Comes from the French literal word “shadow” although, the industry defines it as the transition or blending of one colour to the next. ombré is the “look” and balayage is the technique. In most cases the root colour transitions from dark to light in a solid effect. This style generally works best for brunettes since it is not a subtle blend. The more subtle look would be a sombré (a soft ombré) in which the roots usually a blonde base. Ombré also exists in many other forms of decorative colour (fashion, baking, interior decorating,).
Balayage is another french term that means “to sweep”. It is a technique we use to apply colour or lightener to the hair using a sweeping/stroking motion to create a very subtle blend towards the lighter colour on the ends. Balayage is much more natural looking because not all the hair is coloured through to your ends in a solid effect like an ombré would. Most of the time the objective is to achieve a sun-kissed highlight look throughout. This also means that it is a longer lasting colour that needs less maintenance.
The foilage technique is essentially a balayage application but with foils to achieve a higher blonding affect. When applying a colour with this technique, the colour will have added brilliance with the foils.
Babylights are applied using a balayage technique to mimic the subtle, dimensional hair colour seen on children’s hair. We also use a the term “money piece” which is when babylights are applied at the front framing the face. There is much less hair strands coloured than traditional highlights and the result is beautiful dimensional blonde on blonde looks!
This technique is used in a balayage sweeping motion but completely free handed with no sectioning. Performed on a table or flat surface where the hair is laid down on and painted strategically. The hair painting method is used by those who have a special eye or vision on where the highlighted pieces will be seen when the hair is dryed and styled.
For hair colour to work, it needs to enter the hair follicle. The hair follicle swells and opens via the ammonia in the colour mixture. Chemists have created a way for this to happen without ammonia in the colour product. The ammonia free colour does not have a chemical smell to it and also “pulls away” from any harmful side effects the ammonia property is known to contain. We use Maraes from Kaaral and it works wonders!
Here are more useful terms regarding hair colouring:
A trend for brunettes who wish to lighten their hair without taking it all the way to blonde. It’s a soft tone between blonde and brown.
Colors ranging from gold to chocolate are added and blended through the hair to create a gradual shift from dark to light. The tortoiseshell technique is a bit softer and more natural-looking than ombré, and begins with a darker root that subtly fades to all sorts of warm tones of blonde/caramel.
In order to achieve various lighter tones, the hair needs to be lightened first. This process involves hair bleach in the form of a powder, gel, cream or oil that is combined with a developer to strip the top layer of pigment of the hair revealing an underlining colour. This is the process of pre-lightening and once the underlining pigment is to the required level then the desired colour is applied-toner.
The term used to distinguish a color as warm, cool or neutral. For example, ”golden” blonde, “coppery” red, “ash” brown.
The toner is essentially a hair colour formula applied to damp hair to blend and even out unwanted hues (i.e., brassiness,)
Warm is a tonal value that can apply to blonde, brunette and red shades. A color is said to have “warm tones” if it tends toward yellow, orange or red. Warm colors include golden blondes, auburn brunettes, and copper.
Cool is a tonal value that can apply to blonde, brunette, and red shades. A colour is said to have “cool tones” if it tends toward blue, violet or green. Cool colors include platinum blondes, ash browns, and plum reds.
A value applied to highlights. High-contrast highlights are much lighter than the surrounding hair and provide a dramatic look. Lower contrast highlights result in a more natural look.