Ombré and Balayage Give Brunettes Summer Sizzle

Ready to spice up your summer with exciting highlights for your beautiful brown hair? The French have two words for you: ombré and balayage. While both techniques add sun-kissed dimension to your base color, you may be wondering, “What’s the diff? Why choose one instead of the other?” The choice will depend on the look you want to achieve.

Both ombré and balayage are low maintenance. Neither calls for precision, so letting the color grow out is a breeze. However, the initial salon visit can be expensive, and you should plan on semi-regular upkeep trips to the salon to maintain optimal color results. It’s also important to continue regular haircare treatments.

How Do Ombré and Balayage Differ?

Let’s start with the basics: Balayage is a technique; ombré is more of a style. Color placement for balayage is sweeping, while ombré is gradual.

Ombré is a hair coloring technique that affects all the ends of the hair. The definition for ombré is “color that is shaded or graduated in tone.” Colorists will place lightener horizontally with full saturation of a section, then blend upward to diffuse the line. Some stylists favor ombré over coloring brown hair because it keeps brunettes true to their color without going too blond.

Balayage, which originates from the French term “to sweep,” is all about how the color is applied. Balayage leaves your hair dimensional and healthy while accentuating key features of your face. The technique paints color onto the surface of the hair to create a naturally blended highlight effect. Balayage uses smaller sectioning than ombré and does not necessarily affect all the ends. As a result, the transition between dark and light will be much longer and more natural-looking than ombré.

Celebrities Love Both Looks

Celebrities have found both ombré and balayage are winners. The highlights from balayage can be extra-subtle à la Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who recently chose to add caramel highlights instead of honey-blond streaks to her ash-brown base. Singer Izzy Bizu has modeled balayage curls, and Gina Rodriguez has accentuated her balayage with deep waves.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas

 Izzy Bizu

Gina Rodriguez

Whether Chrissy Teigen rocks her usual length or opts for a blunt chop and small curls to frame her face, she consistently demonstrates the allure of ombré. Halle Berry frequently changes her hairstyle, but she always returns to a classic ombré in brown to blonde highlights, and Kate Beckinsale relies on layers of ombré for her boho-chic look.

Chrissy Teigen

Halle Berry

Kate Beckinsale

The creative possibilities are endless with both techniques, and they can even be used together for any desired hair color effect. Your colorist should be able to work with you using either method to create the look you want!

Linda Parham

Linda Parham is a journalist and writer who enjoys creating entertaining blogs. She started out as a newspaper reporter before moving on to editing magazines and newsletters. Linda specializes in writing about beauty, health, fitness, business and politics.

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