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What is the difference between ombre and balayage?

Many of our color clients want highlights that work in different tones of color for a gradient look. Both ombre and balayage can deliver this type of look; however, these two techniques are very different from one another in final effect. Knowing the difference between ombre and balayage can help you select the right color technique for your tresses.

M Salon Ombre vs BalayageWhat is balayage?

Balayage is a technique that derived from ombre which is the sweeping of color on to the hair. The sweeping of color is done free-hand and without using foils.

Balayage is a softer and more natural effect than ombre, leaving your tresses with a sun-kissed look.

What is ombre?

Ombre, which is a popular celebrity hair style, delivers full-on color shading in a gradient from the roots to the end. Typically in ombre, the roots have a darker color and the ends take a lighter color.

The related sombre trend uses less contrast for a toned-down or gradual effect. From Alexa Chung to Cara Delevingne, it seems like every "it" celeb has tried the ombre trend.

Should I choose ombre or balayage?

If you want your hair to make more of a statement, then we recommend you try ombre.

Ombre is great for almost all hair lengths; however we do not recommend this technique for very short hair where our stylists will not have enough room to apply the full gradient you need for ombre hair. Though, if you have longer hair, ombre is more low maintenance. With ombre, you can just grow out your hair and do touch-ups whenever you feel like it.

If you would like your highlights to be soft and feminine, we recommend balayage.

Balayage can work for any hair length, but it is best for medium and long hair styles, where the hair falls past the shoulders. This way, the beauty of this coloring technique can really be seen and appreciated. To maintain balayage, we recommend regular color touch-ups.

Do you have any other questions about ombre or balayage? Our color stylists at M Salon would be happy to discuss your concerns in person!