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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Green ombre hair textured with some tousled curls and incorporated with straight and sleek, short bangs.

Dark, medium-length hair highlighted with blue tones to create a gorgeous blue ombre hair. The overall look is then incorporated with side-bangs to create more dimension and texture.

A medium-length hair in caramel ombre styled with side bangs and subtle layers to create dimension and volume.

Gabrielle Union exhibiting a center-parted, sleek ombre hair.

Last January 5, 2017, Gabrielle Union exhibited this center-parted, sleek ombre hair at the premiere of Sleepless.

Styling long ombre hair into a milkmaid braid creates a nice finish wherein the actual braid is highlighted and more emphasized due to its lighter shade. In this hairstyle, the lighter shade is subtle but it still makes a huge difference.

Long and thick hair has an advantage when it comes to braids. Fishtail braids look really great when it's chunky and messy, it kinda gives that boho and chic style.

#Repost @meganlacore ・・・ Rich reds and fishtail braids. What's not to love?🌹❤🌹 __________ Quick tip for braiding: Add texture to the hair to help create the perfect braid. ___________ To prep this style I used @biolage RAW Texturizing Styling Spray on damp hair, then dried her hair with a boat bristle brush for shine and control. (You can see her hair straight a little way down my feed. Super shiny!) __________ Next I twist wrapped her hair on a large cone wand for beachy waves, leaving her ends out. This helps the braids hold their shape and keeps the strands from slipping while you are braiding. __________ To create the braids, I sectioned off her crown and temporal sections. First I fishtail braided the crown section back toward the center back of the head. I clipped the two strands of the braid to keep them separated, then braided the side sections back to meet in the center back of the head. I clipped each braid's sections to keep them secure but separated. __________ Next I removed the clips, keeping the strands separated, and overlapped the braids, combining the three left sections in one hand and the three right sections in the other hand. This crosses the braids over each other and brings them together. __________ I then began fishtail braiding again, creating one braid down the remaining hair. After securing with a clear elastic band, I wrapped a section of the ends around the band to conceal it. __________ I finished by misting the dry hair with Texturizing Styling Spray once again and fanning out the braids to expand them. I ran my fingers through the waves, then lightly sprayed everything with #Biolage Complete Control hairspray. __________ Are you enjoying these tips and tutorials? Would you like to see more? Let me know in the comments! __________ #MeganLaCore #healthystyling #biolageraw #liveraw #sanjose #sanjosehairstylist #sanjosehair #sanjosesalon #bayarea #bayareahairstylist #hairtutorial #hairtips #fishtailbraid #redhair #redhairdontcare #braids #braidstyles

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Long, dark and wavy hair highlighted with some rich tones of red and styled with a tight and nicely-done fishtail braids.

Classic cornrow braids with a cascading finish. This hairstyle has light brown extensions that can perfectly match any type and color of outfit you want to wear.

Two-toned cornrows arranged into a chunky, high bun and enhanced with decorative beads and cuffs. This look is creative yet appropriate for formal get-ups.

A low-profile dark ombre looking fresh and trendy at the same time. The accents are subtle but they surely are striking.

Medium-length, mushroom brown hair with lighter tips. These creates a smooth meltdown effect, perfect for any look!

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.

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?


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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