Two hair colouring trends that are rocking the scene right now – ombre and balayage – and we tell you why both are great style options!

Step one of experimenting with your looks, every woman knows, is to play with your hair. If a haircut is an instant pick-me-up on a bad day, colouring your hair is definitely the best way to radically change your look. From the red streaks that brunettes love to going platinum blonde (just to see if blondes really do have more fun) or vice versa – changing colour is a great way to experiment and find a look that suits you. Two recent hair colouring trends that have grown in popularity are ombre and balayage – the terms may sound brand new, but it’s a look that we have all noticed across runways and redcarpets. Both styles hark back to the natural look and it goes with the ‘comfort and style’ mantra that has been dominating the looks this season. With messy up-dos and casual ponytails being spotted even on the ramps, the sleek and structured look may have to move over to make room for the effortless-chic look. And what better look to team with the loose-fitted pants and casual silhouettes that are all in trend this season!

Beautiful Balayage

The term ‘balayage’ comes from the French term that alludes to sweeping, which probably refers to the sweeping strokes with which a colourist treats hair in this technique. Hair is not just coloured, but balayage requires that hair be painted to achieve that sun-kissed look. The main aim is to make it seem like the hair has natural highlights from exposure to the sun, so the colour is applied to sections of hair, almost handpainted onto your mane, unlike the foil or cap highlighting techniques that are generally used while colouring hair.

The advantage of the balayage look is that once the treatment is done, the look is relatively low maintenance since the need for touching up the roots is not needed and the selective colouring ensures that the look is as close to your natural hair colour as possible, going lighter only by three or four shades. Since there is no straight demarcation between coloured hair and natural hair, you can go for four to six months without a touch up and still maintain the look, if you don’t cut your hair. Dark hair can go light up to caramel tones and blonde on blonde balayage is a raging hit right now, with credit going to stars like Jessica Alba and Lauren Conrad who have been rocking the natural look. Wear your hair wavy or poker straight, get bangs or just leave it to its natural curls – whatever your style, balayage will give you that subtle change you need without a drastic makeover.

Pros: Low maintenance, less chemical treatment for hair, looks great on any kind of hair

Cons: Three to four sittings over six-eight weeks to get the complete look

Oh So Ombre

If you’re looking to shake things up but aren’t sure if a drastic change of hair colour is the way to go, the ombre trend might be just the thing for you. The term ombre is most used to refer to a gradual fading out of colour from its darkest shade to its lightest. In hair terminology, the term ombre most popularly refers to the trend of having your hair fading from dark brown at the roots to bleached blonde at the ends. Sounds like fun? It sure looks like it!

Celebrities who have been working the ombre trend include Drew Barrymore and Rachel Bilson, both naturally dark-haired whose blonde tips have driven the trend to its peak.

Depending on the shade chosen, the ombre look can go from subtle to drastic so whatever the look you’re aiming for, there is an ombre options that will work for you. Another option, for the more adventurous type – is to opt for coloured ends! Black roots fading to a bright cherry red or even a sexy purple is a great choice, if you are sure you can work with the unusual colour scheme. Platinum blondes can choose to have hair fading to a bright pink or any other happy colour to rock the punk-chic look that’s almost instant glam.

Often called the ‘dip-dye’ or ‘two-tone’style, ombre is a great way to add some colour variation to your hair without worrying about roots since as the hair grows out, the roots will remain the same shade, and the style will remain intact until you decide to get a trim. So if you’re feeling adventurous and looking for a change that’s striking without changing your look completely, ombre might be the way to go.

Pros: Low maintenance, No touchups required

Cons: Bleached ends mean weaker hair, works best on wavy hair or soft curls

(This article was published on September 17, 2013)
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