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Difference Between Balayage and Ombre - Which Is For You?

Difference Between Balayage and Ombre - Which Is For You?

Fashion Blog Fri Sep 25 2020

If you are thinking about changing your hair color, you must have thought about ombre and balayage. Both these are among the most trending styles among women today. They are glamorous, low maintenance styles which look great. Both these have multi-dimensional tones and involve color blending.

Understanding the difference between balayage and ombre is important before going to the salon to get one of these styles. In this comprehensive guide, we take a sneak peek into the two color styles and try to understand how they are different from each other. 

Balayage Is A Technique

Balayage comes from a French word meaning ‘to sweep’. It is all about how the color is applied to the hair. When the color is applied, it is swept through small sections of the hair to get a natural transition into a lighter shade. Experts love and recommend Balayage because it is suitable for any length and color of hair and blends with any skin tone.

This coloring technique leaves small dark pieces on the bottom to give a more natural look and add dimension to the hair. It looks like sun-kissed highlights all over. The transition is quite natural and requires less maintenance. As the color is much softer at the roots, regrowth is not easily noticeable. This is why it is preferred by those who want an effortless look that doesn’t need upkeep every few weeks.

Ombre Is A Style

Ombre originates from the French word that means ‘to shade’. It is a hair painting style where the roots of the hair are kept darker up to the middle and then lighter towards the ends. The process involves coloring the hair from dark roots to light ends. It is more of a statement. 

Ombre is a hair color style with a transition of a lighter shade from a darker one. It is more like a two-tone hair color that looks dramatic. If your hair is already highlighted or colored, the roots are painted in a color matching your natural hair. 

This style is highly popular among brunettes and an amazing choice for the daring. Those who want saturated blonde hair without much maintenance would find it an ideal option. It also suits women who want funky colors like green, silver or blue as it allows getting it in a softer way by keeping the roots in a natural color. 

Balayage Vs Ombre

A lot of people get confused between Ombre and Balayage because both of them are low-maintenance looks that transition from dark to light. Many of us think that they are both the same. However, there are some key differences you should know about. 

How To Achieve

Balayage hair is much like highlights but doesn’t use foils. Highlights are wrapped in foil while balayage is applied directly to the hair. This makes it a quick and easy process. However, it is not so bright as highlights but a natural, subtle, sun-kissed effect. As it is a technique of hair styling, the results depend on how experienced and expert the stylist is. 

Talking about ombre, it is where you lighten the lower part of the hair using a two-step procedure. This is also done without the use of foils. 

To achieve an ombre, you first dye the hair in a base color and then create highlighted ends to complement it. Ombre styles look gorgeous when done right. It needs the right amount of gradient color in the middle to make a soft transition. 

How To Maintain?

What makes ombre different from balayage is the easy maintenance. This style can be maintained for longer as the color doesn’t start from the scalp. 

You already have roots in your natural hair color so you need not get the retouching done every few weeks. It is possible to keep it looking fresh for a long time. 

Do It Yourself?

When it comes to achieving Balayage and Ombre, it is best to get them done by hair experts at the salon. However, you can do them yourself at home with the help of the right products and knowledge. 

You can find kits with detailed instructions to achieve the right effect yourself without any professional help.

How Long Do They Last?

When you compare balayage with ombre, balayage demands less maintenance as compared to ombre. The reason is that ombre gets your hair processed with bleach to make them lighter. This means they are prone to getting dry and need trimming on a regular basis. 

Talking about the color, both balayage and ombre last long because there is no need to worry about the roots. Both the styles keep the natural color at the roots so you will not need to visit the salon frequently. 


Styling your locks can sometimes cause damage to the quality of the hair. When it comes to ombre and balayage, there is not much difference in the damage they cause. 

It is the bleach used for lightening that damages the hair. However, it is possible to achieve both these styles without using bleach depending on what base color you want. 


Both Balayage and Ombre are low-maintenance techniques that anybody can try based on the result they want to achieve. It is even possible to use the two together to get a desired hair color. 

Whether you want a red, blonde, brown or any vivid color, possibilities are endless with both these styles. Your stylist can work with you to find which of the two would help achieve the effect you are looking for.

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