How Long Does Balayage Last?

By: | Last Updated: November 26, 2021

So, you heard that a balayage lasts longer than traditional foil highlights and you are here to either confirm or disprove that rumor. 

Let me make it easy for you: Yes, a balayage lasts longer than traditional highlights. 

But, exactly how long does balayage last?

Luckily, I have answers. Read on to know more.

This article will help you find the answers to the following questions:

  • Does balayage work on naturally light hair?
  • Does balayage fade?
  • Does a balayage get lighter after wash?
  • How often does a balayage need to be redone?
  • What happens to balayage after six months?
  • Is balayage hard to maintain?

Does balayage work on naturally light hair?

Usually, a balayage involves bleaching naturally dark hair and painting both highlights (lighter tones than the base color) and lowlights (darker tones than the base color) on random sections of the hair to create a naturally sun-kissed effect.

balayage on light hair – Curling Diva

However, if your hair is a naturally lighter color, you need to undergo a different process to get the same result. This process is called a reverse balayage. Instead of bleaching for a lighter color, your hair will be painted with a darker shade.

Reverse balayage involves changing the hair’s base color into a darker shade and focuses on adding lowlights instead of highlights. 

Does a balayage fade?

To briefly answer this question: Yes, balayage does fade just like any other hair coloring procedure.

But, you can slow down this inevitable fading by using proper hair care products and adapting better hair care habits.

Since balayage requires bleaching your hair, the effects of balayage are permanent. However, the pigment used to paint your hair may fade over time, especially when you don’t take care of your hair properly.

If you have naturally light hair and got a reverse balayage, then your semi-permanent hair color will inevitably fade as well. 

It is important to use high-quality hair dyes to avoid the quick fading of hair color. Although expensive, these dyes provide more vivid and longer-lasting colors. 

Post-salon maintenance also plays a huge role in the fading of your balayage. Your hair care habits and hair care products should suit the needs of your new balayage hair.

To maintain the radiance of your hair color, you should use a toning shampoo at least once every two weeks. This trick is especially helpful if you had a naturally dark hair color and opted for a near-blonde balayage since blondes are more prone to brassiness.

Choose products that do not strip color away from your hair and protect your hair from harmful UV rays while moisturizing it.

READ NEXT: Does balayage damage hair?

Does balayage get lighter after washing?

Balayage is a mix of bleaching and hair coloring. Bleached hair is prone to having brassy undertones, while colored hair is prone to fading. 

The brassiness and fading are inevitable, but you can slow it down until your next balayage appointment with the help of the right hair care products.

Before everything else, you need to understand what happens to your hair once you leave the salon. 

As soon as you step out of the salon, you will notice that your hair color is radiant and perfect — this is because your hairstylist uses toners. 

These toners can make the colors of your hair pop. Warm colors become warmer, and cool colors become cooler, depending on the toner used.

However, after a few washes, the toner will fade, and the color will lighten. Toners are not permanent, and rinses out every time you wash your hair. 

In other words, the more you wash your hair, the faster the color will fade. 

CHECK OUT: Stages of Lightening Dark Hair

Luckily, using pigmented shampoos twice a week can slow down the fading of hair color. 

Pigmented shampoos contain hair pigments that replenish your hair color. They don’t necessarily add color to your hair; rather, they neutralize brassy hues and brighten your highlights. 

Pigmented shampoos come in different shades for different hair colors. Purple shampoos are perfect for blondes, while those with brown hair can choose between green or blue shampoos.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

Luseta Purple Shampoo and Conditioner Set for Blonde, Gray - Color Treated Hair - Sulfate Free Paraben Free - Infused with Cocos Nucifera Oil for Curly and Damaged Hair - 2x16.9oz

Sun exposure also contributes to the oxidation of your hair color, making it look dull and lifeless. To prevent oxidation, you can use thermal protectant mists or hair sprays with SPF. 

These products will help protect your hair from damage whenever you go outdoors.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you try to keep your balayage vibrant, there will always come a time when pigmented shampoos and hairsprays will do you no good. Eventually, you will need to set another balayage appointment. 

How often does a balayage need to be redone?

According to hair experts, a balayage must be redone every three to four months. This is in contrast to the six to eight-week week touch-up intervals that traditional foil highlights require.

