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Balayage vs. Ombré: What’s The Difference and Which is Best For You?

Ombré: The Striking Hair Color Solution


Hair Color Credit: @constancerobbins

What is ombré?

In French, ombré means “shade” or “shadow.” In the hair color world, ombré is a dramatic, two-toned hair color effect that is typically darker at the top and lighter on the bottom. Often the dark, top section is your natural hair color shade and the bottom section is lightened with hair lightener. An ombré hairstyle can also be any color combination—natural blonde, brown or red, or something unconventional like pink, blue, green or purple. It’s versatile, customizable and suitable for most long and medium hair lengths. A big plus with ombré hair color is that it’s easy on the budget. You don’t have to touch it up very often since the top section remains dark. The overall look of ombré hair color can change as your hair grows out, which many clients enjoy!

The different types of ombré:

A subtler version of ombré is called sombré. In a sombré hairstyle, the contrast between the two tones is softer. Another variation is called color melting. In color melting, two or three hair color shades may be used on each strand, and each shade is blended with the side of the hair color brush so that they appear to melt into each other. Like ombré, color melting can be done with natural-looking hair color shades or with any of the fun colors of the rainbow!

Is ombré for you?

If you like to make a statement with your hair, if you’re creative and adventurous with your personal style, go for it! Just be sure your hair is healthy to begin with, otherwise your hair color will look dull and will fade quickly. If necessary, spend some time using healthy, healing conditioning treatments and hair masks to improve the condition of your hair before heading to the salon for your ombré hair color!

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Balayage: The Subtle Hair Color Solution


Hair Color Credit: @constancerobbins

What is balayage?

In French, balayage means “sweeping.” In the hair color world, balayage highlights are hand-painted or swept along the surface of the hair. The application begins away from the roots and gradually becomes heavier as it travels along the section, culminating in the heaviest application of lightener or hair color at the ends. Because the hair color or lightener is concentrated on the surface of each section, the underside remains darker, which gives the hair a very natural, dimensional effect. The resulting subtle balayage hairstyle mimics a natural, sun-kissed effect that has been in high demand from celebrities, models and high profile “it” girls for some time now. Balayage can be done on any hair color, from blonde hair to red hair to brown hair, although it’s typically not the first choice for super dark brunettes. It’s beautiful on long hair and on medium-length hair. Like ombré, balayage highlights are cost-effective because they don’t require frequent touchups, since the hair at the top is kept darker.

The different types of balayage:

Because balayage is a hand-painting technique, the artistry of your hair stylist comes into play and allows for many variations and beautiful color compositions. Hair color artists might combine several shades, for example, for a shimmering, dimensional result. If your hair is dark, they may opt for a foilayage technique. In foilayage, instead of allowing the balayage highlights to process in the air after they’re applied, they’re wrapped in foil, which provides more heat, and therefore amplifies the lightening process. Balayage may also be combined with conventional highlights placed closer to the face, or with fine, baby-lights placed around the face and hairline for a complexion-boosting glow.

Is balayage for you?

If you love sexy, natural-looking hair color (and who doesn’t?) balayage is a beautiful choice! Balayage hair color will bring nearly every hairstyle to life!

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How to Care for Your Ombré or Balayage Hair Color

1. Embrace the “bond” difference.

Whether you’re going for a subtle glow or a major hair color transformation with your ombré or balayage hair color, new bonding technology can make all the difference between hair that emerges damaged and hair that stays healthy, shiny and lustrous. It starts in the salon, with professional hair bond repair additives that protect the structural bonds of your hair during the highlighting process, and prevent additional damage from occurring. It continues at home with a revolutionary, three-step Re-Bonding system that continues to reconstruct damaged hair at the deepest level—fortifying, strengthening and smoothing your colored or lightened locks.

2. Keep up your good work.

Once the Re-Bonding system has repaired your hair, maintain your hair color investment with hair-color-friendly, sulfate-free, natural-origin hair care products that gently bathe the hair, leaving your hair color shiny; extending color vibrancy and resulting in hair that’s supple, conditioned and soft to the touch. It’s also a good idea to protect your hair from too much exposure to UV light, from chlorine or saltwater and from frequent, direct contact with hot tools—all of which can alter your hue or cause premature fading.


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