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The Differences Between Balayage and Ombre

There is something very lovely about an ombre or balayage hairstyle. Ombre hair and balayage are two very popular hair coloring techniques that help achieve a similar result through coloring. Though they are similar, there are distinct differences that will help you determine whether you’re an ombre or a balayage kind of girl.

Here we explain the difference between ombre and balayage hair colors.


Balayage is all about how the color is applied. The word Balayage originates from the French term to sweep or to paint. Balayage is a technique for highlighting hair in which highlights are painted on in such a way to create a graduated, natural looking effect. It allows for a sun-kissed look, with softer less noticeable regrowth lines. With Balayage, not necessarily all the ends will be affected and the transition between dark and light will be much longer and more natural looking. Balayage incorporates the darker tones at the base into the ends so that it looks more dimensional and softer. This has been one of the hottest color techniques of the past couple of years because as hair grows out, it looks more natural and more subtle than your typical foil highlight color.


Ombre is the gradual blending of one color into another. Most ombre color trends depict a darker base shifting into lighter ends. What makes this different from balayage is that there is no blending of the two shades, just a stunning contrast of one hue to another.

Generally, ombres work best on brunettes because it is the least subtle of all the techniques, a sombre is what we would see on blondes. That technique is more subtle, hence the word sombre. Ombre is great for the more daring girl, it is definitely more noticeable and typically more maintenance. Ombre is kind of like color blocking, there are no dark pieces left on the bottom to help keep it natural, just a nice transition between the colors.

Ombré is also good for people who like having funkier, brighter fashion colors in their hair. Ombré is not just designed for the natural browns and blondes like in Balayage. You can incorporate red, pink, purple and even blue into an Ombré look as long as your ends are lighter than your natural color. If you find your ends are not lighter than your root color this can be achieved by your stylist lifting the ends with bleach.

Now that you know the differences between the top hair color trends, discuss with your stylist which trend is suitable for you and your lifestyle! 


Pricing varies as hair lengths and expectations vary from person to person. There are some instances that require additional color services to achieve the look you want. For example, if you are changing your base color, that would add a color service and time to the process. Sometimes the stylist may want to add a glaze or toner for added dimension. Some looks may require multiple appointments to get the final results you desire.

We always recommend coming in for a free consultation with a stylist to discuss the look you want and the process(es) it can take to get there.