Ombre And Balayage: What's The Difference?

Written by jinhua liu


Posted on July 23 2023

Ombre and Balayage, do you know the difference between them? If you're ready to change up your hair color and you can't decide between ombre and balayage, then this is the article for you. We'll introduce you to these two hot hair trends and help you understand the differences between them.

What is ombre hair?

The definition of ombre is the French word "color that is shaded or graduated in tone". In the hair color world, ombre is a dramatic ombre color effect in which hair is divided into two sections of contrasting color and gradually blends from one shade to the other. Usually the tops are darker and the bottoms are lighter, with distinct color differences between the roots and ends. But some people prefer the opposite effect (it's called a reverse ombre!)

What is balayage?

Balayage is also derived from the French word "to sweep" and refers to the way color is applied. With this hand-painted highlight technique, stylists can "sweep" or paint color into the hair to create a more graduated, natural effect. Balayage can be done on any hair color, from blonde hair to red hair to brown hair, though it's usually not the first choice for super dark brunettes. Many people love this look because it mimics a natural, sun-kissed effect that can be easily blended with darker roots.

Ombre VS Balayage:What's the difference?

The difference between ombre and balayage is that one is a hair coloring trend while the other is a hair coloring technique.

Balayage is a highlighting technique that provides a natural and soft ombre effect. On the other hand, an ombre amplifies your natural hair color or is used to add drama to your hair.

Ombre focuses on creating hair that is much lighter than the base color, so the roots look distinct from the ends.

Balayage is considered more subtle and tends to be suitable for those who want a more natural look or without straying from their base, aka the real highlights.

Which one is better for me?

Choosing which one is right for you really depends on the look you want to achieve.

Go for an ombre If you want to accentuate your natural hair color, or if you want a dramatic look with a natural feel and bold color.

If you want natural-sweeping color blends, where lighter shades bleed into darker shades organically, or vice versa (depending on your natural hair color). You should go for balayage if you are looking for a low-maintenance color and natural look. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Ombre and balayage

1. Ombre or Balayage, Which is more destructive?

Balayage is less damaging. Ombre is harder on the hair and can be more damaging since it requires a smaller horizontal section of hair to be fully saturated with bleach and color. Balayage may require bleaching and coloring, but the technique involves a process in which only the top needs to be saturated, usually achieved by V-shaped slices. Therefore, balayage is less destructive than ombre.

2. Can I do Ombre and Balayage at the same time?

Anyone can try any of the looks depending on the result they want. These two techniques can even be used together on any desired hair color – the balayage technique can be used to create ombré effects!

If you want to create your own look with the above two methods, please come to Alibonnie. Here is a range of ombre wigs and balayage wigs, anything you want can be found here.