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Balayage Vs Babylights: Achieve Your Best Hair Yet

Do you know your balayage from your babylights? There are so many hair colouring techniques around these days it can be hard to keep up. Maybe you’ve seen your must-have colour on an Instagram photo but you’ve no idea how it’s achieved and what it takes to maintain it. In this blog we’ll tell you everything you need to know about two of the most popular highlighting techniques, to take the guesswork out of achieving your dream colour.


Where does the name come from?

Balayage is French for ‘to sweep or paint,’ and it gets its name because unlike traditional highlights where the hair is wrapped in foil, your stylist will take swatches of hair and paint it freehand with the colour before covering it in cellophane.

How is it done?

A bleach or lightening agent is usually used to achieve the effect. It’s applied on the surface of each section of hair but it’s not saturated through until the ends of the hair because the aim is a soft highlight at the root and a thicker highlight at the ends of the hair.

What does the end result look like?

Balayage gives the hair a natural sun-kissed look, which looks more casual because the highlights are fatter and less symmetrical than traditional highlights.

What is the best thing about balayage?

Because balayage doesn’t start at the crown of the head, and because of the more casual, less structured technique, it looks beautiful when it grows out and you won’t need loads of maintenance.


before babylights

Before babylights

Where does the name come from?

Babylights are delicate highlights that are designed to create the natural sun kissed dimensional hair colour that small children have. Think subtle but beautiful.

How is it done?

after babylights

After babylights

Your stylist separates the hair into very small, fine sections, then applies hair colour to the small groups of strands for more than an hour. Babylights are different from highlights because there’s only a small separation between the highlighted strands which means they blend in with the base colour and look amazingly natural.

What does the end result look like?

Think natural, classy, glamorous, and fresh looking colour.

after babylights styled

Babylights with curls-Gorgeous!

What is the best thing about babylights?

They’re very low maintenance. Because the highlights are so fine, the hair that grows out appears softer, and there’s no obvious line between the highlighted and the natural hair. Maintenance is similar to any other highlighting system. If you have a full head it should be touched up every eight weeks and if you have randomly placed babylights, you should have them touched up every 12

Maintenance for babylights is similar to any highlighting system. A full head should be touched up every eight weeks and sporadic pieces can be touched up every 12-14 weeks.

Another big plus with babylights is that they can be applied to any hair colour or hair type, and they can be done in any shade to match your skin tone. This means that it’s not just blondes who get to have the fun, brunettes and redheads can experience the beautiful effect of babylights too.

Things to consider

Babylights are gorgeous, but because your stylist has to painstakingly paint lots of small strands of hair, it takes longer and can cost more than normal highlights. My price starts from £150 depending on the time it takes to apply the colour. As a rough guide, a full head takes about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Want to try them for yourself?

At Salon La Reine, we can introduce you to a world of colour and techniques that will give you your most beautiful hair yet. Contact us to book an appointment and see for yourself.

Pimp Your Blow Dry with Glow Dry

sleek blow dry with glow dry products

So in my last blog, I raved a little bit about one of my favourite product ranges, Diamond Oil Glow Dry by Redken. This amazing range preps the hair for blow drying, reduces drying time, and takes your blow dry to the next level. These products will give you salon-worthy, healthy and shiny hair. What’s even better is that they are suitable for any hair type, including coloured hair. Here’s how to pimp your blow dry with Glow Dry!

How to get the best out of the Glow Dry range

The full Glow Dry experience includes 3 steps, designed to prepare your hair for blow drying, and reducing the time your hair has to be exposed to the heat of the hairdryer. This is the biggest advantage of this range; the less your hair is exposed to the heat, the less potential there is for damage. Damaged hair is not healthy hair, it looks and feels dry and dull, and it does not hold on to colour half as well.

Follow these 3 steps for the best blow dry ever:

slwwk blow dry wiht glow dry products

Step 1: Use the Glow Dry Gloss Scrub

The moisturising scrub with argan shells gently exfoliates the hair and scalp to remove the build up of products, dead skin, and impurities-basically it takes away anything that might dull its beautiful shine.

To use the scrub, rinse your hair and apply to the scrub before you shampoo. Work it well into the hair for a minute or two then rinse well.

Step 2: Use the Glow Dry Gloss Shampoo

This shampoo prepares the hair for blow drying, and leaves it feeling hydrated, nourished and shiny. It’s a clear gel formula, enriched with oils, and it has a very subtle rose scent. Massage it into the hair as normal and rinse well.

