What are AirTouch Highlights and Why This New Colouring Technique Trumps Balayage for Bringing you the Best of Europe

Published on Apr 08, 2020

Grass is always greener on the other side, and hair usually looks blonder/ browner/ blacker and beautiful-er on other shores. Thankfully, hair colorists have found ways to conquer our natural pigments in the most natural-looking ways, with the most prominent technique being Balayage. Created by fabulous French colorists back in the 1970s and enjoying a huge resurgence two years ago, this technique paints colours on your hair using a brush and creates a gentle gradient effect, with darker roots and lighter tips reminiscient of sun-drenched natural lightening achieved after spending a week on the Riviera. 

For such a sunny style, who would have guessed that it would be chilly Russia that created a new technique that trumps the French Balayage?

Presenting the marvel of Moscow - AirTouch Highlights.


Moscow hair guru Vladimir Sarbashev loved to give his clients' hair natural new colours, but realised that even the gold-standard of Balayage came with problems. For Balayage, stylists often use potentially aggressive backcombing or teasing to divide a section of hair before painting on the colour so as to diffuse the dyed strands and keep the effect natural. This on previously dyed hair reduces the effect to an over-bleached albino crisp, not to mention backcombing itself can be damaging and can take a good amount of precious time.

The AirTouch technique uses air from a quality blow-dryer instead of teasing/backcombing. During retouching, this pushes shorter hairs and internal layers down and out of the way, so that only the needed strands - usually virgin outgrowth that really needs that retouch - remain, after which the colorist can artfully apply color or lightener to it. Even for hair that hasn't previously been dyed, the AirTouch result is beautifully blended, completely natural-looking locks with soft dimension to endure the grow-out and keep your classy gradient looking lovely for longer.

Read on for the 7 reasons why AirTouch trumps Balayage Hair Colours!

1. It's Gentler  


AirTouch doesn't require aggressive backcombing or teasing which tangles and potentially damages your delicate tresses and can be hell on your scalp. Treat your hair how Bob Ross treats this deer!

via GIPHY

2. It's Quicker


Air completes the natural selection of which strands will be best for dyeing much faster than the human eye and a fine-toothed comb can.

via GIPHY

3. It's More Accurate  


Manually backcombing and then reweaving sections of hair doesn't necessarily help you avoid over-processing hair that doesn't need more colour or lightener, whereas air naturally pushes the internal layers and thinner, more breakable strands out of the way .

via GIPHY

4. It Looks More Natural


The diffusion of dyed strands using air means that your natural colour to the dyed sections all blend together in a seamless multi-hued melange rather than an awkward combo of starkly separate colours.

Brown AirTouch Highlights by Ravissant

AirTouch highlights from Ravissant Hair Studio

5. It Lasts Longer


via GIPHY

Ok, bit of an exaggeration there. But you get the point! A natural looking gradient on your dye job means you don't have to worry about roots showing and you can procrastinate for ages before going to the salon for a touch-up

6. Retouches are Quicker and Easier 


When you do to back to the salon for a colour touch-up, the same air-blowing technique allows easy separation of already-dyed, weaker strands of hair from virgin strands that needs the colour.

Short Hair AirTouch Highlights

AirTouch highlights from Ravissant Hair Studio

7. Precise Colour Tone


AirTouch allows precise control of the level of hair brightness that you wish. To attain a darker effect, the stylist just needs to use air to push out more hair at the roots, resulting in less hair remaining to be dyed. For a lighter or brighter tones, the stylist just need to do the opposite to acheive the effect wanted.

AirTouch Highlights by Ravissant

AirTouch highlights from Ravissant Hair Studio

It's no wonder this technique is huge throughout Eastern Europe and blowing up in the USA - it's expanded on the French Balayage to produce the ultimate seamless, sun-kissed sexiness. But how does it fare in Singapore?

Follow Agent N on her hair visit to Ravissant Hair Studio, one of the first to introduce AirTouch Highlights in Singapore to find out. 

Hi! I'm Agent N, and as you can see, I have really bleached hair.

Bleached Damaged Hair Before AirTouch Highlights

Like, REALLY bleached. I've left it to its own devices and now - to quote the song - it's all Yellow to me.

