Balayage vs Ombre; What’s the difference?

So you’ve heard these terms for a few years now but still can’t really tell the difference. No worries; we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a quick list so you can compare the two and decide if one, or both, or neither, are right for you.

So what is balayage?

Balayage is all about how the colour is applied. The word Balayage originates from the French term “to sweep.” or “to paint”.

It’s a highlighting technique in which the dye is painted on by hand in such a way as to create a subtle and natural sun-kissed look.

With Balayage, not necessarily all the ends will be lightened and the transition between dark and light will be much longer and more natural looking.

What is Ombre?

Meaning “shaded”, it describes a hair colouring technique where a darker base colour is gradually lightened along the lengths, usually starting around mid-way, giving a sun-kissed effect.

Ombre is typically done with sections taken horizontally and the lightener is applied to all the hair (for full saturation) and then blended upward to diffuse the line.

Ombre is a hair colour technique where all the ends are going be affected and the transition from the deeper roots and light ends is going to be pretty short.

What is the difference between Balayage and Ombre? And what makes them similar?

Ombre is typically done with lightener being placed horizontally with full saturation of the section and then blended upward to diffuse the line; resulting in a much more obvious colour.

Whereas Balayage involves taking smaller sections of hair vertically and painting the colour onto the surface of the hair; creating a more subtle sun-kissed look.

In short, Ombre is a bit more of a style; Balayage is a technique.

Both result in a pretty low maintenance routine, since the hair colour placement is not strict but done in gradual (for Ombre) or sweeping (for Balayage) placement. Regular foil highlights, for example, require more regular visits to the salon.

What does the difference between Balayage and Ombre mean for me?

The good news is that anyone can try either look, depending on their desired result. The two techniques can even be used together on any hair colour for any desired hair colour.

Choosing which one is right for you really depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. Whether you’re looking for a blonde, brown, red, rose gold or even vivid colour look, your stylist should be able to work with you on either technique to create the colour effect you’re going for.

The creative possibilities are endless.

Contact us to discuss your possibilities today!