Latest trends in hair coloring: Balayage, Ombré and more

Hair coloring has become more fun and artistic nowadays. Trends that existed long ago have resurfaced giving us more options in terms of hair coloring but also allowing us to ‘play’ around with new looks. We’re talking about Balayage, Ombré, Sombré and others. In this article we will examine what they are.

Jessica Alba’s Ombre look

What is Balayage?

Balayage is a french word meaning ‘to sweep’ which is exactly what the coloring artists do in the salons with hair. Say byebye to the aluminum foils used in highlights/lowlights and hello to this trend of dip-dyeing. It is literally like painting a canvas with a paintbrush but the dyes need to be applied skillfully at the right places and with the right strokes to give a subtle sun-kissed look.

What is Ombré?

With that being said one technique most widely used is Ombré which refers to the lightening of the hair at the right places to provide a more graduated look starting from dark on top and lighter toward the ends. The image shows how the Ombré is applied. (click to see video).

What is Sombré?

Sombré is fairly new and even more subtle Ombré and is a combination of the Balayage and Ombré adding more nuances to the hair. While the technique of application is basically the same, it’s the end result that differentiates these techniques, and this requires an artistic touch.

Why stylists and customers love these techniques

These techniques allows great blending if done properly. The advantage is that when new growth comes, there is no urgent need to retouch since the roots blend in. That makes it low maintenance.

The great thing is that they can provide a very natural look, adding a different dimension to an otherwise flat look. An example is shown below. With this Balayage Ombré, the blond features are enhanced.

Furthermore, it allows the stylist to use the right tones to match the skin tones, or to be more playful. Check out Halle Berry’s look. The subtle dyed ends add a chic, modern touch to her already stylist look.

Halle Berry’s tip-dyed ends

The additional benefit of this technique is that the hair does not need to be soaked in hair dye and is thus less damaging that an actual full head coloring.

The other techniques of hair coloring

Two other techniques are Color melting and Babylights.

Color melting is similar to an ombré or sombré, but is usually done by blending 3 or more colors, ‘melting’ them together very gradually. It doesn’t necessarily have to go only from dark to light, but can be any combination of colors melting together. With this technique, the look can range from subtle to dramatic.

Color melting

Babylights is another technique that is worth mentioning, although it works best for blonds. It is essentially highlights but with finer streaks giving the hair a multidimensional natural look. The hair is separated into fine sections for color application, and as you can imagine, this is a time-consuming process.

Babylights on Taylor Swift

Here you go. These are some of your latest options if you want to add a little oomph to your hair!

Originally published at on October 17, 2015.

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