Balayage hair done right will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about hair colouring. The root cause of some of our headiest of hair dreams comes from the Instagram account of Brazilian stylist and balayage whisperer Paollo Sagerah. You only have to scroll through his impossibly glossy feed of tumbling honey highlights, rippling reds, and brilliant brunette lowlights to become a convert. But what exactly is balayage and how is it done?
HBA: What does balayage actually mean?
PS: Balayage originated in France. It is a free-hand technique for highlighting hair in sweeps of colour to create a gradual, natural effect.
HBA: Tell us about how you came to be known as the ‘Master of Balayage’
PS: I’m not sure where that came from! I am fully dedicated to my clients and work with passion to make their hair look at its absolute best. My goal is to be ‘a’ master of Balayage. “The” master? – that’s not for me to decide!
Paollo Sagerah and Elizabeth Hurley
HBA: You have a roster of high-profile celebrity clients. Who has been your favourite person you’ve worked with so far and why?
PS: I’ve been very lucky to work with Elizabeth Hurley. For me, she’s the epitome of a successful woman who combines warmth and good humour via her strength, beauty, and style. She embodies every quality that I want to fill my salon with to a bursting point.
HBA: If you were recommending balayage to someone who was colouring their hair for the first time, what would your main reasons be?
PS: There’s this freshness about balayage it makes women look so happy and confident. There’s a sun-kissed look to it, which I think is the main benefit. It carries a healthy, bouncy sheen. Whatsmore, it’s actually very low maintenance.
HBA: What are the most common mistakes people make when creating a balayage look?
PS: It needs to be subtle. Too much colour destroys the effect and gradual lines look awful.
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HBA: Is it beneficial to add lowlights too?
PS: Yes definitely. Lowlights can break up the colour and add contrast.
HBA: What would you say is the perfect hair length for a balayage with maximum impact? Or does it suit all hair lengths?
PS: It suits all lengths. Getting the length right in the first place is a separate question.
HBA: What are three key things to remember when creating the perfect balayage look?
PS: No lines
A light touch
A precise choice of colour
Cinamonn balayage by Paollo Sagerah
HBA: What is the grow-out process and how often are touch-ups necessary?
PS. Most balayage grows out naturally. Touch ups depend on the clients’ priorities; freshness, choice of colour etc. But, generally, I would say every three months.
HBA: What are the main things to remember when it comes to taking care of your balayage at home?
PS: It’s quite simple. Using the right combination of shampoo and conditioner to keep the colour locked in.
HBA: What are your favourite tools to style with once the balayage is complete?
PS: Curling tongs or straighteners are all you need.
Paollo Sagerah is available for bookings during his visits to Dubai at Jacques La Coupe, Address Dubai Marina.