DIY Balayage Is About to Get A Lot Easier

by Rachel Nussbaum

At-home hair color has come in leaps and bounds, with pretty much any DIY transformation attainable (given enough TLC, obviously). But for those not yet feeling ready to take on succulent hair, rose-gold hair, unicorn hair, or rainbow hair, baby steps. eSalon is releasing an at-home balayage hair color kit called LightLab according to WWD, to make all of your low-key transformation dreams come true.

For those more familiar with Super Mario hair than highlighting specifics, a quick refresher. Balayage is basically Highlights Lite, with color hand-painted through hair (as opposed to foils). According to Marie Claire, color is only saturating at the very tip of strands, which is why it frequently has an ombre look — think Chrissy Teigen, Rihanna, Olivia Palermo. The technique tends to make highlights look more organic and natural, as they're scattered through the hair, and regrowth is also easier — it blends right in.

Balayage has been more or less contained to salons, thanks to the level of skill required to do it well (although some bloggers have offered DIY tips for the technique). But eSalon's new kit takes out all the guesswork, coming with lightener, activator, shampoo, a toning mask, comb, tinting brush, mixing tray, and accessories (judging from press materials, likely rubber gloves).

At $35 for a single shipment, the kit's main draw is the near impossibility of messing it up. The color only takes you up to three shades lighter, making for a gentle, sun-lightened look — thus, "LightLab." It's also progressive, so if you're feeling emboldened by success, another go will give you a more dramatic look. Auto-delivery pricing is $28 per kit, if you get hooked.

eSalon has LightLab slated for a mid-January release, which'll be great timing for peak winter darkness. Look out for it then, and for the time being, here's some balayage inspo.

Chrissy Teigen, an inspiration in all things.

Curls look especially gorgeous with another layer of dimension.

And brown-to-red is a gentle, but eye-catching look on trademark Victoria's Secret waves.

Images: Courtesy of Brand