Ombré Hair Is The Lower-Maintenance Way To Play With Color

When one hue isn't enough.

Expert-backed ombre hair color tips for your prettiest highlights.
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Few hair color trends have had the staying power of ombré hair. Variations go by a number of names — from balayage to color melts to root shadows — but whatever the iteration, it’s clear that strands that melt across hues aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Exhibit A: The hashtag “#ombrehair” on TikTok returns over 142 million results. And with summer basically here, you have even more of a reason to finally try the trend for yourself. As celebrity and editorial hairstylist Joseph Chase says, “Ombré hair is a great way to brighten your look for that beach vibe.” Plus, he adds, the look tends to be lower maintenance than other color jobs, which means less time in the salon chair and less damage (both ideal). To that point, celeb stylist and salon owner Cheryl T. Bergamy says opting for ombré “gives an effortless boost to any hairstyle.”

Another theory behind the everlasting appeal of ombré hair color? According to celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist Jess Elbaum, it’s all about nostalgia. She’s found that clients tend to be attracted to that natural glow reminiscent of childhood hair that spent a summer outside being kissed by the sun. If you’re sold, scroll on — Bustle asked the color pros for some tips on how to nail ombré hair this summer.

1. Consider Your Skin Tone

For the most natural take on ombré hair, keep your complexion in mind. Bergamy says her favorite looks are the ones where the hair complements the wearer’s skin tone. “I love women with cooler undertones paired with medium brown hair color, and cool chestnuts with a hint of mocha chocolate,” she explains. For warmer tones, she’s a fan of golden light brown to ash blonde.

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2. Play With Texture

The cool thing about ombré color is that it can look different depending on how you style it. Bergamy notes that while soft beach waves and bone straight strands are classic ways to showcase your gradient color, ombré also looks great when you add texture. “On textured hair, a twist out or braided out style looks amazing with ombré hair because the dimensions of color shine through,” she tells Bustle.

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3. Try Fun Colors

For a more playful take, consider doing ombré by way of bright colors like pinks, purples, or oranges. If you’ve always wanted to try a candy-colored shade, this is a way to experiment without dyeing your entire head. Chase adds that this doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment, either. “You can have fun with this look by putting on some wash-out, bright temporary colors,” he says. In other words: It’s perfect for those summer parties and backyard hangouts.

4. Go To A Salon

You’ve heard it before, but for the best results, let a professional color your hair for you. “Make sure you go to an experienced stylist so it looks as natural as possible,” Elbaum says. A colorist will also help you figure out which shade would work best with your skin tone, adds Bergamy, as well as the technique necessary for achieving the look. And, above all else, you don’t want to jeopardize your hair’s health. “Ombré is usually achieved with lightener (bleach), and leaving it on too long can damage the hair,” Chase explains.

Now all you have to do is figure out your dream shade.