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Everything you need to know about reverse balayage

M.ovimento, three-dimensionality and brightness: what else can you want from your hair? The secret is reverse balayage. Spoiler: Blond hair is not a prerequisite

Call him reverse balayage, or reverse ombré, it is on everyone’s lips, but on the heads (still) of a few. Over the years this trend has garnered the favors of actresses, singers and it-girls: from Poppy Delevingne to Beyoncé, there are many who have embraced this color trend. Then, there is Billie Eilish: the icon of Gen Z that for a long time has brought fluorescent green roots with black tips, making it its distinctive sign. This before moving on to blonde hair (and now black again on the occasion of the Met Gala).

If you are playing around with the idea, but you want to get an idea of ​​how the result could be, on @bescene’s profile you can find interesting ideas. If, on the other hand, you need to remove some doubts, or simply to satisfy your curiosity, Lucio Cria – owner and creative director of Glow Hair & Beyond in Milan – he told us everything there is to know about reverse balayagefrom the benefits of this technique, to the cuts that make it stand out at its best and, last but not least, its maintenance.

What is reverse balayage?

“Reverse balayage is, as the name implies, the opposite of balayage: instead of working with lightening, let’s go to darken hair areas starting from a clear root. There are two different types. The first dates back to the 2000s, with light root and very dark tips, see Christina Aguilera circa 2002 with platinum blonde hair and black tips. This is the version for those who are not afraid to dare or to play with strong contrasts: the maximum of her expression. Today we are looking for a much softer and more natural effect, an abandonment of extremes in favor of less clear-cut transitions “, says the hair stylist,” e it can be easily adapted to intermediate shades of blonde hair, like honey and gold “. “With blond hair, nothing prevents the use of pastel shades from mid-length downwards”.

What are the benefits of reverse balayage and who is it recommended for?

In terms of length, “the ideal is to have long or medium-long hair and scaled so that reverse balayage is enhanced to the fullest “. If we talk about color instead, “the insertion of dark locks in hair that has become very blonde, either for continuous lightening in the salon or due to the sun + sea combo, also helps to restore a natural color effect. Similarly, this technique can be used to create shaded areas to give greater depth and definition to the face, as if it were a contouring ”, explains Cria. “The important thing is to pay attention to the products you use and the condition of the hair is also important, because if I have to darken the shafts that have very open scales it is more difficult for them to be able to retain the color well. The ideal is to find a salon where they use non oxidation dyes, so that the color does not change and the red reflections come out “. Also maintenance is easier, “Because you don’t lighten the base, you just go to create a dark one that comes close and then it is much less invasive for the hair “.

What are the most requested color shades?

“On blackberries go the caramel and chocolate tones which, having a warm pigment, make the hair brighter. For blondes instead you have to stay on high enough tones, like honey and sand, otherwise there is the risk of creating an unpleasant regrowth effect. Then of course you can also make more extreme choices, but you tend to choose reverse balayage in its softer declination because in this way you do not have particular maintenance problems and it is not necessary to retouch on a too regular basis. advantages of reverse balayage there is also the fact that with dark hair imperfections are less noticeable like open tips and scaly stems, which instead are the first thing that catches the eye with blond hair “.

And for home maintenance?

“Unlike the bleach it is not an invasive treatment and therefore you do not need to use anti-yellow or anti-orange products as you usually do for blond hair. In this case, however, just use a post color shampoo, that helps to keep the scales closed and therefore that keeps the color always beautiful and bright. For the rest, you can continue with your usual hair routine, using the heat protection spray and, if needed, a moisturizing oil “.

The hair routine for hair at the top


Cocomino Glossing Shampoo, Drunk Elephant (from Sephora) Gentle formula that removes impurities while preserving color. Contains amino acids and panthenol that prevent dehydration, make them stronger and give volume and antioxidant and moisturizing oils that do not weigh down the hair.


Chroma Absolu Bain Chroma Respect, Kerastase (from Sephora) Gentle moisturizing protective shampoo for all types of color-treated sensitized or damaged hair, especially suitable for fine and medium fibers. The delicate formula cleanses while preserving the color.


Vault Color-Lock Shampoo (by Bleu Libellule) Shampoo rich in antioxidants and UV filters that help maintain long-lasting color.


Phyto Color Color Protecting Shampoo, Phyto Contine Tara tannins and sunflower sprout extract with antioxidant action, Hibiscus extraction, which gives hydration and brightness and Yacon extract to repair damaged cuticles.


The Leave-In Hair Treatment, Augustinus Bader (from Sephora) Lightweight formula to counteract dehydration and damage caused by styling and coloring processes, revives the hair, improves split ends and prevents breakage.


Finishing Serum, Iles Formula This serum protects all hair types from environmental attacks, strengthens hair, helps repair split ends and preserves color.


Botanical Repair Strenghtening Overnight Serum, Aveda Ideal for very damaged hair: this night serum strengthens and repairs hair in depth up to 3 layers, smoothes cuticles, helps prevent breakage and improves split ends.


Long Hair Protective Glossing Essence, La Biosthetique Gives express shine, restructures the surface of damaged hair, gives hydration and strengthens, smoothes and seals the porous and rough surfaces of
hair and improves combability.


N ° 9 Nourishing Hair Serum, Olaplex A multitasking serum that acts on softness, eliminates frizz, improves combability and acts as a primer for the style.


Honey Infused Hair Oil, Gisou (from Sephora) Honey gives a natural shine to the hair and helps to have a healthier, softer and thicker hair and can be used as a moisturizing and nourishing treatment, or during styling as a final step.


Heat Protection Spray (from Douglas) It protects against heat damage, helping to keep hair healthy over time and it works too
as a styling agent, making it last a long time without refreshing.


Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for Scalp, The Ordinary A slightly milky scalp care serum that contains ingredients that mimic the function of the moisturizing factors naturally contained in the skin with the addition of hyaluronic acid and squalane.


Airwrap, Dyson The tool for air styling in the new version with upgrade and is enriched with accessories for the finish, for an even more flawless result and for even brighter hair.


AireBrush Duo, T3 Micro Quick fold thanks to the attachment with interchangeable accessories. The flat brush is used to obtain a smooth and straight hair, the round one to give volume. Equipped with a generator that produces negative ions, it guarantees shiny and frizz-free hair.


Phon Run Amethist, Elchim Reduces drying times and helps seal the scales of the hair, for a luminous result and a healthy hair. Suitable for all hair types, even fine and damaged ones.