At Number 8 as hairstylists, know the difference between an Ombre and a balayage. But we get asked this question ALL THE TIME! Or we get an appointment request for an “Ombre balayage” and we are over here thinking, “Well, which one?!” So we are here to set the record straight and share with you the difference between the two styles.

Ombre is the “Style”

The word Ombre comes from the French word “shadow”. Ombre is the actual style. It is the transition of a lighter shade from a darker shade. Generally, Ombre’s work best on brunettes because it is the least subtle of all the techniques, a sombre is what we would see on blondes. That technique is subtler, hence the word sombre. Ombre is great for the more daring girl, it is definitely more noticeable. Ombre is kind of like colour blocking, there are no dark pieces left on the bottom to help keep it natural, just a nice transitional blend between the colours. Ombre can also be more maintenance for you, whilst if you’re already naturally dark you think your roots will not show, you might be in for a shock that you’ll need a top up of this service within 6 weeks. Also, the amount of lightened colour on the ends looks fab you’ll need to look after your hair much more with this style as the hair is typically more heavily coloured than normal. Get ready to dip into your hair fund for some good quality products to maintain your Ombre. While the Ombre is a beautiful look, it is also something that needs to be done right! A bad Ombre can make all the difference and please don’t try to do it on your own ladies! That’s the style called Homebre and no one wants that!
Here are a few examples of some Ombre’s that we have done here at the salon:


Dying for an Ombre? Make an Appt! 01872 260424

Balayage is the “Technique”

The two are very similar, but there are very obvious distinctions between the two! And we’ve seen a rise in this colour service dramatically! The word “Balayage” comes from another French word meaning “to sweep”. Now, if you have ever seen someone get a balayage in the salon, this probably makes sense to you. When applying the colour for a balayage, you sweep the colour through small triangle sections of the hair onto a board or foil, giving it the natural transition down into the lighter colour. This technique looks like natural sun-kissed highlights throughout the hair. The transition is more natural, and it is less maintenance than an Ombre.

To show you some visuals of our own work, scroll down!

Need a little Balayage? Make an Appt! 01872 260424

Now that you know the difference, are you comfortable with changing your hair up?! See hope so! Make an appointment today and get on trend! We look forward to hearing your comments and seeing your shares!

Other Similar Techniques


Babylights are super subtle and delicate highlights created using a technique that mimics the subtle, dimensional hair colour seen on children’s hair. Hence “baby”lights. This look is very natural looking and creates the ultimate sun-kissed expression on the hair. This technique is very similar to highlights, with a touch of balayage. The amount of hair in the foil is the main difference. Babylights require much less hair than traditional highlights. The result is subtle but beautiful and amazing for blonde on blonde dimension!


Foilyage is another new trend similar to the above techniques. The process essentially combines the way balayage is painted and the vibrancy that foils achieves with the colour. This technique is essentially the upgraded version on balayage and a saving grace for dark hair since it incorporates foil (meaning you get more lift).