How to Maintain Balayage

Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | 15 References

Updated: November 27, 2019

Explore this Article Caring for Balayage Between Treatments Applying the Hair Dye Ask a Question Related Articles

Balayage is a great hairstyle to have because it's easy to maintain and looks very natural. To keep your balayage looking fresh and vibrant, avoid washing your hair too often and use deep conditioning treatments to give your hair needed nutrients. If you want to touch up your balayage before your next hair appointment, apply your specific hair dye color to your roots or mid-length, combing the dye out through each strand to create the balayage effect.

1
Caring for Balayage Between Treatments

  1. 1
    Color your hair once every four months to refresh the balayage. Because a balayage hairstyle requires less maintenance than traditional hair color, it’s not necessary for you to go to the salon every month or 6 weeks. Instead, you can wait a few months before redoing your color.[1]
    • If your roots begin to show or you just want it freshened up more frequently, you can visit your salon sooner or touch it up yourself at home.
  2. 2
    Use a purple shampoo or toner if your hair starts to look brassy. To get rid of the brassiness in your hair color, purchase a purple shampoo or a toner that neutralizes yellow and orange tones. Rub the toner or purple shampoo into your hair, following the directions on the bottle for how long to leave it in before rinsing it out. Even just using a purple shampoo or toner once or twice will help turn your brassy hair color into a more ashy tone.[2]
    • Purchase a purple shampoo or toner from your local beauty store or online.
    • Follow the directions on the bottle to know how much to use in each hair wash.
  3. 3
    Avoid over-washing your hair to keep it healthy. There’s no need to wash your hair every single day. If you shampoo your hair too much, it’ll cause it to dry out and become brittle. Try to wash your hair every two days or longer to keep your hair shiny and your balayage color fresh.[3]
    • Use dry shampoo if your hair gets greasy between washings.
  4. 4
    Opt for a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid drying out your hair. Pick out a shampoo that doesn’t have sulfates in it, which is an ingredient found in many regular shampoos that dries out your hair and can damage it. There are lots of sulfate-free options now, and using shampoo without sulfates will help keep your hair color bright and healthy.[4]
    • Look for sulfate-free shampoo at your local grocery store, drugstore, or big box store.
    • Scan the ingredients list on the back of your shampoo bottle to find out if it has sulfates in it such as sodium lauryl sulfate or polysorbates.
  5. 5
    Treat your hair with deep conditioning treatments once a week. Purchase a deep conditioner for your hair and apply it as a hair mask at least once a week, paying special attention to the ends of your hair. If you don’t want to purchase a deep conditioning treatment, try a natural method by putting almond oil in your hair and leaving it for at least 10 minutes before washing it out.[5]
    • You can find deep conditioners for your hair at your local beauty store or big box store. They are similar in consistency to regular conditioner, but are packed with nutrients to repair your hair.
  6. 6
    Use a heat protectant if you’re styling your hair with heat tools. Colored hair can become damaged more easily by heat tools like curling irons, flat irons, and even hair dryers. If you’re going to style your hair, spray a heat protectant on the strands of hair first to protect them from damage.[6]
    • Use caution when using heat tools to make sure you don’t burn yourself.
  7. 7
    Stay out of chlorine or salt water to avoid damaging your hair. If you're visiting the pool or beach, try not to get your hair wet. Chlorine and salt water can cause your hair to become discolored and dry it out. Pull your hair up in a bun to help keep it out of the water.[7]
    • Wear a hat if you'll be out in the sun for long periods of time to protect your hair.
    • If you do get chlorine or salt water in your hair, try to rinse it out as soon as possible.

