Difference Between Ombre and Bayalage?

Have you been keeping up with the latest in hair trends? If so, then there’s a high chance of hearing the terms “Ombre” and “Balayage.” Ombre and bayalage are actually two techniques of highlighting stylists utilize to carefully lighten the hair and create a natural or visually appealing gradient.

Both hair coloring methods are popularly known as alternatives to conventional foil highlights. They often fade from a darker color near the roots to a lighter shade at the ends. These styles save you from the hassle of touching up regrowth and tend to require less maintenance than traditional hair coloring.

Now the issue here is that Ombre and Balayage are often confused for one and another mainly because both styles tend to deliver similar results through lightening and coloring of the hair. While these techniques appear to share some similarities, professional stylists have a better understanding of the differences that set the two styles apart. So, in this post, we’re going to set the record straight and share the distinct differences between the two methods. 


For starters, the word “Ombre” is a French word that translates to “shadow.” Ombre is officially known as the style. It’s more like the transition of a lighter shade to a darker shade. So think of Ombre as darkest at your roots, getting gradually lighter toward your ends. The style, Ombre is perfect for brunettes mainly because it’s the least subtle of all the techniques. Ombre is more noticeable and naturally require more maintenance. You can picture Ombre as color blocking since there are no dark pieces to help keep it natural at the bottom, just an amazing transition between the colors. It’s pretty obvious that the Ombre is a beautiful look, but it’s also something that must be done right if you want it to look super gorgeous!


As we mentioned earlier, the two styles are similar, but there are still clear distinctions between the two! Just like Ombre, the fancy French word “Bayalage” translates to “sweep.” This technique will you a more blended, seamless and natural-looking color. So, instead of making use of foils for highlights, your stylist will literally “sweep” paint onto your strands which result in a super shiny color that’ll leave you feeling naturally sun-kissed. In essence, Bayalage looks like gorgeous sun-kissed highlights throughout the hair. To sum it up, this technique is more natural and requires less maintenance as compared to Ombre.

Here’s a handy refresher – “Ombre is the style” and “Bayalage is the technique.”


So there you have it, ladies! We hope you’ve gotten a clearer picture of the difference between the two styles and comfortable with reinventing the look of your hair. It’s now up to you to book an appointment and get on trend! Just be sure to always go with the style that tickles your fancy. Happy coloring!

Are you based in Milton Keynes and interested in trying out Ombre or Balayage on your hair? If so, get in touch using our simple Contact Form and we will get you booked in for a full consultation.

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