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What Is Ombré Hair?

by Madison Reed January 18, 2024

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Image by Madison Reed


Are you wondering what ombré hair is? You’ve come to the right place! This is a technique where you keep your base color near the roots of your hair and make it gradually lighter along the lengths of your hair. Here, we’ll dive into the world of ombré hair and explain everything you need to know about it. Curious to know more? Then read on!

What Is Ombré Hair Coloring?

Pronounced OM-BRAY, ombré is a French word meaning “shaded,” as that’s the effect you achieve with this technique. But saying that ombré is only about making your hair lighter near the tips and darker near the roots doesn’t quite tell the whole story. If that were true, ombré would be the same as balayage, right? So, how are they different? Let’s get into some more details.


First, let’s clarify – in ombré, the color is applied evenly across all hair strands. This is one of the factors that distinguishes this technique from balayage. However, these two have one thing in common – in both cases, you get a strong contrast between your base and highlighted hair.


If you only want your hair to be slightly shaded, you actually need to get sombré (pronounced SOM-BRAY), which is often called soft ombré. It’s basically the same technique but with a significantly smaller contrast, so it’s perfect if you want a more natural look.

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Ombré Hair Maintenance

Now that you know what ombré is, you might be wondering what it takes to maintain this technique. Well, we’ve got good news – it’s pretty simple.


If your base color is natural, you don’t need to do much – regrowth will naturally blend in, as the roots of your hair won’t be colored anyway. You might want to use some hair masks or toners every now and then, as the colored sections will fade, but apart from that, you don’t have to do very much. It’s one of the easiest-to-maintain highlighting techniques.


If both your highlights and base color are not natural, you might need to do a bit more. You’ll need to grab your root touch-up kit every one to two months to hide your regrowth. But that’s inevitable whenever you are coloring your roots darker, lighter, or covering gray, so we can’t blame ombré for that.

Maintaining Your Ombré at Home

What’s great about ombré hair is that you don’t need to get to a professional hair colorist to maintain it! You can do all your touch-ups easily at home with a few hair color and care products like root touch-up kits, toners, and masks. This means that you don’t have to worry about making appointments at a hair salon in advance, which is definitely a big plus!

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Which Colors Work with Ombré Hair?

At this point, you might be wondering which color works best with ombré. It’s difficult to choose a favorite, as plenty of colors look great when applied with this technique.


You can, for instance, opt for a brunette base transitioning into light blonde. Or, you can take it even further and use black as the base instead. You can also experiment with fun colors, such as pink, purple, or orange – there are so many possibilities!

How to Style Ombré Hair?

What is the best hairstyle for ombré hair? There’s no simple answer to that question. There are lots of styles that will look great with ombré, so we’ll go through some of the most popular ones:

  • Waves: if your hair is naturally wavy, you can leave it this way – the waves nicely underline the shading of your highlights.

  • Straight hair: this is especially beautiful for soft ombré if you want to showcase the natural transition of your hair color.

  • Braids/locks: if you want a more playful look, go with braids or locks – this way, you can highlight a particular shade and emphasize the contrast.

Can You Achieve an Ombré Color at Home?

Yes, you can! All you need is a highlighting kit and a root touch-up kit (if you want to get your base darker than your natural color). If you wish to try this technique out at home, check out our guide on How to Ombré Your Hair at Home so you can apply your ombré effortlessly!

The Takeaway

So, now you know all the ins and outs of ombré. Are you dying to get this look, or maybe you’d rather try something else? Share your thoughts in the comments, and let us know which fun colors you want to try – we’d love to hear from you!


Considering your interest in various hair colors and styles, we'd love to suggest another article from our blog: Money Piece Hair