If you have ever wondered what the difference between balayage vs. ombre than you have come to the right place. They are two very different looks although they may seem similar. If you don’t know the difference, it might be best to stick with a hairstylist because they know the difference. If you are thinking of changing up your look, then you are going to want to know the difference because you can’t call up a salon and ask for “ombre balayage.”
Ombre is Considered a Style
It’s true; it’s actually very different from the balayage. If you have ever wondered where the unusual name comes from it means shadow which if you think about it, it really does fit. Ombre is considered to be a style choice for your hair. Ombres always look best on brunettes though it has been achieved quite well on other hair colors as well. It’s a subtle look for brunettes though I have seen some pretty great ones done with blondes and even redheads as well.
If you are looking for a dramatic look, then look no further than the ombre, and that’s the biggest difference between the ombre and the balayage. The ombre is a big change whereas the balayage blends in more with your hair color kind of like highlights. It is a more daring look, and it will also take a lot more maintenance to keep up. But if you love it then that’s all that matters. Ombre is straight up color blocking. There is nothing natural kept at the bottom; it’s just a transition between the natural and the non-natural. You want to work with a professional on an ombre as it’s a complicated look. If it’s done poorly, you will have quite the mess on your hands. This is not the kind of coloring that you want to do yourself.
How Do You Know it’s Ombre?
- It goes from dark to light
- It’s a drastic change
- There is no natural color on the bottom of the hair; it’s always lighter, it’s where the bleach goes
Balayage is Considered to Be a Technique
While Ombre is a style, balayage is more of a technique. It’s similar to highlights, but the colors are brushed in by hand so it can give you a more natural look. It is a similar style to ombre, but when you look at pictures, you can see a clear difference. The word Balayage is French, and it means “to sweep.” Probably because it does look like it’s being swept. Your hairstylist will blend the colors by hand by applying color in a sweeping motion through small triangular sections of the hair. This technique allows for a natural transition from your natural hair color to the lighter colors. Unlike the ombre, the balayage does leave darker colors on the bottom of the hair to allow for a natural overall look. It creates dimension and allows you to keep a natural style. It gives off a very sun-kissed look that you are sure to love for years. There is a lot a lot less maintenance with this look then there is with the ombre. You won’t need to rush into the salon too often for a touch-up.
How Do You know it’s Balayage?
- Natural look, nothing too extreme
- The color works throughout all the length
- You can still see the dark natural shade at the bottom of the hair
If you want to see some great examples of the difference between the two looks, then check out the looks we have here. Below are Stunning Images That Display the Difference Between Balayage Vs Ombre:
1. Light to Dark
We have three pictures here, and it’s a transition between an ombre, and then the last is the balayage. The first picture is the before shot of what her hair look like before her ombre. It could also be a correction because there is a difference in shade. The second image is clearly an ombre as you can see the color is clearly a lot darker on the bottom. There is also no dark shades on the bottom as well, that’s how you know that it is an ombre shade, and whoever the professional was, they did a stunning job with the blonde.
Job well done!
The last picture is the balayage you can see that because there is light and dark throughout the whole length of the hair. You can see the dark still at the bottom which is a clear indication that the technique is balayage. It’s also a very natural look for those that don’t want anything drastic changed with their hair. If you look back at the ombre, it is a much more drastic change. Not everyone will want that sort of big change.
2. Balayage VS Ombre
The first two pictures are the first example of balayage vs. ombre. Again in the balayage picture, you see both light and dark tones from top to bottom. It is also a natural look, something that is sophisticated and low maintenance. You won’t have to worry about returning to the salon for a lot of touch-ups with this look. The color is a caramel shade, and it goes well with the natural. The ombre in this picture is clearly different from the balayage because it goes from dark to light, there is no natural shade at the bottom of the hair. You can see that they bleached the bottom and it creates a more drastic look. If that’s what you are looking for, then ombre is for you.
The last two pictures are examples of a sombre and a flamboyage. A sombre is the natural version of the ombre style. If you want the ombre look but you don’t want it as drastic as the blonde then sombre is for you. It gives you the same ombre style where it goes from dark to light, but it’s in a more natural hue, not a bleached blonde look. It gives you the best of both worlds. A flamboyage is the combination of an ombre style and a balayage. If you are not willing to choose between the two, then have them both. Why not?This look is the combination of the two and as you can see with the last picture the top is dark which is very much like the ombre style. The only difference is the highlights are in a peek-a-boo fashion. Which means you are still going to see some of the dark tones peeking throughout the look, much in the same way that you would see it with balayage.
3. Star Studded Styles
These famous celebrities know style when they see it, and they are both sporting styles that are very trendy right now. Jessica Alba in the first photo has the popular style called ombre. This style is still very popular these days, and in this case, you can certainly see why she looks amazing. The picture shows the ombre specs as a dark base that lightens up as it gets closer to the bottom. Once again it’s a more drastic look, and there is no natural color at the bottom. Jessica Alba really knows how to pull this style off well.
The second photo has Sarah Jessica Parker sporting the balayage technique. It’s more of a natural look which suits her just fine. She isn’t the type of girl that likes big drastic changes; she always has a more natural look about her. You can that it is the balayage look because of the fact that her natural tone is still flowing throughout the whole length of hair. It’s a natural look than anyone would love. Although her top is still darker, the lighter highlights really brighten up her face.
Now that you know the difference between the Ombre style and the Balayage technique you now have to decide which one is best for you. Both are beautiful, it all depends on your own personality and what kind of style that you want. Are you looking for something drastic or are you happy to stick with something that looks more natural? Which ever one you decide make sure that you book an appointment at a salon to get the job done. These sorts of techniques should not be completed at home, that would be a mistake as they are very complicated.
Choose a stylist that is not only talented but professional as well. Make sure that they have experience in whatever style you choose. If they have never done ombre or balayage before then, it’s best to choose a stylist that has some experience in both. That way you know what you are getting and that the job will be done properly. A bad ombre is something no girl gets over easily, and you shouldn’t have to go home with a bad color.
We hope you enjoyed the article and please feel free to comment on your favorite look.