Woman with balayage or ombré
Hair Color | Dyeing

What’s the Difference Between Balayage and Ombré?

Among the numerous on-trend coloring techniques of the moment are two clear favorites: balayage and ombré. But what’s the difference between these two color gradient techniques? What result does each technique achieve? We explain

It’s like there’s a new cool coloring technique to try every month! We love it. There’s never been a time where we’ve had more variety of choice with our hair color. What unites many of the current dyeing trends is a very natural result. Chunky, stripy highlights, hard transitions and obvious roots are all history. Today’s most popular coloring techniques undoubtedly include balayage and ombré. You've probably heard of them before. So what’s the difference between the two? Let us clear things up so you’re well-prepared for your next hair appointment.

This is balayage

Woman with balayage color technique

The balayage technique results in extremely natural hair color – and no visible roots!

The name of this technique is derived from the French word “balayer”, which means “to sweep.” Figuratively, you could actually say that the color is swept into the hair when balayage is done. But actually, color is applied freehand with a brush. The colorist will decide based on your individual hair which strands to dye, and which to leave untouched. This makes the result unique and very natural. The color intensity each and every strand will be different. Balayage is suitable for blonds, redheads and brunettes. What’s more, the color isn’t applied to the roots – so you won’t have to retouch quite so often. This is ideal for those who like things natural, uncomplicated and stylish.

This is ombré

Woman with ombré look

The signature ombré look: Dark at the roots, light at the tips

In contrast to balayage, the ombré technique doesn’t work with individual strands. Instead, hair is divided into two halves before coloring. The hair color gradient starts at the roots and runs to the ends, getting lighter and lighter all the way. The desired result is an even, soft transition between the darker and lighter hair – kind of how your hair might look after a sun-kissed vacation. A successful ombré result has to work perfectly with your base color – so it’s best to leave this technique to the professionals.

The right care for ombré and balayage hair

As with any other coloring technique, hair that’s been through balayage or ombré processing needs special care. It’s best to use shampoo and conditioner from the same colored hair care series, so the nurturing ingredients can work together as intended. Products for colored hair provide nourishment and ensure that your color remains vibrant for as long as possible. Tip: Always use heat protection before blow drying or heat styling. If your ends seem dry after coloring, you can use a special treatment fluid to care for your lengths and ends, making them appear supple again. A few drops of hair oil warmed in the palms of your hands and worked through the hair can also help. Apply a hair mask once or twice a week for additional care.