Balayage and Ombre Highlights from The Beauty Bar

balayage highlightsNothing rejuvenates your look better than a new hairstyle - and nothing does more for your new hair than a little color. Whether you've got long hair, short hair, dark hair, or light hair, if you're looking for something with a timeless appeal that's been gaining popularity in the last few years, look no further than classic balayage and ombre highlights.

Both balayage and ombre involve dark or light roots with a gradual transition of the color toward the ends to create depth and dimension. To get a picture, think of the natural highlights some people get when they spend a lot of time in the sun.

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Balayage is a French term that comes from the word for "to sweep" or "to paint." Its enduring popularity comes from the soft, natural way it creates its trademark look. Balayage is applied by sweeping the surface of the hair with a freehand technique that leaves the hair unsaturated until the very tips. This gives the stylist a great deal of artistic freedom when it comes to where to place the color, how deep to set it, and how to match it to your natural hair color and skin tone.

Balayage also requires very little maintenance. Its natural look means that it shows new growth less noticeably than more traditional forms of hair coloring, like with foil highlights.

Ombre is also from the French, meaning "shaded" or "shading," and can be considered a subset of balayage where the color is dark at the roots and transitions to very light ends. Traditionally, ombre features a very stark fade from dark to light, but more recently a popular trend has been what's known as "sombre," or "subtle ombre." Sombre is marked with a more gradual transition, blending, and texture.

Both balayage and ombre can be worn by anyone who wants a natural, grown-out look. While more popular with long hair, because it gives the color space to fade, there's no reason why you can't so a balayage with a shorter cut.

Brunettes typically use the style to add natural caramel or honey shades to soften their natural look, but blondes can especially use an ombre or sombre technique to add subtle weight and volume.

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