What Is The Difference Between Ombre And Balayage?

If you want to lighten your natural hair colour with some highlights that are low maintenance then Ombre or Balayage may be just what you’re looking for. These are two of the hottest trends with endless creative possibilities, but how do you know which one to choose?

What is the difference between Ombre and Balayage? Read on to find out more…

Understanding the differences between Ombre and Balayage


Ombre is a gradient of colour that starts darkest at the roots then blends into a rich medium shade towards the middle, and finishes with the lightest parts at the ends of the hair. This dramatic colour effect splits the hair into contrasting colours with the transition from the roots to light ends being pretty short.

Ombre is typically performed with the lightener placed horizontally giving full saturation of the section. This is then blended upwards to diffuse the line, resulting in a shaded and graduated tone where all hair ends are affected.


Balayage is a hair colour technique that creates a more subtle highlight effect. The colour is hand-painted onto the hair which gives a more natural graduated result. This painting method lets the transitions between the dark and light colours be much longer.

Balayage takes small sections of hair and colour is painted onto the surface which is described as a more vertical technique. This sweeping means that not all the hair ends will be affected which gives a more natural look.

Haircare and maintenance

Both Ombre and Balayage are specialised techniques that give a low maintenance result but it’s important to continue haircare treatments and visit your salon regularly to maintain optimal colour results.

Keeping your hair protected is the key as colouring actually changes the pH balance of your scalp. Your stylist will recommend treatments that rebalance the pH of your hair and strengthen any weakened bonds.

Once your hair has been chemically treated you need to use the right shampoo and conditioner. Washing less often is recommended and you should end the wash with a quick blast of cool water to close the hair cuticles, promoting shine and reducing fade.

Minimise any damage from any heat styling tools with a heat protection spray, and nourish your treated hair daily with a leave-in treatment to seal the cuticles.

What is Flamboyage?

Flamboyage is another new hot trend with low maintenance hair colour technique which gives truly blended natural-looking highlights. The method involves a spontaneous selection of fine hairs using a transparent adhesive strip allowing your hairstylist to easily check how the colour is progressing.

The strips provide a great surface for colour application and are easily folded and sealed, with the placement of these strips creating depth and dimension, making the distinction between the roots much more subtle. The strips easily wash out with water without leaving any sticky residue.

Looking for a hairstylist in Holborn?

Frankie Cochrane will provide you with all the hair inspiration your need! Your experienced and highly qualified hair colourist in Holborn will introduce you to the Styles Colour Clinic where you’ll be able to learn all about the differences between Ombre and Balayage. Then you’ll be given all the advice you need in choosing the perfect highlights for you.