Here’s how to keep your subtle color eye-catching yet effortless, even when you can’t make it to the salon on a regular basis. Learn when to choose Balayage vs Highlights vs Ombre here.
Far from the chunky pinstripe streaks that defined much of the aesthetic of the 90s and 00s (though that exact look is actually enjoying a massive comeback and surge in popularity as of late), highlights and techniques to create them, have come a long, long way.
Methods that see hair stylists painstakingly painting each individual strand of hair for a hyper natural-looking effect, or a mix of highlights, lowlights, and root growth that create the appearance of subtle hair color that someone was born with — not something that requires chemistry and magic to create.
Ombre and balayage are now among the most popular options for women looking to enjoy an eye-catching color that looks like a natural blessing, not the result of hours in a salon chair. Here’s more about these hair coloring techniques and how to keep them looking incredible, even between visits to your stylist.
What is Ombre Hair?
This French word literally translates to “shadow” or “shade.” Seamlessly blended yet still the center of attention, ombre hair means a color that goes from dark to light (or light to dark) in a natural-looking way. The distinctive look is achieved by focusing color application on one specific area of the hair, not the entire head.
Because ombre typically involves leaving the roots and top of the head with its natural hair color intact, this type of hair color will continue to look gorgeous, even as time goes by and the roots continue growing out. Usually, it appears as though colored hair is going from very dark hair to light, from the top of the head to the ends.
Balayage Hair Color
Another French word, balayage, means “sweeping” and describes a different type of hair coloring technique that’s wildly different from traditional highlights and foils. In this method, a hair stylist paints tiny patches of hair, creating a multi-dimensional, layered look that is both striking and effortless-looking.
Because the balayage technique is placed in a more natural, “random” way, it — like ombre — doesn’t require frequent upkeep or touch-ups. Typically, balayage colors will only be slightly lighter than your natural color or shade — think chestnut or warm honey brown for brunettes or a sprinkling of sun-kissed streaks for blondes.
What is Balayage vs. Ombre?
The easiest way to recognize balayage is that it looks like someone has several different hair colors or various hues that blend together seamlessly. Ombre is much more visually striking at first glance, with a clear differentiation between shades from one part of the head to the other.
The color gradient within the ombre is much more obvious than within the balayage highlights. Ombre hair may see dark roots and blonde hair tips at the end, with a striking journey from dark to light quite visible right away.
Overall, both color techniques are subtle and low-key, but the ombre is the more noticeable of the two.
How to Maintain Balayage
These tips are also relevant for you if you want to know how to refresh your balayage at home or keep your ombre hair looking fresh for as long as possible.
1.) Use the right shampoo and conditioner
A purple color depositing shampoo and violet purple conditioning hair mask are keys to ensuring that your color remains gorgeous for as long as possible.
2.) Give your color-treated hair the TLC it deserves
Even as hair dyes have dramatically improved in recent years, the truth is that even the most gentle techniques can still seriously damage your locks. It’s critical that you invest in post-hair dye aftercare, meaning that you should embrace Keratin healing deep conditioning masks and shampoos (to be used in rotation with purple hair treatments).
If you use hot tools on your hair, like curling or straightening irons or blow dryers, you’re stripping your hair of the natural oils it needs for both growth and shine. Be sure to use a nourishing Keratin serum to both restore and heal breakage and as a highly effective heat protectant.
4.) Shampoo less often
It might sound counter-intuitive because you’re armed with the right products, but try to go as long as possible between washes. This will help your hair recover from its chemical treatment and begin to start its natural journey back to oil and PH balance.
5.) Protect your hair from the elements
If you’re a swimmer (whether in a pool, freshwater, or ocean), a frequent visitor of saunas or spas, or live in a polluted area, it’s crucial that you take steps to protect your mane in order to keep your color looking vibrant and brilliant.
Make sure to sport a shower or swimming cap (yes, there are fashionable ones out there in 2022!) whenever you take a dip. Throw on a cute hat if you’re going to be exposed to the sun, snow, or heavily contaminated air for a long period of time.
Your gorgeous ombre or stunning balayage hair will thank you!
Maintaining your balayage or ombre hair is all about being gentle with your tresses and using the right products. Be sure to use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner, as well as a deep conditioning mask or treatment, once a week.
Visit our vitamins hair cosmetics Amazon store to view the variety of products. We have everything from hair color to hair treatments and more. You can find the perfect product for your summer hair goals.