Balayage, ombre, sombre… Huh?

Aug 17, 20 • hairNo Comments

We’ve all seen this hair trend where everyone seems to achieve this perfect blend of colors in their hair… And we’re sure more than a few of you have not only wondered how to get the same look, but also what it’s even called! After all, you could struggle to ask a hairstylist to give you a new hairstyle if you don’t even know the name of it. You might even think just showing a hairstylist a few pictures of what you want will suffice, but here at our Miami Beach Spa, we think knowing the name of what you’re doing to your hair is important. After all, you’re the one that will have to look at it every single day!

With so many trends and styles, it can be a little confusing to keep up with all the terms. Let us help you out with this… We’re going to explain the difference between balayage, ombre and sombre. Before you say it, no, they’re not the same thing. And definitely no, they’re not all just called highlights! It’s easy to put a broad term on all of these styles and say they’re simply highlights, but they’re not. Each one has its own specific style and look, which we are going to talk about below.

Before we get started on each definition, we’d like to highlight the owner of our spa in Miami Beach, William McAllister. Born and raised in Florida, he has a background in neurophysiology and business. Additionally, he’s the fire captain of one of the biggest fire departments in the country. This extensive background grants him the expertise to calmly manage any emergency, whether it’s a house fire or a hair disaster!

Following in his great-great-grandmother’s footsteps, he set out to offer a world-class service comparable to her McAllister Hotel. He redefined what a regular hair salon should look like, creating the one-of-a-kind McAllister Spa. By cultivating a homey environment with incredible services, he has built a hair salon with a professional reputation that Miami Beach is proud of.

Balayage

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Now, before you come experience this spa for yourself, you should know the name of the look you want! Let’s start with the term balayage. This might be the most common one you’ve seen, but you’re not completely sure what it is or even confuse it for other styles. This coloring technique means “to sweep” in French, which means the hairstylist will freehand sweep color over swatches of hair before covering it, allowing the dye to take effect. These swatches of hair do not start at the crown of your head, instead it can start a little below it or at the middle of your head. Due to this, it creates a more natural look for your hair, since there is not harsh contrast between one color and the other. Usually, you’ll need to bleach or lighten your hair to properly create the balayage look.

This hairstyle creates a casual look and works with many different hair colors, as well as looking good on long, medium or short hair. This is a great option for anyone that isn’t interested in doing too much maintenance on their hair. This technique doesn’t require regular touch-ups at the salon. Actually, growing out your hair adds to the gorgeous effect created by the technique! If you’re low maintenance but still want to jump on this hair color blend trend, balayage might be perfect for you! 

Ombre

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The next coloring technique we’re going to discuss is ombre! This hairstyle simply has an ombre of colors in your hair, which means you’ll see a gradient on your hair with the lightest color being at your ends. The balayage technique of freehand sweeping paint on your hair is used as well sometimes, to achieve that natural smooth gradient and avoid awkward harsh lines between colors. Due to this, this style looks best on curly or wavy hair. On completely straight hair, the gradient will be interrupted by bold contrasting lines of colors. After all, the smooth blend of colors gradually increasing in lightness is what ombre is all about!

Since the lightest part is at your ends, you probably only need to lighten the bottom half of your hair, depending on what color you’re going for. If it’s a natural color, there’s no need for too much bleaching. However, ombre is popular with some vibrant, wild colors, which would require all of your hair being bleached. This coloring technique requires more maintenance than balayage, since it’s easy to lose the color quickly. Vibrant colors get washed out much faster than natural colors, so keep that in mind when choosing yours! You will need to get touch-ups and get the color refreshed every once in a while, but a lot of the maintenance is on you as well! Choosing the right shampoo to maintain and refresh the color at home will be a lifesaver. You spent a lot of time and money getting this perfect hairstyle, don’t ruin it with a bad quality shampoo!

Sombre

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At last, we have a mix of our two first techniques: sombre. Subtle ombre, also called sombre, uses the balayage technique to create a more natural-looking ombre. Instead of using vibrant colors with a drastic gradient, sombre usually plays off of your natural haircolor and goes lighter, without making any intense changes. The hairstylist will start lightening swatches of hair starting mid-head, using the balayage technique. Sombre tries to create the illusion that your hair simply got lighter in the sun, as some of us like to call “sun-kissed hair”.

Sombre typically looks best with wavy or curly hair, but straight hair can also pull it off. The sombre effect will look great in any way, because it’s a more natural look than the previous options, providing a softer result. This is a low maintenance option, only needing to be retouched every few months. If you’d like, you can simply grow it out and cut off the ends to go back to your original color. 

Miami Beach Hair Stylists

Our hair salon offers the most talented stylists in all of Miami Beach. If you’re looking for balayage, ombre or sombre, one of our stylists can achieve that perfect result for your hair. Even if you’re still not sure which of the three you want to do, our hairstylists will use their years of experience to consult you on the best option for your hairstyle and color.

If you’re looking for a consultation to brainstorm hair ideas or an appointment at our hair salon in Miami Beach, reaching us has never been easier. Shoot us a text or an email, or even call us if you prefer! Our hairstylists will get in touch with you as soon as possible to start working towards your dream hairstyle. What are you waiting for? Book an appointment with us!

william mcallister- owner of popular salon and spa in miami beach

More than a decade ago, William McAllister hatched an idea to disrupt the beauty salon industry in Miami Beach. He contemplated what salons once were in years gone by. He yearned to recapture their unique contributions to both personal beauty & community. In the past 10 years, he’s forever changed the industry, and according to him, he’s just getting started! He draws from a unique background – encompassing everything from neurophysiology, business to firefighting- and built South Beach’s busiest & most reviewed beauty concept in South Florida.

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