Balayage is a hair-coloring trend that began in France in the 1970s. Recently, it has become the most requested technique. It is probably the most versatile process and look for so many reasons.

The number one reason is that it is the most cost-effective technique. It grows out so beautifully you do not need a time frame to plan another appointment, therefore, you can stretch it out for several months without looking like you need your hair redone.

The second reason, but as important, is that it is attractive on any age. More mature women love it because it gives dimension to even their plain, drab white hair or flat, one-dimensional brown hair. Younger woman can be as creative or subtle as they want.

Stylists love doing balayage because it lets us be true artists. We don’t use foils or the antiquated frosting cap.

Balayage is done freehand, using the same kind of brush as used in highlighting or frosting, but with no foils.

Using either bleach to lighten or color to add dimension, the stylist “paints” randomly in places that highlight the style. Balayage is all about the technique and placement vs. the product used.

Results can range from subtle sun-kissed to radical multi-colored strands or streaks in natural colors or pastel and neon colors. The sky is the limit.

Lighter pieces can be painted in front and randomly throughout the head. It can be added only underneath so it shows only when curled. Light or dark, neon or pastel colors can be creatively added on the very tips or graduate from light to dark.

Gray or blonde hair can have a tone-on-tone effect just to add subtle interest.

Balayage is beautiful on naturally curly hair when painted on the curls just to make the texture stand out and shine.

The pieces gradually fade and-or grow out with time. Until then, the look will turn heads and draw attention.

It is a wonderful way for people who have never done anything to their hair to try color.

If you are looking for something that gives your hair a subtle change, to wanting to be noticed for your individuality, or anything in between, ask for balayage. You will not be disappointed.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton.