24 March 2023

Balayage to Illuminage: the evolution of color

The popularity of balayage and blonding services continues to grow, inspiring this season’s movement: from balayage to illuminage. And Wella Professionals showcases the latest techniques for lightening and toning your clients’ hair with a portfolio of products formulated to support the hairdresser at every step.

Color stories, especially for the spring and summer months, somehow always focus on blonde, the one color that relentlessly continues to stand the test of time, remaining a clou in the world of hair and beauty.  So while blonde trends may evolve, they are often inspired by such celebrity icons as Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie and Madonna. And today, blonde has become almost a way of life, and new coloring techniques have made it possible to achieve an enormous range of bespoken blonding effects to make any fashionista’s blond dreams come true.


Just look around you. The most desired blonde of today is balayage: the multi-tonal, easy to maintain, color technique allows clients to stay true to their roots while indulging in lightness. Results may vary from soft and natural to bold sweeping panels. With over 17M hashtags on Instagram, balayage is definitely here to stay.

But now Wella Professionals is taking balayage blonding even further with breakthrough products, techniques, and formulas.

From Balayage to Illuminage

Indeed, today’s color movement focuses on lightening and blonding services. The color palette of the season focuses on subtle pale shades complimented by natural deeper tones, to allow stylists to explore the opportunities in multi-dimensional color results.

From bright blondes and peachy tones, to darker brunettes and fun silvers, the color palette offers a wide range of colors for the stylists to play with and combine in order to achieve looks inspired by this season’s color movement.

Yet Balayage has become a hugely popular and even somewhat of a catch-all term covering a vast and varied range of color looks. So Wella Professionals decided to help clarify the different results you can get with the technique of balayage by introducing 3 services that stylists can now recommend to their clients with specific differences, allowing them to satisfy their clients with the perfect lightening service best-adapted to their needs.

Balayage is essentially a graduation from dark natural root to brightened ends intended to create a full head lighter feel with a shadowed root. The effect is perfect for those seeking a sun-kissed look or even an overall lightness.

Now Wella is bringing Balayage into the future with Illuminage, for an even more natural-looking and luminous Balayage with a seamless transitions and amped up lux and luxury that go beyond just coloring hair to illuminate it.

Illuminage details and accentuates areas within the hair, face-framing to enhance the perimeter and creating seamless transitions with multi-tonal reflections and naturally sheer results. These accentuated contrasts add definition to curls with gentle toning for condition and shine. A seamless blend from a dark root transitions into threads of lightness and enhanced brightness through your curls.

Many Brazilian hairdressers have become known for their expertise in Balayage and lightening, with Wella Global Color Ambassador Romeu Felipe leading the pack as one of the world’s leading lightening experts with a unique technical approach for each client.

Felipe shares his tried and true products and techniques, breaking the process down into three easy steps.

Brazilian Illuminage is a technique that lightens most of the hair,” he reminds us, “so it is very important to use BlondorPlex and WellaPlex No. 2 as they provides 97% less breakage.”
BlondorPlex Base breaking is a service that lightens the natural hair in between or on the same day as highlighting or Balayage techniques. Blondor Base Breakers are specifically designed for an express base-breaking service while gently depositing tone in up to 10 minutes, making it possible to lighten the natural hair up to 1 level while neutralizing unwanted warmth on both the natural hair and the pre-lightened areas. This helps to soften the contrast of the light and dark areas of the hair for a more natural and brighter look and feel, while being gentle on the hair.

Once the hair has been pre-treated, he recommends his go-to color product, saying, “The best quality of ILLUMINA COLOR is the sheer color result it gives to the hair and natural tones.” And for an even more personalized service he observes, “Curly hair needs extra care as it is naturally drier and less shiny. Color Touch is the gentle and caring color option and giving an amazing shiny finish to curly hair.”
He then describes the 3 steps that all services have in common:

Step 1 Lightening

Be it free hand or foiling, the lightening stage follows precision sectioning on key areas of the head. Be it for face framing, perimeter lightening or dark to light transitions.

Step 2 Root shadowing

To create the perfect shadowed root that transitions beautifully into clear lightened ends, this simple step is applied to towel dried hair. He also shares that: “Adding a natural or neutral to your target shade will help you shadow at the root with long-lasting results.”

Step 3 Blonde Toning

Create an individual finish to lightened hair that is reflective, tonal and luxurious.

Spring is here and summer is upon us. It’s time to update and upgrade your color services with fantastic new Wella Professionals Brazilian Illuminage techniques for the hottest summer ever!

“Illuminage shows beauty through accentuating the contrast between light and dark”
– Romeu Felipe


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