Hair colouring is one of the oldest beauty techniques in the books, with many different hair colouring techniques dating back to ancient dyes from around the world…

It is no wonder why- nothing feels better than walking out of the salon with an amazing new hair colour. 

Our hair gives us confidence and happiness, and getting a professional colour done is an amazing way to feel great every day. However, there is a lot to know about the world of hair colour. If you are planning to get hair colour or balayage in London, keep reading for the answers to all of your hair colour questions. 

What is the Difference Between Balayage and Highlights?

Both balayage and highlights result in lighter hair, so what is the difference between the two techniques? 

Highlighting is the more traditional approach to lightening than balayage. Stylists will slice out precise sections of the hair to apply with bleach and then divide out with foils. There are many amazing stylists who do highlights in London. 

Highlighting, when done by a professional hairstylist, still has beautiful results. The key difference is more defined lightening, whereas balayage is more subtle. 

Balayage is a modern take on highlighting. Rather than sharply sectioning out the hair to be lightened, a balayage specialist applies the bleach in more natural sections. The bleach is applied like paint on a canvas, starting lighter at the roots and heavier at the ends. A balayage specialist will assess your hair and the shape of your face to determine the best placement for each section, and then apply the colour freehand. 

Balayage is typically more expensive than highlighting due to the intricacy of the application. Not every hairstylist is able to master the balayage technique, as it takes years of dedication and practice to perfect the technique. 

The end result of the balayage is method is exceptionally natural blending, with no harsh lines or sections. Balayage gives the perfect natural, ombré look to any hair. 

What is a Platinum Card?

A platinum card, while still a lightening service, differentiates from a balayage or highlights. Rather than sectioning the hair and leaving portions natural, during a platinum card service lightener will be applied to all of the hair. The end result is all-over platinum blonde. 

A platinum card is tricky because in order for the end result to look perfect, the stylist needs to be able to evenly highlight the hair. Very dark hair may require multiple services to get exactly the right look. 

What is an All-Over Colour? 

All-over colour is just what it sounds like- one colour applied to your whole head of hair. This is not the same as a lightening service, as there will be no sectioning involved. The end result is a uniform, even hair colour. 

If you want a bold colour, you may need to have your hair lightened before going through an all-over colour. Your hair colourist will consult with you to determine the best way to get to your desired shade. 

What Hair Colour is the Best for Me?

If you are unsure what colour or technique will look best on you, get in touch with a hair colour specialist. They can set you up with a hair colour consultation to discuss your hair goals and their opinions on what colours and tones would complement your colouring best.

Hairstylists have seen hundreds of different clients through the years and they can usually provide some great guidance on what shade would look amazing on you. 

Does Hair Colour Damage the Hair?

Balayage is considered to be less damaging than traditional hair lightening services, as it does not require foils or heat. A professional balayage stylist will know how to apply colour (and when to take it off) for the best results with the least damage. 

When applied improperly, any hair colouring technique can be damaging. We strongly recommend seeing an expert hairstylist for any hair colouring you wish to have done. It is much, much easier to get great results the first time than fix a severely damaged head of hair!

Do I Need to Do a Test Strand?

A test strand is a safety precaution used by hairstylists to ensure the hair can handle the service that you requested. The stylist will take a small slice of your hair and apply the colour, then assess before finishing the rest of the hair. 

A test strand has many benefits. It can help your colourist determine how to apply the bleach to your hair for your desired style, or if the hair is healthy enough to be processed today.

If your hair will not be able to go through the service you are requesting, your stylist will be able to come up with a game plan to get you to your hair goals without frying your hair. This prevents damage upfront and helps make sure your results are beautiful. 

Not every individual will need a test strand. These are some factors that may determine if you need a test strand:

  • Previous salon hair colouring
  • Previous home hair colouring
  • The shade of your current hair vs your hair goals 
  • Any previous chemical permanent styling
  • If you are coming in for a colour correction and applying colour may be tricker than normal 

Your hair colourist will make the determination of whether or not a test strand will be needed based on the overall integrity of your hair. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry! Hair colourists are dedicated to bringing your hair dreams to reality, and part of having beautifully coloured hair is having healthy hair. 

Fortunately, Moe Harb is a very experienced hair colourist who can assess the hair and make the determination without needing a test strand. With 20 years of making hair dreams a reality, Moe will be able to make a game plan for your hair without requiring a test strand. 

I’m Pregnant. Can I Still Get My Hair Coloured?

The NHS generally views hair colouring while pregnant to be safe. To reduce unnecessary exposure, the NHS recommends wearing gloves while touching the colour and working in a well-ventilated space, so having your hair professionally coloured is the best way to ensure all safety suggestions are met. 

While we recommend following recommendations from your doctor, there should be very few risks while dying your hair while pregnant or nursing. 

How Long Should I Wait After Colouring to Wash My Hair?

We recommend waiting at least 24 hours after your service to wash your hair again. This gives your new colour a chance to settle in and helps it to last longer. 

How Long Will My Results Last?

Hair colour longevity can vary widely from person to person. Depending on the style of colouring you get and the speed at which your hair grows, the maintenance of your hair colour may be very different. 

Hair growth is a major factor in styles fading. Of course, eventually, the new colour will grow out and need to be touched up.

Additionally, the type of colour you get can make a big impact. For example, a balayage is very delicately blended, so it can grow out more naturally and may help prolong your style for longer. An all-over colour to the roots will likely show a bit faster, as there will be a harsher line between your new colour and your regrowth. 

If the colour you choose is substantially different from your natural, that can also make an impact on how quickly new growth becomes noticeable. Of course, if you are a natural redhead and dye your hair black, new growth will have a sharp contrast to the black colour. 

At the end of the day, it is hard to predict exactly how long your colour will last before needing a refresh. If your hair grows fast, you may find yourself back in the salon in 4-6 weeks. If your hair is a bit slower, you may be able to go 8-10 weeks.

Your colourist should be able to help give you an estimate to help book your next appointment. 

Where Can I Get Balayage in London?

London is an amazing city for hair. Stylists from all over the world have made London a Mecca for professional hair colouring. Getting a balayage in London is sure to be an amazing experience. 

Moe Harb is a hair colour specialist in London. Known for his free-hand approach to colouring, Moe is an icon of the London hair scene. Moe is Harrow’s resident hair colouring expert and is one of few hairstylists in London who can highlight and tint simultaneously. 

If you are looking for balayage and highlights in London, Moe Harb’s salon is a great place for you. For more information on how to get your dream hair, get in touch with us today!