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Thinking of changing your hair colour but cannot decide between #Ombre and #Balayage? debating on which technique to go for? Confused on the difference between these two techniques? or completely clueless on what these words mean?

You are not alone. This article will help you to understand what ombre and Balayage techniques are, what are the differences between the two techniques and some tips to help you make the right choice of hair colour technique for you.

Both the words “Ombre” and “Balayage” are French from origin. “Ombre” translates in to “Shade” or “Shadow” whereas “Belayage” means “to Sweep” when translated.


The “Ombre” effect on hair is generally a two-tone colour that starts off from a darker shade fading to lighter colour tones. Traditionally done by lightening hair starting from the tips working its way up to create a gradual horizontal colour fading into your natural hair colour towards the root of your hair in a short transition. In most cases, starting from the hair tips, the lightened shades blend into a darker colour right around your jawline and upwards creating a vibrant colour difference between your hair roots and tips.

The “Ombre” colour technique is typically crafted by taking sections of hair horizontally where the colour lightener is applied for full saturation and then gradually blended from tip to hair root to diffuse the line.

“Ombre” is a vibrant, fun, low maintenance colour technique that can be accomplished with generally any hair tone. Your natural hair tone could be blonde, brown, or red, Ombre technique would fit you well. You can also kick it up a to go for bold colour shades with blue, purple, or even a beautiful vivid red, Ombre would be a technique to go for as it has endless possibilities in terms of colour combinations for your hair.


The “balayage” effect on hair refers to hair highlights hand-painted or rather “swept” in terms of its literal meaning on to the hair surface. The colour is delicately hand painted on to the hair during the hair colouring process. “Balayage” hair colour technique can be considered as a free hand method of colouring hair.

Generally, the colour is applied on selected hair strands vertically. The colour application starts about two to three inches away from the hair root and becomes heavier as the colour application continues towards the hair tips in the selected hair strands. Refined at the hair root, gradually thickening along the middle and towards the hair tips, the color is hand painted in vertical sweeps along the selected strands of hair leaving a darker shade under each hair strand creating a dimensional, sun-kissed glow to your hair.

The best part yet is this hair colour technique will result in the colour remaining on top when your hair roots grow out leaving an even, soft look leaving the root growth almost invisible for a longer time. Just like “Ombre”, “Balayage” hair colour technique is also a low maintenance colour technique that can be accomplished with generally any hair tone though it can be stated that it works best on medium length to long hair.


“Ombre” and “Balayage” hair colour techniques are both fairly low maintenance colour techniques that can style your hair to be equally reminiscent on any hair tone. However, when carefully considering the two, both techniques have small edges and perks of their own. Since, Ombre technique generally blends in two colours. It works best on hair that is long enough to display the full effect, short to medium length hair could reap the maximum benefit as the whole effect is visible at a single glance. As it is a single process colour, hair that is treated with “Ombre” technique tends to grow out more quickly when compared to “ Balayage” technique. Whereas going for “Balayage” technique will be better suited to you if your hair can categorise as medium or long length, and you are expecting a much slower grow out and to stay out of in-between touch ups for longer period of time.

Ultimately you should consider your hair length, current hair color, the color you want to achieve, and how often you are looking to go back in for touch-ups. When deciding on which technique you are going for.

Whichever the technique you chose to go for, keeping your hair protected at all times is a vital factor in maintaining your hair colour. Generally, when hair is coloured, regardless of the fact that your hair has been lifted to a brighter colour from your natural hair tone or altered to a darker tone, it changes the PH balance of your hair. You should consult your stylist on what is best to keep your hair strong and healthy.

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