Californian Balayage Hair Color: Why This Summer’s Best Face-Framing Trend


Californian balayage is quickly becoming summer’s hottest hair color trend. 

Remember when balayage burst onto the hairdressing scene back in the ’90s and changed hair color forever? The coloring technique involves sweeping sections of hair lightly with blonde and golden highlights. But, unlike other coloring techniques, the highlights are blended seamlessly throughout lengths (think soft caramels harmonized with luminous blondes) to ensure that there’s never a band of color or tell-tale roots left visible. In fact, it only gets better and more blended with time. And, of course, it’s the only hair coloring technique to opt for in the summer months.

Tommie Gleed, color director at Nicky Clarke, says the balayage trend shows no sign of abating this summer but the trendiest girls in Cali are plumping for a more polished version. Enter: Californian balayage.

The term actually comes from the originally French word balayage which means to sweep, referring to the way the color is applied to the hair, but the trend has become increasingly popular the past few years.

“Whilst ‘lived in color’ remains very popular, many clients are requesting a polished, Californian balayage,” says Tommie, who adds that 2022 is all about glossy, warmer toners to complement every skin tone. “Californian balayage is created with a more lived-in root and lighter ends and is normally paired with bangs or grown out bangs. The look is all about the beachy ‘SoCal’ vibes, and colour is distributed throughout to mimic the look of naturally sunkissed strands and give a gorgeous glowing ‘holiday hair effect.’” Think liquid gold hints, strawberry blondes, and defined eye contouring. 

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If you’re looking for inspo, blondes can look to Khloe Kardashian, sparkling medium-brown brunettes can be inspired by Lily Aldridge, brondes can look to Beyoncé, and rich brunettes can take cues from Selena Gomez.





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