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20 Reasons Balayage Hair Is the Highlighting Technique You Need

Spoiler Alert: This hair color makes everyone look red carpet ready
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So we're kind of obsessed with balayage hair, and it's safe to say the rest of the world is too. Balayage, a highlighting technique whose French name means "to sweep or paint," is applied by hand to give hair a naturally sun-kissed look. "It's a flattering way to accent your hair, since it looks so natural," explains Matrix Style Link Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas.

"It's becoming a classic, especially for brunettes who want to go lighter," Papanikolas says. Balayage technique is a freehand-painted highlight, which doesn't require the use of a foil. In other words, your stylist has artistic license to add highlights wherever they will look best — which is why it's important to team up with a balayage hair expert, according to Papanikolas.

"A really beautiful balayage has a lot of dimension and contrast," says Papanikolas. "The highlights should frame the face and naturally blend with the color of your hair."

Even The universally flattering balayage highlights complement everyone's skin tone and current hair color. better, it's surprisingly low-maintenance. Because the highlights are freely painted and sporadically applied throughout your mane, this technique doesn't require monthly root touchups and gives your hair recovery time in-between bleaching sessions. In fact, Papanikolas says women can get away with balayage touchups twice a year if they're going for that effortless look. Otherwise, every three months will do. "Obviously if you want a lighter balayage and you're starting dark, you'll have to come in for a couple treatments," Papanikolas says. "If you're naturally light, you'll probably only need one session."

If you're thinking about hopping on the balayage bandwagon, we've got your balayage hair inspo covered. Here, 20 gorgeous balayage looks that will take any dull 'do to the next level.

Image via Imaxtree

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Platinum Tips
Speaking of dimension, up your hair's contrast with platinum tips that stretch sparingly throughout your mane for an eye-catching balayage.

Image via @hairbyashcha

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Painted Perfection
Delicate balayage highlights instantly add warmth and shine to this brunette babe's 'do.

Image via @caroline.anythingbutbasic

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Subtle Balayage
It's so subtle you almost don't recognize the balayage highlights, yet this red-hot hair color wouldn't pop nearly as much without the understated balayage technique.

Image via @thefrenchtwistsalon

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Lazy Yet Lovely
Lived-in hair never looked so good. Thanks to her balayage, she won't have to step into the salon for another six months. Can we get an amen?

Image via @jeanette.herrera

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