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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 when she sits down in that salon chair—especially if she doesn’t understand some of the trendiest terms? Well, that’s why we want to explain sombré hair to you! If you’re stuck between balayage and ombré, sombré 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.
And while we’re at it, we decided it was the perfect time to offer a refresher course. Ready to learn what sets this celeb-approved look apart from its ombré and balayage counterparts? Consult our guide below to up your beauty term knowledge and learn all about the sombré hair trend. Afterwards, we have a feeling you’ll want to book an appointment with your colorist ASAP.
At first glance, these three color techniques can seem pretty similar, but they have subtle differences. Here’s what you need to know.
Balayage is a hand-painted highlight 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 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 new trendy 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.
First things first: Since balayage, ombré, and sombré all require a high level of skill to create, you may want to consider visiting a professional colorist to get the look you want. And keep in mind that if you have a dark hair color to start, it may require multiple sessions to get the exact end 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. Before your visit to the salon, find photos of how you’d like your hair to look 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 tying a handful of colors together. It’s a good rule of thumb to choose colors a few shades lighter and a few shades darker than your natural starting base to create a natural-looking fade. In general, you’ll want the darker colors towards 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 for a lower-maintenance appeal.
While this must-have hair style is most commonly associated with natural blondes, it can look fabulous on brunettes as well. Need a little inspo to get you on the right track? We love these three sombré ideas: dirty blonde faded into golden blonde, espresso faded into caramel brown, and chocolate brown faded into golden blonde.
Once you nail down your perfect look and your colorist works his or her magic to make it a reality, you may want to think about changing up your hair care routine. Having color-treated hair means using a system of shampoo and conditioner that are color safe. Try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Conditioner.
Not sure how to style your new hue? Here are 6 Hairstyles That Span the Ages to try.