What’s the difference between balayage, ombre and sombre?

Written by Heather Zechman, Stylist, Gore Hair Salon in Columbia, SC

With so many different techniques being performed in the salon, it can be tough deciding which one is for you. Simply knowing what each of these techniques mean will help you communicate your hair goals to your stylist.


Most of you know what the Ombre technique is but let’s dive deeper into this continually trendy hairstyle. Ombre is a color fading gradually from roots to ends, typically darkest at the roots to lighter at the ends. What continues to be so exciting about this technique is that it’s the best of both worlds, light and dark. This could be a huge contrast in color or more slight depending on your desired end result. The upkeep for an ombre is minimal which is essential for today’s girl on the go.


Another similar technique to Ombre is the Sombre. Sombre is the same concept of an Ombre but it is a softer, more subtle version. The transition in color is much more gradual and more faint than an Ombre. This leaves the hair still darker at the roots and lighter at the ends but looks much more natural. The upkeep on Sombre is also very minimal.


Transitioning to Balayage, we are looking at brightening up the hair. Balayage is a freehand technique that is used instead of traditional cap or foil highlights. This gives the stylist the creative freedom to make a custom look for you. From a child’s sun kissed hair in summer, to a more edgy look, it is all up to you and your stylist’s vision. The grow out of a balayage is very natural looking and also requires minimum upkeep.

With all of these trends and new coming every season it is so exciting to choose your hair story.

Call (803) 781-4515 to schedule your ombre, sombre or balayage hair appointment today!