What’s the difference between balayage and ombre? That can be a tricky question even for die-hard fashionistas and trend lovers. After all, these hair-coloring techniques both deliver a transition from a dark to a light color. Plus, they are relatively easy and cheap to maintain as they don’t require regular trips to the hairstylist.

Still, there are many differences between balayage and ombre. So, today, we will teach you how to set them apart. By the end of this article, you will know which of the two options are more suitable for you.

What’s Ombre?

In ombre, the roots of the hair retain their natural color, while the tips are fully painted in a lighter shade. Usually, the color placement is horizontal, and the transition is short, yet gradual.

Also, with ombre, you can get creative because the technique allows almost any dark-and-light color combination. For example, chocolate brown can shade into honey blonde. Other times, the second color is bright and loud like pink, maroon, or even teal. The options are limitless!

Aside from the classic ombre hair-dyeing method, there is also reversed ombre and sombre. As its name suggests, in reversed ombre, the roots are light, and the ends are dark. This is a suitable option for people who have blonde hair, for example.

As for sombre, it is a softer and more subtle version of the ombre. Although the technique is the same, the transition is more gradual and the result more natural-looking.

What’s Balayage?

Unlike ombre, balayage does not require the painting of all hair ends. Instead, the hair colorist hand-paints only the hair’s surface, starting below the roots. The technique involves “sweeping” a brush along the hair’s length and it takes time and talent to master. 

Another difference between balayage and ombre is the placement of the lighter color. In balayage, it is closer to the roots and vertical rather than horizontal. Also, the contrast between the different shades is lower, which creates a sun-kissed effect. 

Which Option Is Best For You?

When done by a professional hairstylist, both techniques look stunning. However, their intensity tends to differ.

For starters, ombre will give you a dramatic appearance because of its short color shading. Also, since this hair-painting technique tends to use vivid colors on the tips, it has a striking effect. So, if you are going for a bold or edgy style, ombre would be an excellent option for you.

If you prefer your hair to have a more natural look, go for balayage. The lack of loud colors and the long color transition of this hair-painting method deliver a smoother and softer appearance. 

Finally, ombre is the more “flexible” style of the two since it works on nearly all types of hair. In comparison, balayage is suitable only for long and mid-length hair. Unfortunately, it does not always look good on darker hair colors because the transition becomes too short, and the natural effect is lost.

To Conclude

Hopefully, you now know the difference between balayage and ombre. If you want to rock either one of these two looks, make sure you have your hair dyed by a professional hair colorist. Otherwise, the color transition will be sharper or even worse — non-existent.