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No Longer a Trend, Balayage, Color Melting, and Ombré are Here to Stay

While many refer to balayage, color melt, ombré coloring techniques as “trends,” we think they’re anything but. After all, they hit the scene hot a couple years back and the “trend” hasn’t slowed down since.

In fact, rich warm brown and caramel tones along with rich jewel hues are only getting more popular now that fall has hit.

If you’re one of the many people looking to make a hair change with the new season and were interested in jumping on the balayage/color melt/ombré train, we thought it would be fun and helpful to give you a breakdown on these beautiful techniques.

And don’t worry, we included plenty of hairspiration from the Bang Salon D.C. stylists for good measure in here, too.

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Even out those summer streaks and melt them into a beautiful balayage for fall. Balayage, cut, and style by Elsa at Bang Salon U St.

What is balayage/color melt/ombré?

All these terms refer to a style that involves coloring techniques that take the hair from darker to lighter as you move from root to tip. Because the essence of the look (from dark to light) is the same for all of these styles, it’s easy to think they’re the same, but they’re not.

If you ask your stylist for a balayage ombré, they’re going to be left wondering whether you want balayage or ombré.

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Fall ombré action by Cat at Bang Salon at the Verizon Center.

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Jamie’s balayage always on point at Bang Salon Metropole.

So, what’s the difference between them?

Let’s start with ombré. Ombré is French for “two-toned” and ombré styles are typically done to look very obvious, or it can be done subtly (a term for subtle ombré is sombré, we know, so many words).

Ombré is a dark-to-light fade where all the hair near the root is dark and then dramatically transitions to a fully light shade at the bottom in a style that looks similar to color-blocking. This look typically works better for brunettes since you can see the stark change in color, but sombré works better for lighter hair where a more subtle light shade is needed to make the transition from darker to lighter.

Sombré is also a good option for those who simply want a more natural-looking ombré style.

Balayage, on the other hand, is a technique where stylists freehand color on to the hair in a sweeping, vertical motion using the tip of the brush to create a natural looking highlight. This style also typically involves using a lighter color so that strands transition from darker to lighter, but instead of a “color-blocked” contrast, this one is more seamless and gradual.

Finally, color melting is when a stylist uses three or more colors and overlaps them in a way to create a seamless blending of shades that looks like it could’ve naturally occurred, even if the colors used to achieve the effect aren’t natural hair colors. The goal with color melting is to not know where one shade begins or ends.

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From ombré to soft balayage by Sarah Alison at Bang Salon at the Verizon Center. The perfect way to transition your color.

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Lightened ends and darkened base for an extreme ombré. Cut, color, and style by Jamie at Bang Salon Metropole. 

What are the benefits of these hair coloring techniques? 

With all three of these terms and techniques, the upkeep and maintenance is much lower than that of highlights or your single or double process style.

Since all these looks emphasize either a natural blending or a purposely dark root, there’s no need to get frequent touch ups, which is not only nice for your wallet, but much more friendly for your hair.

Also, you’ll find that these looks are stunning on all hair textures and provide for a versatility other color techniques and treatments don’t accommodate.

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“Results of a Balayage/Ombré that I did over a month ago! This client usually leaves with wet hair, but we did an express keratin treatment, and I was pleased to see the color. The next time she comes in, we are going to do an Olaplex treatment and trim.” – Ciera from Bang Salon at The Yards.

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Soft brunette balayage by Sarah Alison at Bang Salon at the Verizon Center.

Ready to take the balayage, color melt, or ombré plunge? Get in touch with one of our four locations and book your appointment today:

Bang Salon at the Verizon Center: 202.737.2264

Bang Salon at The Yards: 202.628.3222

Bang Salon Metropole: 202.588.5555

Bang Salon U Street: 202.299.0925

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