Ombre Highlights vs. Balayage

Everyone knows the term “highlighting.” But few people are aware that there are a variety of techniques of highlighting. The two most popular at the moment are ombre and balayage. Here’s a quick primer to help you decide between them.

Ombre Highlighting

Ombre highlighting is gradually lightening the hair from the tips, little by little allowing the dye to blend into the roots. There is also the ‘reverse ombre’, which lightens the roots but leave the tips dark. Depending on the highlight color the effect can be bold or subtle.

Balayage Highlighting

Balayage highlighting is designed to mimic the sun-kissed look, and so the colorist will paint the highlight on the front and tops of sections of hair, mostly framing the face. This effect is quite subtle. It’s hard to tell whether you’ve been to see the stylist or just come back from a beach vacation!

The Difference

Ombre highlighting is hard to blend in straight hair, and tends to work best if you have curly or wavy hair. If your hair is straight as a pin and you have your heart set on it though, your stylist can help you out. It’s quite a striking look.

Balayage is less dramatic, and because of that, is overall lower maintenance. You can go long between sessions without anyone noticing.

There’s another difference in hair damage: Balayage is so subtle, the color is rarely more than two shades lighter than your natural hair. You may not even have to use bleach. But ombre is used mostly on the fragile tips of the hair, and hence can cause damage with repeated use.

Whatever your pleasure, the experienced stylists at Eli Salon are always happy to help. Book your appointment today!