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What is the Difference Between Ombre & Balayage?

What is the Difference Between Ombre & Balayage?

If you are thinking of a quick update to your colour you may have heard of one of the current favourites - Ombre or Balayage. However if you're not entirely sure of the difference between the two we are here to help!

We have this fantastic article from Redken that explains the difference between Ombre & Balayage: 

Let Marie-Eve along with fellow Redken Artists Jaclyn Harwood and Twylla Jane help you decode the difference in the ultimate match up: Ombre vs. Balayage:

What Is Balayage?

Balayage is all about how the color is applied. The word Balayage originates from the French term “to sweep.” With Balayage, not necessarily all the ends will be affected and the transition between dark and light will be much longer and more natural looking.

Balayage Hair Style

What Is Ombre?

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. The definition for Ombre is the French word for "colour that is shaded or graduated in tone".

Ombre Hair Style

What does the difference between ombre and balayage 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 color look, your artist should be able to work with you on either technique to create what the color effect you’re going for.

“The creative possibilities are endless,” Jaclyn says.

Depending on how much you’re changing your hair can also determine how many times you might need the processes done at the get go. For example, if you’re looking to lift your natural colour to a much lighter state, your stylist will probably need to work on achieving your desired colour over a few visits. “It takes time and is not guaranteed that your hair will lift that much in one visit,” she says. “A slower lift is a safer lift.”

Speaking of safe colour...How can I make my ombre or balayage last?

Keeping your hair protected during Ombre or Balayage is vital for achieving and maintaining the colour. When your hair is coloured in any way, whether it’s lifted to a brighter colour or altered to a darker one, it changes the pH balance of your scalp. You should talk to your stylist about what’s best to keep your hair feeling and looking healthy. Twylla recommends asking your stylist about Redken Colour Extend Bonder. She also recommends the Redken Colour Extend Care line if you’re treating your hair with for Ombre, Balayage or both!



Kelly, Creative DirectorKelly has been a hair stylist within the industry for more years than she’d like to acknowledge. She is passionate about all aspects of hair, fashion and upcoming trends. Kelly is a Master Stylist/Colourist at Blue horsy, as well as Education & Online Creative Director.

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