2
Applying the Hair Dye

  1. 1
    Purchase a touch-up kit or specific matching hair dye for your hair. If you dyed your balayage yourself the first time, purchase the same brand and dye color that you used originally to make sure the color stays the same. If you had your original balayage done by a professional at a salon, ask your hairdresser what color they recommend using for quick root touch ups between sessions.[8]
    • Visit a beauty store to ask an employee to help you pick out the right color, if desired.
    • You’ll also need to purchase a 20-volume developer to mix with your hair dye if you’re not buying a kit that already contains it.
  2. 2
    Avoid washing your hair before you color it. The natural chemicals on your scalp are helpful during the dye process because they offer a layer of protection. Try not to wash your hair for at least a day leading up to your hair dye application for the best results.[9]
    • It's a good idea to brush your hair out before dyeing it to make the process easier.
  3. 3
    Mix the dye with a 20-volume developer in a bowl. Read the instructions that come with your specific hair dye to be sure your ratio of dye to developer is correct, though most hair dyes take 1 part hair dye to 1 part developer. Mix these two ingredients in a bowl using your hair dye applicator brush.[10]
    • Mix until you’ve created a creamy texture that’s thoroughly combined.
    • Wear gloves to keep your hands from getting dyed.
  4. 4
    Protect your work surface and clothing before you use the dye. Wear old clothes that you don't mind getting ruined in case you get dye all over them. Even if you're working in a space that's easy to clean like the kitchen or bathroom, it's best to put down a piece of plastic or newspaper to catch any spills or dye splatters.
    • Apply petroleum jelly to your hairline to keep the dye from coloring your skin, if desired.
  5. 5
    Apply the dye to your roots only for a quick root touch-up. Dip the dye applicator brush into your dye mixture and brush the dye onto your roots in small sections. Avoid putting dye on sections of your hair that already have your desired color.[11]
    • It doesn't matter where you part your hair for the first layer of dye, as you'll end up creating more parts later on.
  6. 6
    Brush the dye onto the mid-length or ends of your hair to freshen up the lower portion. Dip the dye brush into your hair dye and begin applying it to the area you'd like to touch up, whether it's the middle of your length or towards your ends. Swipe the dye brush down the length of your hair just 2–3?in (5.1–7.6?cm) instead of the whole length.[12]
    • If you're adding dye because your balayage grew out, start applying the dye above where the current balayage area is.
    • Tease your hair for a softer balayage effect by weaving the end of a comb horizontally through a wide section of hair before applying the color.
  7. 7
    Comb the hair dye down through your hair for the balayage effect. Use a comb to brush the section of dye you just applied to your roots, mid-length, or ends in long, even strokes. This will distribute the dye down the length of your hair, giving you the balayage effect.[13]
    • Comb lightly—while you want the dye to extend down the length of your hair, you still want most of it to stay where you originally applied it.
  8. 8
    Continue applying the dye to your hair using the applicator brush. Keep brushing the hair dye onto your hair using even strokes, making sure you dye each section of hair thoroughly. Use the comb to blend the dye down through your lengths for the balayage look.[14]
    • Create new parts in your hair to continue applying dye to your roots.
    • Keep going around your head evenly if you're dyeing your mid-lengths or ends, using hair clips to section off the top or bottom layers if needed.
    • If you're worried about creating a visible line in your hair, comb the dye out down your length of hair. Comb it again starting a little above where you applied the dye for a more blended look.
  9. 9
    Wait the recommended amount of time before rinsing the dye out. This is usually 20-30 minutes. Read the instructions that come with your dye to find the exact amount of time they recommend that you wait, just to be sure. Rinse your hair out using cool, clean water in the shower. Massage your roots with your fingers while you’re rinsing to make sure you get all of the dye out.[15]
    • Set a timer to help you remember when it’s time to rinse.
    • Use a toning mask after you’ve rinsed out the dye to give your hair extra shine. Once you’ve waited the recommended amount of time, rinse this out too.
    • Dry and style your hair as desired for your final look.

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    Things You'll Need

    Caring for Balayage Between Treatments

    • Purple shampoo or toner
    • Sulfate-free shampoo
    • Deep conditioner
    • Heat protectant (optional)

    Applying the Hair Dye

    • Touch-up kit
    • 20-volume developer
    • Hair dye applicator brush
    • Bowl
    • Gloves
    • Plastic or newspaper
    • Petroleum jelly (optional)
    • Comb or brush
    • Toning mask (optional)
    • Heat protectant (optional)
    • Timer (optional)

    Article Info

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    This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 15 references.

    Categories: Featured Articles | Hairstyles

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