Changing Shades: The Ombre Effect

In today’s world of hair color, many are looking to the trend of ombre to express their style. The word ombre finds its origin in the French language meaning shaded. This perfectly describes the effect that is created on the hair. Typically, the hair begins as a dark shade at the roots and begins to gradually become lighter around the middle of the hair shaft. However, many people are experimenting with different, vibrantly colorful hues that are graduated from one shade to another. After establishing the basic concept of ombre, it is necessary to explore the different types of ombre effects that can be achieved. The three main kinds are dip dye, (regular) ombre, and balayage. Any of these styles are great for an individual that desires relatively low-maintenance color on their hair, because as the regrowth emerges in the hair, it is not as noticeable (if at all).

Dip Dye

This effect has a more dramatic transition between the different colors on the hair, and gets its name because the ends of the hair appear to have been dipped into one or more colors. Many love to use bright hues that range all over the color spectrum for the dip dye effect.



Classic ombre is a slightly more subtle effect than dip dye, but there is still a distinct definition in the gradual change between the shades of hair that are usually fading from dark at the roots to light at the ends of the hair.

Ombre hair style Balayage

Originating from the French word meaning “to sweep,” balayage creates the subtlest of the ombre effects. The sweeping describes the manner in which highlights are hand-painted onto the hair, giving a very natural, sun-kissed look towards the ends. This happens to be my personal favorite and the look I am currently sporting!


If you choose to go for an ombre hair color, make sure it is the one that best suits your personality and lifestyle. All are fun to try and easy to maintain with a little creativity and quality hair care.

Blog post by Aveda Institute Tallahassee Cosmetology student: Katie Geeker