Embarking on a hair transformation journey can be both exhilarating and daunting. In Singapore, where style and personal grooming take a front seat, choosing the right hair colouring technique is crucial. The debate between balayage vs highlights is a hot topic, with each method offering unique advantages and aesthetics. Whether you’re longing for a bold new look or a subtle change, understanding the nuances of these popular techniques is essential. This guide delves into the world of balayage and highlights, comparing the two to help you make an informed decision that complements your style and lifestyle.

What are Highlights?

Balayage vs Highlights

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In the world of hair colouring, highlights involve selectively lightening strands to contrast with your natural hair colour. This method usually uses foils to isolate specific sections for precise, even distribution of lighter shades. Highlights can vary significantly, from delicate babylights, which emulate the subtle, natural highlights of a child’s hair, to more pronounced chunking for a dramatic effect. This versatility makes highlights a popular choice for anyone seeking a distinct change, offering varied sizes and intensities to cater to different personal styles.

What is a Balayage?

Balayage vs Highlights

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Balayage, originating from the French term ‘to sweep’, is a skillful colouring technique where the colourist hand-paints the dye onto the hair, achieving a graduated, natural effect. This method typically focuses lighter tones towards the ends, allowing for a smooth transition. Renowned for its ability to impart depth and dimension, balayage is adaptable for various hair lengths and types, making it a versatile option. It offers a less structured, more organic appearance than traditional highlights, suitable for those desiring a customised, natural look.


Balayage vs Highlights – What are the Differences?

When considering a hair makeover, understanding the differences between balayage and highlights is key. These popular techniques offer distinct aesthetics and application methods, each catering to different hair types and style preferences.

Suitable Candidate

Balayage is best for those seeking a natural, sun-kissed look, and it works well on various hair colours and textures. It’s particularly effective for subtly enhancing colour or blending greys. Conversely, highlights are suited for anyone desiring more defined, brighter, or dimensional hair and are effective on all hair types, offering a consistent root-to-end colour. For the best outcome, it’s advisable to consult with a professional stylist, like those at Act Point Salon, to determine the best technique based on your hair’s health and specific needs. Their expertise can guide you to a choice that best complements your hair and personal style.


Balayage involves freehand painting of the hair, creating a soft and natural gradation of lightness towards the hair ends. This technique allows for a more artistic and customised application, providing a unique, tailored look. Highlights, typically applied using foils, offer a more precise and uniform lightening effect. This method allows for closer application to the roots and can achieve a greater lift in colour, making it especially beneficial for darker hair.


The results of balayage are often more subtle and blended, mimicking the natural lightening effects of the sun. This method provides a less noticeable regrowth line, allowing for a more graceful grow-out phase. Highlights, however, create a more noticeable contrast with the natural hair colour. They offer a more uniform and structured look and can range from fine, delicate strands to bold, chunky sections, depending on the desired effect.

The choice between balayage and highlights depends largely on personal style, desired maintenance level, and natural hair type. Each technique offers its unique charm and can significantly transform your look.



For Balayage

Balayage is celebrated for its low-maintenance nature. The technique’s natural graduation of colour means regrowth is less noticeable, reducing the frequency of salon visits. Typically, a balayage touch-up is recommended every 3-6 months, depending on personal preference and hair growth. This extended interval between touch-ups is ideal for those with a busy lifestyle or a preference for minimal upkeep. Incorporating colour protecting hair products is key. Regular use of toning shampoos and conditioners can help maintain the desired tone and combat brassiness.

For Highlights

Highlights, particularly those close to the root, require more frequent maintenance. Regrowth is more visible due to the contrast with the natural hair colour, often necessitating touch-ups every 6-8 weeks. 

For daily care, opt for sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner to minimise colour fade. Using toning shampoos and conditioners will help keep the colour bright and prevent undesirable tones. This regular maintenance is crucial to keep the colour looking fresh and consistent. Protecting the hair from heat and UV exposure is also important; consider using protective products and wearing hats for prolonged sun exposure.

Salon Visits

Regular salon visits play a crucial role in maintaining the health and vibrancy of both balayage and highlights. Act Point Salon, known for its expertise in hair care, can be an excellent choice for ongoing maintenance, offering professional advice and treatments. They provide services tailored to your hair’s specific needs, ensuring your colour remains vibrant and your hair stays healthy. If you’re looking for a touch-up, treatment, or general hair care advice, a salon like Act Point Salon can offer the necessary support.


The cost of both balayage and highlights can vary widely in Singapore, influenced by factors such as salon prestige, hair length, and the specific technique used. Generally, balayage tends to be more expensive due to its bespoke nature and the skill required. Prices can range from $200 to $450. Highlights, while also varying in price, may be slightly less expensive, averaging around $100 to $490. It’s important to consult with your stylist for a more accurate estimate based on your hair and desired results.


Conclusion – Should I Try Balayage or Highlights?

Deciding between balayage and highlights ultimately boils down to your personal style, maintenance preferences, and hair type. Balayage is ideal for those seeking a more natural, low-maintenance look with a sun-kissed effect. It’s perfect for a subtle colour change and blends seamlessly with natural hair tones. Highlights, conversely, are suited for those desiring a more noticeable, vibrant change. They offer a precise, uniform colour and can dramatically transform your look. 

Whichever you choose, both techniques can beautifully enhance your appearance and bring a fresh vibe to your style. Remember, a consultation with a professional stylist can provide tailored advice to help you make the best decision for your hair.

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