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Balayage VS Ombre

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As hairstylists, we of course know the difference between a balayage and an ombre but clients are always asking me to explain the difference so I would imagine there are more wonderful people out there who are just a bit confused! And that’s why I’m here, to explain the difference in few words to put a stop to the confusion.


Ok, so, an ombre is a STYLE. The word ombre comes from the French word “shadow”. Ombre is the actual style. It is the transition of a lighter shade from a darker shade. It is a little bit more daring, with a higher contrast between the two colours. It is a style that works best going from a darker colour at the base to a lighter colour on the ends in order to get that “ombre” look. Although there are some wild ombres out there: reverse ombres, crazy colours, etc. It is higher maintenance than a balayage because of the contrast, so not ideal if you’re wanting something that doesn’t need to be touched up every so often. Here is an example picture of an ombre:



Alright now that you know what an ombre is, I can explain the beautiful balayage. Balayage is a technique used to lighten hair and give it a sun-kissed look. The word “Balayage” comes from another French word meaning “to sweep”. And if you have ever seen a stylist do a balayage you will understand why! Lightener is very literally swept onto the hair with brush to create  gradual transition between the colours. It looks great on light hair or dark hair and it created uniquely for the person to provide a natural look. It is generally less maintenance than an ombre. Here is an example:

 If you think an ombre or a balayage look would suit you, give us a call or come down to the salon for a consultation!