What are Ombre Highlights?

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A variation of Balayage is Ombre.

A variation of Balayage is Ombre. If you don’t know the word you probably still know the look because it’s everywhere in the press and is now being seen as the newest trend sweeping Hollywood. Ombre was developed in response to recreating that natural sun bleached look on long hair that leaves hair lighter at the ends than at the root; like nature did it. A look that to be achieved with foil often proved elusive for the average colorist and often required more than one visit. Another reason for Ombre’s popularity is its appeal to clients seeking that rooty edgy, grunge quality that is also very now.

So…is all of this making conventional foil highlights obsolete? Maybe some will say yes, but I don’t think so. One area where foil highlights are still this colorist’s tool of choice is whenever brassiness is a problem. No technique is so able to completely eliminate brass in a skilled colorist’s hands as foil highlights. While on the topic of brass I need to mention, it is most important that your colorist use the correct type of bleach, mixed to the perfect consistency. Because in this technique the bleach is intended to sit on top of the hair strand without the protection to underlying hair of foil, it is “IMPERITIVE” that the consistency be right. If the bleach is mixed too stiff it will dry out and not lighten, if it is too moist it will seep into the underlying hair producing that most persistent problem of all in color lightening—”BRASS.”

As I am always searching for the perfection in hair color I have done the ombre technique using high lift tint rather than bleach on dark hair. This is another means of controlling that unwanted brass and although it is possible it is far trickier. It requires more time and attention and therefore I do charge more for ombre done with high lift tint than with bleach. The results however I feel are well worth the extra time and fuss required.

How can you get this look yourself at home?

You could of course just leave your hair alone and let the color grow out…but honestly? Unless you have been blessed with that unlikely exact same shade range (very unlikely if you have ash colored or very dark hair) you could end up looking a bit…unkempt

The real key to a successful and wearable version of this look is multiple shades of a single color.

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