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Articles from ‘Balayage’

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Have you heard of Balayage and Ombre Color?

I have mentioned that I have been studying Balayage for some time. I have recently attended a hands-on all day training, where I honed my balayage skills through learning the “Riviera” technique from Daniel Keane, owner of Salon Serenza and one of the IT&LY Academy Team Directors. IT&LY Hairfashion is the color line I predominately use because has the best technology and delivers the best results. It contains the lowest ammonia content that is necessary to achieve the best color results. The reason I continue to study balayage is because “performing balayage is time consuming, and it requires a good eye and a very steady hand” [Wisegeek]

Wisegeek describes Balayage well: “A hair coloring technique which is designed to create very natural-looking highlights which grow out without developing a noticeable and obvious root. Many stars and models use balayage on their hair, and in response to popular demand, many salons offer balayage, especially in urban areas. Some pride themselves on their balayage technique, considering themselves artisans of the craft and offering training to people who are interested in learning balayage.”
Other trends in hair color include Ombre hair coloring, which is similar to balayage: “Ombre hair has a distinctive color pattern that is dark close to the scalp and light further down the hair’s length. The dark base typically ranges from medium brown to black. This color is generally solid from the roots to the midsection that is roughly parallel to the middle of the face. Lighter ombre highlights make up the bottom half of the hair color, and these can be shades of light chestnut, auburn, or golden blonde. Ombre hair color is usually done only on long hair that falls below the shoulders in order to completely achieve this unique finished look” [Wisegeek].

This is a good example of what an Ombre looks like:

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Posted by Lancer

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Subtle Changes

I have a client named Amanda who is just fantastic to work with. She has an energetic personality with a real eye for color and has incorporated that into her hair style. Amanda is a big fan of cool shades and rarely strays from this palette. Originally, Amanda started out at as a bridal up do client and has forayed the relationship we forged then into an ongoing collaboration on her hair. Once the wedding was over, we cut and colored her hair either violet with natural black or electric blue and natural black. This is accomplished through the Balayage technique- hand painted bleach strips to create a soft “streaky” effect. Then the semi- permanent vivid shade is applied to dry hair and put under a dryer for thirty minutes to aid in the color’s longevity.

Although Amanda is stated with how she styles herself, she always consults with me regarding the best option for her aesthetically in addition to what will be the least damaging to her hair. Recently, Amanda asked my opinion on how to change her hair. What we decided was to take her usual one length, shoulder grazing bob into a slightly more inverted version (shorter in back and longer in front). Also, we shortened her bangs significantly from just below the eyebrow line to far above.

We weren’t completely sure where we wanted to go with color, so we decided to cover up the blue highlights with the natural black we usually use. This will help condition the hair by adding pigment while also creating a fresh palette for color in the future. I really like this subtle alteration of her hairstyle and think its a a great practical solution until we get inspired again!

I always shampoo Amanda with Advanced Color Protection by Italy Hairfashion because it’s economical and does not strip hair color. I then followed up with Anti Frizz Conditioner by Alterna’s Bamboo line. It truly minimizes those annoying flyaways and unruly hairs. To style, we used MoroccanOil to blowdry and flat iron her hair into place, making it look sleek and chic. It also works wonders for frizz and gives hair a brilliant shine.

You don’t have to be dramatic when you change your hair. Add some facial framing to a trim or choose a hair color level lighter or darker than you usually go. Sometimes a taste of change is just what the “hair doctor” ordered! Book online today!

Post by D’Arcy

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Style Shifts in Hollywood

It seems now is the time to change hair looks- from Hollywood, to New York, from music to film, and from celebrity to everyday jane!

Here we look at a fun, outside the box change with Lauren Conrad’s new blue and purple hair tips. This is an easy way to transform blond hair into a more vivacious and bold, new look! We love this spunky new addition that transforms her from her usual put together look into a more effervescent beauty!

To style: Rough blowdry with Anti.Gravity by Kevin.Murphy. Spray in Hair Resort Spray By KM and curl with a large barrel curling iron. Finish with Rapid Repair Spray for shine by Alterna.

For a few days, people thought Vanessa Hudgens was sporting a short wig for a film but alas! it was actually a drastically shorter do! Vanessa has naturally wavy hair that is very thick and dense and has been long ever since she debuted in High School Musical. This cut is great as it still softens her and actually aids in making her look taller as the petite Vanessa was visually almost overpowered by her hair length. The perimeter hits past the ears and leaves a rounded nape in addition to long layers that are pulled back away from the face.

