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Ombre or Balayage: Which Should You Choose?

September 16, 2014

Both Ombre and Balayage are modern hair colouring trends that involve a blending two (or a few) colours into your hair. The techniques focus on saturating the ends of your hair in one (often lighter) colour and blending up towards the root. Therefore, often in a balayage or ombre, hair is darkest near the roots. This means both services are low maintenance and do not require frequent trips back to the salon for touch ups.

Which is right for you?

If you're wondering whether to get an ombre or a balayage, ask yourself one question. How subtle or dramatic do you want your colour to be?


If you want your hair colour to be as subtle and natural as possible, a Balayage is best for you. With this technique, your colourist paints highlights directly onto the front of hair strands, and subtly blends it up towards the root. This makes your hair look as though it’s been naturally lightened by the sun. Below is a before and after image of a balayage by one of our stylists:

Notice how the fade from brown roots to blonde ends is very gradual and blended.


On the other hand, Ombre highlighting, involves lightening entire strands of hair, creating a block of lighter colour at the bottom part of the hair. Ombre colouring creates a stronger look than Balayage. It can range from subtle to dramatic, depending on the degree of difference between the shade near the top and the shade at the ends. Below is a video from our Instagram of a pink ombre effect:


Do you mind hair that looks like it has grown-out roots? While both Ombre and balayage colouring are applied so your hair colour is lighter on the bottom than at the top, the colour difference is more obvious with Ombre. Ombre colouring can create more of a grungy look. It can appear to some people that you‘ve let your roots grow out and haven't gotten round to recolouring them. If this worries you, then balayage is the better choice.

Another point to consider is how healthy is your hair? The ends of ombre hair can be very light compared to your natural colour. Going many shades lighter than your natural colour can be very hash on your hair. If your hair is already damaged, balayage, which doesn’t involve lightening as great a portion of your hair, may be a better choice.

Still not sure? Call The Hair Boutique, the best hairdressers in Exeter, where our hair colour specialist will help you decide whether Ombre or Balayage will suit you best.  Call us today on 01392 499162 or book in a free consultation online.

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