By Victoria

July 25, 2015

Ombre Hair 101

So you want to ombre your hair? Here's some information you'll need to know before changing your hair color!

Ombre hair has been a trend that became popular around 2010 & it still hasn't faded! In fact it's just getting more popular. It's been developed into new styles including the balayage & sombre technique. 

Ombre is French for "shading" or "shaded." Ombre hair is a type of hair style where your hair color transitions from a darker to lighter color. It typically starts darker at the roots & then gradually gets lighter at the tips. It's very low maintenance & you don't ever to have to go into the salon for root touch ups. This way you can continue to let your hair grow out without worrying about another trip to the salon.

I highly recommend that you go into a salon to color your hair. Your friends may have done their own hair ombre or other people's, but if you want to be on the safe side, go to a professional. Your hair is a part of your appearance & to most women, their crowning glory. So why would you risk messing it up? & then having to spend more money than needed in order to correct it. 

Although ombre is very popular, very few hair stylists actually know how to ombre correctly! It's imperative that you go to a trusted hair stylist who knows what they're doing. I always check my hair stylists portfolio before going to them so I know for sure they can do what I want. Don't ever trust a hair stylist that is too cocky or won't share you their work. A hair stylist who knows what they're doing will prove to you that they can. 

The reason why the ombre effect is very difficult to get is because the hair's colors have to blend seamlessly together in order for it to have a natural gradient effect. I've seen too many ombres where I can see the line of where their color starts. This is usually the result of color just being painted on the bottom. & that is basically the same technique used in dip dying. 


The balayage technique: It's a French term that means "to sweep." Balayage is a coloring technique most commonly used in achieving the ombre look. This is the same coloring technique that's used in my own hair. It’s a freehand technique where the color is applied by hand rather than the traditional use of foiling & cap highlighting. Hair stylists paint each section of hair one by one, creating a more natural less symmetrical placement of highlights. To separate the colors, saran wrap is usually used. The use of saran wrap allows the hair to become more manageable to manipulate & easily seen as compared to foils. This allows soft natural highlights in your hair. 

The sombre technique: The sombre refers to a more "subtle ombre." Ombre's can be very harsh in their stark color differences. Sombres offer those who want a softer gradient. It's almost a grown out sun dyed hair color consisting of a subtle graduation from the roots to ends. Celebrity hair stylist, Jodie Papworth, compared ombre & sombre perfectly: "Traditional ombre, where the top of the hair is dark & the bottom is light, with slight blending between - has evolved into something much more subtle, blended, & textured (the sombre). Lighter pieces are being taken up higher, particularly around the face, & the lower lengths of the hair have ribbons of colour running through; it's a much more wearable, natural look & really enhances any natural texture & layering in the cut."

If you are thinking about changing your hair to ombre recognize that depending on the current color of your hair, it may take more than one session. Because you are going from a dark to lighter color, bleach is used to lighten the bottom part of your hair. If you have dark hair, a lot of bleach may be needed to lighten your hair. Bleach is a strong chemical & your stylist may not be able to get you as light as you want without damaging your hair. Ask your hair stylist if they use Olaplex to prevent hair breakage when coloring. Also creating the ombre effect takes a long time (it should if you have a good stylist) because your hair has to be split into sections & painted carefully to where a line of color isn't seen. Don't expect to get your ombre done in just 1-2 hours unless your hair is very short. The longer your hair, the longer it will take.

Set a consultation with your hair stylist before setting an appointment. This way they can tell you what they can do & how long it will take. I only color my hair about four times a year & it still looks good. The ombre style isn't going anywhere, why not try it out yourself! It's not a dramatic color change & easy to keep up with. Hoped this helped you understand the process of the beautiful ombre hair trend. 

Title image via Andrea Tiopo
Second image via ExtensionFilesSupersit
Third image via Jenny Doung
Fifth image via ForTheLoveOfLeopard
Sixth image via Glamour UK

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