To style: Apply MoroccanOil Glimmer Shine to towel dried hair and dry with a medium sized, round bristle brush away from the face. To finish, lightly spray Texture Master by Kevin.Murpy for movement, height and hold.

Lastly, we came to know Evan Rachel Wood’s True Blood character Queen Sophie-Anne LeClerq as a feisty, redheaded lesbian vampire. Recently, though, Evan opted to completely alter her look into a shorter do with cropped sides and a longer, textured top. She also toned down the red by “browning out” the sides and nape in addition to bleach and toning the top into a beige blond with a balayage technique.

To style: On dry hair apply Night.Rider by Kevin.Murphy to the top lengths for texture and height. Then spray with Session.Spray by Kevin.Murphy for height and hold. Tip: Using your fingers and a medium heat blow dryer will help set the hair spray when creating height.

Looking to shift your style, too? Subtle or Dramatic we are here to serve at Emerson and we give you,
“Whatcha Whatcha Whatcha Want!”( Beastie Boys)

Post by D’arcy

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Balayage on Soraya


Soraya has long thick sleek hair and I have been highlighting her hair using the Balayage technique to give her hair texture and color variation. She liked the Balayage method because it grows out subtly and the highlights look natural- like the sun could have done them.

It can be a challenge to highlight long hair because the porosity of long hair varies. The hair is more resistant (stronger) nearer the root and is more porous (weaker) toward the ends of the hair. The reason for this is that the hair at the end of the strand has been on the head for a longer amount of time and has been exposed to the elements, hair coloring processes, products and the environment for a longer amount of time.

197992_10150146512693349_796688348_6573448_3368036_n Soraya

As you can see in Soraya’s pictures, the hair is lighter toward the ends of her hair because hair is naturally lighter toward the ends of the hair and we achieve this effect with the Balayage technique.

Do you think this color is for you? Schedule your next visit to Emerson Salon today!

Post by Lancer

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Angelina Jolie in the Tourist

This December 10th, the international thriller, “The Tourist,” releases starring Angeline Jolie, Johnny Depp, Timothy Dalton and Paul Bettany. The story follows Depp’s character after he travels to Italy to mend a broken heart when he is suddenly mistaken for another man. Angeline Jolie’s character, Elise, accompanies Frank (Depp) as he is chased and hunted throughout the Italian streets and waterways.


There are some key differences to Angelina’s hairstyle that have been altered with cut and color. Angelina’s signature dark long locks have been subtly lightened with medium beige and light beige tones. Not too warm and not too cool. In order to keep this technique subtle and blended, it is important that the hair is balayaged in small sections with the medium beige all over the head. Once complete, the lighter beige blond can be created through wisking bleach lightener into the hair around the face after the over all balayge is complete and dry. Remember: If you have any previous color history, it might be necessary to use bleach to lift dark color or perform a color correction darker if your hair is mostly light. We recommend using the Advanced Color Protection Shampoo and Conditioner line that accompanies our Italy Hairfashion color line to maintain these colors prior to bleaching.

Angelina’s haircut maintains her hair’s fullnes and length through creating soft, heavy bangs and a blended Brigitte Bardot layer cut. This is where the heaviness through the top of the head is eliminated and lightly texturized on the ends. A great product to try on this style is Blowout Creme by Alterna Caviar and Texturizing Glaze by Alterna. This cocktails aids to protect your hair from high heat during a round blush blowout but also helps to hold the style once complete.

TIP: When round brushing, make sure to elevate the hair above the section to create volume in addition to allowing the hair to cool on the brush before releasing the brush.

Don’t be a tourist with your own hair! Get empowered! Use these tips and become a style destination expert.

Post by D’Arcy

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Is Balayage Right For You?


Heard of balayage but not sure what it is exactly? Is it for you? What does it even mean? I will tell you!

Balayage is a French term that was developed in the 1970s that means “sweeping” or “to sweep.” It is essentially named after the way in which the color is applied to the hair. It is actually swept on or painted on by hand leaving a more natural looking highlight or lowlight. The technique was developed as a new way to add variation to the hair color with a more natural appearance and a more subtle grow out. The color can be applied for a more bold variation or slight depending on the client. Balayage isn’t just for lightening either. Many stylists will use it to add lowlights or a combination of the two.


Who is balayage right for? Balayage is a technique that is great for anyone who appreciates a little versatility in their color but who doesn’t have time for a lot of maintenance. It also works well for the client who likes a more sunkissed or natural look. It is a great technique for shoulder length and longer hair. Balayage is the perfect color technique for summer, as it offers the same benefits as someone who would be spending a lot of time outdoors. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone with a lot of grey or shorter, finer textured hair.

