Mastering Balayage with the Balay Lama

Last summer, I entered a balayage contest at Cole’s Salon … and won! Maddie, an Advanced Designer from our Apple Valley salon, also won for the best balayage hair painting techniques. And the grand prize? A trip to Atlanta to learn from and observe Candy Shaw—aka The Balay Lama—an industry leader on balayage education and the creator of Sunlights Balayage products.

On our trip we toured the sunlights warehouse where all the behind-the-scenes action takes place. We also observed Candy at her salon for an entire day! We are excited to bring the skills learned back to our guests for the best highlighted locks around!

Here are a few takeaways from our time with Candy:

  • Balayage is one of the best hair painting techniques because it results in a more natural, softer grow out. It’s also extremely useful in achieving today’s most popular color melts.
  • When highlights are applied to dry, pre-cut hair, it creates a result that mimics the effects of natural, sun-induced highlights. 
  • The balayage technique lessens the occurrence of unwanted re-growth lines often associated with foil highlights or highlights pulled through a cap. 
  • When painting hair, designers should take into consideration the shape of the guests’ head, and the haircut’s design, and use individualized patterns to achieve almost any look through this extraordinary highlighting process.

Not only did I learn color techniques, I also learned how to better educate my guests, prepare for my day, and have more in-depth consultations to achieve my guests inspirations!

Special thanks to Candy Shaw, Jamison Shaw, and the team at Sunlights Balayage for their leadership and education. And if you’re curious…here are a few of our submissions that helped us secure the grand prize!

Ali Moat is an Advanced Designer at Cole’s Salon Eagan Station and can be followed on Instagram at @hairbyalimoat. Maddie Enright is an Advanced Designer at Cole’s Salon Apple Valley and can be followed on Instagram at @madelinemarie_hair.




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