Like it or not, balayage isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Something about its “sun-kissed” effect has solidified the style as a salon mainstay, kicking other techniques (i.e. traditional foils) to the curb. But, much like other hair trends, balayage is forever evolving, and right now “ribbon lights” are having a moment. The key difference with ribbon lights has to do with the amount of contrast and dimension it creates. While ombres and sombres have a darker root that slowly fades into a lighter shade, ribbon lights pack a more fierce punch. They are bright from the root to the ends - with an even shade throughout - that stand out because of their contrast with the base or all over shade. Keep reading to learn why ribbon balayage is the number one technique to put on your radar in 2019.
Ribbon lights are a fusion of traditional balayage and highlights.
The term “balayage” means “to sweep or to paint,” allowing colorists to give the hair a “sun-kissed” appearance without any harsh lines. Typically, the color is extremely subtle and applied in thin sections to add dimension and depth to the hair. Ribbon lights essentially do the same thing, with one minor difference: larger chunks of color. That’s right, along with similar lines of traditional highlights, ribbon lights add thicker hints of color to the hair to create a “ribbon-like appearance.”
Ribbon lights work on most hair lengths
Unlike traditional balayage, which tends to look more flattering on longer strands, ribbon lights can be done on hair that is chin-length or longer. Because the color is applied in larger "chunks", the lighter shades are noticeable on both short and long locks. Don't get us wrong, those "chunky" highlights that Kelly Clarkson used to flaunt are NOT back.
Ribbon lights can be customized to your liking
Whether you want something subtle or want to play around with a flirty hue, ribbon lights are ideal for incorporating pops of color without creating too much of a dramatic difference. Add a couple of blonde ribbon lights around the face for a youthful effect, or, opt for edgy hints of caramel or red throughout your hair. This is such a great way to change up your client's look when they are looking for a mild change and are the perfect way to brighten them up for the spring and summer seasons!
Ribbon lights are ideal for curly hair
Sometimes other highlighting techniques can get lost in curly or textured hair. Thanks to the larger sections, ribbon lights help color pop on textured, kinky or coiled strands. In fact, the natural wave or curl pattern can enhance the ribbon effect, allowing the color to stand out even more.
Ribbon lights better show off your work
Let’s face it: Balayage is art, and, if a client is eager to show off a fresh shade, why not opt for a more obvious technique? When done right, ribbon lights all work together to create an eye-catching masterpiece that will set them and you apart from the rest!
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