The difference between Balayage and Ombré hair | Explained at last!

High glam, low maintenance, the sun-kissed vibes of balayage and ombré styles are all over our hearts, our minds and our Pinterest right now. Both involve colour blending, both have multidimensional tones, both are absolutely fabulous. So what is the difference between balayage and ombré hair?

When talking about hair trends, it can be difficult to keep up with all the terms. What is balayage? Is ombré the same thing as balayage? And how do you know if your haircut is a lob or just long layers?

With so many different words for haircuts and styles, it can be hard to tell what’s trendy. This blog post will help you learn more about the most popular hair trends. You’ll also get tips on how to achieve this look at home!

We’re here to tell you everything you need to know to help you decide which gorgeous hair trend is right for you!

Difference between Balayage and Ombre hair meme

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Is balayage and ombré the same thing?

A lot of people confuse these two styles, but they are actually two very different things.

Balayage is when your hair is highlighted with a hand-painted technique to create natural-looking colour that looks like it grows out of the root.

Ombré, on the other hand, is when you bleach your ends or roots lighter than the rest of your hair.

What is the difference between balayage and ombré hair?

Balayage hair is a technique.

Did you know, the word “Balayage” comes from a French word meaning “to sweep”? And that’s just how the colour is applied to your hair – a hand painting technique done in small triangular sweeps cascading downwards. Darker strands left on the bottom create an added dimension and a more natural look.

Balayage can also be known as a colour melt or shadow root. It’s praised by hair experts for suiting almost every hair type, hair length, and skin tone and colour.

It’s a more subtle look than ombré and creates a natural effect since the highlights are painted on in places where the sun will naturally lighten your hair.

Balayage can be done on any hair colour and is particularly spectacular on blondes, red heads and brown hair balayage.

You can read more in our Balayage guide for beginners.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

balayage hair color ideas pinterest

Ombré hair is a style.

And also a technique, one where the lower section of hair is lightened which gives a more horizontal, band-like effect. It looks less natural, but just as fabulous as balayage hair.

Ombré hair is more of a statement. The dramatic, two-toned effect is typically darker on top and lighter on the ends of your hair.

It looks great and lasts longer when the darker roots are your natural hair colour and the bottom section is lightened hair. But colours work great too and anything goes with ombré – from silvers and reds to purple and blues.

Right now this trend is evolving into what’s known as Sombré look – a more subtle blend between the two tones so the line of the colour block is more blended for a fabulous feathery effect.

Find out more about it in How to ombré hair at home guide .

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

ombre hair color ideas pinterest

Balayage vs ombré | How easy is it to do?

To get the Balayage effect.

Balayage hair is similar to traditional highlights, but without using foils. Highlights start at the root and get painted down to the tips of your hair, whereas balayage starts at the ends and is painted in sweeps up to the top.

The effect is not as bright as highlights and a more subtle, natural, sun-kissed effect than ombré.

As this is a technique, a lot depends on the application. This is where experience and expertise will create a better effect.

balayage hair instagram

To achieve the ombré effect.

Ombré is an effect where you have to lighten or bleach the lower portion of your hair. This is also done without foils that are used to do highlights so it’s a less processed look.

You can create the look with a two-step process that involves dyeing your hair an all over base colour, before creating the gorgeous complimentary highlighted ends.

If you want to prevent a brassy or orangey colour, you can also dye the bottom part of your hair after you have bleached it. This can even out the tone.

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Is balayage or ombré better for straight hair?

While balayage looks great on both straight and curly hair, adding slight waves and curls to the appearance can make it look more natural.

Ombré works on the same premise as balayage, but because the two-toned effect isn’t meant to look natural, the effects can look more dramatic.

If you have straight hair, ombré will look best as it will give some natural movement to the cut and keep it from looking too stiff.

Balayage, on the other hand, can make your locks appear more voluminous than they actually are because of its contrast between dark roots and light ends. So it looks better with natural-looking waves.

Balayage vs ombré | Can I do it myself at home?

The good news is you can achieve both of these looks at home with the right kit and patience!

There are a few balayage and ombré kits out there that come with the special instructions you’ll need to create the right effect.

Get the balayage look at home.

L’Oréal Preference Glam Bronde

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Check out How to balayage hair at home | The ultimate guide.

Get the ombré look at home.

L’Oréal Colorista Effect Ombré Hair

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Check out How to ombré hair at home| The greatest guide for beginners.

How long do they last?

When it comes to longevity, the truth is is that ombré is slightly higher maintenance.

This is because the ends of your hair are more processed with bleach or colour so they’ll become drier and need trimming more regularly.

In terms of colour, they both grow out great as there are no roots to worry about if you’ve kept your natural colour on top.

Balayage is also a great look for growing out highlights as they can be blended to create a fabulous dark root look.

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Which one is more damaging for hair?

When it comes to the damage caused by beautifying your locks, the difference between these two gorgeous styles is not a lot.

What will damage your hair is the use of bleach to lighten your hair. But in fact, both styles can be done without any bleach at all, depending on your base colour.

Once a week, use a deep conditioning mask like to replenish your hair with moisture and give it some love.

To keep brassiness at bay if you have blonde, lighter sections, you’ll need our best Purple shampoo.

Balayage vs Ombré | At a glance.

Difference between Balayage and Ombre hair pin

Parting words

The difference between balayage and ombré hair is the way they blend colours.

Ombrés start with dark at the root and gradually get lighter as it goes down, while balayage is more gradual from top to bottom.

The guide has given you all the information you need to find the right technique or style for you.

But remember – it doesn’t matter which you choose so long as you love what you have done. Because when it comes to beauty, confidence really matters! Good luck!