Getting sun-kissed hair can be easier with the natural looking balayage highlights than with the traditional foil highlights. Discover the great advantages of this hair coloring technique and the best tips for balayage highlights at home.

What Are Balayage Highlights

A specialty hair coloring technique that's spreading to more and more salons, balayage highlights have been spotted on celebrities like Jessica Biel, Drew Barrymore and Rachel Bilson for a natural and sophisticated look.

Also called hair painting, the balayage coloring technique does away with tinfoil leaving the hair colorist to apply the highlights directly to the strands.

Just like ombre, balayage is a great way to get a look that's easy to maintain and also a bit more natural and simple than classic highlights.

Balayage Blonde Hair ColorBlonde Hair With Balayage

Balayage Highlights at Home

Popular in the '80s, balayage highlights are making a comeback but they're still difficult to perfect at home. Using the right tools and respecting the time the dye should be left on the hair are the most important factors in getting the look.

Try balayage highlights at home when you want simple natural looking highlights, especially for short hair where foils don't work as well as they should.

Balayage Hair HighlightsHair Highlights With Balayage

If you want to get the right balayage highlights at home, you should start with hair that hasn't been washed in about 24 hours, so the natural oils protect your scalp during the process, and brush it so tangled strands don't mess up the coloring.

Pick strands around the face and the crown that would normally get a lighter color after sun exposure and don't get super close to the roots. Use a plastic paddle to separate each strand, then apply the color with a tint brush or a clean mascara wand.

Secure the roots with cotton and use thick strands of cotton to keep your colored hair separated while it's on the clock. If you have a center part, make sure you keep it looking natural by picking different strands on each side for the perfect balayage highlights look.

Gisele Bundchen Balayage HighlightsSarah Jessica Parker Balayage Highlights

Balayage Highlights vs. Ombre

Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Gisele B√ľndchen have opted for the balayage highlights, even though ombre hair color seems to be the more popular option. Both hair coloring techniques result in hair that's easy to maintain, but balayage works well even with one shade of highlights, while ombre needs lowlights as well for the right look.

More hair color trends:
Different Types of Blonde Hair Color
How to Get Beach Blonde Hair
Best Hair Highlights for Brunettes

Photos: Dessange, Franck Provost, Getty