23 Ideas for Balayage on Black Hair in 2023

23 Ideas for Balayage on Black Hair in 2023

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Balayage hair isn’t new to our ears. We’ve seen it on Instagram many times.

It’s a hairstylist’s favorite way to add dimension and depth to hair today.

But if you have black hair, you might be wondering if you can also jump in on the balayage trend.

The answer is a big YES!

a hair stylist doing a balayage to her client with black hair in a salon

Even if black hair is hard to lighten, balayage on black hair is very much possible.

Balayage is the best way to lighten up your tresses without going through the drastic and painful process of full bleaching.

You can use brown or blonde colors to give your hair a soft, natural look, or you can get creative with unnatural hair color combinations.

Black hair balayage can also be enjoyed for a long time because it’s a low-commitment, gradual transition from dark natural hair color to something bold and beautiful.

What Is Balayage?

Balayage is a hairdresser’s technique to make your hair lighter without changing the base color.

Contrary to what most people think, balayage is not a color but a way of applying dye or lightener.

Balayage (pronounced baa-luh-yaazh) came from the French word “balayer,” which means sweeping.

This technique started in the 70s. It was first recorded in a New York Times article when a salon in Paris, France, had a stylist who did “balayage au cotton” on his client’s hair.

This is done by painting the color or lightener directly on the hair in what seems like a sweeping motion.

Balayage is meant to mimic a sun-kissed look on your hair. But now, it’s also made to frame the face and give a multi-tonal dimension to the locks. This dimension makes your hair appear voluminous.

In addition, balayage is known for being low maintenance because the dark roots effortlessly blend with the rest of your hair.

That means there will be no harsh root lines as your hair grows longer, so you don’t need a retouch right away.

The colors used in balayage can be soft and subtle or bold and bright.

Balayage vs Highlights

Balayage is quite different from traditional highlights in both application techniques and how it looks.

In balayage, the color is painted from the mid shafts and is more saturated at the ends. Whereas in highlights, each section is saturated from root to tip.

The result? Balayage is a blended and softer look, while highlights look like a pattern of stripes that are in contrast with the base color.

Balayage vs Ombre

Balayage is often mistaken for ombre hair color. While they do look similar, there’s a difference.

To be precise, balayage is the painting technique or how the color is applied.

Meanwhile, ombre specifically refers to where the color is placed to make a two-toned gradient color effect.

A balayage can reach up to the higher mid shafts, about 2 inches away from the roots. Whereas in ombre, the lower mids to roots are fully colored.

Balayage on Black Hair: How Is It Done?

There are two ways to do a balayage.

One is the traditional freehand balayage where the hair lightener is swept onto the hair.

Here’s an example of the freehand balayage:

The other method is commonly known as foilayage. It’s the same sweeping method, but the sections are wrapped in foil for faster lightening.

Take a look at how it’s done:

23 Balayage Ideas for Black Hair

When it comes to this wonderful coloring technique, you have a lot of options.

If you want to have a beachy look without actually going to the beach, you can try natural brown balayage on black hair.

For an easy blonde transformation, there are also blonde balayage on black hair ideas for you.

And if you’re someone who loves fun or wants more of an edgy look, try bold or fantasy balayage colors.

Go ahead and look at our list of the best balayage colors for black hair, and who knows? You might be inspired to get that balayage right away.

Natural Brown Balayage

Balayage isn’t just about going light. It’s also about adding life to your black hair.

You can get balayage highlights that are a few shades lighter than your dark base. It will give your locks natural texture and depth.

Go for natural brown shades that can blend seamlessly to your black hair.

1. Soft Chestnut Balayage on Black Hair

Chestnut color is so versatile it can look good on both cool and warm skin tones. Paint it on black hair, and you’ll get subtle shadows that frame your hair so well.

2. Chocolate Brown Balayage on Black Hair

Want something sweet? Get rich chocolate brown shades for your black hair.

Yes, deep dark chocolate brown looks almost invisible on black hair, but it actually gives you a more natural-looking dimension.

3. Golden Brown with Money Piece

Balayage looks more interesting when paired with a money piece. Money piece is a technique where the face is framed by lightening the hair on the front hairline.

4. Black Hair with Caramel Balayage

If you want something that’s more noticeable, you can choose a caramel shade. Since it’s lighter, it can create more contrast with your black hair.

This look is perfect for warm skin tones.

5. Cool-toned Light Brown Balayage

Now if you have a cool skin tone and you also want your balayage to be lighter, a cool shade of light brown will look gorgeous.

Blonde Balayage for Black Hair

Want to go lighter but can’t let go of your black hair yet? There’s a gentler and more gradual way to add lightness to your hair, and that is through blonde balayage.

The blonde lights pop against your black hair, giving beautiful depth and texture to your hair.

For warm skin tones, you can choose warm shades like golden and honey blonde. While for cool tones, get soft blonde, cool blonde, ash blonde, or platinum.

6. Soft Blonde Balayage Curls

This look is perfect for curly hair because the texture it creates gives an illusion of more body and bounce.

7. Cool Blonde Balayage

Have fuller-looking black tresses by painting with cool or ice-blonde lights. The color blends nicely with black roots.

8. Golden Blonde Balayage

Golden blonde is the best way to lighten your hair and warm up your complexion.

This shade can be applied not just on wavy hair. It can also make straight and layered hair more beautiful.