Step 3: Use the Glow Dry Detangling Conditioner

The conditioner hydrates the hair without weighing it down or making it look like it’s been coated with something. Once you’ve applied it to the hair, work it into the lengths and ends, then rinse it out. Now you’re ready to blow dry.

After using these products, you should find that your hair looks smooth, shiny, and nourished, and for you ladies with coloured hair, you’ll be pleased to see that the products have not affected it at all.

Many clients complain that they can never blow dry their hair the same way as their hairdresser does, but with amazing products like this, and a few tweaks to your technique, there’s no reason why you can’t look like you just stepped out of a salon.

Sleek blow dry with glow dry

For more information on the Glow Dry range, click here

How to Get a Salon Style Blow Dry-Without the Damage

woman with blow dried hair

Letting your hair dry naturally is the best way to avoid damage, but if you use the right products, tools, and technique, there’s no reason why you can’t get great results without damaging your hair. Here’s how to get a salon style blow dry without the damage.

What you’ll need

Hair dryer

Barrel brush

Blow drying clips

Step one: Wash your hair

You can use your normal shampoo, but preferably use a moisturising formula, as any injection of moisture will protect your hair from the effects of blow drying and replenish the hair. Make sure shampoos and conditioners are thoroughly rinsed out as product build up, especially at the roots of the hair can make it look greasy and limp.

Step two: Towel dry the hair

Don’t rub your hair which can contribute to frizz, wrap the towel around the hair and blot the excess moisture out.

Step three: Separate the hair into sections

Separating the hair into 4 to 6 sections is ideal. Use clips, and make sure the hair isn’t tangled.

Step four: Start blow drying

hairdresser blowdrying hair

Start at the roots, around 6 inches away from the scalp. Use a barrel brush and always angle the hairdryer downwards as this will create a smooth finish. Work through the sections and don’t focus heat on any one area for too long as it can damage the hair.

Step five: Blast your hair with cool air

This will help to lock in shine. Apply some serum or hair oil sparingly to tame fly away hairs and add some lustre. Voila, beautiful blow dried hair!

So that’s the technique, but how do you take your blow dry to the next level? These tips might even make you give up your salon blow dry habit…maybe.

Treat the hair with a mask, before you start

If your hair is already dry, blow drying it with high heat is going to leave it looking and feeling parched. Treat it with a mask beforehand, and you’ll get the smooth and shiny finish that you want.

Use a heat protector

You’ll notice every salon does this to protect your hair from the heat, and if you want a gorgeous blow dry minus the damage, so should you!

Use a hair oil

If you have fine, flyaway, dry or frizzy hair, use a hair oil before and after your blow dry to make it more manageable and give it a healthy shine. Work a few drops of oil through the lengths and ends of the hair when it’s damp and apply a small amount to the ends when you have finished styling the hair.

Use a thickening spray for volume

If you want your hair to have a whole lot of extra body, spray a thickening spray onto damp hair. There are some great products on the market which will help boost volume without weighing fine hair down.

Let the hair dry a little first

If you wait until your hair’s about 70% dry before you pick up your hairdryer, you’re going to prevent a whole lot of damage and save yourself some precious time.

Inject some lift into your roots

A big bouncy blow dry needs volume at the roots. When you’re drying the hair, create some height at the crown by keeping the brush as close to the roots as you can, and pulling your hair upwards as you dry.

Make your blow dry last with a lotion

Using a blow dry lotion will make your blow dry last a few extra days by encouraging it to stay in the style you created.

Maintain your blow dry as you sleep

Twist the hair into a loose bun and use a gentle grip to pin it into place. Your hair should keep its shape and volume once you let it down in the morning.

Sleep on a silk pillow case

Cotton pillow cases can cause friction and create frizz and hair damage. Sleeping on a silk pillow case will help keep your ‘do smooth overnight so it still looks amazing when you wake up.

My insider tip:

blow dry products

I LOVE the Redken Glow Dry range, whatever your hair type and texture, there’s a product for you that will take your blow dry to the next level.

We hope these tips helped and that you give a blow dry a go, but if you still aren’t confident, visit us at Salon La Reine Bristol for the very best hair treatments and service.

How to Maintain Silver and Pastel Shades

two girls with pastel shades in their hair

If you’re bored with blonde, tired of being a brunette, or fed up with red, you might have scrolled through Instagram feeling envious at the endless images of bloggers, models, and celebrities with their hair dyed in cool silver tones or pretty pastels.

Silver definitely stands out from the crowd and pastel shades from purple to bold blues and pinks are very pretty and totally on trend.

