15 Stunning Balayage Ideas for Black Hair in 2024. How to Nail The On-Trend Look.


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If you’re thinking about getting balayage on black hair, you’re not alone. This trendy hair color technique is taking the beauty world by storm, and there’s no shortage of reasons why.

Balayage has become a popular hair coloring technique that creates a natural, sun-kissed effect. Black hair may seem like an unlikely candidate for balayage, but with the right technique, it can make your locks look fabulous when done right.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to get balayage on black hair, plus a few of our favorite black balayage looks!

What is balayage on black hair?

Balayage is a French word that means “to sweep.”

Balayage is a French word meaning “to sweep” or “to paint,” which is fitting because that’s exactly how the color is applied to the hair.

With balayage, a hairstylist will hand-paint color onto your hair, sweeping the color up towards the roots in an organic manner. This gives your strands a natural-looking sun-kissed effect.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

balayage on black hair pinterest board

Does balayage work on black hair?

Balayage is a great option for black hair. It adds depth and dimension and texture to the hair, and doesn’t require as much upkeep as traditional highlights.

Getting the perfect balayage on black hair can be tricky. Black hair is notoriously hard to lighten, so it’s important to approach the process with care.

Choosing the right color is so important. You’ll need to use bleach to lighten your hair to get the sun-kissed look, even if you want a colorful balayage like copper or red.

If you have warm undertones, then go for warmer colors like caramel or honey.

If you have cool undertones, then opt for cooler colors like platinum or ash blonde.

With the right shade, technique and some patience, you can achieve beautiful, natural-looking balayage highlights.

15 Stunning Balayage on Black Hair Color Ideas

Here are some of our favourite balayage hairstyle trends for black hair right now.

#1 Ash blonde balayage on black hair

This is a great option if you’re looking for a subtle change. The ash blonde color will add dimension and interest to your hair without being too drastic.

If you have warmer skin tones, honey balayage is another blonde option that will suit you.

You’ll need to lighten your hair before starting the balayage process to get the brightest blonde. Use a purple shampoo to keep brassiness at bay.

#2 Black and chestnut balayage

This light brown balayage is a beautiful, rich color that will really make your locks look glossy and healthy.

Chestnut is a great option if you’re looking for something a little different than the usual blonde or brunette shades. We also love hazelnut mocha balayage or light chocolate balayage as a darker version of this autumnal look that’s a popular hair color trend this year.

Remember to use a high-quality conditioner to keep your chestnut balayage looking its best.

#3 Dark caramel balayage on black

Caramel is a classic brunette balayage shade that looks great on everyone.

It’s the perfect mix of light and dark, and it will add warmth, dimension and depth to black.

From gradients of caramel brown and chocolate brown balayage to caramel blonde, there are endless possibilities when it comes to this popular shade.

#4 Black and copper balayage

The orange-red vibes of copper is all the rage right now as part of the metallic hair color trend.

This is a bolder option for those who want to really make a statement. Copper is a beautiful, vibrant color that will add drama and interest to your look.

If you’re looking for a way to really stand out, copper balayage is the way to go.

#5 Silver/Gray Balayage

This is a great option for those who want to go lighter but don’t want the typical blonde or brunette shades.

Dark silver and gray are cool, trendy colors that will give you an edgy look.

Be sure to use a purple or silver shampoo to get rid of any brassy warm tones and keep your silver hair looking its best.

#6 Smokey Rose Balayage

This is a gorgeous, feminine color that’s perfect for spring and summer.

Smokey rose gold balayage is a mix of pastel pink and grey, and it looks beautiful on a natural black base.

This color is perfect for those who want something light and fun, but not too over-the-top. You may need to lighten your hair first if you want the pink to pop.

#7 Ash brown Balayage

This is a great option if you’re looking for something a little more natural.

Ash brown is a popular natural hair color that blends well with black and will add depth and dimension.

The cool tones flatter those with olive or dark skin, and it’s a great option for those who want to go lighter but don’t want to commit to blonde.

#8 Burgundy Balayage

Burgundy is a stunning color that looks great when paired with cool black shades and dark brown hair.

It’s perfect for fall and winter, and it will really make your hair shine with tints of purple in the light.

If you’re looking for a more subtle burgundy shade, try a mahogany or dark auburn color.

#9 Midnight blue balayage

This is a daring, edgy color that’s perfect for those who want to make a statement. Midnight blue is a rich, deep blue-black color that looks beautiful blended with charcoal hues

Be sure to use a high-quality conditioner to keep your midnight blue balayage looking its best.

#10 Golden Honey blonde balayage

This warm, honey-colored look is perfect for those who want to add some dimension and warmth to their black hair.

This technique involves applying light honey-colored highlights throughout the hair, creating a subtle, natural effect.

To ensure a natural look, focus on adding highlights to the mid-lengths and ends of the hair. Varying the thickness of the highlights will also help to create a natural-looking, dimensional effect.

#11 Strawberry blonde balayage

Strawberry blonde balayage gives hair a delicate and lovely appearance that complements black hair with plenty of warmth.

It blends natural-looking honey blonde highlights with strawberry-red hues, giving your hair a unique and stunning look. We love this color combo on ombre hair too.

#12 Dark Plum Balayage

For a creative and artistic twist, plum purple balayage is the perfect option.

This color trend features dark plum tones painted on black hair to create a beautiful and vibrant style.

