Ombre vs Balayage – Techniques and rules


The best way for a woman to breathe new life into their hair is by changing the color. There are many different hair coloring techniques to choose from which may make the selection process hectic. However, it is not difficult to differentiate, Ombre vs Balayage.


The word ombre is a French word meaning “shadow.” Ombre is the actual coloring method. It involves the transitional lightening of the hair strands from a darker shade at the roots to a lighter shade at the ends. The technique can be done in any color or customized to suit your preference. Ombre is a color blocking technique and suitable for a more daring girl. There are both striking and subtle ombres, but the result is always beautiful if it is done in the right way.

Tutorial by Free Salon Education 👆


The two techniques are very similar, but there is some apparent distinction between them. The word balayage is a French word meaning “to sweep.” It is a technique of free-handing the color through small triangular sections onto a foil giving a gradual transition into a lighter shade.

Tutorial by Free Salon Education 👆

In Balayage highlight technique there are dark pieces left at the bottom to a more natural look. The method looks like natural sun-kissed, streak-free highlights throughout the hair. The colors can be customized to your needs including hair length and texture, the desired level of maintenance and skin tone. What makes the Balayage highlight technique to be favored is it requires less maintenance than ombre.

How to Tell If Your Balayage is Correct

In Balayage the pieces should be soft and very close to the roots resulting to a thicker highlighting at the ends of the hair. It should be applied to the section surface and not saturated to the very tips through the section. Any mistake may make the Balayage highlight to have a streak color which is not soft.

Key Differences – Ombre vs Balayage

The two techniques may appear similar, but they are different in many ways. Ombre hair has various color shades throughout the hair just like color blocking. While in Balayage the shades are woven together and highlighted into the hair to reduce demarcation lines and streaks.


The bottom line is ombre can be achieved using foil, on the other hand, Balayage highlight technique is used to accomplish a numerous customizable look.  Balayage is also a technique while Ombre is an end look. Balayage is too easy to maintain and more subtle.


Both of these looks are great for a summer look. Just remember coloring your hair can take a toll on the health and appearance of your hair. You can add bond protecting or lightening services which will help to reduce hair breakage. It will increase the strength, visible shine and improve elasticity.

Focus on how to maintain your preferred hair color Ombre vs Balayage once you get your hair colored. Use color-safe sulfate free shampoo to prevent washing your new beautiful color down the drain. Get some ideas for your next hair color.