Main content
Photos of women with ombre hair

Ombre Hair Color: 54 Examples of the Low-Maintenance Trend That’s Not Going Anywhere

If you’re wondering if ombre hair is for you, we’re breaking down everything you need to know plus 54 of the best ombre hair ideas to try.

While many hair trends are passing fads (think: that hot minute we all thought butterfly clips were making a comeback), there are a few trends that end up being salon staples. One that’s fully cemented its place in the hair world on Instagram and IRL is ombre hair color, a low-maintenance color technique that seamlessly blends shades from dark to light.

The precursor to balayage, ombre hair has come a long way from being a natural-looking blend of dark roots to light ends. Now, ombre hair color comes in a full spectrum of gradients from muted pastels to fantasy colors that evoke visions of unicorns and mermaids.

If you’re interested in giving ombre hair a try, we’re here to help. Here’s everything you need to know about the trend that continues to show no sign of slowing down, along with some serious color inspo, too!

What is ombre, exactly?

Typically starting with dark roots and lighter ends, ombre brings some serious depth and drama to any hairstyle. It’s a gradient color application that gradually and subtly fades as the hair gets longer. And, as an added bonus, results in less upkeep. Because your roots are always dark, you can let more time pass in between sessions than with single process colors or highlights.

Are ombre and balayage the same thing?

Fact: Ombre hair color walked so balayage could run. Despite often being interchanged, there is a difference between ombre and balayage—so be sure you ask for the right thing at the salon.

Balayage technique can be used to perfect your ombre, because it calls for subtle highlights to be painted on the strands, versus using foils or caps. Ombre, however, has much less dimension through the mid-lengths and ends than traditional balayage. (Fun fact: In French, balayage means to sweep!)

Will I look good with ombre?

Ombre can look flattering on any mane with a bit of customization. Your colorist can create a personalized ombre look that fits your hair type, texture, and skin tone to ensure the best possible results.

Is ombre low maintenance?

If you’re wary of monthly root touch-ups, the ombre technique is a great choice for you. Ombre hair color doesn’t begin right at the root, which means it will grow out gracefully and require much less upkeep than all-over color.

Is ombre hair still in style in 2020?

While other low-maintenance looks like face-framing highlights and rooted blonde have commanded the spotlight in recent months, ombre hair is still very much on-trend.

How do you maintain ombre hair at home?

Even though ombre is low maintenance, you can still expect to make a few changes to your at-home hair care routine to ensure that your hue stays fresh between salon appointments. We always recommend kicking off your color-care routine in the shower with a shampoo and conditioner system like Biolage Colorlast Shampoo and Conditioner. This system helps protect the depth, tone, and shine of color-treated hair.

Next, you’ll want to invest in a color-toning shampoo and conditioner tailored to your specific hue. Swap your regular shampoo and conditioner for a toning system once a week. If you’re a blonde looking to keep brass at bay between appointments, opt for Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo and Conditioner. Lightened brunettes should pick up a color-depositing blue toning system like Redken’s Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo and Conditioner to neutralize brassy and orange undertones. For anyone with a dark base and red undertones, we recommend Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Shampoo and Conditioner.

If your colorist used bleach to create your ombre look, your strands might feel more damaged and dry than usual. Add a weekly hair mask like the editor-approved L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Masque. This formula deeply nourishes and hydrates damaged and weakened hair.

Who is ombre best for?

An ombre color is an excellent option for anyone looking for dazzling hues, extra dimension, and minimal upkeep. It’s also pretty great if you can’t decide whether you want to be blonde or brunette.

While the first session may mean extra time in the chair (especially if you need a single process first), the upkeep is super low key—since you already start out with a root, it grows out looking naturally and quite beautiful.

If you’re ready to try ombre hair color but not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favorite ombres—from pink to purple, natural to fantasy, and everything in between.

54 Ombre Hair Ideas We Love

Good hair day by @luxe_blond_stilist.

Caramel Ombre

Ombre doesn’t always have to be about drama and making a statement. This subtle caramel look makes that point crystal clear! With molten dark roots that melt into sultry golden blonde, you’re very likely to knock ‘em dead.

