Few hair color trends have had the staying power of ombre hair. The variations go by a number of names — from color-faded balayage to root shadows — but regardless of the iteration, it’s clear that strands that fade through hues aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Exhibit A: The “#ombrehair” hashtag on TikTok returns over 142 million results. And with summer essentially here, you have even more reason to finally try the trend for yourself. As celebrity hairstylist and columnist Joseph Chase says, “Ombre hair is a great way to liven up your look for that beachy 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). At this point, celebrity stylist and salon owner Cheryl T. Bergamy says opting for ombre “gives an effortless boost to any hairstyle.”
Another theory behind the eternal appeal of ombre hair color? According to celebrity hair and makeup artist Jess Elbaum, it’s all about nostalgia. She’s found that clients tend to be drawn to that natural glow that’s reminiscent of childhood hair that spent a summer outside being kissed by the sun. If you’re sold, scroll down — Bustle asked the color pros for tips on how to nail ombre hair this summer.
1. Consider your skin tone
For the most natural take on ombre hair, keep your skin tone in mind. Bergamy says her favorite looks are ones where the hair complements the skin tone of the wearer. “I like 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 is a fan of light golden brown to ash blonde.
2. Play with textures
The cool thing about ombre color is that it can look different depending on how you style it. Bergamy notes that while soft beachy waves and bone-straight strands are classic ways to show off your faded color, ombre also looks great when you add texture. “On textured hair, a twist or braided style looks amazing with ombre hair because the dimensions of the color show through,” she told Bustle.
3. Try fun colors
For a more playful version, consider doing ombré with bright colors like pink, purple or orange. If you’ve ever wanted to try a candy-colored shade, this is one way to experiment without dyeing your entire head. Chase adds that it doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment either. “You can have fun with this look by putting on bright, faded temporary colors,” he says. In other words: it’s perfect for summer parties and outings in the garden.
4. Go to a salon
You’ve heard it before, but for best results, let a professional color your hair for you. “Make sure you go to an experienced stylist to make it look as natural as possible,” Elbaum says. A colorist will also help you figure out which shade would work best for your skin tone, Bergamy adds, as well as the technique needed to achieve the look. And most importantly, you don’t want to jeopardize the health of your hair. “Ombré is usually achieved with a lightener (bleach), and leaving it too long can damage the hair,” says Chase.
All you have to do is find the shade of your dreams.