Balayage vs Ombre vs Sombre vs Foils vs Color Melting




One of the most common questions we are asked about hair color is exactly what is the difference between all of the latest hair color trends? What is the difference between balayage, ombre, somber, foils and color melting? And how do I know what to ask my stylist for? Hopefully we can help answer some of these questions for you and provide you with some celebrity examples, along with Head Candy client examples!





The word balayage comes from the French term meaning “to sweep”. It is a freehand painting technique used to add soft dimension to the hair instead of traditional foils. Balayage tends to have a bit more subtle results than foiling, often giving a natural sun-kissed appearance to the hair. It is very popular with celebrities, giving them the beautiful rich dimensional color, without any harsh regrowth. This is a very advanced technique, and is a specialty of several of our stylists, including Robin and Melissa.



Another freehand technique, ombre has been an extremely popular color trend over the past few years and it seems it is here to stay. It simply means shaded or graduated in tone and it is when hair is darker at the top and lighter at the ends.



Sombre is a fairly new term, used as a way to describe ombre’s more subtle cousin. This freehand technique is a great way to combine the best of balayage with the trend of ombre, in a subtle and beautiful way! It looks great with every color from dark to light, but remember- its all about being soft!


Color Melting

Color melting is similar to an ombre or somber, but is usually done with 3 or more colors, melting them together very gradually. It doesn’t necessarily have to go only from dark to light, but can be any combination of colors melting together.



Finally we’ve come to traditional foils. Foil highlights are still the most popular way to add dimension to the hair, and foils are definitely here to stay! There are so many options with foils from the most subtle of highlights to the super bold, anything is possible!


We hope this answers your questions about the differences between all of these amazing hair trends! They are all quite beautiful and look great on any client whether brunette, blonde, red, or even purple! And don’t forget- consultations are always free. You can stop in any time or schedule a consultation even if you just want to chat and get ideas for your next color!