If you’re feeling daring and want a look that is sure to turn heads, purple balayage is one of the top hair trends to try right now.

#13 Mushroom brown balayage

Mushroom Brown balayage is achieved by blending light brown and ashy tones into your black hair.

This earthy and neutral hair color mimics the hues found in—you guessed it—mushrooms!

It’s perfect for those looking for a subtle transformation or those who want to dip their toes into the balayage waters.

Mushroom Brown balayage looks great with any skin tone and is a low-maintenance hair color that will spice up your look without too much of a commitment.

#14 Chocolate Balayage on Black Hair

Chocolate balayage on black hair is perfect for those looking for a natural and warm look.

This color adds richness and depth to your locks, making them look healthy and shiny. The chocolate highlights blend seamlessly with the black base color, creating a subtle and sophisticated look.

You can keep the color limited to the mid-lengths and ends or go for a full chocolate balayage for a bolder effect.

#15 Platinum Balayage on Black Hair

The contrast between platinum blonde and black hair is absolutely epic.

But let’s be real for a minute – achieving this look takes commitment.

A lot of bleaching is involved to get dark hair to the lightest, ice-white platinum shade. So your hair will need to be in good condition to take all the processing.

But trust us, the end result is worth it. If you’re up for the challenge and eager to make a statement, platinum balayage streaks on black hair is the way to go.

How to balayage black hair step by step.

Balayaging black hair is a bit different than balayaging lighter hair colors. The main difference is that you have to be extra careful not to over-process the hair.

That being said, black hair can benefit from balayage just as much as any other color! The key is to add subtle lightness around the face to accentuate your features.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to balayage black hair:

Step one: Prepare

Before you start the balayage process, it’s important to prep your hair.

This means shampooing and conditioning it, and making sure that it’s completely dry.

Get yourself a balayage kit that has everything you need to do this technique at home. Get a friend to help you as hand-painting the back of your hair can be tricky!

You’ll also want to put some old towels down to protect your surfaces from any spills or drips.

Step Two: Section your hair

Once your hair is prepped and ready to go, you can start sectioning it off into small subsections.

You’ll want to work in small sections so that you have more control over the color placement.

Step three: Let’s balayage!

Next, take your brush, if you’re doing a freehand balayage and start applying color to the hair.

Starting at the root, begin painting the color onto the hair in strokes. Use long, sweeping strokes so that the color fades nicely.

If you want lighter pieces at the ends, you can apply foils to certain sections.

Concentrate on the places that the sun will naturally hit your hair. Frame your face with a few strokes around your hairline and temples.

how to balayage black hair step by step, hair dye paining technique

Step four: Wait for the color to process.

Depending on the products you use, this could take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Keep checking how your color is developing – you don’t want it too light or too dark.

Step five: Rinse it out

Once the color has processed, rinse it out and use shampoo and conditioner.

Step six: Style and admire!

Style as usual, or add curls or waves – and enjoy your new balayage!

Watch and learn: How to Balayage dark hair at home.

Here’s a great video that shows you how to balayage your dark hair at home!

YouTube video

Balayage on black hair FAQs

Do you have to bleach black hair for balayage?

No, you don’t have to bleach your hair for balayage. But if you want the colors to pop, you should.

In fact, many people love the look of balayage because it’s a great way to add some dimension and interest to your hair without having to lighten it all over.

However, if you’re looking for a more dramatic change, you may want to consider lightening your black hair before starting the balayage process.

This will help you achieve a more vibrant color result. Keep in mind, though, that bleaching dark hair can be a bit tricky.

It’s important to consult with a professional colorist to make sure that the process is done correctly and that your hair is healthy and protected throughout.

How is balayage done on black hair?

There are two main techniques: foil highlights and balayage highlights.

Foil highlights are the more traditional method and involve wrapping sections of hair in foil before applying color. The foil helps to accelerate the lightening process.

Balayage highlights are newer and involve painting color directly onto the hair without using foil. Either method can be used to create stunning results.

How long does it take to do balayage on black hair?

The length of time it takes to do balayage black hair will depend on the thickness and density of your hair. If you have thin or fine hair, the process will be quicker. If you have thick or curly hair, it may take longer.

For most people, the process takes about two hours. But it’s worth it – with balayage, you’ll have gorgeous, effortless-looking hair that will turn heads everywhere you go.

How long will balayage last on black hair?

Balayage can last anywhere from 6-8 weeks on black hair.

The great thing about this style is that it’s low maintenance. The darker roots will help to camouflage any regrowth, and you won’t have to worry about touch-ups as often.

Be sure to use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to prolong the life of your color. Avoid using hot tools too often, as this can cause your color to fade.

How to care for balayage hair

Now that you’ve got your gorgeous new balayage, it’s important to take care of it so that it lasts. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

– Use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to extend the life of your color.

– Avoid washing your hair too often, as this can strip away the color.

– Invest in a good heat protectant spray to use before styling.

– When possible, let your hair air dry instead of using heat tools.

– Be careful when swimming – chlorine can fade color.

Use a deep conditioner once a week to keep the end of your hair supple and keep the color locked in.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your balayage for months to come!

Parting words.

Balayage is a great way to add color and dimension to black hair.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to shades and colors, so you’re sure to find something that you love.

Be sure to take care of your balayage hair to prolong the life of your color. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner, and avoid washing your hair too often.

With proper care, you can enjoy your balayage for months to come! Good luck!


  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!