Unless you’re living in a cave somewhere, chances are high that you have heard the words “ombre” and “balayage” come up in water cooler conversation. But, what exactly are these industry buzz words, and what do they mean? We are here to clear the air and help you get a better understanding of the two terms, and when you’re ready to add a bit of flair to your hair, you’ll be able to ask your stylist for one of them with confidence!
Both terms, balayage, and ombre, refer to highlights and dimension in your hair color. The differences between the two can be confusing, but just remember that ombre is a style, while balayage is a technique.
The term “ombre” is a French word that means shaded or shading. Ombre refers to a hairstyle that goes from a dark color at the roots and fades into a lighter shade at the ends. Although many want a striking difference between the two shades, the choice is up to you. It can be as subtle or stark as you want. Since your roots will be darker, this style tends to be lower maintenance as it grows out. More like an “all-over” color, an ombre will not leave dark pieces at the bottom of your hair, nor will it highlight the top, darker area of your hair. There will be a true fade from dark to light.
Balayage, on the other hand, is a highlighting technique. Derived from the French word “to sweep”, this technique quite literally allows your stylist to “sweep” the color into your hair. Unlike other highlighting techniques you may be familiar with, there are no foils involved in a true balayage. The highlights are rather painted in, and results in a more natural looking highlight, such as those you might receive in the summer due to the sun. This technique can be used on both light and dark hair, and usually the difference between the base color and highlight color is more subtle. Remember, when highlighting with a balayage there will be dark color left in places at the bottom of your hair. This is more along the lines of a traditional highlight.
For both balayage and ombre, once your color is in place, it only requires a couple of touch-ups throughout the year to keep it looking great. Be sure to get a fresh cut before your color (or at the same appointment) to keep your style looking clean and up to date, and don’t forget about regular trims! Even though your hair color will be lower maintenance, it will look better longer if you’re keeping those ends fresh.
Looking for a great new hair color? Come see the professionals at William Robert Salon! We are dedicated to our craft and stay up-to-date on the latest techniques to enhance your natural beauty. You can find us at 1888 Marlton Pike East, Suite C, in Cherry Hill, NJ, or give us a call on 856-528-5681. If you prefer to instantly make your own appointment, download our free mobile app. Find it on iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon.