Balayage and Ombre â%u20AC%u201C Whatâ%u20AC%u2122s the Difference?

Balayage and ombre have been around for a while and are two different hair coloring techniques that achieve similar results. Although similar, there are distinctions between the two that can help you decide which style suits you best. Understanding the distinctions in the two styles will eliminate any confusion with your stylist and ensure your hair turns out the way you want it to. 


Balayage is a French highlighting technique that allows for natural looking color with soft, less noticeable regrowth lines. The outcome is similar to the natural lightening of childrenâ%u20AC%u2122s hair during the summer months. Subtle, natural, and beautiful. The hair coloring technique requires very little maintenance so if youâ%u20AC%u2122re someone who wants great color that is low maintenance and doesnâ%u20AC%u2122t require you to make an appointment for a touch up every 6-8 weeks, balayage is for you! 

During application, your stylist will have their own unique method but the general application is by â%u20AC%u0153sweepingâ%u20AC the brush vertically back to front to create a sun kissed look. Balayage works on both light and dark colored hair of all lengths, making it a very universal coloring choice. 


Ombre is a style where the hair of gradually transitions from a darker shade to a lighter shade, with the lightest area at the ends. This creates a color block like effect on the hair and can be done subtly (sombre) or striking, depending on your preference. Ombre is more noticeable and requires much more maintenance than balayage. 

Questions to ask yourself

  • Do I want something low maintenance?
  • How much lighter than my natural shade am I willing to go?
  • How do I typically style my hair? How will an ombre or balayage look in this style?
  • Am I okay with the look of grown out roots?

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