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Blonding Maintenance Pt. 1: Salon Visits

Caring for blonde hair can seem daunting at first: extra appointments/salon visits, additional products, new habits? Oh my! But never fear, we are here to break down the basics when it comes to keeping your best blonde look on lock.

Let’s look at how often you can anticipate being in the salon to maintain the best balayage in Columbus, Ohio! Better yet, the world!

salon visits

First, it is important to keep in mind that trips to the salon are not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each person has unique needs that require different amounts of in-salon maintenance. Once you have an established relationship with your stylist, you can work together to determine the best care cycle for your hair. The best salons for balayage, or any other hair color service, will naturally forge a relationship with you for longterm maintenance and care. If you don’t feel a partnership with your blonding or balayage professional, consider switching stylists. The blonding specialists at our salons in Columbus, Ohio, take your budget, timing, and lifestyle into consideration when deciding what services need to be done today, as well as what your after-care and future salon visits will look like.

All hair requires a certain level of maintenance and we aim to answer the question: “What’s right for you?”  First, it’s important to note which services you need to get to achieve your special style of blonde, as the upkeep varies.

Balayage or Highlights for Blonding


Two familiar ways to achieve blonde include balayage or traditional foils. A huge difference between these two blonde routes is their relationship with the roots, essentially the “grow-out.” 

For example, a balayage is intended to have a softer grow-out period with no harsh lines and a deep root color intentionally present. This softness allows you to go twice as long between color sessions!

Foil highlights require more maintenance, meaning more salon visits. While highlights have evolved and can be far less harsh than the picture above, it is important to understand that highlights need more upkeep because they incorporate the roots. If you are getting highlights done to achieve blonde, the grow-out will be starker than with a balayage. 

When touching up your hair, you have the option for a lightener or color retouch. This is when a solid color, lightener, or “bleach” is applied to your roots without foils. This option still has a 4 to 6-week maintenance period. Some clients can even make it to 8-weeks, but waiting more than 8 weeks to retouch creates bands of color similar to rings on a tree and will result in extra lightening services to even them out. It’s important to keep up with this kind of color pretty fanatically, or you’ll be risking some expensive corrective services.

Short Hair Blondes

Appointment interval:  4-8 weeks

Services: highlight, balayage, lightener retouch, haircut/trim

Highlights on Short Hair
Example of Highlights on Short Hair by Katie Thomas

With short hair, upkeep needs to happen more often to avoid the “mullet” look. It is necessary to keep up with trims and color. Grow out is also more obvious on short hair than on long hair because the ratio of blonde to root is more drastic in short hair.

Platinum Pixie Cut
Example of Platinum Retouch on Short Hair by Rachael Burt

Medium-length blondes

Appointment interval:  6-9 weeks

Services: mini highlights/mini balayage, partial highlight/partial balayage (every other time), trim

Mini Balayage on Medium Hair, salon visits
Example of Mini Balayage on Medium Hair by Jazmen

With medium hair, the upkeep can be stretched a little longer depending on your look. If you love a root heavy look, a balayage could be a great fit for you and may not need touching up as often as traditional highlights which keeps your hair looking brighter and more uniform. However, you’ll definitely want to tone this often to avoid having the raw, bleached look.

Full Balayage on Medium Hair
Example of a Full Balayage on Medium Hair by Jaime Thomas

Long Hair Maintenance 

Appointment interval:  8-12 weeks

Services: partial or full highlight/balayage, toner, trim

Example of a Double Full Highlight on Long Hair by @LuxLittler
Example of a Double Full Highlight on Long Hair by Lux Littler

With long hair, you may be able to get by with as many as 12 weeks between upkeep appointments.  Hair grows an average of .5 inches a month, meaning that your hair will grow 1.5 inches in 12 weeks. Long hair is more likely to experience split ends because the hair has been around much longer and endured more styling and weather than hair that is kept short. If you do wait 12 weeks, you can anticipate getting a Partial Highlight, then plan for a Full Highlight or Balayage for your next appointment.

Balayage and Babylights on Long Hair, salon visits
Example of Balayage and Babylights on Long Hair by Skylar

What’s right for you?

Balayage is a go-to for the person who may not have the time or resources to have blonde touched up too often and is looking for a soft, natural grow-in. Highlights are for the person who loves salon visits and wants to feel brighter quickly.

If you’re interested in speaking with a Blonding or Balayage Specialist in any of our salons in Columbus, Ohio, we’d love the opportunity to speak with you about your options and create the perfect maintenance plan for your lifestyle. Book a consultation today!

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