If you’re on a budget, get a partial balayage on your first touch-up, about three or four months after your first balayage. In your second touch-up session (which would ideally be six or eight months after your first), you could get a full balayage done again. 

Partial touch-ups cost less than the full procedure because it focuses on repainting certain areas, such as the roots of the hair near the regrowth and the outer layer of the hair, unlike a full balayage that repaints most of your hair, both the inner and outer layers.


Getting a balayage is a better option for women who are too busy to go to the salon every six weeks. But more than that, fewer salon appointments means less spending. 

In the long run, a balayage is cheaper than traditional foil highlights.

Balayage looks more natural than other techniques, more time-saving and cost-efficient too!

What more can we ask for?

Balayage after six months

It’s been six months after your first full balayage appointment, and you still haven’t touched up? 

Well, to be honest with you, your hair might not be looking as good as you want it to be.

It probably is brassy already, no matter how many times you applied hair toners. Your hair has reached the point in which it needs another full balayage appointment.

Although a balayage may still look good after six months without touch-ups, it is rare. It entirely depends on the person’s hair care habits, rate of hair regrowth, and definition of what a “good balayage” looks like.

If, after six months, you’re stuck with a dull balayage and unsure of what to do next, here is a simple guide question that can help you decide:

Considering the cost (i.e., money, time, and energy) of balayage touch-ups and aftercare, do you still want to continue your balayage?

balayage touchup – Curling Diva

If you answered yes, then what are you waiting for? Go and schedule a full balayage appointment at your trusted salon ASAP!

If you answered no, you have two options: either dye your hair a solid color to hide the balayage or wait for your hair to grow and trim it regularly until you get rid of all the balayage strands.

If you choose to dye your hair a solid color, you should know that this will still require special care from you. Colored hair should be moisturized and toned regularly.

For your convenience, choose a shade that is most similar to your natural hair color so you wouldn’t have to worry about obvious regrowth lines. 

If you choose to trim your hair regularly until you get rid of the colored strands, then do so. You might want your hair to take a break from all those chemicals or perhaps you realized that the aftercare maintenance is too much for you. Both reasons are valid.

However, waiting for your hair to grow may take quite a while, depending on the rate of your hair regrowth. Also, take note that this process is not the most glamorous one of them all.

This process involves having bad hair days, especially when the regrowth lines become more and more obvious as it approaches the midsections of your hair. There will come a time when you can’t hide the brassiness any longer, no matter what hair products you use.

But in the end, you’ll achieve chemical-free hair. I bet it would be worth it.

Is balayage hard to maintain?

In comparison to other hair coloring techniques, balayage is easier to maintain, especially when it comes to the frequency of salon appointments.

Like what I said earlier, balayage requires only a touch-up after a few months. But why? 

Why do you need to touch up my balayage every three to four months only?

The balayage technique offers a sweeping motion of freehand painting your hair. 

Unlike traditional foil highlights which have obvious demarcation lines, a balayage has soft strokes of color starting a few centimeters away from the roots. That makes the hair color look more natural. 

Even if your hair grows, the regrowth lines will not be as obvious as the ones seen in traditional highlights.

But what about the aftercare maintenance at home?

If you’re not used to having your hair bleached and colored, then you have to make several adjustments to maintain your balayage.

First, you need moisturizers and deep conditioners. Bleached hair tends to be dry and dry hair is prone to damage. Your goal is to have healthy hair, no matter its color.

Second, you need toning shampoos to maintain the vibrance of your hair color and prevent it from developing brassy hues.

Next, you need to protect your balayage from the sun. This includes using hair sprays with SPF or using umbrellas and hats or avoiding the sun altogether.

Finally, you must adjust your hair washing days. The more you wash your hair, the faster the color will fade. So, you can wash your hair four to five times a week only. Use dry shampoo if you have oily scalp.

These are just general guidelines on balayage maintenance. For more information, visit our article on how to maintain a balayage.

Gorgeous Hair That Lasts!

Balayage is definitely worth the hype! Not only does it look naturally sunkissed and gorgeous, but it also saves you time and energy by going to the salon less frequently.

So how long does balayage last?

Depends on how fast your hair grows.

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