Ombre hair is one trend that doesn’t seem as if it’ll ever go out of style. For years, we watched celebrity stylists craft rich, natural looking color gradients on the heads of our favorite celebrities. With the rise of social media came the second wave of ombre, this one dedicated to pastel hairstyles and fanciful colors that erred on the side of unicorn and mermaid.
If you’ve been hesitating, waiting for the right time to throw your hat into the ombre hair color ring, now is your moment. Finding a stylist who’s skilled at seamlessly blending two hair colors together has never been easier.
Ready to think about deep diving into a sea of ombre beauty? Follow us as we count down our favorite ombre color combinations. There’s no excuse for not going bold.
What is ombre hair color?
The term ombre is a French word that translates to shadow. In the hair world, however, ombre is a coloring technique that gradually blends two colors together. The seamless combination of hues typically transitions a darker base into lighter ends, however, there is a lot of room for customization. Whether you’re a first-timer looking to dabble in color or you’re more of an audacious trendsetter willing to take the plunge and try a fantasy shade, there are no rules for how to melt the hues on your mane. The versatility of the ombre color technique makes it perfect for anyone and everyone.
Wondering what it cost to get an ombre hair color? While it depends on a number of factors including your base color, the condition of your hair, and the salon you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere between $150 to $200 for this color technique.
How do you care for ombre hair?
When it comes to color-treated hair, it’s important to swap your current wash-day products for some that will protect your new shade. We recommend trying the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner. The system has a gentle, sulfate-free formula that helps to strengthen your locks and seal in color.
If you have a naturally dark base color and want to try a fantasy shade or go lighter, it’s important to note that your stylist will likely need to use bleach to lift your current color. Lifting the color will help you get the most prominent hue. While bleach does cause damage, rest assured that your stylist will work with you to leave you with the healthiest-looking results.
One of the best ways to maintain your bright hue is to avoid over washing and rinsing your strands with hot water. Washing your hair too many times—especially with hot water—can hasten the fading process of the vivid colors. Instead, consider using a dry shampoo a couple of times a week to refresh your strands between washes. We recommend the Biolage Waterless Clean & Recharge dry shampoo. The formula helps to remove scalp impurities with oil absorption leaving your hair and scalp feeling clean and revitalized. On the days when you absolutely can’t miss another wash, make sure to rinse using lukewarm temperatures.
Above all, the best thing you can do is remain consistent with your salon appointments to ensure your stylist can help you maintain the most vibrant, lovely looking hair.
Is ombre bad for your hair?
The color process can sometimes be demanding on your strands, especially if there’s bleach involved. Bleach can cause damage which is why it is imperative to use a treatment mask formulated specifically for color-treated hair. We stand by the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask because it helps to provide deep, intense conditioning and acts as a care extender to provide ultimate vibrancy that lasts. Check out our recent editor’s pick to see exactly why we love it and think it’s worth the buy, here.
Ombre Hair Color Ideas
Bright Red And Ginger Spice
Sugar, spice, and everything nice is exactly what comes to mind when we look at this ‘do. The fiery red base adds a spunky twist to the ombre style. When blended into the muted orange tone, we can’t help but daydream about a warm autumnal cup of spiced ginger tea.
Black And Green
This color combination is perfect for those who want to add a little drama to their style without worrying about constant root touch-ups. People will be green with envy staring at your new look.
Dark Purple And Fuschia
Ditch the natural tones and have fun playing with different shades of purple. These varying hues of amethyst create a playful, statement hair color. While the hue may take a bit of extra love and care to maintain, it will be all worth it when you’re swimming in compliments.
Black And Navy
Due to the depth and darkness of these tones, the gradient from black into navy blue is so subtle you can barely see where the transition begins and ends. This shade is perfect for those who want to dabble in color without going against the office dress code. This mix of colors creates a sophisticated, stunning, and most importantly, work-friendly style.
Brown And Ash Blonde
If you’ve been looking for a reason to go blonde, this wintry blend of brown into ash blonde is a win-win. You can test out the “blondes have more fun” theory without having to stress about frequent root touch-ups.
Espresso And Bronde
Let’s be honest, bold and bright colors are all fun and games until it comes down to maintenance. If you’re not interested in investing more time into your hair care routine, you can still rock an ombre that’s as equally captivating as it is easy to care for. The dark espresso brown melts seamlessly into a warm bronde shade creating a look that’s gorgeous.
Light Brown And Hot Pink
This color combination puts a new spin on the mullet’s “business in the front, party in the back, motto.” The traditional light brown base smoothly blended into a hot pink shade is unexpected in the best way possible.
Hairstyles inspired by the most picturesque hours of the day are always our favorite. We adore the sunrise meets ethereal unicorn vibes these pastel tones create. It’s dreamy, captivating, and the exact reason why you should try an ombre.
Auburn And Light Brown
Of all the color combinations in the ombre world, the more popular gradients are always those that use natural earthy tones. Combining auburn and light brown is a great way to get on-trend this season while offering an eye-capturing look.