Good hair day by @shmeggsandbaconn.

Platinum to Pink

While we’re on the subject of shades that look lovely next to fanciful colors, let us have this moment to advocate for pink. The hue has been popular for several years, but nowhere does it look better than next to platinum.


Chocolate to Mauve

As pink-colored hair goes, this color combination is understated. Your hair stylist will begin with a base of chocolate brown, a rich hue that’s reflective and flattering on most skin tones. Mid-length, the color will morph into a dusty rose mauve shade. With this hair look, you’ll be totally on-trend with the growing popularity of millennial pink. More importantly, you’ll be able to try pink without shocking your friends and family.


Ash Brown to Cool Pink

Matte, ashy shades are all the rage in the hair world, and with good reason: They look effortless and cool. The more lived-in and luxurious the color, the more we want to try it out. For the ultimate cool girl hair color, ask your stylist to create a medium ash brown that becomes icy pink at the tips. For this look, the ends are all you need to make a style statement.


Dirty Blonde to Lilac

Lilac is the perfect shade for ladies who’d like to try out a pastel accent color, but can’t quite bring themselves to commit to pink. It’s the same general aesthetic—all the brightness, but none of the bubblegum. This hair color looks wonderful against dirty blonde, perhaps the most underappreciated shade in the blonde family. It’s muted and subtle, never flashy.


Pink Gradient Bob

We’re practically drooling over this hair look, which starts with dark raspberry roots that fade into blush before becoming a very bright pink-blonde shade. If you’re a pink fanatic, this ombre look is the cotton candy style you’ve always hoped to try.

A word of advice for the pink-curious: To attain the right degree of vividness, your stylist will need to lighten your hair. Be prepared for a little damage to occur, and make sure you’ve got a moisturizing routine ready.


Ash Blonde to Light Pink

You already know we’re going to advocate any pink combination that involves an ashy base, but this ash blonde look is truly special. Instead of neon pink or anything particularly girly, your hair stylist will color your ends a muted, cool shade that’s more fashion week than it is middle school dance.


Chestnut to Rose Gold

If you’re in the market for an ombre look that can warm up your features while still provide the adrenaline rush of a fresh new ‘do, look no further than a chestnut brown and rose gold combination. Pastel pink may have become popular years ago, but rose gold is a blonde-tinted take on the shade.

To get the most out of your ombre, try this color combination on a lob or shag. Ask your stylist to start the berry hue around your eye level.


Bright Blonde to Icy Pink

Alright, blondies, we’ve got a color combination for you. This watercolor wash is a dreamy summer look, one that takes the blonde you’ve worked so hard to maintain to the next level.

Here’s the best part of this ombre: Because you’re going for a washed-out look, maintenance is incredibly simple. The more pigment that washes out, the better your hair will look.


Pewter to Pink

If you’ve already committed to silver or gray, there’s plenty of reason for you to add pink to your strands. The icy notes in your hair look sweet and alluring next to the popsicle-light shade, adding a hint of whimsy to the fashion-forward ‘do.


Flame Ombre

Flame-inspired ombre is perhaps the most classic version of this style, one that leans heavily on neon red with deep amber undertones. Starting with the darkest colors at the roots, your colorist will then transition your mane into shades of orange and warm yellow.


Fiery Mermaid Ombre

By now, you’re probably well aware the mermaid hair trend is happening. Those aquatic blues and greens couldn’t be farther from the smoky tones of fiery mermaid hair. Using the same idea of a gradient with a totally different color scheme, this steamy look creates drama with shades of orange and yellow. Unlike flame ombre, fiery mermaid doesn’t lean quite as heavily on red tones. If this is a fire, it’s just a little one.


Dark Auburn Fire Ombre

One you’ve tried dark auburn hair, it’s hard to fall in love with anything else. This deep red brown shade combines the best of both copper and chocolate, flattering every kind of complexion. Whereas flame ombre focuses on bright, fresh-feeling shades, dark auburn fire ombre is an autumnal shade that’s much darker. Don’t let the fall foliage outshine you this season. Instead, let your hair be the star.


