Wisteria Avenue

Can Balayage Damage My Hair?

Balayage is as popular a hair colouring choice as ever, beloved for its ability to create natural-looking highlights and dimensional effects. However, there’s a common concern among clients: Can balayage damage your hair? Let’s delve into the intricacies of balayage and its potential impact on hair health.

The role of bleach in balayage

At the heart of many balayage treatments lies bleach, a hair product used to lighten the hair. Bleach, in its powdered form, is mixed with a developer (the liquid which makes bleach and hair colour ‘work’), which comes in various strengths ranging from 5 vol to 40 vol. On most hair types, 20 vol achieves the cleanest lift, leaving hair healthy and feeling great!

The strength of the developer determines the level of lift achieved, with higher volumes capable of lifting the hair to lighter shades. Too high a developer when used inappropriately can cause damage. Too ‘weak’ a developer can render leave hair with little to no change.

Understanding any risks

While bleach is an effective tool for achieving lighter hair colours, its improper use can lead to damage. Hair stylists carefully assess the hair needs before applying bleach, considering factors such as the hair’s history, current condition, and desired outcome. A thorough understanding of the client’s lifestyle and hair health is crucial in determining the appropriate course of action.

Balancing hair integrity above desired colour

Achieving the desired hair colour while maintaining the integrity of the hair in most cases is a straightforward balancing act. Some hair types may require minimal lift, while others can withstand more aggressive treatments. Experienced stylists rely on their expertise and intuition to assess the hair’s condition and make informed decisions about the use of bleach in both relation to the strength of the developer, the processing time and in some cases whether it’s appropriate to use bleach at all.

The importance of experience and expertise

In the hands of an experienced stylist, balayage in 99% of cases can be a safe and effective hair colouring option. Experienced hair professionals conduct thorough risk assessments before undertaking any colour or bleaching service, taking into account the hair’s history, texture, and overall health. By understanding how the hair feels and reacts to treatments, stylists can tailor their approach to minimise the risk of damage.

Choosing the right developer and bleach

A Stylist wouldn’t usually disclose the strength of developer that they use (for the same reason a chef wouldn’t explain his cooking process to you in a restaurant!), though asking questions about the service is more common, particularly if you have concern. A consultation will usually identify any issues.

Selecting the appropriate developer strength and bleach formulation is crucial in preventing hair damage during balayage. In most cases, a 20-volume developer combined with bleach achieves a clean lift that is both subtle and manageable. This moderate approach ensures that the hair remains healthy and maintainable while still achieving the desired colour result.

Maintaining hair health post balayage

Aftercare is essential in preserving the health and integrity of the hair post-balayage. One great aspect of balayage is not only that its low-maintenance, but this extends to its aftercare too! Most clients won’t have to change their routine too much. However there is no harm in investment in ‘better’ hair products.

Using nourishing hair care products specifically designed for colour-treated hair can help replenish moisture and protect against damage. Regular trims and deep conditioning treatments can also help prevent split ends and breakage, ensuring that your hair remains healthy and vibrant.

Conclusion: Balayage done right

In conclusion, while balayage involves the use of bleach, it can be a safe and effective hair colouring option when performed sensibly and in a controlled way. By prioritising hair health and choosing the appropriate products and techniques, experienced stylists can achieve stunning balayage results without compromising the integrity of the hair. At Wisteria Avenue, our skilled professionals are committed to delivering beautiful, healthy hair transformations that leave you looking and feeling your best.

Opening Hours

Tuesday : 10 am – 4 pm
Wednesday : 11:30 am – 8 pm 
Thursday : 11:30 am – 8 pm
Friday : 10 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday : 9 am – 5 pm


Wisteria Avenue Hair Salon
4 East St. Helen Street,
OX14 5EA


T: 01235 534705
WhatsApp: 01235 534705
Email: [email protected]

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