Brushstrokes vs. Whispers

In the vast landscape of hair coloring, two techniques sit squarely at the center of dimensional hair color: balayage and highlighting (including baby lights). Both methods offer distinct approaches to achieving beautiful, dimensional hair, but understanding their differences is key to making the right choice for your desired look. Join us as we explore the artistry behind balayage and highlights, comparing their unique qualities and helping you decide which technique might be your perfect match.

Balayage: The Art of Brushstrokes

Balayage, derived from the French word meaning “to sweep,” is a freehand technique where color is applied in sweeping motions onto sections of the hair. This method creates a gradual transition from darker roots to lighter ends, delivering a sun-kissed and natural appearance. Balayage allows for customized color placement, providing versatility and a more blended effect than traditional foil highlights.

Highlights: Bringing Light to the Forefront

Highlighting, a classic and widely adopted technique, involves placing lighter streaks or strands strategically throughout the hair. Unlike balayage, highlights typically utilize foils to isolate sections, resulting in a more defined and contrasted look. This method is ideal for those who desire a bolder, more noticeable color variation and distinct lines between the natural and highlighted sections.

Baby Lights: A Whisper of Radiance

Baby lights take the highlighting technique to a finer, subtler level. These ultra-fine highlights are strategically placed throughout the hair, mimicking the natural and delicate shimmer seen in children’s hair. The goal is to achieve a soft, seamless blend that adds dimension without the bold contrast of traditional highlights. Baby lights provide a gentle, sunlit radiance that is both elegant and low maintenance.


Balayage stands out for its unparalleled customization. The freehand painting allows for a personalized approach, emphasizing certain features and adapting to individual preferences. Highlights, on the other hand, offer a more controlled and precise application, making them suitable for certain desired outcomes. Baby lights, with their ultra-fine nature, provide a subtle enhancement that complements the base color without overpowering it.

In the dynamic world of hair coloring, where trends evolve and personal preferences vary, the need for a harmonious blend of balayage, highlights, and baby lights becomes increasingly apparent. Each technique possesses its own distinctive charm, catering to different aesthetic desires and style preferences. By combining these techniques, hair stylists can craft a masterpiece that not only captures the multidimensional beauty of the client’s hair but also allows for a personalized expression of style. The artful integration of balayage, highlights, and baby lights creates a unique symphony of color, ensuring a stunning and customized result that transcends the limitations of any single technique. This fusion approach recognizes the versatility of hair artistry, acknowledging that beauty lies in the seamless collaboration of various methods to achieve a truly individualized and captivating aesthetic.