Similar But Clearly Different: Balayage, Highlight and Ombre

Similar But Clearly Different: Balayage, Highlight and Ombre

For women, hair colors are like makeup for hair. In recent years, newer coloring techniques were introduced to express hair colors in many different ways. Most popular ones include balayage, highlight, and ombre. Although they look similar in appearance, the techniques are clearly different in many ways.


What’s balayage?

Balayage is one of the most popular coloring techniques of today. Unlike traditional coloring techniques, you can develop hair colors that accommodate your facial contour and features for a highly personal style. Balayage means “to paint” in French, and as if you paint the hair, you apply hair colorants to hair to create texture. In comparison with ombre that gradually becomes brighter at the tip the hair, balayage has vertical color variations throughout each hair strand. At a glance, it might look similar to ombre. However, if you take a closer look, you can see each strand having different tones of color.

Golden Balayage

Golden balayage is a popular and common style with golden hue, and it goes well with a lot of people.


Copper Balayage

Overall, copper color evokes a heavier feel, but balayage coloring technique makes a magic to render a stylish and lighter feel.


Pink Balayage

If you want a trendy pink color hair with partial and natural color, then pink balayage is your answer.


What’s Highlight? 

Highlight is also known as bridge. The biggest difference from balayage is that you apply the colorant to a desired area and wrap it with foil, so you will have a stronger contrast of colors than balayage. To create a strong accent in the hair, you want the highlight, but the current trend favors balayage with a more natural look.

Red Highlight

If you have a darker colored hair, a red colored highlight can be a great accent. You may try a dark red or red wine colored highlight for this F/W season.


Rainbow Highlights

If you want to express your personality with colors, you should try out rainbow highlights. You can go with your favorite tone of color and create different colored highlights.


Honey Highlight

Honey colored highlight goes well with any texture of hair. Regardless of the natural hair color or the season, you can try it anytime.


What’s Ombre?

Ombre’s word origin goes back to a French word meaning shadow. According to the French word, you would expect an inconspicuous gradual gradation rather than high contrast of colors. Ombre is also a painting technique that gives an aged look to a figure by deploying many colors. In hair coloring, ombre refers to a technique that adds colors, typically brighter colors than the hair root’s, to the tip of the hair. If you have a dark hair color, you need to bleach it first to develop a lighter tone or add a color.

Black to Honey Ombre

It’s the most popular and common ombre color combination. If you are new to ombre color, you should try this one.


Black To Red Ombre

If you are looking for bolder styles, you can catch the public’s attention with the black to red ombre.


Hot Pink To Orange Ombre

As opposed to traditional ombre colors that start with black in the root, you can try a combination in reverse by starting with pink or orange colored root.


Balayage, Highlight, and Ombre Q&A

Between Balayage and Highlight, which is easier to maintain? The preference between balayage and highlight may an individual choice. However, highlight is by far easier to maintain the color than balayage.

Is balayage more costly than highlight? Although varying by salons, balayage typically is costlier than highlight. Highlight requires a relatively quick time, but balayage involves coloring numerous strands of hair with differing colors of the same tone, which require more time and advanced technique.

Balayage over highlights? You can try balayage techniques on the hair with highlights. Because balayage is a blending technique, you can simply choose an accommodating color that blends with highlights.

How often do you need to visit the shop for balayage, ombre, and highlight? Balayage, highlight, and ombre can be maintained very similarly as all are, at the core, hair coloring, but you may save trips to the shop depending on the style. Balayage typically requires clients to trim their hair at the shop once a three-month period. For an ombre with high contrast, you probably need to go to the shop every four to six weeks. Highlight results in strands of hair with root-to-tip color, so you will have root problem as your hair grows. If you want to keep highlight in its original look, you will have to visit the shop at six-week interval.


Hair Trend BY Joo Park
BNB Magazine OCT 2021 ©