What is Ombre Hair Color?

Ombre: French Word Meaning Shaded or Shading

Actress Rumer Willis
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The hair world borrowed the term 'Ombre' from the french word meaning shaded or shading. Ombre hair color is generally darker at the roots through the mid-shaft and then gradually gets lighter from the mid-shaft to the ends. It is usually achieved using a balayage technique and is ideal for clients looking for a low-maintenance style.

The Ombre hair coloring technique has taken the hair color world by storm.

From professional models to the girl next door, everyone's getting in on the action of this awesome hair coloring trend. The style has been adopted by many celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Lauren Conrad, Nicole Kidman and Beyoncé.

The Ombre technique can seem intimidating to stylists that are used to the control of foils but as difficult as this technique can look, the results are always gorgeous and way easier than you think.

Benefits of Ombre Hair Color

One of the many reasons this technique is so great is that it looks good on almost anyone. Other benefits:

  • Great technique for your low maintenance clients or people that are just trying out hair color for the first time.
  • Ombre requires very little upkeep, making it easier for it to remain on trend.
  • Stay current and of the moment by introducing your clients to new trends and techniques.

Stepping Away From the Foils

Balayage is the technique that is used to achieve an Ombre look.

Do not be tempted to try this technique with foils as you will end up with harsh lines of demarcation.

Keep in mind that when you're working with a lightener that is not incubated by foil, it's going to act a bit differently. First off, keep your lightener moist (so it will stay activated) and work with a higher volume developer on clients who have layers of color on their ends.

Keep it Clean

Ombre hair color is usually a two-step process with the base color being done first and then the highlights added to clean, dry hair. You can do the all over color and highlights at the same time, but this is where is can get pretty messy.

Keep in mind how long the hair will take to lift with the lightener. You don't want your base color to be finished processing before the highlights and in my experience, the hair always takes longer to lighten outside of a foil packet.