Dark Red Fire Ombre

If you’re a redhead who’s been seeking a way to spice up your ‘do, dark red fire ombre is an excellent choice. Working with your natural base shade, your colorist will add hints of bright red and tangerine throughout your mid-lengths and ends. This is what we like to refer to as instant bombshell hair. The shade is muted and soft, with gold ends that illuminate the complexion without overpowering it. For fall or winter, dark red fire ombre is an excellent choice.


Dark Brown Fire Ombre

Brunettes, don’t feel left out! There’s a fire ombre that fits you, too. If you’re looking for a brunette shade with nuance, dark brown fire ombre is about to be a lifesaver. Instead of adding significant amounts of gold to your hair, a good colorist should focus on creating medium red throughout your mid-lengths. For an extra touch, a hint of gold on your ends will look lovely.


Neon Red Fire Ombre

There’s one motto we always share with friends who can’t quite decide if they’re ready for a statement hair color: Why not? Neon hair isn’t for everybody, but we stand by it as the ultimate choice for ladies who adore standing out from a crowd.


Black Fire Ombre

Do you love the idea of fluorescent locks, but can’t quite bring yourself to deal with the damage of lifting color from your entire head? Rest assured, there’s a take on fire ombre that’s perfectly suited for your natural mane.


Pink and Gold Fire Ombre

If you’re looking for a way to combine pastel hair colors with the fire ombre trend, we’ve got you covered. There’s a lighter, brighter take on rose gold that we’re loving, and it begins with dusty mauve roots. Instead of fading the color into a bright yellow, your colorist will use the opportunity to build a luxe gold shade at your ends.


Copper Fire Ombre

Copper is one of our favorite hair colors because of the way it rides the line between brown and red. It’s dynamic and sultry without being too in-your-face. So, it only follows that a version of fire ombre that’s based in copper shades would be equally gorgeous.


Sunset Hair

Every few years, a color comes along that truly startles the hair industry out of complacency. Sunset hair is one of those shades, cycling through electrifying purple, red, orange, and gold to mimic the shades of a tropical sundown.


Long Grey Waves

If your general vibe is “model on vacation” or “reality star turned beauty guru,” long grey waves are probably the look that’s best for you. Few hairstyles are more elegant or simpler than this look, which benefits from the addition of color-matched extensions for thickness. Clipping in an extra track or two will provide extra fullness, whether you’re wearing your lengths in a loose braid or long, beachy curls.

Using a large-barreled curling iron, give your light grey lengths a gentle twist. To show off your hair color to the best effect, we advocate the generous application of shine serum. Don’t forget to finish off your look with a texturizing spray for strands that look more voluminous and lived-in. Voila, instant Instagram model hair.


Dark Roots with Grey Ombre

Celebrity colorists nearly always give the same trick when it comes to hair color: Leave the roots dark. While it may seem controversial, there’s reason behind the madness. Just the way shadows in a painting indicate depth, a dark root section adds three-dimensionality to your new color. That’s particularly true with brighter colors like silver.

As the hue fades into dark gray at the ends, you’ll be grateful for the notable variation in color. Trust us—the pros are never wrong, especially not when it comes to visible roots.


Pin-Straight Long Ombre

When you’ve just left the salon, the only goal on your mind should be how best to show off this incredibly opulent ombre. Opt for a pin straight look, since sleek strands have a reflective quality that your natural texture may not. If you love the look of extensions, now is your moment to clip them in.


Short Silver Lob

The lob hasn’t shown any signs of going out of style. Because the cropped look is so blunt and straight, it’s an excellent cut for showing off fresh hair color. After your colorist completes your silver to grey ombre, ask for a single-length cut.

To make the most of your silvery strands, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality flat iron and heat protectant spray. Section off your strands and straighten one at a time, finishing the style with a sharp center part (we always recommend using a long-tailed comb for maximum precision).


Ashy Ombre

There’s no such thing as too much ashiness when it comes to hair, particularly in more fanciful shades like grey. For an ultra-modern take on the color, ask your colorist for a matte finish that’s both fresh and youthful. No matter your hair length or style, you’re certainly going to be fielding compliments. This is cool girl hair if we’ve ever seen it.


