Babylights eller balayage til håret

Babylights vs Balayage – What's the Difference?

by Lotte Lindgren on Jun 10, 2023

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on January 29, 2024.

Table of contents

Babylights and balayage are two popular hair coloring techniques that can produce different results. While babylights create a more subtle effect with fine, natural highlights, balayage gives a bolder look with darker roots and gradual color transitions. In this blog, we will explore the differences between these two techniques to help you decide which one to choose for your next salon visit. Read on to find out more!

What are Babylights and Balayage?

Babylights and balayage are two different hair techniques that are often confused. Babylights refer to ultra-fine highlights that create a natural lightening in the hair. The technique involves coloring small sections of hair, creating a subtle and soft result.

Babylights and balayage are two different hair techniques that can give a natural and soft result in the hair. Babylights use ultra-fine highlights to create a subtle lightening, while balayage involves a more marked coloring technique with a freehand brush or sponge.

On the other hand, balayage involves a more marked coloring technique. Balayage means "to sweep" in French and refers to the technique where the color is applied with a freehand brush or sponge in sections to achieve a gradual transition between the colors. The result is typically more dramatic than babylights, but still natural looking.


Babylights are one of the most popular hair color treatments right now, and it's not hard to see why. Babylights create a natural and subtle look that gives the hair more life without being too overwhelming. This technique involves fine streaks of color spread throughout the hair, mimicking the way children's hair often looks.

If you want to achieve babylights on your hair, you can follow these steps:

  • Use a fine-toothed comb to separate small sections of your hair
  • Apply lighter or darker color in small pieces along each section
  • Repeat the process until the entire head is covered

When deciding on the right hair color for babylights, you can consider the following options:

  • Blondes can choose tones from honey blonde or golden blonde.
  • Browns or blacks can try warmer tones such as caramel or copper.

 However, the most important thing when choosing colors is your own personal style and skin tone. The best result is most often achieved when you get help from a professional stylist.

Although babylights are suitable for many different types of hair, this method is not always suitable for everyone - especially if your hair has already undergone a lot of chemical treatment in the past. If your hair has already been dyed repeatedly, babylights can result in unwanted streaks or even damage the hair.


Balayage is a more natural hair coloring style than traditional streaks or foil coloring. By painting the color onto the hair instead of using a foil technique, balayage creates a more sun-kissed and subtle look. Balayage can be used on all hair types and lengths, but it works especially well on long hair.

Although balayage can give a beautiful result, you have to be careful about getting it in your hair. As the technique involves freehand painting of colour, it requires experience and expertise from the hairdresser to achieve the desired results. If you are unsure whether balayage will work for your hair type or want a more natural look than the stripes together with the babylights variation provide the perfect solution!


Difference between Babylights and Balayage

Babylights and balayage are two different techniques in hair coloring. Babylights are fine, thin streaks of lighter color placed around the face and at the top of the head, while balayage uses a freehand technique to apply the color to selected parts of the hair for a more natural look.

The difference between the two techniques also lies in the color effects. Babylights give a more subtle effect with just a few shades lighter than the natural hair color, while balayage can create deeper contrasts between the dark base color and the light tips or peaks. It is therefore about choosing the right technique according to the desired result and personal preference.

The techniques

Babylights and Balayage are two different techniques that hairdressers use to create beautiful colors in the hair. Babylights are thin and fine streaks, made by coloring small sections of the hair. Balayage, on the other hand, is a freehand technique where the color is applied in a naturally falling pattern for a more sun-kissed look.

Hairdressers perform these techniques with great care and precision. For example, babylights require an extra fine brush to paint the small sections of hair with the desired shade. With balayage, the hairdresser must have the ability to choose the right place for the color and mix it correctly based on the customer's wishes.

For Babylights:

  • Thin and fine stripes
  • Color small sections depilated

For Balayage:

  • A freehand technique
  • Applied in a natural decaying pattern

How the techniques are performed by hairdressers:

  • Babylights: Performed with finesse using a fine brush to paint the small sections of hair with the preferred shade.
  • Balayage: Requires the ability to adapt color to the shape and shades of the hair it is applied to by having the knowledge to mix the correct color based on the customer's requirements and preferences.

The color effects

Babylights and balayage are two different techniques that can create beautiful color effects in the hair. Babylights add subtle nuances that add dimension to lighter tones. This technique is ideal for people with a lighter hair color or those who want to lighten their hair gradually.

Balayage creates a soft transition between the colors for a more natural look. This makes it suitable for both light and darker tones due to its versatility in color composition. The most important thing about both techniques is choosing the right hair color to achieve the best result.

