Are you itching for a beautiful balayage color without the steep price tag? We’re with you. Balayage is a technique that involves gently sweeping or painting lighter color onto the lengths of the hair while leaving the roots darker.
It looks more modern than your mom’s streaky highlights. It gives you a natural, sun-kissed glow, and requires less maintenance because your darker roots gently blend into the balayage, allowing you to go months without touch-ups.
Balayage is the ultimate cool-girl highlighting technique, but the initial cost can be hard to swallow. Salons charge up to $250 (maybe even more depending on your hair length) to give you the coveted look.
It can be a tedious process since each strand of hair gets manually brushed with bleach, and then processed for a precise amount of time so that your hair has a uniform look throughout. A good stylist then has to apply the right toner to your highlights to make everything blend naturally.
If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to get the same balayage look at home at a fraction of the price – the answer is: yes. If you are confident enough that you can create a similar “sweeping” effect on your own, then all you need is a good balayage lightening home kit to get the party started.
So, what are the best balayage home kits? The best balayage home kits are easy to use, create the perfect lifted color, and don’t damage or fry your hair. You should be left with light, healthy, and shiny strands.
In this article, we will go over what you should look for in a balayage kit, what are our top recommended balayage kits, and how you can achieve your desired look on a budget.
How To Choose The Best Balayage Home Kit
When choosing a balayage home kit, look for the following things that might make the job easier for you:
Keep in mind that what makes balayage so unique is the technique that you use to apply bleach to your hair.
Theoretically, you could use any highlighting or bleaching kit to create the same effect. All you need for a successful balayage job is:
- Bleach powder or cream
- Brush for applying the bleach to your hair
- Optional: post-coloring conditioners and moisturizers
We recommend looking for a hair color kit that includes the components listed above. When putting together our list of recommended kits, we tried to find ones that have all of the things listed above, even if they weren’t explicitly sold as balayage kits. Some of them are marketed as highlight kits, and others are simply sold as hair bleaches or lighteners.
Keep in mind that not all kits come with a brush. A brush for applying bleach to your hair is instrumental for a balayage technique. Because of this we highly recommend getting a kit that includes a brush (most balayage, ombre, and highlight kits have one) or buying one separately at a beauty supply store.
Of course, if you’re totally new to the balayage technique, you might want to choose a kit that contains specific balayage instructions – these will help you figure out how to paint the color onto your hair for the most natural-looking results. Alternatively, you can find videos of the balayage technique online if your kit doesn’t come with them.
The Right Toner
Toner is a translucent color that you apply onto your hair after it has been bleached. Toner turns yellow and brassy bleached hair into a natural-looking color. Toner can either be very light or it can add depth to your bleached hair, darkening it slightly to blend it better with your natural roots.
When it comes to balayage, we believe toner is one of the most important components after the sweeping technique itself. Toner is what’s going to give your bleach job a more professional look and allow your balayage to blend better with your hair.
When it comes to picking your balayage kit, make sure it includes toner and that it’s the right color for you. We recommend aiming for a color that is no more than 2 levels lighter than your roots.
For instance, if your roots are dark brown, you want to end up with balayage that is no lighter than light brown or “bronde.” If you get an ultra blonde balayage kit with a toner that gives your locks a bright platinum shade, it won’t look very natural or blend well with your roots.
Most of the kits on our list come with a toner, and the label will say what color you can expect to end up with. Some of the kits work better for lighter hair, while others work best for dark hair. We will do our best to describe the tones in each kit.
Any hair lightening technique involves the use of hair bleach, which is inevitably drying and damaging to your hair. We recommend looking for a balayage kit that contains hydrating ingredients to offset some of that damage.
Some kits come with different moisturizing elements:
- Hydrating developer
- Beneficial oils in the bleach creme
- Moisturizing after-color conditioner
- Moisturizing mask
Even with the most hydrating ingredients, you should plan on taking extra-good care of your hair after your balayage job. Include moisturizing conditioners, leave-in conditioners, and weekly masks in your routine.
Lastly, when buying a balayage kit, consider how much it costs. The more expensive ones have additional features, but overall they all do the same thing.
Most balayage kits are well under the price of a salon trip, but if the price matters to you, keep it in the back of your mind as you’re shopping for your balayage kit. In our recommended list, we made sure to include balayage kits that are budget-friendly as well as some splurge-worthy ones.
