INTERVIEW: Balayage Blonde founder Kelsey Moore


Kelsey Melissa (Photo by Yannely)

When it comes to hair, Kelsey Moore is Santa Barbara’s go-to gal. From highlights, to balayage and beyond, her work perfectly reflects the city’s coastal charm. The Balayage Blonde founder has been transforming clients’ hair for over six years. If you’re craving a sun kissed look—even in the middle of winter—you’ve come to the right place. Read along for what makes her signature style so special, along with her favorite healthy hair tips.


Tell me about Balayage Blonde.


Balayage Blonde is my hair color studio located in Santa Barbara. We specialize in hair color (specifically beachy blonde and brunette), women’s haircuts, and extensions.

What did your career journey look like?


I started my career as an aesthetician in Colorado. When I moved to California in 2011, I became dual licensed as a Cosmetologist. I was lucky that my timing entering the hair color world aligned with when balayage became popular. It quickly became my passion, and I’ve been perfecting my craft ever since.


Hair by Kelsey Melissa (Photo by Strictly Business Productions)

For those who don’t know, can you describe what balayage is?


Balayage is a hair color technique where we free hand paint the highlights onto the hair. It has a more subtle, blended appearance than a classic highlight. I tend to use a combination of the two techniques on most of my clients. This allows me to achieve a natural look with a little extra lift and brightness.


A few years ago, balayage took the world by storm, and it has been all the rage ever since. What do you think makes this look so special?


I think balayage took the world by storm because it’s universally flattering. It customizes the color to each unique person and enhances their beauty, instead of overpowering it. It places highlights and dimensions in the same places the sun naturally would. Once you’ve had balayage, you never go back.


Hair by Kelsey Melissa

What products are must-haves for achieving the perfect beachy look?


A hair curling wand and dry texture spray! I recommend a 1 1/4 inch barrel for most hair types and lengths. When curling the hair, leave the last couple inches of the strand straight. Don’t break up curls until after you’ve curled the entire head and allowed the hair to cool. Then pull apart curls with your hands or a brush, and finish with a dry texture spray.

Could you share your top tips for keeping colored hair looking salon fresh?


Don’t wash your hair everyday! When you do, use a color safe line (l like Olaplex and In Common), and use a toning shampoo accordingly if recommended by your stylist, and a mask once a week. If you style your hair, a thermal protectant is important. A lot of people don’t realize how much damage can be done with hot tools. And finally, I recommend getting a water softener and/or hard water detox hair treatments. We have very hard water in this area that affects our hair and skin, but using the right products helps.


What hair trends can we expect this winter?


Rich, healthy hair. All of that bright blonde from summer is going to get toned down to a nice dimensional fall/winter tone. I also think curtain bangs and face framing highlights are here to stay for awhile.


Hair by Kelsey Melissa (Photo by Strictly Business Productions)

Instagram @balayageblonde


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