Both balayage and ombre have become the “go-to” hairstyle in recent years, being envied for their low maintenance and strikingly beautiful looks. And while these 2 hairstyle terms often get used interchangeably, they are in fact quite different.
So what is the difference between balayage and ombre? And more importantly, which one is right for you?
Read on below to find out.
What Is Balayage?
Looking for a subtle hair color solution? Then balayage may be just what you need. Meaning “sweeping” in French, balayage is a hair coloring technique that’s applied by hand who paints – or sweeps – the product onto your hair.
With balayage, the highlighting begins away from the roots and travels down the hair where it becomes heavier towards the tips. Generally, balayage highlights are done vertically with careful attention paid to the transition areas. This avoids harsh lines, and because the underside of the hair is untreated, it creates a much smoother, and natural look that resembles the way hair glistens in the sunshine.
Balayage highlights are highly sought after because they do not require as frequent touch-ups as a full coloring. This is because the highlights are much softer at the roots, the regrowth lines are much more subtle and less noticeable.
This technique can be done with any hair color, from blonde to red to brunette and black hair colors.
What Is Ombre?
Looking for a striking and dramatic hair color solution? Then you might want to go with an ombre for your hair coloring treatment.
Ombre means “shade” or shadow” in French, and achieves a stark two-tone hair solution that usually fades from dark to light but can also fade from light to dark. A stylist will typically lighten the hair from the tips, moving up to a point where it’s expertly faded into the natural hair color.
Like Balayage, ombre is very low maintenance since the top is typically the darker shade, meaning that it retains a natural look even as it grows out. The term ombre, unlike balayage, can refer to anything that has a faded blend of two colors, from cakes to paint to nail polish.
Ombre can be a combination of two shades of the same color or two completely different colors. The technique is completely customizable and versatile, giving you just the right color match and fade you want.
What’s The Difference Between Balayage And Ombre?
To sum it up: Balayage is a hair technique, where ombre is a gradient of colors.
Balayage gives you a much more subtle look that goes from roots to tip, whereas ombre is a more pronounced and striking finish. Ombre does have a more subtle cousin Sombre, where the contrasts between the two shades are more blended and subtle.
Ombre is done with a lightener applied horizontally, whereas balayage is applied vertically. Balayage takes small sections of the hair and applies the coloring to only one side. Ombre on the other hand is a full-colour and full-saturation of the hair.
Which Is Right For Me?
But in a nutshell, if you want to stand out and really make a statement with your hair? Go for an ombre. The stark contrast and ability to creatively blend any two colors lend themselves to ombre.
If you want to lighten and highlight your natural and beautiful hair color, a balayage will bring any hairstyle to life. Best on hair that’s long enough to really show off the effect!
But no matter which you choose, the most important step is trusting your hair to an experienced hairstylist. A good stylist will perfectly match the color to suit your preferences and hair type, using practiced techniques and the best products to give you the hair of your dreams.