How Long Does A Balayage Last?

How Long Does A Balayage Last? An Expert's Guide to This Sun-Kissed Hair Trend

how long does a balayage last?


Balayage, the French hair painting technique that creates soft, natural-looking highlights, has become one of the most sought after hair trends of the past decade. With its sun-kissed, multi-dimensional effect, balayage flatters a variety of hair colors and types. But as a low-maintenance color treatment, many wonder just how long it lasts before a touch-up is required. As with most color services, there are several factors that determine balayage's longevity.


What is Balayage?

Unlike traditional highlights which are painted on in uniform strips, balayage is applied freehand to mimic how hair lightens naturally in the sun. The stylist hand-paints the lightener to create soft, blended highlights that gradually get lighter towards the ends. This painted-on effect leaves some of the base color showing through, creating added dimension.The result is a soft, lived-in ombré effect that works beautifully on brunettes, blondes and redheads alike. Those with straight or wavy hair will see more contrast between the highlights and base, while curls blend the tones together seamlessly. As a low-maintenance service, balayage allows the roots to grow in naturally, avoiding the dreaded grow-out line.

How Long Does it Last?

How long does a balayage last?

On average, balayage results can last anywhere from 10-16 weeks depending on your hair type, maintenance routine and lifestyle factors. Here's a breakdown of the variables:Hair Type and Color

  • Fine hair: 12-16 weeks
  • Medium hair: 10-14 weeks
  • Thick, coarse hair: 8-12 weeks
  • Darker base colors like black, brown: 10-14 weeks
  • Light base colors like blonde, red: 8-12 weeks


  • Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner
  • Limit washing to 2-3 times per week
  • Use a purple shampoo to keep blonde tones bright
  • Avoid chlorine, salt water, sun exposure


  • Swimming: Chlorine can cause fading, requiring touch-ups every 8-10 weeks
  • Sun exposure: The sun's rays cause faster fading, shortening results to 8-12 weeks
  • Heat styling: Frequent heat styling can dry out and fade hair quicker

As you can see, balayage can last anywhere from 2-4 months depending on your unique hair and lifestyle factors. Those with darker bases and less sun exposure will see balayage last closer to 4 months. Frequent swimmers with lightened hair will require more frequent touch-ups.

When to Get a Refresh

How long does a balayage last?

One of the beauties of balayage is that it grows out subtly and naturally. But there will come a point when your highlights start to look brassy or grow too far down the hair shaft. Here are signs it's time for a refresh:

  • Roots exceed 1 inch of new growth
  • Highlights look brassy or yellow
  • Color contrast appears too harsh
  • Highlights extend past mid-length

Aim for a refresh around the 3 month mark depending on your fade rate. Your colorist may focus on toning the highlights and lightly feathering up the regrowth for a seamless grow-out.

Can I Extend the Results at Home?

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While you can't completely avoid fading, there are at-home steps to help extend the life of your balayage:

  • Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner: Sulfate-free formulas help retain color vibrancy for longer. Try WNt London.
  • Limit washing: Only shampoo hair 2-3 times per week to prevent excessive fading.
  • Purple shampoo: For blonde balayage, use a purple shampoo 1-2 times per week to neutralize brassiness.
  • Heat protectant: Always apply a heat protectant before using hot tools to minimize damage and fading.
  • Avoid chlorine and salt water: Swimming causes faster fading, so wear a cap or limit water exposure.
  • Sun protection: Hats, leave-in conditioners with UV filters and limited sun time will help avoid fading.

One of the biggest advantages of balayage is its longevity. Foil highlights need to be touched up every 4-6 weeks as regrowth becomes obvious. But with balayage, the grow out is seamless and natural. The color diffuses beautifully into your natural roots. On average, expect balayage to last a solid 3-4 months. However, this can vary based on your natural hair color, the products used, and your at-home care. Those with darker hair may start to notice some fading around the 3 month mark. Blondes can often stretch it to 4 months before the color appears brassy.No matter your natural color, use color-safe shampoo and conditioner to maximize the vibrancy. Limit washing to 2-3 times per week. Use a purple shampoo as needed to counteract brassiness. And avoid chlorine and sun exposure which can cause fading. A gloss or toner at your follow-up appointments will keep your balayage fresh.