Bleached Damaged Hair Before AirTouch Highlights
Bleached Damaged Hair Before AirTouch Highlights

It's brassy and too loud, like a nosy auntie asking when you are going to get married in awkward gatherings. And that's not the look I'm going for.

Bleached Damaged Hair Before AirTouch Highlights

This is especially so since I work in a preschool, where anything other than subtle might earn a judgmental look from a parent. 

So guess where I choose to go? Yep, my regular stylist at Ravissant Hair Salon, Shawn. He is not the most high-profile stylist out there but honestly, he's a real gem. I don't have to tell him a lot and he'll know just what to do to make me look Ravissant or ravishing in French. I've been with him a few years now and he's never let me down as he continually tries new hair colours and styles on me. 

Read on if you want to take a look at how my typical experience with him is like!

Step 1: Consultation


Consultation and Hair Trim at Ravissant Hair Salon

Not like some stylists who start the service the moment you sit down, Shawn takes the time and effort to check out how I felt that day, take a look at my hair and discuss about the styles and colours I was looking for. 

Consultation and Hair Trim at Ravissant Hair Salon

My hair is definitely way due for a colour and also haircut as well, to give it a better shape. 

Step 2: Trim


Knowing that I want to keep my length, Shawn pulled out his scissors and started snipping.

Consultation and Hair Trim at Ravissant Hair Salon

Not to worry, he's just giving it minor surgery, trimming it to remove the split ends.

Consultation and Hair Trim at Ravissant Hair Salon

He also added layers because my hair was fluffy and one-length all over, like a clueless small animal.

Step 3: Airtouch Highlights


Once that was done, it was, to quote Blade Runner, Time to Dye.

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

Shawn, the wonderful man that he is, said that he would work with the existing colours on my hair and that I didn't need to bleach my hair again...thank goodness! No need to spend 8 hours of my life held hostage in a salon chair by my own hair.

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

With the help of a hair assistant who had reassuringly beautiful colours on her own locks, he sectioned my hair and started painting the base colour onto it.

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

They wrapped small sections in aluminium foil after painting dye on to lock the colour in my locks and speed up the process.

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

Once the base layers are mostly complete, the AirTouch technique comes into play for the outer, more obvious layers. 

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

First, Shawn uses air from the hairdryer to push shorter hairs and internal layers down and out of the way. 

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

Only some strands remain for the application of a brighter lighter colour.

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

Once the colours are applied, they are then wrapped into foils again to avoid accidental mixing. 

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

I then waited 20 short minutes.

Getting AirTouch Highlights at Ravissant Hair Salon

20! Short! Minutes! Made shorter with a nice hot drink, too.

Hair Wash After Hair Colour

Next, it was time to wash off the colour. As you can see, the hairwashing was precise and my makeup remained undisturbed.

And that's it. I WAS DONE. I could have tossed my newly-dyed head and left at that very moment, but Shawn, my hair-reviving angel, decided to style my hair into curls to show off the new dye job.

Blow Dry at Ravissant Hair Salon

Are you keen to see the transformation?

Bleached Hair Before AirTouch Highlights
Stylish AirTouch Highlights by Ravissant Hair Salon
Stylish AirTouch Highlights by Ravissant Hair Salon
Stylish AirTouch Highlights by Ravissant Hair Salon

None of the harshness of my pre-dye look.

Stylish AirTouch Highlights by Ravissant Hair Salon

Instead, in one short afternoon, I had multi-hued, ashy tinted locks with a subtle, almost sun-bleached gradient. AirTouch was definitely a breath of fresh air....all the way from the most stylish cities in Europe.

Stylish AirTouch Highlights by Ravissant Hair Salon

I can't wait to show my colleagues my new AirTouch hair!

I know AirTouch looks good but hope you guys don't overwhelm Shawn with your requests for hair colours... leave some timeslots for me please!

Keen to try hair colours at Ravissant Hair Salon?

They are having the following promotion:

33% off AirTouch Hair Colour + 1 Bleach + 1 Emulsion Treatment NOW $288 (UP: $432)

  • Valid only for New Customers
  • Valid if you quote Beauty Undercover
  • Valid if you like Ravissant's IG page

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