By definition, the word balayage means "to sweep" on hair dye that mimics sun-kissed highlights. The colour technique has won countless fans simply because its results look lived-in, unfussy, and, most importantly, natural. Or so we thought. This morning, we found a new way to balayage on Reddit — and not to alarm you or anything, but it completely redefines what the technique can look like.
A Redditor who goes by the handle DEH0001 posted the above picture showing off reverse brunette balayage. Of course, when most of us think about balayage, we picture a brunette using the bespoke method of colouring to lighten her darker strands. But in this case, the model chose to do the opposite, darkening her golden blond hair by painting on ombré caramel and chestnut tones. The result is unconventional, surprising, and even a little shocking, but that's kind of the point, says colourist Cassie Cohen.
Cohen, who works at the NYC salon Sharon Dorram Colour at Sally Hershberger, says the look "defies what the sun will naturally do to your hair colour," which is lighten things up. Because it's so unconventional, Cohen says that "This is a trend that is edgier than your average ombré and can be altered to flatter any skin tone or natural hair colour."
Better yet, this style isn't too hard to maintain. According to Cohen, "This would require a regular highlight visit to lighten your roots and refresh the dark bottom," which should take place every six to eight weeks. Cohen also said that it would benefit anyone who wants a reverse balayage to "go in for a refresh gloss in between colour sessions to keep the vibrancy of the tones alive."