The technique, that is becoming more and more popular, definitely offers many advantages. It is a foil free color application in which your stylist hand paints your highlights. Picking up layers and “sweeping” the color on different sections of the hair allows the stylist to move more quickly and efficiently while picking the proper placement for the color. It focuses more on the base of the hair shaft rather than concentrating on the root area. Thicker sections will lead to a more bold highlight while smaller will do the opposite.

Come see our balayage experts here at Emerson Salon!

Post by Amanda

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Ellie Goulding is Starry Eyed


Ellie Goulding has become a music phenomena at the early age of 24 but actually started writing folk style songs on her guitar at the age of 15. Goulding’s debut album, entitled Lights, will be released this coming March. She already has a totally fun video out of her song,” Starry Eyes.” We wonder where that was shot- maybe a castle or chateau in Europe perhaps. Love it and that fish eye lense they use!

Ellie has recently taken the “quiff” hair style (that Gwen Stefani made popular a few years back) and put her own twist on it. Hers takes it into a more asymmetrical placement with the addition of some loose, modern waves on the remaining lengths of her hair.

Trying to achieve this look? Here are some tips!!!

  • Color: The haircolor on Ellie is a beautiful multi-dimensional light beige blond. This can be achieved in many ways by consulting your Emerson Salon stylist. The methods most likely used for this are multi-dimensional foil or balayage. This means that your stylist designs and places the appropriate concentration of highlights based on your aesthetic preferences, maintenance needs and coloring. Usually, this service will most likely involve bleach lighteners (with toning after) and some sort of balancing lowlight on the sides and underneath that is a minimum of 2 shades deeper.
  • Styling the Quiff: Your fringe area should be at least 4″ in length to achieve this look. Section off 1″ of hair parallel to the hairline at the top of the forehead with a clip after applying Sticky Business by Kevin Murphy to the hairline. Iron curl loosely the 2″ section that is parallel to the previous section. Back brush and back comb the second section lightly. Combine the two sections together by cushion brushing and hold above the head and spray with Working Spray. Twist this section 2 times and carefully move the height of the style towards one side or the other and bobby pin in place. Make sure all stray pieces/fly-aways are tucked into the style and pins are hidden on the interior of the quiff. Spray with Session Spray for firm hold.
  • Styling the Waves: On clean dry hair, use Spray Shine by Alterna lightly all over. Then in 2″ vertical sections, loosely iron curl the mid shaft to ends all over. Using a cushion brush, lightly brush the curls into large waves. Then spray with Working Spray by Alterna for touchable hold and movement.

For additional fun and glamor: Add star shaped hair pins to the style in reverence to the song! We love the stars she put on her palms for the video and thought why not use that inspiration for the hair as well? It could be the perfect way to dress up a day style into night. Have fun!

post by D’Arcy

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

What’s Your New Year’s Hair Resolution?

What will you do in 2010?

A Bob



Some Color

We want to hear your New Year’s hair resolutions.

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Transitioning Your Hair to Fall

Balayage is an excellent option for transitioning your damaged blond to a light caramel brown fall hue. It’s all in the application & conditioning process mastered by your color professionals at Emerson. Give your ends a splash of gold & deep conditioning while fanning a warm brown through the routes as Gisele Bundchan has done for years, to create a crescendo of color that looks natural & rich. Top off your new color with some free flowing waves or smooth & sleek long layers. Our Caviar system is ideal for treating dry, sun-kissed locks post color.

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Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Balayage: Hand-Painted Highlights at Emerson Salon

Balayage is a French hair coloring technique that creates natural-looking highlights. It’s perfect for those who want beautiful, dimensional color without the contrast of a foil. The technique can also be used for a more dramatic effect with intense highlights.

A key benefit of balayage is the grow-out upkeep is minimal, making it’s easy to maintain. Many celebrities and models prefer the balayage technique because it’s modern, easy to keep up with, and mimics the way the hair can be naturally highlighted by the sun. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your color for the season, balayage is the perfect option for you!

My client Vanessa has fine hair. She wanted to lighten up her color and add texture to her hair, but didn’t care for the look of foils which she felt looked too “stripey.” With this consultation, we decided that a balayage treatment was the right choice for Vanessa. I went with a balayage technique that incorporated rich browns and a dark honey blonde to compliment her eye color and skintone.

Here’s some pictures of the results which turned out fantastic:

Book a consultation today to find out how a new Balayage application could compliment your current style!

- Post by Marissa

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