10 Ways to Perfect a Balayage

Photo via @jessicascotthair(Jessica Scott Santos)

For those looking for a low-maintenance sun-kissed look, Balayage is a good go-to service. Jessica Scott Santo, owner of Jessica Scott Hair and social media influencer, specializes in natural-looking Balayage and has 10 tips for perfecting it.

“I teach classes on everything from basic to advanced Balayage, and these are the 10 things that are crucial for pulling off a seamless service and avoiding spotty results,” explains Santo.

10 Ways to Perfect a Balayage


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  1. Avoid making lightener too runny. Go for the consistency of cream cheese.
  2. Clean sectioning. “If you paint a knot, you’re gonna get a spot!”
  3. Keep a light hand. Don’t push product into the hair shaft. In French, Balayage means “to sweep,” not “to push.”
  4. Blend well. If coating the back side of a section, make sure it’s well blended!
  5. Even consistency from TOP to BOTTOM. If not, the hair will lift unevenly.
  6. Use a hard brush. Avoid the top of it, just use the body or flat side to prevent pushing the product down into the hair shaft, keep the brush parallel to the hair.   And, never touch the bristles to the hair unless skimming the hair, once bristles are felt, it starts to wipe product off of the hair.
  7. Keep brush clean. Never let a Balayage brush live in a bowl.
  8. TENSION, TENSION, TENSION. If that section doesn’t have good tension, the lightener will drive into the hair shaft, or be pushed there, instead of laying on top of the hair.
  9. Position. Never paint “toward” the body, especially with a very thick lightener. It’s easier to have a heavy hand, versus standing parallel to the hair (elbow and pinky out) and letting the product do the work!
  10. Use insulation. It helps incubate, but also keeps sectioning clean.