The first question I’m asked when I recommend highlights to a client who has never done it before is “What will the maintenance be?” An understandable question since many women simply don’t have the time to sit in my chair for two hours every few weeks with 100 foils on their head. With natural looking Ombre highlights, the latest trend in hair color, every few weeks turns into 2-3 times a year (quite manageable for even the busiest woman).
The basic gist of Ombre (French for shaded) highlights is that it mimics the way a child’s hair gets lightened over summer vacation. I choose to hand paint individual stands of hair, fading gradually into the root or even stopping a few inches from the root so there’s no harsh line when the hair grows out. If you ever look at a child’s hair, their organic, sun kissed color rarely, if ever, goes all the way up to the scalp. It’s a gradual progression from dark to light, making the color appear seamless.
Perhaps the best thing about the Ombre trend is that it works for all hair colors from the darkest black to the lightest blonde. You can make the contrast as natural or extreme as you’d like and even experiment with different colors on the ends. For a truly “believable color” I’d suggest going no more than 2-3 shades lighter than your roots. For something a little more punk, experiment with different jewel toned shades on the pre-lightened ends. The possibilities are endless.
Here are a few celebrities sporting the Ombre look right now: