Browsing articles in "Hair Color"

Balayage and Smudging Oh My!

By Annie Zeiler  //  Hair Color  // 

Red Carpet Ready

Are you tired of being a slave to your highlights? Are you a fool for your foils? The stylists of FX Studios have the key to getting you off the highlight bandwagon and into something more subtle and manageable.

The stylists of FX Studios have had a chance to spend some time with stylist to the stars, Kim Vo, where we learned numerous ways to transition your “Do” into something more on trend for the coming season. Kim Vo, whose celebrity clientele includes Katherine Heigl, Britney Spears, and Kate Hudson (pretty much some of the most notable blondes in Hollywood), uses techniques that are quick and efficient ways to get fabulous Red Carpet Ready color. Two of which are the the ever popular Balayage and his own technique “The Smudge”.


So you may be asking yourself… What is Balayage exactly? Balayage is a French highlighting technique, it means “to sweep.” This comes from the sweeping motion in which the product is applied to the hair. The cream lightener or color (whichever your stylist thinks is more appropriate for your desired results) is swept lightly on either thick or thin sections of hair.

Balayage can be as subtle or as bold as you want, but no matter what your desired end results, the outcome will be something that is less maintenance than a typical foil highlight. A foil highlight typically needs maintenance about every 6-8 weeks, where as with Balayage you may find yourself only needing a touch up every 10-12 weeks. It’s a great transition from heavy summer highlights to more natural fall highlights.

Smudge It…Smudge It Good

But what if you don’t want to give up your foils? What if you are a Blonde-orexic like me? Then there’s another option to maintain your blonde but with lower maintenance and without breaking the bank. Kim Vo has developed what he calls “The Smudge.”  It’s not necessarily lightening or darkening the re-growth but merely exposing the natural underlying pigments in your hair to brighten up that typically “mousey” look the natural re-growth has. The best way to describe “the smudge” is to think of it as caramelizing your roots. Think of raw white onion… then think of the color that onion turns when you caramelize it in a pan with a little butter… not so bright white anymore right? Well it’s kind of like that- a softening of the harshness of your re-growth and blending it to your previous highlights.

“The Smudge” is great because it can eliminate that “Partial Highlight then every other time Full Highlight routine” some of us are a slave to. If you decide to “smudge” – your routine will change to “Full highlight then every other time you “smudge”  “.. aka keeping more money in your pocket. Another great thing about the “smudge”- the entire process only takes about 20 minutes, add the time for a blow dry and you can be in and out in about an hour. A great way to spend your lunch break if you ask me.

Working the Runway

So between “the smudge” and Balayage you now have 2 great ways to keep on trend for fall. Everyone from Jennifer Aniston to J.Lo rock one or both of these looks. Most blondes in Hollywood have been wearing the “rooted” look for some time now and both these techniques can get you there.

Obviously both of these looks should only be done by salon professionals and any one of the talented stylists at FX Studios can help get you there. So book your appointment today to discuss your options with your stylist.

To schedule your appointment or to receive additional information please call FX Studios at (410) 771-1500 or email at

FX Client Meghan – Before










FX Client Meghan – After