Brown And Blonde
We can’t help but swoon over this classic brown and blonde ombre. It’s wearable all year round and flattering on all skin tones making it just about the best thing since sliced bread. Add some textured waves to your look and you seriously can’t go wrong.
Royal Blue And Grey
Just because you have shorter strands doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment with the ombre technique. Take your lob haircut and mix a regal shade of royal blue with a poised grey tone for a look that’s as beautiful as the night sky.
Blonde And Baby Blue
If the saying “blondes have more fun” is true, then we think blondes with blue ombre have a blast. This blend of color is so light and sweet it might remind you of cotton candy. Ask your stylist to add peaks of purple for a look that’s refreshing and unique.
Blue And Platinum
This blue base faded into a platinum blonde shade is taking our princess fantasies and turning them into reality. Unleash your inner ice queen with a cool toned look that can take on even the coldest of temperatures.
Copper and Blonde
For summer vacations and in anticipation of warm weather, copper is an excellent choice as a base color. It’s vibrant and friendly, perfect for the coloring of both redheads and blondes. What better way to amp the shade up then by lightening it to a blond through the lengths and ends? You’ll have accomplished playful, sophisticated ombre without giving up any naturalistic feeling.
Brown and Plum
Pastel lavender shades might be the hottest thing on social media, but we’ll always advocate for a darker purple. Paired with dark brown hair, plum is flattering on all skin tones and ages. Plus, it looks just as good while fading out as it does when it’s vibrant. On lengths and textures of all kinds, plum ombre is a smart decision. You can thank us once you’re receiving compliments for your beautifully opulent hair color.
Black and Cherry
If you’ve tried plum but feel like you’d rather kick your hair color up a notch, we have a solution to your mane dilemma: black and cherry ombre. This goth-tinged take on black hair opens up your mane to new possibilities. There’s no need to feel one-note when you have glorious, fruity red across your ends. It’s playful but still work appropriate—our favorite dynamics to balance between.
Black and Violet
Emotionally tied to black roots but cherry just isn’t cutting it for you? Violet is a more youthful take on the color, one that incorporates bright notes of magenta alongside the more traditional purple. Violet ends are ideal for the woman who likes to make a dramatic entrance and maybe have her friends create a nickname that’s totally based on her hair color. It’s not mandatory, but don’t be surprised if it happens.
Espresso and True Blue
While we’re talking all the most eccentric colors of the rainbow, it’s crucial that we take the time to talk about electric blue. Placed next to espresso roots, the shade is exciting and vibrant—and dare we say, a little punk rock? If you’re working with a dark base but find you fear damage too much to really commit to this look, a set of dyed extensions can create a similar optical illusion.
Fuchsia and Peach
Rule breakers, this color combination is designed to fit your aesthetic. There’s no commandment that says you have to start every ombre with a natural-looking base color. Instead, you can shock your friends by working with two colors in a similar palette—fuchsia and peach, for example. Far from looking childish, this pairing will read as creative and unique.
Cobalt and Hot Pink
When it comes to hair color, thinking out of the box can really set you apart from every other young creative. We always advocate trying a truly wild color at least once in your life. In this case, it’s cobalt and hot pink ombre. Like some fanciful video game character or space princess, your hair will make a statement.
Chestnut and Gold
Potentially the most popular color combination on this list, chestnut and gold ombre is a super flattering, warm take on autumnal hair. Gold has the unique ability to make women of all complexions look just a little bit healthier and more beautiful. Combined with the slight red notes of chestnut hair, it’s unstoppable.
Light Brown and Rose Gold
Like the idea of chestnut and gold but worry about overwhelming your complexion? Just want to lighten up a bit for spring? Well, we have you covered either way. Talk to your stylist about blending a flattering light brown into a mauve-inspired rose gold shade. We call this the best blend of brunette, blonde, and rainbow possible. Have your cake and eat it, too.
Brown and Caramel
Yet another take on the brown and blonde mix, brown and caramel is a natural-looking ombre that highlights the complexion and helps visually slim out the face. To make sure you’re getting most of the color combination, ask your colorist to place strategic highlights around your face. It’s all the glow of taking a tropical vacation without any long flights or layovers.
Charcoal and Silver
This isn’t your grandmother’s silver hair, friend. Instead, it’s a cool girl look that is perfect for Friday night and Monday morning. Your colorist will blend deep, matte charcoal roots into a dazzling silver shade that catches the light. Whether you’re working with a lob or some serious length, charcoal and silver will play well with your length.
On the fanciful side of things, peacock ombre is an excellent way to show off several jewel tones at once like the beautiful, exotic bird you are. For this look, your dark brown roots will become bright violet, emerald, and sapphire. Because this color is so opulent, we highly recommend it for long-haired ladies who are looking to show off their waves.
Of all the hair colors with elaborate names that have crossed our social media feeds, sunset ombre is the standout. This ombre look runs through pinks, reds, yellows, and oranges, mimicking a particularly beautiful summer sunset. If you’re a hair color veteran who understands the ins and outs of keep neon shades vibrant, sunset ombre is probably a good pick.