But before you take the plunge and change your look, there’s one thing you need to know; silver and pastels are tough to maintain, so if you want something low maintenance, they’re definitely not for you. But if you want to give them a go and you aren’t afraid of a bit of a maintenance and a good haircare routine, here’s how to maintain silver and pastel shades.

How to maintain silver shades

silver shades in hair

Silver can be harder to maintain than blonde. With blonde, you need to avoid brassiness, but if your hair is dyed silver, any amount of brassiness will ruin the effect. Any good colourist will tell you that silver or light grey hair is difficult to achieve because silver or grey dye doesn’t exist, it needs to be mixed from other colours. My advice is to bring a photo of the exact shade you want when you come for your consultation so your colourist can match it. And always go to a colourist who is experienced in doing grey and silver shades or it can go very wrong!

Don’t worry if you leave the salon with a slight blue or lavender tinge to your hair, the colour will fade into grey or silver. To maintain your silver colour, you’ll need to be clever with your use of products. Silver tends to pick up what you put on it, so if you just use purple toning shampoo, your hair will probably turn lavender. Try alternating a sulphate free moisturising shampoo and conditioner with a purple or blue toning shampoo and conditioner for good all-round care. You can also go back to your colourist for a toning appointment to keep your shade looking as amazing as when you first had it done.

How to maintain pastel shades

girl with pastel hair colour

Go to a professional colourist: Chopping and changing colours can cause hair damage, especially if you’re not using professional techniques and products to protect the hair. No matter how good you think you are at colouring your hair, home dye jobs can look uneven. Go professional for a beautiful colour and a lustrous end result.

Use the right products: Coloured hair needs more tlc and specially-formulated products. Your colourist will suggest products based on your hair type to keep your colour looking fabulous for longer.

Get a regular trim: Bleaching and toning the hair can cause damage, so it’s important that you get regular trims to keep the hair healthy and get rid of split ends. Each time you book in your colour, book in an appointment for a cut.

Use deep conditioning treatments before your colour: If you use a deep conditioning treatment on your hair for at least a month before your colour appointment, the hair will be as healthy as possible and it will hold colour so much better.

Try new hairstyles: Multicoloured hair can look completely different depending on what hairstyle you have, so try something you don’t usually have, like a ballerina bun or different types of braid.

Book in for regular maintenance: Have your coloured touched up every 6-8 weeks to keep it looking fresh and vibrant. If you go without a touch up for too long, you can end up with an uneven colour result when you get it redone.

Make dry shampoo your friend: Using dry shampoo means that you have to wash your hair less often and your colour will stay looking brighter for longer.

Rinse your hair with cool water: Hot water opens the hair cuticle which can cause colour to rinse out. Cooler water seals the cuticle so the colour is locked in and it will last much longer.

Deep condition after your colour: Having a deep conditioning treatment after your colour, such as Olaplex can hydrate the hair and improve its overall health so it holds onto your colour for much longer.

Protect your hair from heat: Coloured hair is more prone to damage, so heat can make it weak and dry. Dry your hair naturally where possible, but if you are blow drying, straightening or curling your hair, use a heat protection product to prevent hair damage. A little note about heat protection: beware of using tinted oils as these can actually deposit colour on pale pastel shades and warp them!

Want to try some beautiful pastel or silver shades? Contact us to book a consultation.

Olaplex: The Wonder Hair Health Restorer

bottles of olaplex hair treatment system

Image courtesy of

Colouring your hair is a chemical process that can take its toll, especially if the hair has been dyed repeatedly. If you don’t look after your hair properly after your treatments, it can become damaged. In this blog, I want to look at the warning signs that your hair is damaged, and how Olaplex can help restore its health and strength.

Signs that your hair is damaged:

  • You have split ends
  • It’s brittle and dry
  • It’s shedding
  • It lacks shine
  • Your colour is fading

How to repair damaged hair

Get a haircut: This can restore the hair’s body and general condition.

Start a hair care regime: Use restoring shampoos, conditioners, treatment masks, and replenishing oils to restore the health of the hair.

Avoid heat styling wherever possible: Let your hair dry naturally whenever you can, and if you must style your hair, always use heat protection products.

Wash your hair wisely: Avoid using hot water and give the hair a cold rinse to seal the cuticle and boost shine.

Protect your hair in the pool and in the sun: Apply a leave in conditioner before you hit the pool to protect your hair from chlorine and use a leave- in sunscreen or wear a hat to protect your hair from the sun’s damaging rays.

