The Balayage – All You Need To Know

the best Balayage in Soho and Covent Garden


The balayage technique involves adding soft highlights at the roots, with colour more concentrated towards the ends of the hair. The outcome is not as uniform as the traditional foil highlights, it can be tailored to you - no matter what your style. Read more about the balayage services we provide at Gusto Hairdressing.

 To book balayage at Gusto Hairdressing please call our Salon in Soho on 020 7287 0015, Covent Garden Salon on 020 7836 9163 or Oxford Street Salon on 0207 486 5044. Book online for our Covent Garden Salon, or Oxford Street Salon.

Best Balayage London's West End


Covent Garden

Oxford Street

Wigmore Street

London West End

Central London

Balayage Prices

View our balayage prices at Gusto Hairdressing Salons in London's West End.

How Do I Prepare For Balayage?

With the right prep, you'll have beautiful, natural-looking highlighted hair!

*Avoid washing hair for 24-48 hours before your appointment. Balayage works best on hair that hasn't been freshly shampooed. The natural oils help the hair better absorb the lightener.
*Avoid using conditioners, masks or oils right before. You want the hair to be product-free so the lightener applies evenly.
*Schedule a trim if needed a few days before your balayage. This will get rid of any split ends and ensure your ends are healthy for lightening.
*Hydrate your hair well in the weeks leading up. Use a deep conditioning hair mask 1-2 times a week.
*Avoid heat styling for 2-3 days pre-balayage. The heat can damage already dry hair. Let your hair rest and recover.
*If you colour treated your hair in the past month, make sure your stylist knows. This can impact how the lightener takes to your hair.
*Arrive at your appointment with clean, dry hair brushed through. Do not come with dirty hair.
*Be prepared for a possible bleach bath to prep very dark hair for balayage. This lifts the base colour first.
*The right prep ensures even saturation and optimal results from your balayage. Let your colourist know about any other hair treatments or concerns ahead of time. 

How Long Will A Balayage Take To Do?

To get a more accurate estimate of the time needed to complete your balayage, we suggest you have a consultation with your colourist. Be prepared for an extended salon visit, especially for long or thick hair. The result will be gorgeous, natural-looking highlights perfect for you!

The total time for a balayage hair colouring service can vary quite a bit depending on a few factors:

*Longer, thicker hair takes more time to colour than shorter styles. Shoulder length or shorter may take 1-2 hours, while hair down to the mid-back can take 3+ hours.
*Hair thickness - Fine hair is typically faster to balayage than very thick, coarse hair.
*Amount of highlights - More dramatic, wider-spread highlighting will increase styling time over a more subtle look.
*Darkness of base colour - Lightening very dark hair will require more time for pre-lightening.
*Colour technique - A true hand-painted balayage takes longer than using foils.
*Experience of colourist - A fast, skilled stylist will be more efficient than someone newer.
*On average, plan for your balayage appointment to take:

Short hair: 1.5-2 hours
Medium shoulder length hair: 2-2.5 hours
Long mid-back length hair: 2.5-3+ hours

Maintenance/Aftercare Needed Following Balayage

*Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner made for colour-treated hair. Sulfates can cause fade. Choose products like Olaplex, WNt London or Redken Colour Extend.
*Wash hair only 2-3 times a week at most. Too much washing causes balayage to fade quickly. Use dry shampoo to refresh.
*Rinse with cooler water and avoid extremely hot water when washing. Heat opens the cuticle causing the colour to escape.
*Use a deep conditioning hair mask weekly to keep highlighted hair smooth and healthy. Focus on hydrating mid-lengths and ends.
*Protect hair from chlorine and salt water which can oxidise balayage highlights. Wear a cap when swimming.
*Limit the use of hot tools like curling and flat irons. Heat damage can make highlights brassier.
*Schedule a toner to refresh around the 6-8 week mark to keep highlights bright and cancel brassiness.
*See your colourist every 10-12 weeks to refresh your balayage and reglaze your roots.
*Proper at-home care combined with occasional salon gloss treatments will keep your balayage looking beautiful. Consult your colourist for any other specific tips for your hair type and colour.

How Long Do The Results From A Balayge Last?

The results of a balayage hair colouring service can last 3-6 months depending on your hair type, maintenance, and lifestyle factors:

*On average, expect the vibrant tone of balayage highlights to start fading around the 2 month mark as the colour oxidizes and washes out gradually.
*Results may last longer up to 12 weeks if you have less frequent washing, minimal heat styling, and optimal at-home care.
*Hair that is washed infrequently, styled minimally, and protected from sun exposure retains balayage best. Frequent washing, hot tools use, and sun damage cause faster fading.
*Very light, porous, or damaged hair struggles to retain balayage highlights for more than 2.5 months. Healthier hair holds colour better.
*Cooler toned highlights like platinum and beige lasts a shorter time than warmer copper and caramel hues which have more endurance.
*Schedule a toner to refresh around 6 weeks and a full highlight redo at 12 weeks to keep balayage looking fresh.
*Results vary based on your individual hair characteristics and lifestyle. Work with your colourist to set realistic expectations.
*With proper at-home care between salon visits, balayage results can realistically last 6-12 weeks depending on your hair's condition. Some colouring maintenance is required to keep the look vibrant.