Ombré Hair: What Is It? Can You Do It At Home?

On your last visit to the hair salon, did your hairdresser throw around terms like balayage, Ombré, and Sombré?

Did that make you wonder if they’re speaking a foreign language? Or did you pretend to know what she was talking about?

These may seem like fancy terms, but they make your hair look even fancier. Ombré has been a very popular hair trend for years, and it seems like it is not going anywhere.

Ombré hair is popular because it not only looks gorgeous but also doesn’t need that much maintenance.

This hair trend has taken the hair-coloring world by storm. From actresses to models and influencers – everyone is going gaga over this hair color!

Ombré hair gives a brilliant look if executed right. You can experiment with lots of colors — from bright and funky to warm and subtle!

What Is Ombré Hair?

Ombré is a French word that means ‘shade’ or ‘shadow’. It is a dramatic hair color look with a two-toned effect that is darker at the roots and lighter at the bottom.

Woman showing her ombre hair

In a reverse ombré, the hair at the top is a lighter shade than the hair at the bottom. In simple terms, it is a hair color look that shows a gradual blend from one shade to another.

The color combination of an Ombré can vary from subtle shades, like brown and honey, to blonde. Unconventional shades, like pink, blue, purple, and green are also becoming more popular.

An Ombré look is versatile and customizable. It is more suited to medium to long hair lengths.

The color should be two shades lighter than the roots. In the case of a reverse Ombré, the roots till mid-shaft should be two shades lighter than the bottom hair.

Benefits of Ombré Hair Color

A major reason for the popularity of this technique is that it suits almost anyone. The color combinations vary depending on a person’s skin tone, hair length, and personal choices. Other than looking super good, this hair color has other benefits too.

Ombré requires very little upkeep, which makes it easier to follow the trends.

It is very low maintenance. Since hair strands are dyed from the middle to bottom, you don’t have to visit the salon for touch-ups, unlike other hair dyeing techniques.

It’s easy to do at home! All you have to do is grab the hair color you want, match it up with your natural color and watch some tutorials. And the best part about an Ombré is that it does less damage than other dyes!

When getting a full hair dye, highlights or lowlights, your hair is dyed from the root till the tip. When getting an Ombré the strands are only dyed from the middle to the tips, protecting the scalp and the roots from damage. As for the tips – they’ll eventually grow out.

How Long Does Ombré Last?

The whole point of getting an Ombré look is low maintenance. Once your natural color starts growing, there aren’t any visible roots.

The reason behind using a balayage technique to give an Ombré hair color is to give a natural look rather than a rusty one. The color fades with time – a few months— if not looked after. The color grows out at the same rate as your hair.

How Do You Maintain Ombré Hair?

Even though Ombré hair is very low maintenance, you should take some precautions if you want your color to last.

First, all colored hair demands special care due to certain reasons. Search for a color-protecting shampoo, conditioner and hair mask to protect your hair.

Second, avoid getting your hair bleached. Consult your hairdresser and opt for a bleach-free treatment if possible. Bleach gives your hair a brassy look besides making your hair dye fade faster.

Third, avoid showering with warm water as the color will fade more.

Can Ombré Damage Hair?

Ombré is the least damaging hair color technique out there. Since it involves applying color to only the middle to the tip of the hair strands. This leaves the roots and scalp undamaged.

The ends of your hair strands may sustain a certain amount of damage. However, the tips of your hair are the disposable part of your hair. When your natural hair starts growing out, you can always get a haircut or hair trim!

How Much Does Ombré Cost?

The cost of an Ombré is not very high, but it depends on the hair salon you visit, the location of the hair salon, and the stylist.

The estimated cost is somewhere between $50 to $250. If you opt for an Ombré look at home, then you’ll only have to bear the cost of the dye and the bleach.

What Is The Difference Between Balayage And Ombré?

Balayage and Ombré, both revolve around the transitioning of color. People tend to use these terms interchangeably, but here’s what you need to understand. Balayage is also a French word like Ombré. While Ombré means ‘shade’ or ‘shadow’, balayage means ‘to paint’ or ‘to sweep.’

Balayage is, the technique used by hairdressers to paint across strands of hair, creating a natural hair look. Ombré is a style whereby your hair is painted in two different shades.

Balayage tends to give a more natural look than Ombré but both transition from the middle to the bottom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ombré Better Than Balayage?

The difference between Balayage and Ombré is not very significant. While balayage is a hair dyeing technique, Ombré is a style. A balayage tends to give a more subtle look compared to Ombré. In case, you’re going for a bolder look or you want to mix and match unconventional colors, Ombré is the way to go.

What is the difference between Ombré and Sombré?

Using two shades, an Ombré gives a shadow look to your hair. Sombré is referred to as subtle Ombré. It’s a version of Ombré in which the two tones used to create a soft contrast.

Are highlights better than Ombré?

Highlights or lowlights are high maintenance as compared to both Ombré and Balayage. When your natural hair starts growing out, your hair begins to seem like a mess. If you opt for highlights, you’ll have to visit the salon for regular touchups to maintain your hair.


If you’re looking for a fantastic look for your hair that is low maintenance and not very expensive, then you should go for an Ombré.