Best Balayage Kits For Home Use
Here are our top-rated balayage kits that can give you the most professional-looking result at home:
|1.||Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse Ultra Color Balayage Cream||All-inclusive kit with nourishing and moisturizing|
|2.||Clairol Nice'n Easy Balayage Permanent Hair Dye||Great balayage kit for beginners|
|3.||Revlon Color Effects Frost & Glow Bleach Dye Kit||Hair strengthening ingredients|
|4.||L’Oreal Paris Colorista Bleach Ombre||Natural-looking results, ideal for medium brown hair|
|5.||L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Ombre Touch Hair Color||Color options for dark or light hair, fingertip brush|
|6.||L'Oreal Paris Couleur Experte Highlights Kit||Ideal for changing base hair color and adding balayage|
|7.||L'Oreal Paris Feria Brush-On Intense Ombre Effect Hair Color||Great for black and dark brown hair|
|8.||Clairol Nice'n Easy Frost & Tip Original Dye||Good value for a well-rounded lightening kit|
|9.||Blond Brilliance Hair Highlight Kit||Professional-level bleaching kit for experienced users|
1. Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse Ultra Color Nourishing Balayage Lightening Cream
The Garnier Nutrisse balayage kit comes with everything you need to create your own balayage look at home: bleach powder, developer, toner (they call it a lightening creme), anti-brass conditioner, and a balayage brush.
One of the things we love most about this kit is that the color uses a blend of three fruit oils: avocado, olive, and shea – to moisturize and nourish the hair while it lightens.
Most people agree that their hair feels surprisingly soft after using this kit, so you don’t have to worry about inflicting too much damage to your hair.
The only downside of this kit is that it comes with one type of toner – called “icing swirl” – we find that it gives the hair a nice neutral and slightly cool tone, which looks best on brown and medium brown hair.
We are not sure if this would work on other hair colors, like blondes, but if you have brown hair and you want to avoid warm or brassy tones, this kit would work wonders for you.
The instructions included in this kit along with the brush make it very easy for complete novices to successfully create a beautiful balayage style on their hair.
2. Clairol Nice’n Easy Balayage Permanent Hair Dye
The Clairol Balayage kit is one of the best-sellers in this category, and we understand why.
This kit is specifically made for the balayage technique and it comes with balayage instructions as well as a special balayage brush that makes it easy to apply bleach onto the hair to achieve the look.
When it comes to creating the right color of highlights, this kit covers that too. While it doesn’t come with a separate toner to tone your bleached hair, it does come in two versions: one for blondes and one for brunettes.
The box for blondes includes a different bleach and developer combo than the one for brunettes. If you have dark hair and you buy the brunette kit, it will give you a nice warm caramel balayage that blends nicely with most shades of dark hair.
If you buy the blonde kit, it will give you brighter blonde highlights that look best on people who already have light brown or blonde hair.
The kit also comes with moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Like most Clairol bleaches it might still leave your hair feeling a little bit dry, but most reviewers agree that their hair recovers quickly. The bleach in this kit is fairly gentle, and they found it to be easy to use.
We love that this kit is beginner-friendly and has everything you need in one box.
3. Revlon Color Effects Frost & Glow At-Home Hair Highlights Lightening Bleach Dye Kit
You may know Revlon’s “Frost and Glow” kits from the 90s – they’ve been around for a while. When everyone was obsessed with getting thick contrasting highlights, these kits were all the rage.
Well, it turns out they can be used for balayage, too. These kits come with a silly hat that has holes for your hair – presumably to pull the hair out and create highlights. You won’t be using this hat for balayage, so feel free to toss it in the trash.
But everything else in the kit works just as well for balayage: bleaching powder, developer, mixing bowl, purple shampoo and conditioner, gloves, and a spatula. We wish it included a brush, but it doesn’t, so you’ll have to get that separately.
The kit also doesn’t come with any balayage instructions, so we recommend looking for some videos online so that you know how to apply the bleach to your hair to get the right look.
Even though this kit doesn’t contain everything you need for balayage, we still find it to be one of the best at-home lightening kits that hasn’t failed us for decades.
We love that the bleaching formula comes with a Bond Restore Complex technology that works to repair the hair after bleaching to prevent some of the damage and make your hair stronger.
The purple conditioner and shampoo combo is quite powerful and removes a lot of the brassiness that tends to creep into bleached hair.
We also love that this kit comes in three color options: Honey (for brunettes), Blonde (for blondes, obviously), and Platinum (for those looking to go really light).
This is a great kit for someone who wants customizable color and is willing to look up the balayage technique on their own, as well as provide their own brush.
4. L’Oreal Paris Colorista Bleach Ombre
This kit is part of L’Oreal’s Colorista line which is intended to be used with their funky temporary colors, but many users have successfully used this kit to achieve a beautiful balayage look.
This kit contains bleach powder, developer, lightening cream, conditioning shampoo, and brush.
The kit is intended to be used to create an ombre effect, but the components work well for a balayage too. You may need to look up some balayage videos online to figure out how to apply the bleach, but once you get the technique down you should be all set.
This kit gives users a very natural blonde color that looks best on medium brown to blonde roots. It lightens the hair by about 2-3 levels which is perfect for balayage.
The included toner (lightening cream) does a good job of neutralizing yellow and brassy tones for a professional-looking result.
