High glam, low maintenance, the sun-kissed vibes of balayage and ombre 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 different between balayage and ombre hair?

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

As am Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases.


What is the difference between balayage and ombre 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 – by hand painting in small triangular sweeps cascading downwards. Darker strands left on the bottom create an added dimension and a more natural look.

Balayage hair 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 ombre 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 particular spectacular on blondes, red heads and light brown hair.

You can read more in Balayage guide for beginners.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

balayage hair colour ideas pinterest

Ombre 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.

Ombre 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 ombre – from silvers and reds to purple and blues.

The ombre trend is evolving into what’s known as Sombre 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 ombre hair at home guide .

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

ombre hair colour ideas pinterest

Balayage vs ombre | 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 ombre. As balayage is a technique, a lot depends on the application so this where experience and expertise will create a better effect.

balayage hair instagram

To achieve the ombre effect.

Ombre 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 ombre 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 color, you can also dye the bottom part of your hair after you have bleached it. This can even out the tone of your ombre.

ombre hair instagram

Balayage vs ombre | 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 ombre 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

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00PL7Q1VE&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBloreal glam bronde

Get the ombre look at home.

L’Oréal Colorista Effect Ombre Hair

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01N4I02NI&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBloreal ombre hair

Balayage vs ombre | How long do they last?

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

This is because with ombre, 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 balayage look.

funny tweet

Balayage vs ombre | Which 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.

To look after your balayage or ombre hair, invest in the miracle potion that is Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector to strengthen your hair bonds and restore any damage to give you smooth, silky tresses.

Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00SNM5US4&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBolaplex hair perfector

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.

Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07KQQR78J&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBdifference between balayage and ombre

Balayage vs Ombre | At a glance.

Difference between Balayage and Ombre hair pin

You may also like...