Balayage and ombre have been popular choices for hair colouring for a few years now – the question is, what is the difference between them? We will tell you everything you need to know!

What is Balayage?

Balayage comes from the French term ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’. It involves having dye painted onto your hair by hand, using a sweeping motion with a brush. The result is a very natural, soft look – ideal for that ‘Sunkissed’ vibe. The transition between dark and light tones should be very natural looking.

What is Ombre?

Ombre, in art terms, is the transition from one colour to another, using shades from light to dark to create a transition (it comes from the French word for ‘colour that is shaded or graduated in tone’). It can create a striking, dramatic look when applied to hair.

What is the Difference Between Them?

In terms of treatment, they do differ quite a lot. Ombre is done with the lightener placed horizontally before being blended upwards to soften the line slightly. Balayage is much more involved in terms of technique, with each strand of hair being painted on by hand. Ombre is more of a ‘horizontal’ look, while balayage is painted on vertically.

The result is that ombre is much more dramatic than balayage. If you want something striking, go for ombre. If you want to look as though your hair is naturally sun-kissed (as though you’ve been on holiday), go for balayage.

What is the Maintenance Like?

Both these techniques are fairly low maintenance, as they grow out naturally. This means you don’t have to worry about having it topped up regularly as you do with foil highlights. Balayage and ombre can cope with a bit of neglect in terms of time between appointments.

You can keep your hair looking good in between appointments by maintaining the colour properly. Ask your stylist about finding a good shampoo and conditioner that will protect the new colour whilst keeping your hair looking healthy.

Which One Will Suit Me Best?

Balayage and ombre suit most people, depending on the colours you are after and how dramatic you want the look to be. Balayage is perfect for those wanting a more natural look – if you are fairly happy with your natural hair colour and just want some very subtle highlights, it could work really well for you.

Ombre, meanwhile, is quite a trendy look that is a bit more noticeable. It really depends on your own personal style.

If you want a dramatic change (a colour that is quite a lot darker or lighter than your natural colour), it may take a few appointments to gradually get the colour the way you want it.

Hairdressers Berkhamsted

If you are looking for advice on the best style or colour for your hair talk to the expert team at Alchemy & I in Berkhamsted. A luxury salon with an experienced and creative team able to deliver great hair and a great experience in the heart of Berkhamsted.