Everyone’s talking about reverse balayage: an expert explains

It’s the ideal hair trend for autumn/winter.
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Going a shade or two darker for the change of season, isn’t revolutionary, we know. But HOW to warm up your colour for the cooler months ahead is what everyone is talking about – and our latest obsession. It’s low-commitment, it’s low-maintenance and it’s called reverse balayage.

We chatted with local colouring specialist Maree Ziernicki, otherwise known as Dumblonde Hair, from Braddon. (In devastating news, Maree recently announced she’s leaving Canberra for Sydney – sob!) But before she leaves us, she gave us the lowdown on reverse (and regular) balayage. 


Balayage: the basics

Firstly, both are colouring techniques,” says Maree. “The term ‘balayage’ comes from the French word ‘balayer’, meaning ‘to sweep’. It’s a term that refers to the way the colour is applied – not the actual colour itself.”

The balayage colouring technique, which focuses on the top layers of hair, gives a natural, dimensional approach to highlighting. The soft, subtle results are a natural-looking way to go blonde or lighten up your colour. 

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Balayage vs reverse balayage

Where balayage is all about lightening things up, as you might have guessed, reverse balayage is the reverse. It’s about what’s underneath: think lowlights, under-layers, heavy blending and shadowing, giving hair a deep, natural, lived-in look.

“Reverse balayage is achieved by painting out darker shades in a downward direction from the roots towards the mid-lengths of the hair,” Maree explains. “This adds more dimension to your hair colour, and can blend grown-out highlights by matching your natural base. Like with regular balayage, reverse balayage will still result in a seamless look without any harsh lines.” 


Who does it suit?

According to Maree, it’s a technique that’s both growing in popularity and suits anyone and everyone.

“It can work for all hair types, textures, skin tones and on those with long or short hair,” says Maree. “The ideal reverse balayage client is someone who is looking to switch up their highlights or blonde hair and move towards a more lived-in, natural look for either the cooler months or to enjoy less maintenance and go longer between appointments.” 


The takeaway

Reverse balayage has very few downsides: it’s perfect if you’re looking to deepen your colour but you’re not ready for a full-blown hair transformation. Basically, it’s an easy, on-trend way to usher in the cool weather in style. 

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