Balayage highlights are highlights that are painted onto the hair using a free-hand technique, rather than using foils or a cap to highlight the hair. The results are a very subtle, natural look. Ombre highlights are often achieved using a balayage technique. Balayage highlights are typically done in a salon by a professional. I would not recommend attempting to do balayage highlights at home.

Sunglitz Balayage Highlights
Sunglitz Bayalage Highlights on Dark Hair.

What is Sunglitz?

Sunglitz is a highlighting system developed by Farouk Systems. The Sunglitz Lightening System selectively subtracts color pigments from the hair just like the sun. The specially formulated pigments brighten and enhance tones to create incredible multidimensional highlights.

Sunglitz products are ammonia-free, and gentle on the hair. The oil-based product assists in smooth applications fortified with silk and botanicals to condition the hair leaving it full of shine. The silk protein and masking clay base helps with tightening and strengthening the lightener to the hair. Botanicals, herbs, panthenol, milk, amino acids, and olive oil provide conditioning and moisture to the hair, leaving it smooth and shiny following the service.

My Experience with Sunglitz

As a hairstylist, I had been procrastinating on getting on board with the balayage highlighting technique. It’s kind of new and was definitely out of my comfort zone. I recently took a class on the Sunglitz Lighting System and decided that maybe it wasn’t so scary. The Farouk Systems instructor was very knowledgeable, eased my trepidations, and made it look fairly simple.

I kind of dove in headfirst. My first client of the following business day was a perfect candidate for Sunglitz highlights. She likes subtle highlights, nothing streaky or too obvious, and wants as natural of a look as possible.

I found the technique to be much easier than my fears lead me to believe. The results were beautiful. Seamless, pretty, and simply natural. By the end of the day, I transformed a total of five previously foil highlighted clients into Sunglitz balayage highlights.

The nice thing about Sunglitz, is the powder lighteners are available in four different shades, allowing your stylist to choose cooler (ash or platinum) shades or warm (strawberry or golden) highlights. The colors can be mixed and matched to give your hair the perfect shade or multi-tonal highlights that will best compliment your skin tone and hair color.

I was also impressed with the speed at which Sunglitz delivers results. Most of the color services that previously took 2 hours were reduced by 30 to 45 minutes using Sunglitz.

The results of every balayage highlight service I’ve performed since has been a great experience. It’s fun to apply, my clients have really enjoyed the experience and the results, and we’ve all saved time in the process. Win, win.

Sunglitz Highlight Enhancing Shampoo, Conditioners, and Treatments

Color Enhancement Shampoo: Keeping your Sunglitz highlights bright and the perfect shade is made easier with Sunglitz shampoo. Specifically formulated to enhance your specific highlights and reduce unwanted tones, these shampoos smell great and deliver incredible shine. Shampoos are available for beige, ash, golden, and strawberry enhancing formulas.

Natural Sunsealer Daily Conditioner: Sunglitz conditioner has been specifically developed to be used right after your Sunglitz highlight to instantly close the cuticle protecting the new hair color and highlights. This rich, luxurious conditioner is also ideal for daily use at home to detangle, condition, and protect the hair while providing incredible shine.

Repair and Shine Silk Leave-In Treatment: Sunglitz has also developed a replenishing and reconstructing leave-in treatment for color-treated and highlighted hair to repair, smooth, and protect the hair while detangling, balancing moisture, and providing a brilliant color gloss shine.

Maintaining Balayage Highlights

Regular maintenance of your highlight service is really no different with balayage highlights than any other color service. How fast your hair grows, the percentage of gray you have, how much your hair fades, and the products you use will all determine how often you’ll need to repeat your balayage highlights. Typical reapplication is every 5 to 8 weeks. Talk to your hairstylist about how often your specific highlights will need to be re-applied.

New Balayage Hairdo (What’s a Balayage, You Ask?)

What's a Balayage
New Amazing Balayage Hairdo. (Photo: Instagram@linsonhair)

Summer’s approach always brings new hairstyles. When we’re not accidentally doing a gnarly thing to our hair, we also cut it, dye it, and braid it. Change is good, and that certainly seems to be what Lana Del Rey went for when she emerged with her new pretty color. Whether you love the queen of sorrow or not (hint: I do, I totally do), you can’t deny that her hair is looking absolutely magical. This comes after sporting darker locks during the release of Ultraviolence, the saddest album in the world. This new, gorgeous, sun-kissed hair color is so natural-looking it’s almost like she was born with it.

It looks like what some call a balayage, a dye style that is as fancy as it sounds. (By the way, because the French make everything sound like poetry, balayage means “to sweep.”) Have no idea what a balayage is? Now you will:

See how Lana’s hair kind of starts off dark at the roots and has a glossy look, with natural highlights all over? That’s the power of the balayage. The hair doesn’t have one single color, nor does it have a “now the color starts here” affect, as ombre produces when the color gradually – or sometimes suddenly – changes. The color is sort of hand-painted over the surface of the hair, ending in a more subtle effect. This deep auburn is particularly stunning on Lana, who rocks those orange stripes with ease. Here’s what you should know about this lovely look before you ask for it at the salon:

The Application

The balayage is applied to the surface of the hair in a free-style sort of manner, sort of like a painter applying light brush strokes in a semi-unpredictable, though totally controlled, way. A good hair expert will be able to tell you how strong or light the effect should be, and there’s no creepy alien foil involved, so you won’t be wondering what’s going under there the whole time.

Why not go ombre?

The balayage is more subtle, so if you want a more natural look, this one’s got that feeling. Is it possible that the balayage – or “sombre,” aka subtle ombre – is the answer to all your “I am so bored of my hair!” woes? I think yes.

Who can wear it?

Um, you. You can wear it. Almost anyone with at least enough hair to actually dye the strands can rock it. It can be done with basically any shade, though it usually works within two color shades.

How much maintenance is involved?

Almost none! Since the balayage doesn’t touch your roots, you don’t have to worry about those. The color is sort of just placed throughout your hair, so it can grow out pretty naturally. A touch-up for radiance is fine, though.

What do you think about the new do?



  1. I really appreciated reading this article regarding the sunglitz. I have purchased the system and so far I love it. I have been looking for more information on the system, because there are no classes around my area for a very long while. If there is any information on the system you can share with me, I would very much appreciate it.

  2. smilesoftexas on

    Makes me want to try it!

    Great article and makes me want to try this product! I have been doing this technique for years to my own hair because it imparts a very natural look and it’s easy to do. The only suggestion I have for this review….the technique is “”balayage””, not “”bayalage””. It might make a difference in a search.