Over the last few years, the hair color effect ombre has steadily become a celebrity and city girl favorite. "Ombre" literally means gradation in French, which refers to the dark-to-light fade of color that is used in the technique. Instead of color that starts at the root, darker roots blend into a lightened mid-shaft and end.
It's a beachier, more natural looking version of the enduring "visible root" trend.
No one wants to spend all of their time in the salon anymore, and this look means longer time between visits because it's so natural-looking.
"I think it speaks to the overall organic and sustainable trend going on right now. No one wants to spend all of their time in the salon anymore, and this look means longer time between visits because it's so natural-looking. There's no color line of demarcation at your roots," says Dimitrios Tsioumas, creative color director of New York and Boston's Mizu salons, where colorists perform the effect.
The term was taken from the fashion world, where the ombre style of diffusing color is used for fabric, and is most often seen in kimonos.
"In the hair industry, we like to translate what we see in the fashion industry into hair. We've seen many designers showcase the ombre effect in their collections. We're making it more natural and softer to fit into our current lifestyles," adds Tsioumas.
Ombre can be either soft and subtle like Rachel Bilson's natural-looking locks, or reversed like Sarah Hyland's light-to-dark effect. Either way, the shot of lightness adds a youthful look to hair, especially with the classic dark-to-light gradation because strands naturally lighten under the sun further down the shaft from the root.
If you're interested in trying the trend out and don't live near a Mizu salon, look for a colorist with experience in painting color and highlights straight onto the hair without using foils, as that's the primary technique for the effect. Foiling can also be used, but is best applied by a colorist who has the ability to do both.
Bumble & Bumble salons also offer the ombre effect, and salons that perform the similar paint-on baliage technique could be another good place to look.
We're just thrilled to find a way to lighten up without the every-four-to-six weeks color commitment.
Click through the gallery above to see some celebs embracing the trend!