Ombre or Balayage?

What’s the Difference Between Ombre and Balayage Again?

Jane Chertoff via Brit + Co

There are so many multi-hue hair buzzwords out there these days: ombre, sombretiger eye and balayage. It’s damn near impossible to keep up! If you’re looking to add some dimension to your hair via a few colourful shades in time for the holidays, you’ll need to be able to describe to your stylist exactly what you’re looking for. Fear not — we’ll show you the difference between ombre, balayage and the others so you can drop some major knowledge. Below, we’re settling once and for all the difference between some of this season’s most confusing hair terms. You’ve totally got this.


Photo: Thomai Kyris

1. Ombre: Think of traditional ombre as darkest at your roots, getting progressively lighter toward your ends. You and your stylist should choose shades that work well with your natural color to achieve the full effect. Even going just a few shades lighter will give you that multi-tone look you’re after.

Photo: hairshaftlouie

2. Balayage: This fancy French word translates to “sweep.” In the hair world, it’s a technique that will give you more seamless, blended and natural-looking color. Instead of using foils for highlights, your stylist will actually “sweep” paint onto your strands, resulting in a shiny color that will leave you feeling gorgeously sun-kissed. So here’s a refresher — ombre is the style and balayage is the technique.

Photo: celrelaxedhair

3. Reverse Ombre: Reverse ombre is exactly what it sounds like. With the lightest color at your roots, this style is most dramatic when you have naturally lighter hair. Just note this look will involve more maintenance to keep up, but is totally gorg if you’re up for it.

Photo: lj.sharman

4. Sombre: If you like the ombre look but want to keep things more subtle (get it? subtle + ombre = sombre), get to know its softer sister style, sombre. Instead of the striking contrast in color that will require more upkeep (read: more money), sombre hair can grow out a bit without being super noticeable.

Photo: beautybymaryh

5. Tiger Eye: Attention, brunettes! All eyes will be on you when you sport this super trendy look. To achieve it, ask your stylist to paint golden caramel, chocolate and other yummy-sounding tones onto your darker base for a haute hair look that calls to mind the luxe multi-dimensional shades of the natural stone. Here’s to turning heads in 2017.

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