How-To: Café Au Lait Balayage

October 14, 2018 | 5:52 PM
Warm but not brassy. Cool but not ashy. That’s the beauty of this Café Au Lait brunette balayage by L’Oréal Professionnel Artist Min Kim.
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Min refreshed regrowth and also balanced previously-applied chunky highlights with lowlights, using several L’Oréal Professionnel signature balayage techniques.
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Keep lowlights away from the face to prevent a too-dark face-frame.
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Place a bright “money piece” around the face to enhance the complexion.
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Use clear plastic to protect the color application.
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Café Au Lait.
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“Brunette balayage is one of my most requested services,” says L’Oréal Professionnel Artist Min Kim. “When executed properly, it enhances a variety of skin tones and gives brunettes the option to maintain their color as often or infrequently as possible.”

Here, Min’s client showed up with grown-out, chunky, Level 8 highlights everywhere but the crown, with breakage throughout zones 2 and 3. Min’s goal was to rebalance the color by adding depth to the previously-lightened hair with softer tone-on-tone pieces, using her favorite warm-but-not-brassy shade of L’Oréal Professionnel DIA Richesse 6.32. And here’s a hot tip from Min: “Avoid adding lowlighting around the face and throughout the ends (zone 3) for a more natural, sun kissed effect.”

Here’s how Min created this not-too warm, not-too ashy, just right Café Au Lait brunette balayage.


Formula 1: L’Oréal Professionnel Blond Studio Multi Techniques Powder  +  30-volume Majicreme developer  +  Smartbond Step 1 

Formula 2:  L’Oréal Professionnel DIA Richesse 6.32 + 9-volume DIActivateur developer + Smartbond Step 1 


  • Create three sections—back, left and right--and secure with clips.


  • Starting in the nape, alternate Formula 1 and Formula 2, utilizing Formula 1 to refresh regrowth using double point balayage application.
  • Apply Formula 2 in single point balayage pieces starting in the mid-lengths and moving through the ends to create more depth.
  • Continue working upward in horizontal subsections at the front of head.
  • Complete the application using triple point balayage to create the “money piece” in front, incorporating the hair from the front hairline and part.
  • Process to desired level, rinse thoroughly, do not shampoo.
  • Apply Smartbond Step 2. Process for 10 minutes.

Removal and Rinsing:


Discover more tips and how-tos from the balayage leaders at L’Oréal Professionnel

Want to see Min's "How-To French Balayage"?

Check out classes on the French Balayage technique at the L’Oréal Professionnel academies on the East and West Coasts at

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