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Stylish woman with straight, ombre hair.


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.

 
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The chin’s grace can be enhanced by making a contrasting ombre and can make your eyes brighter by highlighting or dying a few strands at the top of the face.
The shadow and hair density hide some individual features and with the help of light tones the structure of select facial features are emphasized.

Typical and classic ombre highlights for this thin and fine hair. Using a curling or flat iron, the hair is curled into swirls to achieve the illusion of a thick finish.

Subtle, ombre highlights on a naturally wavy hair. The waves are then tossed a little for more volume.

Natural waves enhanced with some creamy highlights. The sun-kissed effect goes well with the Summer vibes.

Ombré vs. Balayage vs. Satash Chart

Ombré vs. Balayage vs. Shatush hair coloring chartWhy 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 ombré 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 (types of ombré hairstyles)?

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.  Here are some ideas and examples.

Blonde to purple – not the most common combo, but it actually doesn’t look bad.

Blonde to purple ombre hair

Dark to Chocolate – Great fit for all seasons and best for darker skin tones. First, apply a volumizing cream before blow drying and spraying a thermal protectant for curling. Then, break up the curls and enjoy this low maintenance style.

Light Blonde to Honey Blonde – Looks great as it reflects light and perfect for all skin types. Maintain the color at least once a month. Apply a hair bleaching powder and coat with Vibrachrom.

Opal to Pastel Purple – Multiple colors in one style. Not recommended for red or pink hair. Maintain by alternating use of sulfate-free and dry shampoo. Best way to keep it shiny is to use Olaplex and cold water.

Dark to Purple Pink – A low maintenance, versatile balayage hairstyle that is kept bright with a colored shampoo or conditioner. A great look that lets the roots keep their natural color and gradually gets lighter towards the ends.

Metallic Lilac & Lavender – An awesome look that resembles amethyst crystals and blends natural colors to the metallic lilac.

Brown to Blonde – A light caramel color combination that blends perfectly into natural bright colors. It’s advisable to utilize a smoothing fluid at the ends to give it shine. Darker hair tones also benefit from this low maintenance hairstyle.

Brown to blonde ombre hairstyle

Dark to Ash Blonde – A beautiful blend of colors that is dark at the roots and shiny bright at the ends. To retain the condition of this hairstyle, one can use Repair Shampoo or Conditioners, No Yellow Shampoos, or Morrocan Oil

Natural Dark to Light Ash Brown – Recommended look for hair with light pink hues. Simply stop by the salon every four weeks for toner and face line foil application for maintenance.

Black to Light Brown – A gorgeous sombre look that uses a lightener/ olaplex as well as the foil technique to achieve. Since the roots are your natural color, you can play with different colors on the ends; and it lasts for a long time!

Brown to Dark Blonde – A soft blend that looks beautiful and luxurious. Just use the Redken 25 Benefits before hitting it with the Pillow Proof. This style fits all face shapes and ideal for clients that desire a low maintenance.

Chestnut to Red – This high contrast hair coloring uses the Redken Color Fusion Line and is great for skin colors that have that warm undertone. One may use Redken PH Bonder to make the colors last longer.

Dark to Auburn Copper – A warm and fun style that is best achieved by the Lanza Healing Color Line, which includes: a shampoo, a conditioner, HCL Color Guard, and HCL Color Illuminator. It’s best for fair of light skin color and remember not to wash the hair with hot water.

Black to Silver – This awesome chrome look is perfect for anyone who desires or has the confidence to pull of that silver hair. It’s best to use the Olaplex lightener and to tone with the Redken Shades EQ 09B/09P blended with the Goldwell 5A. Just make sure to stop by the salon every month to maintain this edgy hairstyle.

Purple and Green – This color combination resembles a peacock! Be careful as to not wash your hair too often lest fading the colors and over-expanding the hair cuticles.

Red to Orange – This vibrant fiery look goes with every hair type and skin color and works best with shoulder length hair to longer hair.

Black to Pink – A high contrast between pink and black looks absolutely stunning on darker skin tones, as well as light skin tones. Use cold water and return to the salon every three to five weeks to maintain it.

Black to Blue – This hairstyle is dark the roots and pops out at the end with a blue tint. It looks awesome on both straight and curly hair.

Black to Green – For the mermaid lovers who yearn to bring some positivity into the dark and gloomy winter days. This hairstyle can be air-dried and topped with a beach spray for summer vibes.

6 Best Hair Types and Lengths for Ombré Hairstyle

  1. Bob Cut – A jaw-level haircut that is often accompanied by bangs in the front. It is a straight cut around the head which follows a firm guideline. It was invented by a French hairdresser named Francois Marcel during the 19th century and was what made Mr. Marcel a massive fortune. This style revolutionized the art of haircutting on an international level and the Bob Cut, for fifty years, was dubbed the Marcel Wave.
  2. Waves – Also known as beachy waves, this hairstyle is utilized by numerous celebrities such as Blake Lively and Chrissy Teigen. This look can be achieved in less than ten minutes and doesn’t even require curling irons or hair straighteners. The waves usually begin halfway down the hair and is incredibly low-maintenance for this reason. One can strategically put the hair in a bun then let it air dry and be amazed by the wavy results.
  3. Straight Hair – Straight hairstyles are more difficult to achieve as they always need some texture to be successful. So, they are often paired with bangs, layering, and/ or color. Celebrities use this hairstyle to project high class and their great taste in fashion.
  4. Shoulder Length – Many call this one “The Chop.” It is considered the perfect middle point between having too long or too short hair. It’s one of the hottest and trending hairstyles today and makes one stand out among the beachy waves crowd. The perfect length is when the hair hits right at the collarbone, or just a little bit on top, similar to Ali Larter’s look.
  5. Short Hair – Short haircuts are modern, classy, and most of all, not boring. Almost everyone is attracted to short hair. Most short hairstyles are universal while some are styled in a certain way to fit the face shape and to complement hair texture.
  6. Long Hair – Long, layered hair looks fantastic regardless of the way its styled. It doesn’t look heavy nor bulky so once you’ve grown it out, you can go ahead and take some inspiration from your favorite actress or celebrity; styling from a mohawk, curls, or even dreadlocks. One can get really creative with this look.

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.

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