I remember learning shading techniques as a kid for coloring and drawing.  I loved drawing, even though I wasn’t very good.

Shading isn’t just for drawing, coloring and painting. It’s applied to hair coloring as well.  And that brings us to ombré hairstyles, which is applying a shades that gradual change along the length of the hair.

The shade starts darker at the roots and along the hair it lightens.  The process uses balayage.

Below is our massive gallery of examples showcasing ombré hairstyles and coloring in 2018.

Sophia Bush had her straight and subtle layers parted at the center for extra depth and dimension. This photo was taken at the premiere of 'Magic Mike' during the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Sophia Bush had her straight and subtle layers parted at the center for extra depth and dimension. This photo was taken at the premiere of 'Magic Mike' during the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Sophia Bush looking prim and proper with a classic ponytail worn at the LA premiere of 'Total Recall' last  August 1, 2012.

Sophia Bush looking prim and proper with a classic ponytail worn at the LA premiere of 'Total Recall' last August 1, 2012.

Thick and curly hair in medium length, arranged into a gorgeous high bun where the silver highlights are highly emphasized.

Sophia Bush proved that an elegant finish can be achieved even with a messy hairstyle. This tousled ponytail of hers was worn at the LA premiere of 'This Means War', February 8, 2012.

Sophia Bush proved that an elegant finish can be achieved even with a messy hairstyle. This tousled ponytail of hers was worn at the LA premiere of 'This Means War', February 8, 2012.

A wavy ponytail with tendrils looks fancy enough to wear during formal events. Sophia Bush attended the PETA 30th Anniversary Gala last 2010 with this kind of look.

A wavy ponytail with tendrils looks fancy enough to wear during formal events. Sophia Bush attended the PETA 30th Anniversary Gala last 2010 with this kind of look.

A stunningly bright blonde of shoulder length enhanced with some darker tips. The transition of colors is seamlessly gorgeous. This hairstyle is also incorporated with subtle layers and long side bangs.

Hairstyles should be taken seriously, but it's better if you can come up with an effortless yet gorgeous look. This hairstyle in blonde ombre has the perfect bouncy curls that can enhance any outfit you wear, may it be casual or formal.

Thick and curly hair needs less effort when it comes to volume and texture. Just a simple upstyle can make this type of hair, a fancy and trendy one.

Get the perfect messy bun by watching my previous video post...

A post shared by KellGrace (@kellgrace) on

MesLong and thick hair in a messy high bun, perfect for winter outfits such as sweaters and jackets.

Blonde highlights using @originalmineral lightener. My client is allergic to normal color lines so we tried the @originalmineral lightener which is for sensitive skin, fine and or damaged hair. The lightener works great and I highly recommend it! We used the liquid demi to tone the root and although she passed the patch test, her scalp was not happy. I've also used the CCT liquid on other clients and have great success with it, all we can do is try and I'm loving exploring the #noppd #ammoniafree #noresorcinolhaircolor world. I would love to learn more! Does anyone have any experiences with more natural coloring lines they can share? Let's get away from the chemicals 🤷🏻‍♀️☺#hair #haircolor #color #blondehair #cleanhaircolor #sensitiveskin #blonde by #mizzchoi cut style @salsalhair #salsalhair @novaartssalon #novaartssalon #artsdistrict #dtlaartsdistrict #dtla @rowdtla

A post shared by Cherin Choi (@mizzchoi) on

Try a little experiment on your blonde hair by toning the tips into a light platinum blonde shade while leaving the roots with a dark one. The blending looks seamless and natural.

Long and straight, dark-colored hair enhanced by painting the tips with a golden blonde tone. The process resulted to a natural-looking, seamless ombre that offer a lot of depth and beauty.

Spice up your natural dirty blonde color by incorporating it with touch of golden blonde tones on the tips. This one looks effortless but it will surely go well with your everyday getup.

Why is ombré so popular?

It’s popular because it both looks good and it’s low maintenance.

One problem with dyeing hair is once it grows out, you end up with a stark contrast between your natural hair color and dyed hair.  You either accept it and wait or you trot off to the hairdresser for another dye job.

Because ombré hair is dark at the roots and lightens along the length of the hair, when the hair regrows, you don’t end up with such a stark contrast.  The shading simply starts a little further down the hair and because it’s a gradual shading, it still looks good.

Is ombre the same as balayage hair?

Yes and no.

Ombre uses the balayage coloring technique.  It’s different from balayage in that it’s merely a specific style of coloring technique which is the gradual shading of dark to light.  Balayage doesn’t necessarily have to be a shading technique; it can be solid color throughout the hair.

What are ombré colors?

Ombré hair coloring can be any combination of colors as long as it’s a gradual shading from dark to light.  Dark brown to blonde or sandy is a common combo, but it can be any color.

Is ombré the same as highlights?

No.

Both are different techniques.

Ombré style uses the balayage technique which paints the color directly onto the hair.

Highlights applies color to the hair via foils which bakes the lightener/bleach onto the hair.  Generally, highlights are more intense resulting in lighter hair, whereas balayage technique results in a more subtle lightening of the hair.

Can ombré be used on short hair?

Yes, absolutely.  Not a buzz cut of course because there isn’t enough length for a gradual shading effect, but it works on longer pixie cuts and bob styles.  In fact, we feature many ombré short hairstyle examples on our site.  Just use the filters to drill down to see many ombré examples.