Grey Ombre Ringlets

When it comes to whimsical hair colors, colorists often end up defending the wearability of their creations. Grey hair is just as appropriate for weddings and formal events as it is for daily office wear. Who doesn’t want a wedding guest with fabulous grey hair? We’d even go so far as to call it the most black tie-appropriate of all hair colors.

In preparation for the special day, try ringlets on your newly dyed strands. Using a one-inch wand, create curls in one direction around your face. Coat the style with hairspray. Once your mane is cool, use your fingers to break up the ringlets into loose curls.


Ombre French Braid

If you’re a long-haired lady, you probably already rely on braiding techniques to keep your strands away from your face and create heat-free waves. While the style is certainly excellent for all that, there’s one braiding truth you may not know: Any updo makes hair color look so much better. All that bending and twisting pulls your strands taught, giving them the opportunity to reflect extra light.

Have a fresh grey ombre you’re hoping to show off to the world? A simple French braid or Dutch braid (the same technique, just inside out) is your best bet.


Old Hollywood Silver Bob

What better homage to the silver screen than hair that looks like it’s straight from a black and white film? Since silver hair is already an eccentric move, we like the look of the hue in a retro style. With that in mind, a waved bob is an excellent choice.

Pairing fresh color with a short length is a smart move for several reasons. Primarily, you’re going to have less hair to dye—that means a quicker appointment and less time in the salon chair. Secondly, you’ll have less damage to deal with. Instead of trying to manage broken ends, you can let your hair air dry and give it a little time off from heat styling.


Lilac Ombre

One of our absolute favorite things about grey ombre is how nicely it plays with other colors. You’re not stuck with blonde or titanium—experimenting with hints of pink, purple, and blue is encouraged. With that in mind, let’s talk about our favorite color combo: lilac and grey.

Instead of feeling overdone or cartoonish, the pairing of lilac and pale silver looks incredibly sophisticated. Plus, the purplish hue is ideal for all complexions. If you’re feeling really daring, try the look with hints of platinum blonde mixed in for variety. It’s like holographic hair, just a little bit more unique.


Magenta Ombre

One of the greatest hair color challenges is finding a shade that feels exciting but still meets your office dress code. If you’re facing strict standards but still want to play with a fantasy shade, magenta ombre will fit your black mane beautifully.


Muted Strawberry Ombre

As the pastel trend of several years grows and evolves, we’re seeing more professional stylists playing with muted takes on bright favorites. Take, for example, this toned-down strawberry ombre. Rather than becoming the focal point of your look, it harmonizes with a variety of makeup and clothing colors.


Sunset Ombre

If you have the time and budget to spring for a sensational hair color, let sunset ombre be the one you pick. For this look, your stylist will blend ebony roots into orange, red, and yellow tones throughout the mid-lengths and ends. If you’re working with hair that’s naturally black, the grow-out process will be painless.


Bubblegum Ombre

Pink is a divisive color that seems to attract either adoration or loathing. If you’re one of those people who would dunk every item they own in pink paint, bubblegum ombre is likely an excellent fit. Black and pink is a classic, dramatic hair combination.


Slate Ombre

Go gray the fashionable way—at the ends, not the roots! This charcoal blend will lessen the impact of a totally black mane and wink at blue tones in the sunlight. Because the overall ombre is so elegant and subtle, we recommend this one for ladies with long hair.


Jewel Ombre

There’s no rule requiring you to choose just one ombre color. If you’re indecisive, try them all! This gorgeous blend of blue and purple brings depth to ebony hair, creating the illusion of jewel tone highlights where the sun hits your hair.


Emerald Ombre

Of all the hair colors available today, green seems to get the least love. We find that the shade is most wearable as a rich emerald hue and, as an ombre, it’s extra punchy on a bob or lob. Just be sure you’re investing in salon quality products to help keep your forest-colored ends looking vibrant.


Watercolor Ombre

Consider this image the official guide to wearing pastels in 2018. The dark roots become a gorgeous medley of pastel and fantasy hues, creating depth and movement all over the head.