9. Ash Blonde Balayage with Beach Waves

If you want a more grayish variation of the cool blonde, you can try ash blonde balayage.

It’s perfect for those who want to have bright hair that’s not overwhelming to the eyes. Try it with waves for more body.

10. Platinum Blonde

Now if you’re looking for something more eye-catching, opt for a balayage with platinum lights.  This will have a bright and full contrast against your black base.

11. Honey Blonde Balayage on Black

Honey blonde is like a light brown with yellow tones, just like honey. Sweeten your black hair with a honey-blonde balayage hairstyle.

Subtle Balayage Hairstyles

A subtle balayage is a type of balayage that lets you add spice to your hair without looking too loud.

For this style, you’re not limited to brown colors. You can choose other dark colors that can softly blend with your black hair.

These are the shades that don’t require extreme lightening of your hair strands.

12. Mahogany Balayage

This reddish-brown color will give you a soft, spicy look. It’s a mixture of both cool and warm shades so it can suit any complexion.

You can try it with a partial balayage or full balayage.

13. Chocolate Cherry Balayage

Be a tempting dessert with this deep color. Chocolate cherry gives your mane an intense hue that subtly blends with black hair.

14. Ash Brown Balayage

This shade of balayage on black hair offers a darker version of ash blonde balayage. An ash brown shade can cool down the tone of anyone’s black mane.

Red Balayage Hair Color

Red shades are perfect for creating bold looks.

You probably want to have sizzling locks but aren’t brave enough to go full red. Or you don’t want to commit to maintaining red hair.

Well then, get a red balayage for a sexy, bold, low-maintenance look.

15. Partial Burgundy Balayage

Do you have a light balayage that has grown out? Why not paint it burgundy? This could make a gorgeous partial balayage for your black hair.

Partial balayage is when the color is added only to a certain area of your hair, like the ends or top layer.

16. Red Balayage on Long Black Hair

Add a beautiful bright red to your long hair with a full balayage on black hair. This will make you look like a girl on fire!

17. Auburn Balayage

It’s not too late to join the fall trend. Have your stylist paint auburn dye on your black hair for a bright, warm look.

Blue Balayage Hairstyles for Black Hair

Blue balayage is all the rave right now on social media.

This look isn’t for the faint of heart though. The blend of your natural black strands with cool blue tones gives a really bold statement. There’s no way your blue balayage hair can go unnoticed.

18. Midnight Blue Balayage

Get this mysterious dark color for an edgy look. This shade especially works great to give life to short hair.

19. Ice Blue Balayage

Ice blue balayage begins with powdery blue mids and icy almost-white tips. This color looks really cool on black hair.

Fantasy Color Balayage

Be a fairy or a mermaid. Be anything you want to be. Have an exciting new look by adding a pop of fun color to your black or dark hair.

Take a look at some of the colors we love.

20. Teal Balayage

Channel your inner mermaid with a charming teal shade. Teal blended with black hair creates more drama and personality. Style your hair in messy waves to complete the look. 

Curious how a teal balayage looks on straight black hair? It’s as fascinating!

21. Lavender Balayage

Wanna look like a field of flowers even with black hair on?

Try a dusty lavender balayage on black hair! The best way for lavender to pop is to apply it in partial balayage.

22. Silver Balayage

A cool and edgy look you can also try is a full balayage painted with a silver tone. This color agrees with both wavy and straight hair. It can be your youthful take on granny hair.

23. Two-Toned Pink Balayage

Pink is already a playful color. But if you want to jazz it up some more, you can get two tones of pink. It’s twice the fun and twice the youthful effect!

How to Care for Balayage Hair

Although balayage hair is low-maintenance because you won’t need frequent touch-ups, keeping the color fresh for a long time still means you have to care for your locks properly.

Here are some tips on how to make your color last long:

  • Don’t wash your hair daily.
  • Use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  • Condition your hair regularly.
  • Use a hair mask every 2 weeks.
  • Avoid too much sun exposure.
  • Refrain from swimming.
  • Get a regular trim.
two hair stylist applying icy blue balayage to a young girl with black hair and dark blue lipstick

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a balayage on my black hair without bleach?

Yes, you can still do the balayage technique without using bleach. A hair dye mixed with a 20-volume developer can lift the hair too. However, the color payoff will be less light and vibrant.

This means the overall effect will be subtle.

An example of this is black hair with a brown balayage.

How long will balayage last on black hair?

The color you used for your balayage will fade out at the same rate as regular hair dye, no matter the technique.

But the difference in balayage is, there’s no pressure to get a retouch because the hair will grow out beautifully.

You can go for 3 to 4 months without visiting the salon again.

How much is a balayage?

A balayage service can cost from $70 to $450. It’s a wide price range, we know. But that’s because the price depends on many factors.

Pricing may vary according to the following:

  • Hair type and length
  • Your preferred color
  • Your location
  • Salon quality

So there’s really no exact amount for a balayage. The best way to see if it would meet your budget is to consult a hairdresser.

How long does it take to do a balayage?

On average, a balayage can take about 2 hours.

But the time depends on the thickness and length of your hair. Your stylist can finish the service faster if you have thin hair, and it can take longer if you have long and thick locks.

Get a Gorgeous Balayage on Black Hair

Balayage is a great way to transform your black hair. It creates a soft, blended effect on your locks for dimension.

Because of the root blend, you don’t need to worry about grow-outs.

Which balayage idea was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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