The terms, Ombre and Balayage are often used interchangeably, mainly because most of us don’t understand the difference. But, in reality, they’re two separate hair color techniques, with each one presenting a very different image in its own right.
If you’re struggling to fathom what each one is, then rest assured—you’re not alone! So we think it’s high time that the confusion between the two is set straight once and for all. Read on for the definitive guide to the Ombre-Balayage conundrum, and wow your friends with your in-depth knowledge (not to mention your yummy new look when you decide which one’s gonna rock your next style statement…)
OK, so when it comes to Ombre, this is a style of hair color where the hair is darkest at the roots, becoming progressively lighter towards the ends. The color change can be quite dramatic, as the transition from dark to light occurs over a short distance of the hair. Also, all the ends of the hair are lighter in color.
The word Ombre is French, and translates to “color that’s shaded or graduated in tone.”
Balayage, on the other hand, is a technique that creates a more blended, natural-looking color. It’s still darker at the roots and lighter at the ends but not all the hairs are affected. In addition, the transition between the shades happens over a far longer distance of the hair.
Balayage is another French word, and translates literally as “sweep.”
In short, both give a look that’s darker at the crown and lighter at the ends, but Ombre brings a distinctly more dramatic effect.
The ultimate results are fashioned by skills that the best hair colorist takes time to learn. For both techniques, your stylist places the color onto sections of the hair. But with Balayage they work with really small sections, painting the color directly onto the hair in a vertical direction (or “sweep,” as the term implies), rather than using foils.
Creating the Ombre vibe involves working with larger sections of hair and the placement of the color being horizontal, then blended upwards to create the desired graduation in shade.
There’s a less dramatic alternative known as “Sombre.” This uses the same technique but creates a more subtle effect. Or a “Reverse Ombre,” whereby the lightest color is at the roots and the ends rock the darker tones.
There’s also the option to combine both techniques, using Ombre and Balayage together to shape pretty much any desired effect.
Both techniques require a skilled, qualified hairstylist to carry it out. Leading Boca Raton hair salon Dapper & Divine offers a satisfyingly unique approach towards color treatments and hair beauty that you just don’t find elsewhere. The “Dapper Difference” is all about working with you to understand the look you crave, to offer advice and perhaps some options you weren’t aware of and, ultimately, to create the incredible, head-turning, crowning glory you deserve.