When choosing between babylights and balayage, you must also take your skin tone and face shape into account. A professional hairdresser will be able to guide you in choosing the right technique and the optimal placement of the color on your hair.

Always remember to consult a professional before deciding on any hair coloring technique - this ensures the best result without unnecessary risks!

What to choose – Babylights or Balayage?

Babylights and Balayage are both popular hair coloring techniques, but they serve different purposes. Babylights are for those who want a more subtle look with fine highlights in the hair. Balayage is used to create a more marked contrast between lighter and darker colors in the hair. The choice between Babylights or Balayage therefore depends on the style you want to achieve.

If you have short hair or want to give your hair a more natural look, babylights will be the best choice. If you want a dramatic change and significant color contrasts in your hair, you should choose the balayage technique. However, it is always important to consider long-term maintenance and price before deciding which technique best suits one's needs.

Hair length

Short hair is best suited for babylights as it can give a more subtle look. Long hair can wear both babylights and balayage, but requires more maintenance with the balayage technique. If you have medium length hair, it's ideal for both techniques - so it ultimately comes down to your personal preference and lifestyle. Regardless of the length of your hair, a professional stylist will be able to recommend the best color treatment option for you based on your wishes and needs.

Hair color

Babylights are best suited for lighter hair colors , as the technique creates small, fine highlights in the hair. Balayage, on the other hand, works well on both light and dark shades and provides more contrast in color than babylights. However, Babylights can also create a deeper dimension in darker hair colors by adding subtle reflections of light. Generally speaking, the choice between babylights and balayage depends on the desired effect and personal style.


Balayage and babylights are two popular hair color techniques that create a natural look with subtle color nuances. Maintenance of these techniques can vary as they require different treatments to maintain the desired result.

  • Balayage requires less maintenance than babylights, as it is a more natural growth.
  • Babylights must be recolored more frequently to maintain the desired effect.
  • "Root smudging" can help stretch outgrowths between visits to the hairdresser for both techniques.

To ensure the longest possible durability of both balayage and babylights, it is always recommended:

  • Avoid heat styling tools such as straighteners or blow dryers as much as possible
  • Protect hair from sunlight by using hats or hair products with UV protection

With regular maintenance, your hair will continue to look healthy and beautiful for a long time after your hairdressing treatment.

We can highly recommend our Repair and Care Shampoo and Conditioner to you who use either Babylights or Balayage. The products are ultra moisturising, caring and help to rebuild the hair strands. You can find the package where you save 12% right here . 


Both balayage and babylights vary in price depending on the salon and the region you live in. Balayage takes longer to do than babylights, which means the price will often be slightly higher than for babylights. In addition to the technique, "maintenance" also plays a role in the price. The more frequent visits to the hairdresser, the higher the total price will be in the long term.

Hairdresser's advice

Cindy Chrost - is a hairdresser and owner of Chrost Studio. She specialises in balayage, reverse balayage, bridal, and styling. See her instagram here.

Chrost studio

When is babylights a good idea for a customer? versus balayage.
- Babylights is a colour technique where many thin and fine reflections are made. This gives a super nice 'blend' and looks very natural. Babylights are for those who want to go significantly lighter, as you can become relatively light in one go. Babylights are most often done with bleach to lighten the hair. But it is also possible to do it with colour - a mixture of the two will often create a more natural look. If you want an even more natural look, a balayage would be ideal. Here, the natural colour is used at the bottom, meaning there is no sharp growth.

What does a typical babylights treatment cost?
- The price depends on the salon, but is usually somewhere between 135 EUR to 270 EUR, depending on the length of your hair. I would recommend getting a glossing treatment along with your babylights - this gives shine and shimmer and refreshes the colour. This costs an additional 40 to 80 euros.

What should customers be aware of if they want babylights?
- In general, when colouring hair, you have to remember that hair colour is a chemical. Chemicals are hard on the hair - especially bleaching. That's why it's incredibly important to prioritise hair care in your routine.
When you bleach your hair, you remove the good stuff in your hair - for example proteins. Therefore, I recommend using shampoos, conditioners and treatments that contain proteins. These are often the series called 'Repair'. A little life hack: Every other time you need to refresh your babylights, skip the nape of the neck. Only apply babylights over your parting on top. This way, some of the hair gets a break and only the most visible hair is coloured.


When comparing babylights and balayage, it is important to note the differences in the techniques. Babylights involve fine streaks of lighter color all over the head, while balayage uses a more freehand technique to apply color to the desired areas.

In order to choose the best technique for your hair type and desires, it is important to talk to your hairdresser about your preferences. They can help you make a decision based on factors such as length, thickness and natural hair color. Be sure to also discuss the maintenance of your new style.

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