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What Is The Difference Between Balayage, Ombre and Highlights?

Last updated Jun 16, 2024

You have decided to color your hair for the first time, but you are not sure which one to choose between balayage, ombre, or highlights. Balayage, ombre, and highlights are the most popular techniques to help you add some texture to the hair by highlighting some strands.

Generally, depending on your desired results, one technique will be best suited to others. If you want to learn more about the differences between these three top hair techniques then keep on reading the article.

What is Balayage?

What is Balayage?

Balayage is a French word that means to sweep. Balayage is a freehand highlighting technique where color is swept on random hair sections to give a perfectly blended and warm sun-kissed result. The application starts from the roots and gradually becomes heavier as it goes through the section, culminating in the heaviest application of hair color or lightener at the ends.

Since the lightener or the hair color is concentrated on the surface of each section, the undersides tend to remain darker, which gives the hair a very natural effect. The result of balayage is usually a natural, sun-kissed effect that is preferred by many celebrities.

It is worth mentioning that balayage can be done on any hair color from red hair to blonde hair, and brown hair. It is also beautiful on medium-length and long hair. One of the top benefits of balayage highlights is that they are cost-effective since they don't require frequent touchups.

If you want to know more about balayage, you can watch the video below to get more information. 

The Different Types of Balayage

Since balayage is a hand-painting technique, it allows for more variations and fantastic color compositions. The hair color artists might combine many shades for a shining and dimensional result.

What is ombre?

What is ombre?

Ombre is also a French word that means shade or shadow. In the world of hair color, Ombre is a dramatic two-toned hair color effect that is generally darker at the top and lighter at the ends. Usually, the dark, top section is the natural hair color shade and the bottom section is lightened with hair lightener. Just like balayage, ombre hair can be of any color combination- brown, red, natural blonde, and even pink.

It is also versatile and customizable. Ombre hairstyles look good on long and medium-length hair. Ombre wig color is also easy on the budget since it doesn't require frequent touchups, and the top section typically remains dark.

The Different Types of Ombre

Another version of the ombre is called sombre. In a sombre hairstyle, the difference between the two tones is that one is softer. Another version is also known as color melting. In color melting, three hair color shades may be used on each strand, and each shade is blended with the side of the hair color brush to make them appear to be melting into each other.

What about highlights?

What are highlights?

Hair lighting is a hair coloring process aimed at highlighting a few hair sections. You can use any color to highlight as long as it is lighter than the natural hair color. Highlights are basically done with coils, which keep the bleach or lightener heated, allowing for much more intense lighting. Highlights are ideal for people who need an overall lighter look and their natural hair is dark.

It will give them more lift. Some of the advantages of highlights are that they give a more consistent and formal look. They also look good in both long and medium-length hair.

Which one should you choose between balayage, ombre, and highlights?

A lot of people don't know the difference between Highlights, Balayage, or Ombre hair and end up requesting the wrong thing from their hairdresser. so you can watch the video below Ellebangs try to explain which is right for your hair type!

Here is how to choose one that suits your lifestyle.

Go for balayage if:

· You are coloring your hair for the first time

· You want subtle highlights

· You want natural gray-coverage

· You are looking for an option with low-maintenance results

Balayage vs ombre

Go for ombre if:

· You are looking for low maintenance results

· You don't want to visit the salon more often

· You are creative and adventurous with your personal style

· You are looking for a subtle statement

ombre vs highlight.png

Go for highlights if:

· You want prominent and high-contrast color patterns

· You can commit to regular touch-ups and maintenance

· You want uniform hair with several shades for a natural look

Choosing between these three hair lighting techniques can be quite confusing. This article breaks down some common hair color techniques to give you a better understanding of what they are, how they work, and what results they'll create. Hopefully, now you'll be a little less confused when talking with your hairstylist and explaining what you want!

Keep in mind, as I mentioned in the blog, that these terms mainly refer to the TECHNIQUE and not so much the final result.

Whether you choose balayage, ombré, or highlights, coloring your hair can damage your hair. This is why you need to take extra measures to prevent the possibility of these hair techniques damaging your hair and maintaining hair color. Here are some tips to help you achieve that

Moisturize your hair regularly

· Do not miss salon appointments for weekly treatments to restore and nourish your hair

· Avoid washing your hair too often

· Take good care of your hair by staying away from direct sun exposure and refrain from using chlorinated or salty water to wash your hair.

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