What is Ombre?

There is often a lot of confusion between the difference between balayage and ombre. Ombre is a beautiful and popular technique for lightening the hair. Like balayage, it is a free-hand technique of lightening, but it provides a different result.

Ben Secrets Ombre Thornhill Vaughan

The word “ombre” in French means “shadow”. With the ombre technique, a lighter shadow in colour is created at the ends of the hair, resulting in a gradient effect. This transition is typically shorter than with the balayage technique because the lighter shades begin lower down in the hair than in a balayage. Unlike with the balayage technique, all of the ends of the hair are lighter in an ombre colouring rather than just a few selected strands.

The ombre technique is often completely free-hand. It provides higher contrast in tones than balayage but still maintains a transition in tones. It is not a natural, sun-kissed look like a balayage. It is more dramatic, with two colours that are clearly and solidly differentiated at either end of the gradient. The darkest colour at the roots is often significantly darker than the lightest colour at the ends of the hair. However, there is a smooth transition between them.

The ombre technique is quite different than traditional highlights. With ombre, the lightener is oftentimes more concentrated on the ends of the hair than at the roots. A triangular sectioning or painting pattern is often used to create the gradient effect.

Like balayage, an ombre requires less maintenance and less frequent touch ups than traditional highlights. When done properly, there is no line of demarcation where an ombre begins. Meaning, as your hair grows out, you won’t get a severe line between your new growth and the ombre.

Ombres do not have to be blonde. They can be silver or a funky high-fashion colour like purple or pink.

Visit us at Ben Secrets Studio for your ombre appointment or complimentary consultation!


(905) 597-8999