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Balayage vs. Highlights
Haley Dagan January 6th 2022

Balayage vs. Highlights

There are a LOT of different ways to color and style hair. How exactly do you choose between Balayage vs. Highlights?? Or Babylights vs. Balayage? Or even Highlights vs. Babylights? Our heads (and Pinterest boards) are just overwhelmed with ideas! Today, we’re breaking down the different kinds of hair techniques and which is the best fit for you. 

If you feel overwhelmed by how many popular hair color techniques there are right now, you’re not alone. 

There are a LOT of different ways to color and style hair, including:

- Balayage
- Highlights
- Babylights
- Ombre hair
- Ombre highlights
- Balayage with babylights
- And so much more!

So, how do you decide which hair dye techniques are the right ones for you?

How exactly do you choose between Balayage vs. Highlights?? Or Babylights vs. Balayage? Or even Highlights vs. Babylights? Our heads (and Pinterest boards) are just overwhelmed with ideas!

Today, we’re breaking down the different kinds of hair techniques and which is the best fit for you. Each style achieves a different look, but the goal is always the same – baddie hair! Let’s compare the most popular hair styles and hair dye techniques, so you can walk away feeling confident about the look you actually want! 

What Are All The Different Kinds Of Hair Techniques? 

While these methods are sometimes used together, we’re going to break them down in detail with some hair dye basics! Though you can do some version of all of these from home, we highly believe picking the right stylist is equally as important as picking the perfect look. Here are the four main kinds of hair coloring techniques:



What are highlights? Simply put, highlights are a method for ‘lightening’ select hair strands. When someone highlights their hair, they are usually aiming for dimension and more life for their locks. Within this process, a stylist will create the color mixture and brush it on strategically selected strands to lighten the right pieces of hair. The rest of your mane is usually left natural. Highlights create a nice depth and are frequently a summertime trend to capture that sun-kissed look.

Babylights hair technique


What are babylights? Babylights are basically mini highlights. They are not as dramatic as highlights, which are highly visible. Instead, babylights are subtle, superfine highlights. Babylights hairstyles frequently take longer to complete as the placement of sections requires more precision. If you’re a hair coloring newbie, you may want to start with babylights before making any major decisions.

Balayage hair dye


What is balayage? The balayage technique is a very specific hair technique that does not require foil. Instead, the color is painted by hand at “random” and requires creative vision on the part of your stylist. The end is a look that’s several shades lighter than your natural hair color. Balayage gives a warm, well-blended tone to the hair, and has become an increasingly trendy style over the past few years. Babylights and balayage are frequently paid together. 

Ombre hair extensions


What is ombre hair? Ombre is a lightening technique that essentially impacts the very bottom of your hair. If you’re envisioning long, ombre locks, your stylist will mostly focus on the ends. As long as you’re happy with your natural tone, the roots and the majority of the rest of your hair will remain untouched. Unlike balayage, which has a blended transition between lighter and darker, the transition from dark to light is prominent with the ombre technique. We love a good ombre hair highlights transformation and have quite a few ombre extensions to color match your vision. 

Now that you understand the basics, let’s start comparing these looks!

Babylights vs. Highlights 

When it comes to babylights vs. highlights, think of them as looks that can actually elevate each other. Babylights are kind of like mini highlights, so it makes sense that the two pair together very nicely. Babylights are dainty and delicate, while highlights are bold!

If you asked us about the differences between babylights and highlights, we would tell you they can be equally as beautiful individually and together!

Ombre Hair vs. Balayage 

Ombre or balayage….balayage or ombre… that is the question. It’s a hard decision, and a big decision, because the two are fairly different. 

To recap, ombre hair is a dramatic technique that results in a somewhat abrupt transition between darker hair at the roots and lighter hair at the bottom. On the other hand, balayage provides a more gradual transition between light and dark for a natural look. 

It can be hard to choose between the two, although we do especially love ombre hair on one-length styles. We also can’t take our eyes off a balayage masterpiece on medium-to-long flowy lengths.

What Is The Halo Hair Color Technique?

There are many different balayage techniques. If you haven’t heard of the “halo hair color technique” yet, let us break it down for you. This is by far one of the best (and also one of the most advanced) approaches to balayage. The goal of this color treatment is to create a glowy effect around your face and project additional depth. It can also be used as a touch-up technique. The stylist will section out a few inches along the perimeter of the hair and add light color sparingly (like babylights) to give off that face-framing glow.

What About Full Highlights vs. Balayage? 

If you’re searching for hair color inspo, this question has probably gone through your mind a few times. The answer to this question should be decided between you and your professional stylist. Bring some inspirational photos, but know that a professional stylist will be able to evaluate the best color for YOU based on your face shape, structure, hair length, and general hair needs.

Are you ready to take things up a notch? We can’t wait to see. Snag some of our salon-quality, DIY hair extensions like Clip It and Band It to add volume and length to your new look. Tag us on Instagram when you do the big reveal!




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