Hair Colouring

Understanding Hair Dye Styles Like Balayage, Ombré, Dip Dye And Highlights

When we go to a salon to get our hair colored, we hear so many terms, like balayage, ombre, global, and whatnot. But what does all this jargon mean? Allow us to decode it for you!

First, let’s understand the easiest of the lot: “Global” color

First, let's understand the easiest of the lot: “Global” color
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You will hear a lot of hairstylists use the word “global.” It means to cover the entire head of hair with a certain color. Unlike streaks, which involve coloring only certain sections, global color covers the whole head uniformly.

What are highlights?

What are highlights?
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Highlighting involves taking certain sections of hair and coloring them with a lighter color. This helps give a variation in tones, creating the illusion of texture. The style is ideal for those who feel that their hair looks too flat and monotone.

Here’s what “ombré” hair coloring means

Here's what “ombré” hair coloring means
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If you ask for ombré hair color, it means you’re asking for your roots to be left dark, and for the lower sections of your hair to gradually be lightened. This is ideal for making the lower sections look more voluminous, as light colors always look bigger than dark colors, which appear more compact. So if you need more volume on top, maybe a reverse-ombré style, which is lighter on top and darker at the ends, is better for you.

Here's what “ombré” hair coloring means
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As for the style itself, the word literally means “to shade,” which is why your hair goes from dark to light. Depending on the technique used for an ombré look, the transition between the two colors can differ. One of the techniques used to get an ombré look, in fact, is balayage.

How Balayage is different from all these

How Balayage is different from all these
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Balayage is a French word which means to “sweep” or to “paint.” It involves the hairstylist doing a free-hand painting of your hair with bleach to lighten the hair towards the ends. Once hair is lightened, the stylists color the bleached portions with whatever shade of balayage you want, be it brown, dark blonde, auburn, or any other.

How Balayage is different from all these
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The hairstylists start out by painting thin sections of hair, near the top of the head, with a light shade, lightening wider sections in the middle, and then covering pretty much the entirety of the lower half with a lighter color. Basically, the technique gradually shades certain parts of the hair using a gradient effect which doesn’t betray where the lighter part starts and where it ends. That’s why balayage is often used to give an organic-looking, soft effect to an ombré hair color look.

How Balayage is different from all these
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“Dip dye” is another hair coloring technique


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Dip dyeing involves coloring the ends of the hair in one color, while keeping the roots free of it. The technique gives the appearance of having literally dipped your tips in bowls of dye. Ideal for those who don’t want to damage their roots with bleach and wish to try out a funky color once, it also comes with the option of chopping off the ends if the color and bleach damage them.


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This is often used to get an edgy, colorful hair look involving brighter shades like green, pink, or purple. The top part of the hair is usually kept uniformly toned, be it in a shade of black, brown, or platinum blonde.

So now that you have this information, which kind of hair coloring style are you going to try?

Lead image credit: Maddock Films, Yash Raj Films

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