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To Ombre or Not to Ombre

Going for that sunkissed glow...

One of the more popular hair trends lately is the 'Ombre' look - (when your color hair fades from dark to light at the tips) or as the technique is known, Balayage.  It's a technique that offers clients a sunkissed look.

[long blonde hair, which looks au natural. - Click image to find more hair posts]
Image courtesy of : pinterest

What is 'Ombre' or 'Balayage' hair?

[SalonBuilder Websites and Marketing Tools] Lauren Conrad, Rhianna, Jessica Biel and Elizabeth Olsen were some of the first celebrities to popularize this look.  In the last year or so this hair color trend has become very popular.  I'm not to always want to follow the crowd, but I really do love this look - when done properly.  Certainly this kind of hair color can go horribly wrong!!

My stylist Kristen is a color educator for Loreal and is really knowledgeable about usingBalayage color techniques.  So I asked her some questions about it...

The color technique Balayage was invented in the 1970s in Paris, but has recently become popular again.  Famed colorist Estelle Guenot is credited with being the stylist and educator who introduced Balayage color techniques in the United States.

The word ‘balayage’ means to sweep in French, and is a type of organic painting technique where stylists brush on color from mid-lengths to ends of the hair. The overall look is a soft, gradual color that grows out more naturally, and requires less maintenance than traditional highlights. 

If done correctly it can look beautiful even on really straight hair, but it is usually seen on wavy, beachy hair for that "just stepped of a beach" look. 


Rule #1 - Always pick an experienced and super amazing (usually at an upscale salon) Colorist/ Stylist to transform your hair into your new Ombre look.  Bring in a photo of the look you want.  You definitely want to make sure you communicate exactly what you want when switching up your color.  I'm lucky to have an amazing stylist - if you are in Encino she is at Syndicate Salon.

Rule #2 - Understand your hair type to determine whether or not this look is right for you.  Like I said - I have seen this look go horribly wrong before, so consulting with your stylist about the process is important.  Dramatic color change always involves a process - just how much of a process depends on your hair type.  I was able to achieve my look with one appointment (3 hours) and because my hair was already light with highlights through the top of my hair Kristen told me it was a bit of a reverse Balayage because she needed to put a darker base color at the top of my hair to start.

Rule #3 - Be prepared to alter your makeup and styling to compliment your new look.  New color means new you!  Also, the Ombre look seems to be more suited to curly or wavy hair, so be aware of this if your hair is really straight. That being said, I have naturally wavy, fine hair so I will need to style my hair with kind of natural looking waves instead of straightening it for my new hair to look its best.


Before and After shots below:




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