Turquoise Ombre

You may have left behind the spray-on blue highlights of middle and high school, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the color behind altogether. This turquoise ombre veers into punk rock territory with its moody combination of black and bright blue.


Mermaid Ombre

Fighting the urge to trade your legs in for a tail? Show off your love of all things aquatic with a mermaid ombre. After a consultation, your stylist will work to incorporate multiple shades of blue into your new look. You’ll be left with multidimensional ombre color that shimmers like light reflecting off the ocean.


Honey Ombre

Holy ombre! This honey blend looks like sun bleached, natural color, which is exactly why it’s the ideal shade for black haired ladies from June to September. Ask your stylist for natural-looking color that’s bright and rich, then show this shade off to everyone you know.

Good hair day by @max_rokitskiy_stylist.

Purple Ombre

A blend of red and blue, purple ombre hair encompasses many different shades. Because of the sheer number of hues that fall on the purple spectrum, it suits a variety of complexions — so there’s something for everyone when it comes to purple ombre hair.

Jewel Ombre

There’s no rule requiring you to choose just one ombre color. If you’re indecisive, try them all! This gorgeous blend of blue and purple brings depth to ebony hair, creating the illusion of jewel tone highlights where the sun hits your hair.

Good hair day by @m.wroblewska.hairsalon.

Lilac Ombre

One of our absolute favorite things about a grey ombre is how nicely it plays with other colors. You’re not stuck with blonde or titanium—experimenting with hints of pink, purple, and blue is encouraged. With that in mind, let’s talk about our favorite color combo: lilac, purples and grey.

Good hair day by @hairbytaylorbarbarise.

Icy Blue to Grey

Unlike your standard brown or gold shades, an ombre from blue to grey really packs a punch. This is one of the newest color transitions we’ve fallen in love, and with good reason: Is there anything more beautiful than frosty, chilly blue?

Good hair day by @harry_andreou_hair.

Dark to Light Blue

This royal blue base faded into a baby blue 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.

Good hair day by @createdbychloej.

Golden Sombre Hair

Admit it: This golden sombre hair look has you drooling. The soft shimmer of the blonde accents paired with a medium brown base is totally swoon-worthy...not to mention a perfect transition look when you’re stuck between seasons.

Good hair day by @thee_hair_gal.

Dark Blonde Sombre Hair

Blondes! Get your sombre hair on with a laidback blend of dark blonde and sandy shades. This look says “I love summer, but I also live in a climate with four seasons” and is super wearable at any age—not to mention on most skin tones.

Good hair day by @suetyrrellstylist.

Coffee Sombre Hair

Like a splash of cream poured into fragrant black coffee, this coffee sombre hair has us wide awake and wanting more! Warm coffee sombre is must-have when the weather starts to get colder—how else are you going to maintain that sunny mood?

Good hair day by @studiolioness.

Copper Sombre Hair

You heard it here first: Red hair is going to fully rule the fall and winter. Ruby and ginger hair colors are popping up on celeb and influencer heads next should be your own! Copper sombre hair’s reflective finish has us itching to add a flash of shiny-penny red to our manes

Good hair day by @xo.farhana.balayage.

Milk Chocolate Sombre Hair

Has any snack ever been as beloved as a milk chocolate bar? Channel this delicious treat by blending notes of light brown throughout your mane for dimension without all the upkeep of blonde.

Good hair day by @amybcolor.

Blonde to Lemon

Mixing your fantasy hair color goals with something a bit more natural, this combo seems to blend perfectly. Beautiful blonde develops into a bright, lemony-yellow at the ends for a cheerful, fun vibe.

Good hair day by @shmeggsandbaconn.

Sunrise Ombre

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.

Good hair day by @francescomocci_.

The Unexpected Ombre

Who says your ombre has to have a theme? We are head over heels for this unexpected mix of green, cranberry and yellow with dark brown roots.

Good hair day by @hairbyheathergreen.

Unicorn Ombre

All the fantasy colors combine in this beautiful art-like ombre that artfully blends pinks, blues and purples amongst platinum roots. We love this trendy option for anyone looking for a head-turning yet sweet look.

Interested in a professional ombre look? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device