Balayage and Highlights are two styles of coloring the hair. These techniques are used mostly by women in a bid to always look attractive. The main difference between balayage and highlights is actually on how the two hair painting techniques are applied to the hair. Balayage is just a new technique of painting the hair, and the technique is applied by painting a part of the hair, not from the root of the hair but from a section of the hair to the tip of the hair. Highlights is an older technique of dying the hair compared to highlight.
The technique is applied by painting the whole hair, right from the root of the hair to the tip in a uniform manner. In balayage, the part of the hair to be painted is selected properly by hand, and since it is just a part of the hair that needs to be painted, it does not take too much time. But in highlights, aluminum foils are needed to lighten the hair so that the paint will cover everywhere. Highlights are very costly to maintain, as you will need to be retreating the hair as it grows, while balayage is easy to maintain.