A French colouring technique that was developed in the 1970s.
It's a freehand technique where the colour is applied by hand rather
than using the traditional foiling or cap highlighting technique. Balayage highlights are less systematically placed, you end up with fatter, less symmetrical, more random highlights, resulting in a more casual, beachy finish.
The demand for dark roots and lighter ends started a few years back, Ombré can feature quite a stark dark-to-light fade – making sombré (“subtle ombré”) a much more nuanced take on the dip-dye trend.
We’ve gone into highlights by way of foils and balayage, but did you know there are different degrees of highlighting? As opposed to splashlights – which see sharp flashes of laser-like blonde on dark tresses – babylights are much finer.
Foils vs Balayage
They’re both highlighting techniques, but create subtly different results. With traditional foils, the highlights are uniform and defined. Balayage, taken from the French word meaning “to sweep”, is a freehand technique in which swatches of hair are sectioned and hand painted against a backing board with a lightening agent. After painting, each swatch is covered in cellophane.
With sombré, the lighter sections start up a bit higher and the lower lengths have ribbons of dark colour for a more gradual transition. Just like its predecessor, the worn-in look is perfectly low-maintenance. There’s no need for constant touch-ups due to there being no clear demarcation line or regrowth.
The hair is separated into itsy-bitsy sections and colour is applied to each group of strands and left for more than an hour. Giving you a more multidimensional, radiant, natural-looking color application, reminiscent of the hair of your childhood.