What is Ombre Hair?

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Everything You Need to Know About Ombre Hair

From magazines and catwalks to tv shows and your local high street, ombre hair is everywhere! The perfect way to add a shot of colour and dimension to your hair, this style’s popularity shows no signs of waning.

If you’re curious to learn more about ombre hair, read on to find out about what’s involved in achieving an ombre look, the benefits of the style and plenty of aftercare advice!

What is Ombre: Image of a woman with honey ombre hair.

Ombre Explained

The term ‘ombre’ (pronounced omb-ray) comes from the French word for shade and is used to describe a gradual lightening or darkening of colour.

Ombre hair is typically darker from the roots to mid-shaft and then gradually transitions to a lighter shade from the mid-shaft to the ends. This look can be achieved either using your natural hair colour or a similar base shade.

Ombre comes in a number of forms, including:

What is Ombre: Image of two examples of Sombre.


A very soft look, where the contrast between the colours applied to the roots and lengths is less pronounced.

What is Ombre: Image of two examples of Shatush.


A combination of ombre and balayage methods, this technique achieves a very natural-looking result.

What is Ombre: Image of two examples of Flamboyage.


Another ombre and balayage combo, this technique creates soft, peek-a-boo highlights.

What is Ombre: Image of two examples of Reverse Ombre.

Reverse Ombre

With light roots and darker lengths this technique flips the traditional ombre on its head!

Ombre vs Balayage – What’s the Difference

Ombre hair is often confused with balayage and dip-dye – other popular colouring techniques -, but the three methods are quite different.

Balayage is a freehand technique that sweeps colour through small sections of hair to achieve a subtle and natural sun-kissed look. This creates a multi-tonal appearance, as it often uses several different colours to achieve the look.

Ombre on the other hand is a more dramatic, two-toned style. The two colours are blended to create an effortlessly ‘melted’ look with no harsh delineation.

Dip dye involves applying a contrasting colour to the ends of the hair, with no blending between the colours. This technique literally makes the hair look as if it’s been dipped into colour and commonly uses bright fashion colours as well as a whole host of natural tones.  

What is Ombre: Image of a woman with blue dip dye ombre hair.

Ombre Hair – The Benefits

Low Maintenance: Ombre is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a low maintenance look. As the top of the hair is a darker shade, root regrowth will be much less obvious. It’s also a great option for anyone growing out colour or people who are short on time and can’t always make regular hair appointments.

Versatile: With ombre hair, there’s no limit to the colours you can experiment with! Whilst natural shades of beachy blonde, copper and chocolate brown are always popular choices, the style lends itself perfectly to adventurous colours. From pastel pinks and vivid violets to gorgeous greens and bold blues, you can achieve the eye-catching look of your dreams!

Effortless: No matter the length of your hair or the style you put it in, you can be sure that your ombre hair will shine! Giving a modern, high-fashion and ultra-cool look, ombre will allow you to make even a basic messy bun look stunning.

What is Ombre: Image of a woman with caramel ombre hair.

Tips for Maintaining Ombre Hair

  • To keep your ombre hair looking fresh, get a root shadow, money piece highlights or colour melt treatment every 2-4 months.
  • Use shampoo and conditioner designed for coloured hair. If you have blonde ombre, ensure you use a purple shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis to prevent brassiness.
  • Wash your hair in cool water to prevent colour fade. Whilst it may feel counter-intuitive to not wash your hair in hot water and finish with a cold rinse, we promise this is a much more effective way to keep your colour looking fresh for longer. Also, the longer you can go between washes, the better!
  • Avoid daily heat styling wherever possible and whenever you use hot tools, use a heat protection cream or spray. On days you let your hair air dry, run a leave-in conditioner or hair oil through the lengths and ends of your hair and embrace your natural texture!
  • Incorporate a deep conditioning hair mask into your routine. Use it a few times a month to keep your locks moisturised and well-nourished.  
What is Ombre: Image of a woman with blonde ombre hair.

Ready to Take the Plunge?

If you’d like to achieve the ombre hair of your dreams, get in touch with us! Our friendly and professional hairdressers in Plymouth can give you a consultation to understand what you’d like to achieve and carry out patch testing, before booking you in for an appointment to transform your look! Simply call us on 01752 223233 to arrange.