Color Sweep: Balayage’s Trendy Younger Sister
If you’ve been to the hair salon or on social media over the past ten years, then you’ve most likely heard of a hair color technique called balayage. While this method has been around for a long time, it’s boomed within the past decade thanks to its eye-catching dimension and low maintenance upkeep. And while balayage is one of those trends that will never go away, there is a new look in town that has been dominating the hair color scene. Enter: color sweep balayage.
What is color sweep balayage?
Color sweep balayage (also known as just color sweep) is a technique for painting very natural, yet dimensional tones onto the hair. Think of it as the upgraded version of highlights. Where highlights are placed close to the scalp and don’t look great during the growth period, color sweep is meant to be grown out and still looks amazing months down the line.
Typically, this technique is used to lighten the hair (like with highlights) but it’s not uncommon for the stylist to also incorporate a few different shades to add radiance and light. The end result will essentially look like you’ve spent weeks out on the beach without ever having to step into the sun!
Color sweep balayage is ideal because it’s incredibly low maintenance and it still preserves some of your original hair color. If you’re worried that your hair looks flat, the color sweep technique is a great option for you to liven up your look without committing to frequent salon visits or upkeep.
While the final result of a color sweep is to give the hair light and dimension, there are a few different options that your stylist can take based on your current hair color and desired goals.
- If you have light brown hair, try opting for honey tones to enhance shine and brighten your look. You can also try a caramel sweep for the fall and winter time to add warmth.
- Dark brown hair? Copper shades can help bring some light to your uniform color and add depth.
- If your base color is blonde, your stylist can hand paint lighter shades onto your strands to brighten your overall look. This is especially popular during the summertime for that sunkissed look.
- Go for auburn tones to make your red locks pop!
At the end of the day, your colorist will be able to choose the right shades for your hair so make sure to discuss your desired results during the consultation.
Who should get color sweep?
The amazing thing about color sweep is that it can work for almost everyone! Color sweep balayage can be done on any type of hair texture (including curly hair) and can bring out the natural tones in blonde, red, or brunette hair.
This technique is great for natural or previously color-treated hair. In fact, color sweep is the perfect method for hair color newcomers who aren’t ready to give up their natural color just yet but want to enhance their look. If you have short hair, you may want to check out another hair color technique such as a traditional balayage. The color sweep method works best on longer locks and will not have the same effect on short hair.
One of the best things about color sweep balayage is that it’s incredibly low maintenance and perfect for people who aren’t able to come into the salon often. Most stylists will recommend coming in for touch-ups every three to four months to refresh your color. Outside of the salon, color sweep doesn’t take much maintenance either.
Tips for keeping your hair healthy at home
- Make sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo made for color-treated hair. Many shampoos contain harsh sulfates and drying alcohols that can dehydrate your hair/scalp. This can cause the color to be stripped from your hair and can even lead to breakage. If you’re not sure what shampoo would be best for you, make sure to talk to your stylist for the best recommendation.
- Try to heat style as little as possible and when you do, use a heat protectant and turn down the temperature. Constantly using heat on your hair causes your strands to dry out and lose their elasticity. This can cause split ends, breakage, and even change the way your hair color looks. No matter the color of your hair, make sure to protect it from heat and don’t use your hot tools on the highest temperature setting. This will preserve your color longer and keep your hair looking healthy!
- Don’t forget to deep condtion regularly. While color sweep is often low risk when it comes to hair damage, it still requires chemicals that can dry out your strands. Try using a mask like Olaplex Bond Intense Moisture Mask that’s made for color-treated hair to hydrate your strands and keep them looking shiny and nourished.
How are color sweep and balayage different?
Balayage is a hair coloring technique where dye or lightener is hand painted onto sections of the hair starting at the midlengths. Unlike traditional highlights, balayage does not use foil and the color is not placed right at the roots. The end goal of balayage is a sunkissed look that does not require as much upkeep as traditional highlights or all over color would.
While color sweep is very similar to balayage, the end result of the service is way more subtle and requires even less maintenance. The finished look is usually only one to two shades lighter than your base color while balayage can take it a bit further (while still looking natural.) Essentially, both options are great for people who can’t make it into the salon frequently. It just really depends on what your end goal is!
If you’re thinking of getting a color sweep this season, make sure to consult with your stylist to figure out the right tones and shades that will perfect your look!