The brush in this kit works well for balayage, although some users ditched it and used a more robust brush they bought separately. It’s ultimately up to you which kind of brush you want to use, but we found that the included brush can give you the desired look.
Overall this is a good kit for the price, and it includes everything you need (aside from balayage instructions) to create a subtle and professional-looking balayage.
5. L’Oreal Paris Superior Preference Ombre Touch Hair Color
This ombre kit has everything you need to create a beautiful balayage color including a unique finger brush applicator that gives you more control over where you paint the bleach on your hair.
The kit also includes bleach powder, developer, lightening cream, and post-coloring hydrating conditioner.
This kit comes in two color options: one for dark hair and one for light hair, so you’ll get natural-looking results regardless of your starting point.
Reviewers have noticed that the fingertip brush applicator helps them create a subtle blending effect that eliminates mistakes and rough lines between their natural color and their lightened hair.
This kit doesn’t include a toner, but the color looks fairly natural if you select the right kit based on your starting point. If you’re worried about your color pulling too orange or brassy, we recommend getting a neutralizing toner separately.
We love the easy application process created by this kit’s unique brush, however it is slightly more expensive than some of the other kits on our list, so keep that in mind.
6. L’Oreal Paris Couleur Experte 2-Step Home Hair Color and Highlights Kit
This highlighting kit is different from others because it includes a base color and highlights in one box. This is great for those of you who want to update your entire hair color and then add a balayage effect to it.
The kit comes with a few different color options all of which work well together to create a natural-looking sun-kissed effect.
For instance, the darkest color, a light ash brown, comes with medium ashy blonde highlights, which look very natural and blend well with the ash brown.
Although not explicitly created for balayage, the kit contains a handy fingertip applicator that can help you create natural-looking balayage highlights. We recommend looking up a tutorial online if you’re unsure of how to do it.
What we love about this kit is that it includes two perfectly coordinated colors, which give you a professional-looking and well-toned balayage. It contains everything you need in one box.
The downside of this kit is that it’s a bit more complicated to use than some of our other recommendations since it involves multiple steps. This kit won’t really work for someone who is already happy with their base color and is only looking to add lighter color through balayage.
7. L’Oreal Paris Feria Brush-On Intense Ombre Effect Hair Color
This L’Oreal Paris Feria Brush-On Ombre effect kit is ideal for people with dark hair who are looking to get the most natural balayage.
It comes with a special brush that’s easy to hold at the right angle to create subtle brushstrokes of color.
The kit comes in two color options: black hair and dark brown hair. We wouldn’t recommend anyone with light brown or blonde hair to use this kit.
The instructions included in the kit are tailored to creating an ombre look, however you can find instructions online that work better for a balayage look. Reviewers have noted that the brush is really easy to use, and the color comes out pretty natural.
Some have noticed that their dark hair tends to pull orange when lightening with this kit, so if you’re worried about that, we recommend getting a toner separately.
Reviewers also rave about the conditioning shampoo that’s included in the kit – their hair feels ultra soft and nourished even though their hair went through a bleaching process.
Overall, this is a great kit for those who have darker hair and want natural-looking results and don’t mind looking up balayage instructions and providing their own toner.
8. Clairol Nice’n Easy Frost & Tip Original Hair Dye
Clairol’s Frost and Tip kit was originally intended for highlights but it has just about everything you need to create a balayage at home.
The kit comes with bleach and developer, as well as a spatula for spreading the bleach onto the hair. It does not include a balayage brush or toner. We recommend getting those separately.
Aside from that, it’s a decent kit with everything you need to safely lighten the hair at home. It has the ability to lift your hair by 4-5 levels, but for balayage, we recommend washing it out before your hair gets to that point.
This kit has been around for years and has some loyal customers who swear by it. Most people love it because it’s a no-nonsense lightening kit. Most of its contents would cost a lot more if you were to buy them individually at a beauty supply store, so this is a cost-effective and convenient option for people who are looking to lighten their hair.
This kit is best for someone with light brown or lighter hair with a little bit of prior hair bleaching experience, someone who is comfortable providing their own brushes and toners and is simply looking for a good bleaching kit.
9. Blond Brilliance Hair Highlight Kit
This is a professional-grade kit that has everything you need to lighten your hair and add highlights or balayage.
We recommend this kit for someone who is experienced with lightening their hair because this kit doesn’t include balayage instructions or a toner. It’s basically a professional bleaching kit.
It contains a mixing tray, bleach powder, developer, highlight brush, and spatula. Although you could use the included highlights brush to create a balayage effect, we’d recommend getting a wider brush for a more accurate look.
Reviewers love that this is a professional-level bleach that gives them the control over how bright their color looks. The formula is not very drying and there is enough product to cover even the longest hair.
For best balayage results, we recommend getting a brush, toner, and looking up a balayage tutorial.