Every season it seems as though some new term is popping onto the beauty scene and leaving a fancy new hair color trend in its wake. We’re on board with new beauty trends—the more, the merrier—but these new terms tend to lead to a whole lot of confusion. With so many different hair colors and techniques out there, how’s a girl to know what to ask for when she sits down in that salon chair? Well, that’s why we want to explain sombré hair to you. If you’re stuck between balayage and ombré, sombré highlights might just be the solution. Softer than ombré and more seamlessly melted together than balayage, it’s the perfect choice for someone ready to switch up their hair color.
Here, learn what sets the celeb-approved sombré hair color trend apart from its ombré and balayage counterparts. After reading, we have a feeling you’ll want to book an appointment with your colorist ASAP.
BALAYAGE VS. OMBRÉ VS. SOMBRÉ
At first glance, these three hair color techniques can seem pretty similar, but they have subtle differences. Here’s what you need to know.
Balayage is a hand-painted highlighting technique that colorists use to create an array of highly-blended looks. If you’re going for a color that’s as natural as possible, then you should consider opting for balayage highlights. Since balayage highlights are supposed to look natural, they’re very low maintenance—so consider this one of the best options for busy girls.
Ombré hair has been hugely popular for years—and for a good reason. It’s gorgeous and easily customizable. Characterized by darker roots that fade into lighter ends, this semi-dip-dyed appearance is achieved through the balayage technique.
Sombré, like ombré, is achieved by using the balayage technique. What sets this trendy new look apart is the way that it seamlessly blends more shades and tones for a subtler, sun-kissed look that’s full of texture and dimension.
HOW TO GET THE PERFECT SOMBRÉ HAIR COLOR
First things first: Since balayage, ombré, and sombré all require a high level of skill to create, it’s best to visit a professional colorist to get your desired look. If you have a dark hair color to start, it may require multiple sessions to get the exact result you’re looking for. Remember, patience pays off!
You want the end result of this look to appear natural and flattering, and that’s something a pro will be able to help you achieve. Bring inspiration photos to your salon visit so that your colorist can use them as a guide for finding your desired shade.
Whereas ombré tends to encompass only two shades, sombré hair is all about blending a handful of colors together. Be sure to choose colors a few shades lighter and a few shades darker than your natural starting base (i.e., highlights and lowlights) to create a natural-looking fade. You’ll want dark colors toward the roots with the lighter colors subtly weaving their way through the lengths and ends. When multiple shades are used in this method, it helps to create a less abrupt contrast than traditional ombré and results in a lower-maintenance hair color.
While this must-have hairstyle is most commonly associated with natural blondes, it can look fabulous on brunettes, too. In fact, there are plenty of sombré hair color ideas, with something out there for everyone. Speaking of which…
13 SOMBRÈ HAIR COLOR IDEAS
Ready to transform your strands to gorgeous sombré highlights? Here, we’re sharing the 13 best sombré hair looks to make a lasting impression.
1. RED SOMBRÈ
If you’re on the hunt for sombré highlights that add warmth and dimension to your strands without a full commitment, red sombré may be your perfect match. A gorgeous option for those with brunette strands, this hair color adds the right amount of spice and warmth for a memorable look.
Not too sure about this sombré look? While we don’t recommend DIYing sombré hair with bleach, you can test drive the look with temporary hair color like the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Red, which is a hair color spray that washes out after one shampoo.
2. AUBURN SOMBRÈ
Give red hair a warm and sun-kissed touch with auburn sombré hair. Flaunting a blend of blonde, brunette, and reddish tones, this hair color makes for the ultimate customizable shade. Ask your stylist which auburn shade complements your hair color, and prepare to embrace a new and improved you.
3. COPPER SOMBRÈ
For those who can’t get enough of the metallic hair color trend, it may be worth trying your hand at copper sombré hair. Known as a modern take on red hair, copper hair is just what you need to make a chic statement. We also dig that it comes in a variety of shades that will suit different skin tones.
4. BROWN TO BURGUNDY
If you’re a fan of rich, vibrant hair colors, you may want to add brown to burgundy sombré highlights to your must-try list. One of the hottest hair color trends of 2020, this look gives your mane gorgeous depth and dimension.
5. DIRTY BLONDE TO GOLDEN BLONDE
As the saying goes, blondes have more fun, and with dirty blonde strands fading into golden blonde hair, you’ll surely prove that theory right. This eye-catching color combination is a gorgeous pick for blondes looking to liven up their locks with a soft touch, and it won’t steer you wrong.
