Ombre vs Balayage: Which Is The Best For You?

Ombre? Balayage? “Ombre balayage”? We’ve listed the differences between the two and some tips to know which is the best one for you this summer.


At this point, all of us fashion-forward ladies have known what ombre is. But what is balayage? You might have seen it in magazines before. You might have read an article where it was mentioned. You might have heard of someone in the salon requesting balayage for their hair. And it ends up looking almost like ombre. What is balayage, really? And how does it differ from ombre?

Balayage, pronounced as “ba-luh-yazh” and also spelled balliage, is a French word that means “to sweep” and if you have seen how it is done on salons, then you would know exactly why it is called such. When the stylists apply the color to your hair for a balayage, they sweep the color through small triangle sections onto a foil or a board. Now that you know what balayage is, let us know the difference between it and ombre!

balayage brownbalayage brunette

While they are both about adding a gradient effect to your hair, the biggest difference between an ombre and balayage is that ombre is a style. It is a French word for “shadow” and it refers to hair color fading usually from dark to light and, in particularly awesome color choices, light to dark. Meanwhile, balayage is a coloring technique wherein, by its definition, you apply in small sweeping sections throughout the hair.

ombre brown to blonde

black hair balayage

Visually, you will see that ombre practically fades into a different color altogether around the edges compared to upper half of the hair. Because of the obvious transition from one hair color to another, there is what hair stylists call “demarcation line” which shows the transitioning part of your hair’s color.balayage ombre brunette to blonde

On the other hand, because balayage is applied in sweeps of small sections, you will get this sun-kissed effect on your hair like when what happens to a child’s hair after hours of playing in the sun. The lighter color blends with the darker color and creates this natural, more dimensional look.

sun-kissed balayage

Now, whether your hair will look best in ombre or balayage will depend on a certain factors that you have to consider. And these factors are all subjective and up to your personal preference, really. If you don’t want to go through bleaching and high maintenance, balayage may be the one for you as you rarely need to use bleach to achieve the look. It is also very low maintenance since the technique will simply go along with your hair during regrowth. So if you can’t afford to get it done for another month or so, your hair won’t look like it hasn’t visited the salon for a long while.

straight balayage

Ombre, on the other hand, is all about giving off this striking, eye-grabbing effect that your hair will potentially give to the people passing by. The best thing about ombre is that you can achieve it with almost any hair colors–even blonde on blonde! You have this edgy grown-out-hair look that is simply gorgeous. A dark to light ombre is definitely a crowd’s favorite and a curly or wavy hair looks great with it as the texture blur the demarcation line. However, don’t fret straight-haired gals, because the light to dark ombre gives a punkier and edgier look that resonates well with girls with straight hair.

 reverse ombre

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