Look after your health: Being in good health overall will keep your hair healthy. Drink plenty of water, and eat a diet rich in protein, fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, and low fat dairy products to keep your hair happy and healthy.

Olaplex: The hair restorer

If you really want to have your best hair ever, it’s time to consider using Olaplex.

Olaplex isn’t just a conditioning treatment, it’s a haircare system that permanently repairs hair bonds that have been broken during the chemical treatment process. So if you’ve over-bleached your hair or used other chemical treatments for years, it will really help to strengthen your hair from the inside out.

How does it work?

image of the haihr shaft before and after treament with olaplex

Image courtesy of

Colouring your hair strips away its protein reserves and the hair’s bonds are split. This means the hair becomes weaker and more prone to damage. Olaplex repairs the bonds and leaves hair sleeker and shinier.

The process

Olaplex is a 3-stage treatment.

Olaplex Number 1: This is the Bond Multiplier, and it can be used either as a standalone treatment or mixed with your colour.

Olaplex Number 2: The Bond Perfector is then applied to the hair once the colour is rinsed out. This stage is left on for around 20 minutes to work its magic.

Olaplex Number 3: This is the Hair Perfector, a take home treatment that we recommend you use once per week to keep your hair healthy and your colour lustrous and shiny.

The benefits of Olaplex

  • It repairs breakage and split ends
  • Your hair is left smoother, softer, and more manageable overall.

How long does Olaplex last?

Olaplex lasts until you get your hair coloured again because it doesn’t wash out.

Book your colour appointment with us and see for yourself how amazing your hair looks and feels after an Olaplex treatment

The Best Hair Care Routine for Coloured Hair

woman with dyed pink hair colour

Colouring your hair is a great way to invent yourself and make a statement, but keeping your hair looking as shiny and vibrant as it did when you walked out of the salon takes a bit of work. Hair dyes can weaken the hair and leave it vulnerable to damage, not to mention colour fade. Coloured hair needs to be treated with a little more tender loving care. Here are our tips for a great hair care routine for coloured hair.

Hair care routine for coloured hair: products

Always use products formulated for colour treated hair

Getting a colour can sometimes leave hair dry, and specially formulated shampoos and conditioners will repair and nourish the hair. Healthier hair means that your colour won’t fade as fast, and it will stay vibrant and shiny for longer. We can advise you on the best products for your newly coloured hair, so you can look and feel fabulous for as long as possible.

Use a hair mask

Because colouring the hair can dry it out, it’s a good idea to use a deep conditioning hair mask once per week. Apply it to the hair, wrap your head in a towel, and sit back and let it work its magic.

Apply UV protection

Many of you will be thinking about going on holiday at this time of the year but remember to protect your tresses from the sun if you’ve just had a colour. We all know that UV rays damage the skin, but they also damage the hair, leaving it prone to split ends, breakage, frizz, and colour fade. You can buy a protective sun cream for your hair, or there are leave-in products that provide UV protection which you can apply before you hit the beach.

Hair care routine for coloured hair- general tips

Get a regular trim

Healthy hair equals longer lasting colour so get a trim every 6 weeks.

Make colour changes gradually 

Woman getting hair dyed

Each time you change your hair colour, more dyes are used to get the effect you want, and this can damage the hair. Damaged hair won’t absorb dye as well so you’re less likely to achieve your dream colour. Change your hair colour in stages; it will thank you.

Avoid swimming pools

If your hair has just been coloured, avoid swimming pools as the chlorine can cause hair damage, or even worse, it can warp your colour. If you must swim, try using a leave-in product to protect it.

Don’t wash your hair as often

If you wash your hair every day, your colour can fade faster because it lifts the outer cuticle layer. This can also happen if you wash your hair with very hot water. If you live in an area with hard water, you need to take extra care of your hair and not wash it too often because hard water leaves calcium, chlorine, and copper deposits on your hair and makes it look dull.

Turn down the heat

Using curling tongs, hair straighteners, and dryers often makes the hair more porous, and porous hair doesn’t hold colour so well. Try to let your hair dry naturally when you can, and if you must use heat stylers, use heat protections sprays, oils, or creams.

Your colour treatment at Salon La Reine

We use the amazing Olaplex treatment with your colour, so your hair is strengthened, nourished and protected.

Girl with healthy coloured hair

Visit us for beautiful colour that lasts longer!

