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Difference between Ombre, Sombre, & Balayage


Pronounced BAH-LEE-AHGE, balayage is actually a French word meaning ‘sweeping,’ as in to sweep on a hair lightener to create highlights. Balayage is the technique of free-hand painting highlights onto the hair, creating a soft and natural gradation of lightness towards the ends. The result is the look of summers spent at the beach, or the fresh, unintentionally perfect highlights on a child. This natural-looking highlighting technique is not just for blondes, but is actually used on all shades of hair to add soft, sunkissed dimension. The main reason balayage has become so popular is that it allows colorists to hand select the pieces of hair they want to highlight. Due to the customized, natural-looking placement, balayage also allows for a softer grow out.

Is this the right look for you?

Though this technique may cost more than your typical highlight the natural look of a balayage creates a softer grow out that will allow you to extend your hair appointments out. With the ability to customize this look it is perfect for someone looking for a tailored unique style to match there lifestyle.


Ombre is a French word meaning “shaded” or “shading”. This color method gives you a drastic fade from dark roots to gradually lighter hair through the middle, then very light or blonde ends. Ombre can be done in many different colors like blonde, brown, red or even rainbow.

Is this the right look for you?

This look is perfect for those that want to keep their natural color on top or those who want to keep their roots dark. There are many different variations of colors to choose from with this look and the maintenance is a breeze.


Sombre is similar to an ombre color but more subtle and soft. This style is growing in popularity as a more “grown up” or conservative approach to the ombre. The roots are usually kept your natural color with slightly lighter color on the ends. Sombre is lower maintenance and especially ideal for brunettes, adding caramel, blonde, golden, or honey tones to brighten up the ends. The lighter sections start higher, giving you a more blended, gradual fade without regrowth. Sombré, is a soft, sunkissed transition of dark to light with the ends lighter than the base color, and a seamless transition from roots to ends.

Is this the right look for you?

This is a look for those who are only looking for a couple shades different than their natural. Though this look can be seen sometimes more dyrmatic it is more known for it's gradual transition of color. This is great for extremely low maintenance and a great way to create texture within the hair.


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