hair

Instagram / romeufelipe

Source: @romeufelipe

When you’re attempting your own balayage style, try to avoid gel formulas of hair dye because these will run and smear around more than the creme formulas will. You don’t need to be precise with a look like this but accidentally getting a blob of the contrasting shades in the wrong place will be noticeable and it will ruin the finished look. Thicker is better when it comes to the dye you use.

31. Dark Base + Caramel Highlights

Instagram / argeinstagram

Source: @argeinstagram

It’s a modern twist on boho but this dark base with caramel highlights is not only stunning, but really easy to do yourself at home if you have the balls to give it a go?

You could separate your long hair into two sections and braid them down each side of your face. Keep the ends free and color away, feeling free to add some further up into the braid too. Plus a braid is the perfect way to show off those different tones.

32. Lob+ Soft Brown Balayage

I think it’s pretty much been shown that balayage hair works on all hair lengths but if you want to give your hair a serious revamp, why not lop a few inches off and gold for a brave but not really bold long bob – the lob? With the right shades thrown in for good coloration, the curls help to make it shorter but straight and left as it is, you still have the length you’re too scared to chop off.

33. Balayage Highlights on Super Long Hair

Super-long hair was made for balayage and as you can see here, it doesn’t always need to be about obvious color distinctions. This is a very simple and barely-there ombre-style look that gives just the right amount of depth to stop this hair looking dull. Natural and modern at the same time, those beautiful huge waves help to bring it all together.

34. Caramel Bob + Blonde Lowlights

Instagram / ks_studio_

Source: @ks_studio_

Sarah Jessica Parker is a big fan of balayage hair and, in fact, she’s been wearing it for many years before it came into high fashion. This is a look like one she would have sported – natural, darker browns at the roots elevating down to a beautiful, bright blonde. With plenty of caramel and chocolate hues, it’s natural but still bold. Oh, and it’s most definitely beautiful!

35. Copper Sunset Balayage

Instagram / lo_wheelhouse

Source: @lo_wheelhouse

Thinking of making a really bold statement with your hair but not sure where to start? This copper sunset look achieves two looks in one here. Firstly, that #sunsethair thing is a MASSIVE deal right now and this definitely looks like a sunset we want to stare at for hours. Secondly, you’re still incorporating that freehand balayage style.

Two birds, one stone. It’s bold and bright too!

36. Gold Blonde Balayage Highlights

Instagram / off7thsalon

Source: @off7thsalon

If you want beautifully long, glossy locks like this stunning golden blonde look, you’ll need to make sure you look after it. The roots will need a lot of TLC if you’re lightening them and as well as making sure you condition your hair well every time you wash it, you might even want to consider a hot oil treatment, or at least a good conditioning treatment for split ends. It’s easier to forget about the ends of your hair but make sure you show it some love. Loved hair does as it’s told. Unloved hair does not…

37. Ash Blonde Colormelt

Melting colors together is the aim of the game when it comes to the balayage look and this curly brown to ash-blonde look is divine! It’s a number of different shades of lighter and darker blondes weaved together so that it looks almost 100% natural. Again, you’re giving your roots a break too. You know they’ll appreciate that.

38. Inverted Long Bob + Balayage Highlights

Instagram / styledbykate_

Source: @styledbykate_

If you’re struggling to say goodbye to your long, dark locks, the balayage blonde is the perfect place to start playing around with lighter hues. This inverted long bob gives you the perfect base for a shorter balayage style, and the length at the front will help to make your face appear thinner and longer too. It’s a really flattering look for most women and versatile too!

39. Long Bob + Gold Blonde Balayage Highlights

Fancy going blonde but don’t really want to put your hair through all that turmoil? Ta dah! The balayage style is perfect for this! As this dark to light blonde look shows, you can add the blonder, lighter sections around the face to give off the impression you have a lighter look. Alternatively, if you’re not sure how blonde you want to go, the balayage blonde is the perfect place to start because you can start small and build up, working out which tones and shades go well with your skin tone.

40. Caramel & Gold Blonde Hair

Curly hair and the balayage hair color technique are two things that work splendidly well in hair design. The curls help to show off every color you have in your new do, allowing for more depth and tone. Feel free to let your own natural waves be free, or cheat it a little with a wide-barrelled curling iron to achieve these beautiful luscious locks.

41. Caramel Brown Balayage Hair

Instagram / simplementeivy

Source: @simplementeivy

You can barely see the color change in this balayage style but it just goes to show you exactly how versatile this stunning look is. It’s a very easy hair effect for a hair stylist, and the free-hand style of the colouring allows for many more mistakes. At the same time, it gives you the opportunity to be as bold (or not) as you like so feel free to aim small and work your way up. Have a simple, muted brown to blonde look like you can see here, adding more extremes of color as you go along feel braver! Adding to is easier than taking away.

The balayage style sure is a beautiful once and it’s one that can be easily achieved both in the salon and at home. In fact, why not get a little creative and play outside the lines? Go with colors you wouldn’t normally have chosen and get a bit bolder. If you have along or short hair, balayage is the next style you should be rocking!