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What’s All The Fuss About An Ombre?

Ombre hair colour is in vogue not only because it gives your tresses a captivating look but also because it is easy to maintain. Whether you want to achieve a dramatic look or prefer an elegant and sophisticated look, the Ombre colouring style can help you realise these aesthetic goals.

It is an effortless way to look trendy, while it can also make your hair appear thicker, dimensional and voluminous. As the Ombre colours or chemicals don’t touch the scalp, it is a safer colouring style. With a wide range of Ombre colours available, you can keep experimenting with different combinations.

What is Ombre?

Ombre means ‘shaded’ in French and is a hair colouring style where there is a transition from darker shades to lighter ones or lighter tones to darker ones. Ombré hair colour is typically darker near the roots and the mid-shaft while gradually getting lighter at the ends. The fading of colour generally begins mid-shaft.

Balayage vs. Ombre vs. Foils

Balayage is a trendy hand-painting technique of hair lightening. As opposed to the traditional method of hair lightening using foils, Balayage does not involve the use of foils. With the colourist having more control over the application of colour, it is possible to customise the end result with the Balayage technique.

Ombre is a hair colouring style that achieves a pleasing transition between lighter and darker shades. The hair roots retain the original darker shade of the hair while the mid-shaft and tips of the hair are lightened to achieve a beautiful transition.

Foil highlights, also called “foiling”, is a colouring process where sheets of foil are used to separate strands of hair, which are then covered with a colour or lightener before wrapping them in foil to process. The colour is placed from the roots to the tip for an all-over highlighted look.

Professionals use the Balayage technique to achieve the Ombre or Foil look. As the hair colour placement is gradual in this technique, the Ombre colour is low maintenance and lasts for a longer time as compared to traditional hair lightening. You can also read our blog on balayage for a deeper dive.

How Ombre is done

When you have decided to give your hair a stunning look with Ombre, consulting your professional colourist at a top-end salon near you is the first step. The professional will evaluate your hair for its texture, strength, and natural colour. They will then discuss with you how Ombre works and the various colour options available. They will also explain the Balayage technique that can help bring about a more natural and subtle Ombre look.

After the thorough review, the next step is to schedule an appointment for Ombre. The application during your appointment will involve these steps:

Colour selection: Depending on your hair aesthetics goal and the look you want to achieve, you will need to select the ombre hair colour. Your stylist will guide you in choosing the colour based on your natural hair colour, skin tone, and hair texture. If you are confused about choosing the Ombre colour, you can select a shade that is two shades lighter than your natural hair to start with.

Deciding where the fade should begin: While you can decide where the fade should begin, this is a decision best left to your stylist and colour expert. Generally, the lower down the fade begins, the safer or more natural the look. If the shades meet too high, there is a risk of the roots looking grown out rather than achieving a stunning Ombre look. If you have long hair, placing the Ombre further down helps create the right contrast.

Applying the Ombre colour: Your hair colourist can use the trendy Balayage technique to achieve the Ombre look. The freehand technique does not make use of foils to separate or cover the hair strands that need to be coloured. Instead, the professional will select the specific strands and hand paint them using the chosen shade of Ombre colour. This technique results in your hair achieving a soft and the most natural sun-kissed look. The Ombre colour is then allowed to be set for a specific time.

Rinsing and conditioning: Your stylist will then rinse your hair and use conditioner and protein treatment to protect your hair against damage and strengthen it. You are now ready to flaunt your captivating Ombre look.

What Ombre colour should I get?

Ash blonde hair is a shade of blonde that has darker roots and a hint of gray, creating an ashy blonde tone. Ash blonde is a cooler shade of smokey blonde hair that works best on naturally blonde or light brown hair, however can be achieved on darker hair with multiple treatments and time. Ash blonde colours are cool-toned, compared to warmer tones such as a golden blonde or a smoky hue which creates edginess and a feeling of distinction!

The current trend is all about being subtle and natural with ombre hair colours. An easy way to select an Ombre shade is to pick one that’s lighter by two shades than your hair’s natural hair colour as a starting point.

One of the benefits of Ombre is that you can get as creative as you want with the colours. You can opt for a dramatic look by darkening your natural hair at the roots by a shade and then lighten the hair ends with your chosen colour. The traditional Ombre has lighter tones at the hair tips than at the hair roots. Reverse Ombre has lighter roots and darker tips.

The more subtle the contrast in colours, the more natural your hair appears.

Will Ombre damage my hair?

Hair colouring or lightening makes use of bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide, colour developers and pigments that can damage hair in the long run. Traditional hair lightening treatments call for frequent maintenance every few weeks that can expose hair to further damage. When the Ombre look is achieved with the Balayage technique, the frequency of touch-ups gets reduced to every four or six months. This can mean you will need touch-ups only twice a year.

Choosing the right salon for Ombre treatment is crucial to optimise your hair’s safety when getting Ombre done. Leading salons use the highest quality of colours and hair products devoid of harsh chemicals that contribute to your hair’s safety. An experienced colour professional will evaluate your hair strength and texture while also performing hair strengthening treatments that restore your hair health.

Keeping your hair and scalp protected during Ombre is crucial for ensuring optimum results with colour and hair health. Irrespective of the technique used, whenever your hair is coloured to a darker tone or lighter one, it changes the scalp’s pH balance. Frequently heat styling or excess exposure to sunlight can further damage your hair. Talk to your hairstylist and colourist about how to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy before and after colouring. Specialised hair care treatments and products can help prevent damage to your hair.

Ombre for short hair

While Ombre for long hair gets a lot of attention, some people are unsure if Ombre works for short hair. The colouring style works perfectly with short hair, long hair and medium hair. There are so many options in terms of hairstyles and Ombre colour combinations for short hair. You can opt for popular ombre tones such as golden honey or dark brown. Add a touch of drama with unique tones such as pink, purple, cherry, pink, rose gold or cotton candy. 

There are also captivating creations such as unicorn, rainbow, mermaid, fiery burgundy, metallic platinum, and reds. Visiting the Ombre hair colour professionalist near you is the easiest way to know what colour and styling options you have for your short hair.

Ombre ideas

The most recognisable Ombre hair colour combination is the medium brown that transitions to golden tips. However, there are many other options that you can explore. If you have naturally darker hair, you can try a warm auburn shade or ash tones. If you have blond hair, you can let your golden roots develop beautifully into platinum tips. Those with straight and long hair can try out the shimmery grey Ombre look, while a cherry red Ombre allows people with short hair to make a distinct, fiery style statement.

Your chocolate brown roots can blend perfectly into caramel blonde Ombre that can add an element of sun-touched effect.

The Ombre colour that is right for you is one that matches your skin tone, natural hair colour, texture, style and the look you desire. If your hair is light in colour and you are looking for a bold look, talk to your colourist about darkening your hair at the roots by a shade and lightening the tips.

If a natural Ombre is what you seek, retain your hair root’s natural colour while not lightening the tips too much. Choose a colour with higher contrast to create a stunning Ombre look.

Is Ombre hard to maintain?

A key reason behind Ombre look’s popularity is its ease of maintenance. Unlike conventional hair lightening, Ombre is all about creating a gradual colour gradation. Due to this, the lighter sections of your hair will move down the tips subtly as your hair grows. When applied using the Balayage technique, your Ombre look can last anywhere from three to six months. Your colourist will also recommend the specific hair care products you can use to keep the Ombre colour looking fresh.



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