Colour Correction: Everything You Need to Know

Colouring your hair is a sure way of making a statement about who you are, and whether you want something vibrant red or a little more subtle, there are plenty of options out there. But if you’ve coloured your hair at home and you haven’t got the results you wanted, or you’ve had a disappointing experience in a professional salon, there are steps you can take to correct your colour.

Here at Salon La Reine Bristol, we offer a full colour correction service. But what does it involve and what can you expect? Here’s our guide to achieving the colour of your dreams.

lorraine-2-blog-photo     lorraine-1-edited-version

Colour correction-Before 

What is colour correction?

Just like using different coloured concealers can correct uneven tones and disguise pigmentation in the skin, hair colour correction can remedy uneven colours and tones in the hair. An example of this is when blonde turns brassy after a few weeks, whether it’s because of the sun or chlorine from a swimming pool. Hair colour correction can neutralise the hair and make your hair look amazing.

What to expect

The first thing to understand is that hair colour correction can be a long process and you might not get the colour you want on the first attempt. You might need a few appointments quite close together, but we can make a plan that suits you and your budget. This is because how well the hair takes to colour is determined by how porous it is. If hair is strong and healthy, it will be able to absorb colour and hold onto it. If you have had your hair coloured previously, you’ve had it chemically treated, or you heat style your hair often, you might need several sessions to correct your colour.

Going from light to dark

If you have had your hair lightened and want to go darker, we’ll dye the hair either yellow, orange, or red, depending on how dark you want to go, then we’ll apply the new colour on top. The reason we pre-dye the hair is that if we don’t, your new colour could end up fading fast or worst-case scenario, you could end up with green tones in the hair which is not a good look!

Going from dark to light

Colour correcting hair that’s gone too dark or that’s a mish-mash of different colours is a precise process. While we can always remove harsh colour and uneven tones, it can sometimes leave the hair in poorer condition. We’ll always recommend a good aftercare routine to restore hair health.

Red hair

Many clients complain that their red hair is not as vibrant as when they first had it done. This is because red dye doesn’t tend to stay on the outer edges of the hair cuticle very well. When you visit us, we’ll always go through your options with you so you can achieve your best hair yet.


Colour correction-During the process

Steps towards your colour change

So you think you need colour correction. What next? Here’s our guide to taking the steps towards changing your colour.

Pick your stylist or salon

Hairstyle and colour is a very personal thing, and most people’s hair is their crowning glory, so it’s important that you pick a great stylist or salon. Look at recommendations and reviews, and don’t forget how valuable word of mouth recommendations can be. This will also give you a chance to think about your budget and research salon prices.

Book a consultation

Every good salon will offer a consultation as part of a colour correction service. Having a thorough chat about what hair colour you want to achieve, what is actually achievable, and most importantly, your hair colour history is crucial. This can be a good opportunity to see if you like the stylist too; trusting someone with your hair is a big thing.

Have a skin test

This allows the salon to test for any possible allergic reaction you might have to the dye.

Have a strand test

About 1cm of the strands of your hair are coloured before your colour correction to see what the final colour result might be, and what condition it leaves the hair in so there are no nasty surprises when we dye the full head of hair.

Think about cost

Colour correction is not cheap and remember that it might take a few sessions to achieve results depending on what you need. Our colour correction services start at £150. We use the amazing Olaplex treatment with your colour if your ideal colour can’t be achieved in one go. We mix the first stage of the Olaplex treatment with the hair dye and apply it, then after the colour is rinsed off, the second stage of the treatment is applied and left on for 20 minutes. We then shampoo the hair and apply a hydrating mask. The result? This treatment strengthens and repairs the hair throughout the lightening and colouring process and leaves you with your best ever hair.


Once your colour has been corrected and you’re happy, it’s important to care for your hair. We’ll usually recommend that you use a system of hair care products including shampoos, conditioners, masks, and balms that are formulated for colour treated hair.

Do you need colour correction? If you want to fall in love with your hair again, contact us to arrange a consultation to start your healthier hair journey.

lorraine-6   lorraine-4-edited

After- Beautiful!!!







6 Reasons to Wear Hair Extensions

Are you considering buying hair extensions, but not sure if it’s worth taking the plunge? We’re here to help make you make that decision.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight 6 main reasons to wear hair extensions. Everyone knows they’re great for volume and length – that’s no surprise. But did you ever consider that it’s also a fantastic way to hide a bad haircut? Or experiment with color with absolutely no damage? How about to achieve those #hairgoals you’ve been dreaming about for your wedding day or prom night?

Here are our top 6 reasons why hair extensions are worth investing in!

Read more


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