6. TOASTED BUTTER BLONDE SOMBRÈ
You can spruce up golden locks with the help of the toasted-butter blonde sombré hair. Featuring a chestnut base with light blonde, golden blonde, and honey blonde throughout the ends, this stunning hair color will have all eyes on you!
7. STRAWBERRY BLONDE TO GOLDEN BLONDE
If reddish blonde hair is your forte, it may be time to welcome strawberry blonde to golden blonde sombré highlights to your mane. This is a nice change of pace for blondes that aren’t quite ready for a full-on color job. Not to mention, this hair color looks amazing on almost everyone.
8. BRONDE SOMBRÈ
Don’t pit blonde and brown hair against one another. There’s no need to decide between two hair colors when you can rock a bronde sombré. This is a chic way to show off the two-toned hair color trend without too much contrast. And don’t worry, you can expect your colorist to find the right color match for you. From cool, warm, or in-between bronde hues, the possibilities are vast.
9. CHOCOLATE BROWN INTO GOLDEN BLONDE
There is no better way to make a sombré hair color your own than to mix and match trendy shades. One of our favorite duos is none other than chocolate brown into golden blonde. Serving up rich and vibrant color with hints of golden brown that add a tinge of brightness to your mane, this pick can easily complement your year-round style.
10. ESPRESSO INTO CARAMEL BROWN
Calling all brunettes! If you’ve been eyeing sombré hair color for quite some time, we have a feeling that this espresso and caramel brown look will be the boost you need to try the trend. Ideal for those looking to stay true to their dark brunette locks, this hair color consists of adding the right amount of golden and sun-kissed tones to your strands. The result is a mane full of dimension and warmth.
11. DARK BROWN TO GOLD
There’s just something about a dark brunette mane that we love. Dark brown to gold sombré hair is a foolproof pick for individuals that love brown hair with a metallic finish. This hair color is just what you need to allow your mane to sparkle in the sun. Ask your stylist to melt this metallic hue through the lengths and ends of your hair for a winning look. You could also try the trend on your own with the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Gold.
12. BROWN TO ROSE GOLD
Let’s stick with metallic shades for a moment. In case you haven’t noticed, rose gold hair has become a must-have in the hair color department. Worn by celebs and influencers alike, this hair color will help you bring the cool-girl aesthetic to life. Simply grab a bottle of the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Rose Gold to try the trend temporarily.
13. ASH BROWN SOMBRÈ
If you prefer to keep things cool in the hair color department, ash brown sombré hair may suit your needs. This light brown hue will bring on the chill factor and is a great option for a fall hair color.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR NEW SOMBRÉ HAIR COLOR
Congratulations on your sombré hair! We bet it looks gorgeous on you! Now that you’ve switched things up on the hair color front, it’s only right to follow suit with your hair-care products. Follow our four steps below to update your hair care routine.
1. SWITCH TO A COLOR-TREATED HAIR CARE SYSTEM
In order to keep your color-treated locks looking and feeling their very best, you need to rely on a hair care system to give your strands the TLC they need. So, it’s time to say goodbye to your go-to shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask. Try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Conditioner instead. Once or twice a week, swap your conditioner for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair Remedy Balm for extra nourishment.
2. TURN DOWN THE DIAL
Hot water is a delight after a long day, but it’s not the best option for your sombré hair. Super-hot H2O strips your strands of its natural oils, leaving you with dry and dull hair. Turn down the dial to keep your tresses in shape.
3. EMBRACE YOUR NATURAL TEXTURE
If you ask us, we happen to think that sombré hair looks its very best on curly, wavy, and coily textures. Put your heat-styling tools on ice and allow nature to take its course. Sculpt your mane into a soft and bouncy masterpiece with the help of the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse. All you need to do is apply an egg-sized amount of mousse to damp strands, scrunch, and call it a day.
4. ALWAYS USE HEAT PROTECTANT
Of course, there are certain hairstyles that naturally call for heat tools. Whether you have a blowout or super-straight strands in mind for your sombré hair color, it’s essential to protect your hair from heat by using a heat protectant. The L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray works to calm frizz, seal in shine, and protect your hair from heat.
Not sure how to style your new hue? Try these 6 Hairstyles That Span the Ages.