There are two major types of hair highlights – the Balayage and the traditional foil highlights.

What is Balayage?

Perhaps, you are hearing about Balayage for the first time? It is a hair color painting technique where the stylist uses a French free-hand painting technique to gently brush a different color on your hair. Balayage allows you to lighten your hair by painting new hair color subtly to give a seemingly natural appearance. Think of a brown-to-blonde transition, but with no stripes or linear discolorations.

Despite its French origin, the Balayage hair technique is popular among women in most countries. It is also known for its artistic feel, which leaves room for extensive customization. Due to the teasing nature of Balayage, the color does not start from the roots. The transformation is natural, leaving your hair with a unique sun-kissed appearance when the hair eventually grows out.

It is suitable for almost all hair types and colors. Whether you are blonde, redheads, or with chocolate brown hair, just go for it! This hair painting technique also works flawlessly with straight, wavy, and even curly hair. That being said, you should work with a hairstylist who specializes in the Balayage technique.

What is the traditional foil highlight all about?

Traditional highlights involve weaving some parts of the hair and lightening them from the root to the ends, with some natural hairs within them. Then the woven sections of the hair are separated from the other parts by folding them into foils.

Balayage or Traditional Highlights?

It is always tricky to choose between the traditional foil highlights and balayage when you are getting a few highlights for your hair. What you end up with, most times, depends on your needs and preferences.

Most people believe Balayage is a celebrity style or model look. This is not true; Balayage is suitable for everyone. It is ideal for a wide range of hairstyles and hair colors. So, if you are a blonde or redhead? Feel free to get yourself a Balayage. Brown chocolate hairs are also compatible. Your hair type – curly, wavy, or straight – does not affect its compatibility with Balayage. It is a flexible hair coloring technique.

The traditional highlight is ideal if you want a significant color shift or a very contrasty hair will be better off with highlight foils. The highlight foils technique is the better option for dark hair with multiple shades lighter, or when you prefer an even color blend.

Talking Points…

Here are some Balayage and traditional highlights talking points if you are looking for other deciding factors asides from personal preferences.


You will definitely find cheaper hair coloring techniques in the market. However, if you consider how much artistic skill, time, and customization the stylists invest in making Balayage, you would understand why it costs more than the traditional highlights.

But Balayage, despite being costlier, is more cost-effective. You get a very good value for money in the long run by visiting the salon less frequently. You ultimately save money.


If you are the type that doesn’t enjoy frequent salon visits frequently, Balayage is the better option for you. Yes, Balayage is sophisticated, but it requires regular maintenance. You can squeeze out about six months of your Balayage setting with basic care. If you want to maintain it for longer, you will need major maintenance after this period.

Traditional foil highlights are cheaper to make but require major maintenance regularly. You will end up spending more on these maintenance trips to your salon.


Traditional highlights are not exactly designed for customization. The customization is limited compared to what is obtainable in Balayage. Balayage involves a freehand application of the coloring. So, your stylist enjoys more flexibility to achieve a unique look.

There are the curl style and straight style Balayage setting. When correctly done, Balayage’s mild nature makes it difficult for people to separate it from your natural hair.

Risk of Damage

Both foiled highlights and balayage will hardly damage your hair if you work with a competent colorist. Your colorist must be 100% mindful at every step of the way. This is the only way to achieve the expected end result without sacrificing the integrity or health of your hair.

Our professional colorists at La Mode Hair Design & Spa are well-trained and experienced in either of these techniques. We will guide you throughout the process and ensure that you get your desired hair color without leaving your hair damaged.


If you wonder which is easier and faster to achieve, the answer is traditional highlights. They require lesser time and effort compared to Balayage. Balayage requires complex customizations.

But all the time spent with your colorist will be worth it when you consider how long you can keep the Balayage without serious maintenance.

Let’s handle your Balayage and Highlights.

The wrong highlight choice or the right highlight choice done wrongly can damage your hair. You can avoid this by working with a competent hair colorist or stylist. At La Mode Hair Design & Spa, you can rest assured of professional hair colorists specializing in different types of highlight techniques.

Do you want to learn more about hair colors? Read our post on hair colors HERE .

Let the best hands handle your hair highlights. Call La Mode Hair Design and Spa on 847-729-0196 to schedule an appointment right away.

Call us 847-729-0196 to book an appointment

1811 Waukegan Rd. Glenview IL 60025