The ombre: This Fall’s Hottest Hair Trend

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Ombre Hair Color
Drew Barrymore with ombre hair color
Ombre color is the hot trend for fall. Every fall, the world comes to life in a flurry of rich and exciting colors. This year, autumn’s beautiful transitioning color pallet is the inspiration for one of this season’s hottest hair trends: the ombre.

Ombre hair color is not new per se, but the look has come a long way since its inception in the late 1990s. And thank God for that! The first time I saw an attempted ombre I was horrified. I was standing in line at the grocery store, and there on the cover of IN STYLE magazine was the beautiful Drew Barrymore… with five+ inches of dark brown roots cutting into her golden- blonde curls.

All I could think was “OMG, LOOK at those roots! What the hell happened? Did she run out of money? Has she fallen into a depression? Did she recently go blind? Who the hell rolls out of bed the morning of a cover shoot, sees six inches of root growth, and thinks that’s okay?” Little did I know, I was looking at the start of a whole new hair craze.

Fortunately for those of us in the sighted community, the ombre evolved with time. It slowly moved away from that starkly contrasting, “grown-out-roots” look and transitioned into something subtle, sophisticated and down-right stunning.

Today’s ombre uses gentle gradients of rich color to add warmth, depth, and shine. Reds fade from deep auburn into bright ginger, creating a vibrant and fiery effect. Browns undulate between soft wheat hues and warm chocolate shades, adding depth and interest. And blondes come to life with swirling highlights in silver, pearl, mauve, and gold tones. The results can be spectacular.

Hillary Duff with an ombre hair look.
Hillary Duff with an ombre hair look.
And over the last few months the look has become even softer, with colors that melt together and blend to create a look that is both natural and completely engaging: loose, free flowing, expressive and (most importantly) shiny!

One of the best ways to achieve the new ombre effect is a technique called “free-form painting” or “baylayage.” This color method is already a staple for salons in many large metropolitan areas, and it has just begun showing up in some high-end local salons as well. But before you go rushing off to your normal salon in search of an ombre, be warned: it takes an experienced colorist to successfully create this look

The baylayage technique can be complicated, and using an untrained stylist can leave you looking like hot mess! So, if you are considering an ombre coloring, make sure you seek out a professional colorist who has been trained and certified in the technique.

And, as always, any time you are considering a new style (particularly a color change) schedule a consultation first and ask to see pictures of the stylist’s work. Ask questions, make your desires known, and don’t get intimidated or pressured into working with someone you don’t completely trust: it’s YOUR hair, and you deserve to look gorgeous.

Done correctly, the ombre will leave your hair looking vibrant, expressive, natural and healthy. And with its gentle waves of rich and vivid color, I think the ombre is an amazing way to capture the essence of the colorful fall season