18 Ombre Hair Ideas

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Ranging from neon to pastel, dark on light, light on dark, and subtle to in-your-face, we’ve put together a collection of 18 ombre hair ideas. So no matter your style, you’re sure to find something that speaks to you.

Before you book your next hair appointment, have a look through our inspirational ombres to take your style to the next level!


What’s The Difference Between Ombre And Balayage?

Both Ombre and Balayage are highlighting techniques that have some similarities. Despite these two terms often being used interchangeably, they are not the same. So don’t worry about feeling silly because you’re unsure of the difference between the two. You are definitely not alone.


 ‘Ombre’ (technically spelled, ombré) is the French word for ‘shaded’ and is used to refer to the gradient of color in which the hair seamlessly graduates from dark to light.

Ombre involves color being uniformly applied horizontally with full saturation of the section and then blended upwards to diffuse, or blend the line.

The result is a color gradient that (usually) goes from dark at the roots to light at the tips.

This gradient styling is popular from logo and graphic design to hair color to nail design. It’s everywhere.


‘Balayage’ is also French a word and translates to ‘sweep’, but is used to describe the freehand color painting technique used to apply the highlights where the color is swept onto the hair with a brush.

Balayage technique

Balayage is a more “freestyle” technique. Starting with a fine section higher up, roughly a couple of inches from the roots, the color is painted on the top layer of the hair with the section gradually getting thicker and feathering out as it moves down toward the ends.

Because the highlight color is applied to the surface of each section of hair, the underside remains darker, resulting in more natural-looking highlights with less noticeable root regrowth than traditional foil highlights.

Balayage can take a little longer to do than a straight dye job, but it’s worth it!

18 Ombre Hair Ideas 

#1. Brown to Blonde Ombre

Brown to blonde is a classic color combo that will never steer you wrong. Complete this sun-kissed effect with waves and texture. It’s also great at disguising regrowth, making it a very low-maintenance style.

Credit: Instagram / fabhairbyalana

#2. Black to Platinum Ombre

The monochromatic icy tones of this black to platinum ombre compliment just about every skin tone, not to mention outfit!

Credit: Instagram / ahhmetooz

#3. Chestnut to Indigo Ombre

The rich chestnut brown blends effortlessly into the deep indigo. Despite indigo being a hair color that doesn’t occur naturally in hair, this color combination manages to make this ombre subtle enough for even those who are a little more conservative but still want to add a little color.

Credit: Instagram / cassandra_foehr

#4. Purple Ombre

There is nothing subtle about this purple ombre. It has just about every color of purple, starting from deep aubergine, amethyst, electric grape to violet and tapering off with periwinkle.

Any attempt to run the gamut of multiple tones of a color for an ombre, will require long hair. And if done right, it looks absolutely stunning.

Credit: Instagram / roguehairstudio

#5. Ombre For Shorter Hair

Ombres aren’t just for long hair! Though you do need a bit of length to get the effect, an ash brown to blonde ombre works perfectly with this choppy bob.

For an ombre with shorter hair, it’s best to stick with 2 main colors that are relatively close in shade. Shorter hair does not have enough length for an ombre with multiple tones, like the purple ombre above, for example.

To avoid ending up looking like you have stripes across your head, stick with a 2-toned ombre for a much more natural look. And don’t go too short with this – ombre pixie cuts are tough!

Credit: Instagram / lucilebrown

#6. Brown to Purple Ombre

This brown to purple ombre will no doubt draw attention with its smooth transition to an unexpected color that gives it an almost ethereal look.

Credit: Instagram / hair_by_lt

#7. Strawberry Blonde to Rose Gold and Pink Ombre

These luscious colors make this sweet ombre look good enough to eat!

Credit: Instagram / ombrehairr

#8. Black to Teal Ombre

Black hair is the perfect canvas to showcase daring colors. Just note that prepping naturally black hair for an ombre requires more time, effort, and patience.

The ends will need to be bleached in order to achieve a successful result.

However, the electric teal creates such a striking contrast to black hair that it will make all the effort to achieve this ombre well worth your while.

Credit: Instagram / aaashleee

#9. Smoky Grey Ombre

This combination of smoky, ashy grey and black is a subtle, yet gorgeous take on the ombre. Its neutral palette makes this an ombre that will never go out of style and perfect for all occasions.

Credit: Instagram / miguel6944

#10. Hot Tamale Ombre

Working equally well with black or dark brown hair, a dark to bright red ombre is not for those who don’t like attention. Because sporting this ombre will have heads turning everywhere you go!

Credit: Instagram / arcticfoxhaircolor

#11. Cherry Cola Ombre

This richly colored ombre will add depth and dimension to black or dark brown hair with its perfectly complementing dark burgundy.

Credit: Instagram / izzythestylist

#12. Blonde to Purple Ombre

The dramatic contrast between light blonde hair and the dark purple ends makes this ombre all the much more attention-grabbing.

Just remember bright colors tend to fade faster, so make sure you use a color-preserving shampoo.

Credit: Instagram / joyahairdesign

#13. Navy to Periwinkle Ombre

The deep navy base that blends perfectly into the light periwinkle ends gives off a rich and luxurious vibe. Your roots don’t have to be your natural color to rock an ombre, and this navy periwinkle combo is proof.

Credit: Instagram / ombrehairstylish

#14. Red to Blonde Ombre

Warm copper and golden blonde tones are the perfect complements to red hair. Whether you’ve been blessed with naturally red hair or have chosen to embrace red over your own, this ombre will take it to the next level.

Rich in color and warmth, this divine blend makes a statement.

Credit: Instagram / parvinebeautysalon

#15. Black To Navy Ombre

Pairing a dark base with dark ends of a different color makes for a more subtle ombre. A black with navy ombre radiates elegance and can surprisingly carry off a sophisticated style, despite blue usually being thought of as an anything-but-traditional hair color.

Credit: Instagram / rachelturleybeauty 

#16. Purple, Magenta & Yellow Ombre

Now If subtle isn’t your style and you are looking to stand out in a crowd, this over-the-top ombre combines purple, magenta, and yellow \guarantees that you will not go unnoticed.

Credit: Instagram / roguehairstudio

#17. Mermaid Ombre

Speaking of not-so-subtle, this ombre, inspired by the pristine turquoise waters of the tropics, will have you channeling your inner mermaid.

Credit: Instagram / taylorrae_hair

#18. Peekaboo Ombre

Not sure about going all-in on the ombre?

A peekaboo highlight ombre might be just the ticket. It’s a great way to add color, whether you want to go bold or subtle, while at the same time being able to decide how much of the color you want to have visible.

Credit: Instagram / punkyhaircolor

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).