Balayage is a Way of Doing One's Hair
The Oxford dictionary recently adopted a slew of new words. balayage is among them. Here's a brief overview of the word:
The Long and Short of It
Ok, if you're an average dude trying to understand what balayage is, it's a way of doing your hair. It's not a style per se, it's really more of an effect. It looks good, I think. Now, the simple Oxford definition is this: a technique for highlighting the hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.
Very abstract! It's painted on "in such a way" and it's "natural looking." So basically, it's a hair process thing. Fair enough. If you're a run of the mill, stereotypically masculine dude, you're done here. If you're not, keep reading.
Vogue knows what they're talking about.
"Balayage is a French colouring technique that was developed in the 1970s. It’s a freehand technique where the colour is applied by hand rather than using the traditional foiling or cap highlighting techniques. Balayage can be used in even the shortest pixie crop however the best results is in hair below the shoulders." See more here.
Here's a picture: