Let's take stock of these coloring techniques that light up our hair to finally succeed in differentiating them, and find out which one suits you best!
In terms of coloring, there is no shortage of techniques to radically transform your hair by switching from one color to another (regardless of its original color) or to give it that little je ne sais quoi of different which remains natural but makes all the difference, by recreating by discoloration of certain locks the subtly blond aspect offered by the effect of the sun, by bringing pretty more uniform reflections in the hair to illuminate the lengths without changing their color too much or give more shine to the hair, or even by mixing different shades of coloring to bring dimension to the cut and thus be able to play on the contrasts between the roots and the ends in order to sublimate the hairstyle. In short, if you do not want to change at all, you can adopt a more subtle color effect that will revive or transform the reflections of your hair to give pep to your lengths, and what you be brown, blond, or red.
In recent years, apart from a noticeable return of red hair coloring and polar blond, it is these more natural color effects that are on the rise and are clearly making the trend. You only have to look at the most liked hair color photos on social networks like Pinterest and Instagram to realize that balayage and ombre hair in particular are must-have trending techniques. And finally, the most difficult is often to choose between the two because it is difficult to grasp all the nuances between these two types of coloring which certainly have a similar result because they are used to lighten the hair, but which are nevertheless very different. Do not panic if you hesitate between the two before your next appointment with your hairdresser, we will immediately explain to you what really ombré hair is and what difference this technique offers compared to the balayage we are familiar with.
Ombre hair - also called balayage ombré in everyday language because it is often confused with the coloring technique of balayage which does not have the same allure - is a lightening technique which consists more precisely in creating a gradual lightening in the lengths by discoloration. It is achieved by lightening the base by just a few tones from the lengths and gradually intensifying the lightening as it goes towards the ends so as to create a layered effect in the hair. The color result obtained with an ombré hair is therefore full of nuances thanks to the delicate gradient which is created and which does not present a clear demarcation in the hair, unlike tie & dye, another two-tone effect with which it is also sometimes confused. As a reminder, what characterizes a tie & dye is precisely the clear demarcation that exists at the mid-lengths to separate the two colors that make up the coloring. In the case of an ombré hair, the hair is certainly, again, left natural at the roots and lightened on the lengths and ends, but the passage from the darkest shade of the hair (at the roots) to the darkest shade clear (at the tips) is done very smoothly thanks to the gradient. You will understand, by the way, it is, therefore, necessary to have a little length to achieve an ombre hair.
Now that you know exactly what an ombre hair is, let's go back to what differentiates the balayage and ombre hair techniques to better understand how it impacts the (different) effect they have on your hair.
The main difference between balayage and ombre hair is that for balayage, the lightening achieved is worked strand by strand (and therefore on small sections of hair) over almost the entire length (and therefore from the very first centimeters after the roots) while for the shaded hair, the lightening does not affect the roots but on the other hand impacts all the hair from mid-lengths to ends. Balayage is in fact nothing more than a particular highlight effect, which differs from so-called classic locks because the famous locks are then worked so that they blend delicately into the rest of the hair.
Generally, to achieve this type of melted locks characteristic of sweeping, the bleaching product is also applied in a V at the roots so that they do not exhibit the clear demarcation or the bar effect on regrowth caused by a simple work of locks which each stand out very clearly in the hair.
Thus, while the lighter shades of the sweep the hair vertically, blending into the mass from the root, to offer a sun effect that illuminates the entire hair, the gradual lightening of the shaded hair rather gives a horizontal impression with a gradient that starts from the darker natural roots and goes through two other lighter shades at least from the mid-lengths to the ends (which are then the lightest part of the hair). With a balayage, you will therefore have a sort of highlighted effect (even if it is melted) at the level of the roots and the fairly light ends, while an ombré hair does not touch the original color of your roots for an effect. more natural, and offers an increasingly lighter color on the ends with different levels of color on the lengths and a more marked contrast between the roots and the ends.
Instead, see for yourself an example of a balayage on blonde hair:
The effect obtained in the hair is therefore not at all the same as that offered by balayage even if we tend to bring together all the techniques that illuminate our hair under generic terms that we think - wrongly - interchangeable.
Ombre hair certainly also brings a lot of light and relief to hair like balayage, but in a very different way. Keep this in mind when asking your hairstylist for the color that catches your eye to make sure you speak the same language as him/her. And above all, don't hesitate to bring him photos of examples of hair color that you like so that he/she can best understand your request.
As explained previously, by adopting an ombré hair, you not only choose a color with which to lighten your hair but a maximum lightening color which also influences the intermediate shade that you will wear at the mid-lengths, between this one. and your natural root color. The short answer would therefore be a color close to your base and more precisely two to three shades lighter than your natural color at most. The idea is that the lighter shade and the intermediate shade can blend wonderfully into your original shade to create a harmonious and fairly natural gradient in your lengths. If you are blonde or red, the ombre hair can lighten your natural blonde hair or illuminate your red with luminous highlights, but if you are brown you will have to make sure to adapt the lightening to your particular shade of hair. brown to get nice ombre hair. More concretely, the blonde effect of ombre hair will not be as intense on dark brown hair as it is on light brown hair or brown hair. With brown hair, for example, it is possible to go more blonde with an ombré hair than with dark brown hair. You can therefore have blonde ombre hair done. With dark brown hair, you will have to be content with an ombré hair caramel which owes its name to its golden brown color which is, therefore, a little less "blonde" but which will blend perfectly with your base. To find the ideal shade of ombre hair, it is best to entrust your hair to a hairdresser who will be able to determine which one will best enhance your hair.
Unlike complete colorings that can easily be done yourself at home, ombre hair - like all partial colorations for that matter - requires the expertise of a hairdresser that is to say a coloring expert who knows perfectly how to determine the areas to be lightened and who masters the realization of fades with bleaching products. Our best advice would undoubtedly be not to try the experience yourself at home with a bleaching hair product at the risk of creating an unsightly demarcation in your lengths (or even damaging your hair) and to go to the salon to be sure to get a beautiful ombré hair (because done by a professional).
Note in particular that if you are a brunette, this is all the more important because certain shades of brown tend to take on a red or coppery reflection with the discoloration. An unwanted reflection that only a coloring expert will be able to neutralize to give you the expected result.
Ombre hair is one of those partial colorings that require little maintenance compared to full coloring or bleaching because it does not create a bar effect on regrowth at the roots. This light effect is also even easier to maintain than a balayage because the regrowth is not visible and the result evolves very harmoniously over the months, so much so that you can even decide to never retouch it. until successive cuts of your tips have completely eliminated it. Generally, to maintain a satisfactory illuminating effect, it is advisable to go to the hairdresser every six months or so.
In the meantime, all you need to do is adopt hair care products suitable for colored hair and regularly make nourishing masks to compensate for the drying effect of the discoloration (which is present even when it is little pushed) on your lengths and ends. Applying a moisturizing and protective leave-in treatment to them on a daily basis is a very good idea. In short, do not neglect the care and your ombré hair will remain beautiful and your hair shiny!