Ombre, Dip Dye, Baby Lights, Balayage...its all a foreign language! April 7, 2019 10:00

If you have not read a fashion magazine in the past 5 years you may NOT heard about the colouring trends....Ombré, Dip-Dye or Balayage...but everyone else knows these words well.

BUT just what’s the difference between the three colouring techniques, as often the words get mixed-up and confused, and then the wrong description gets used for the style of colour you desire

Known in the industry for her extensive background in training and education, as well as being a Master Stylist at Morgan & Morgan Hair Collective since 2001, Jennifer Morgan is the go-to girl with any colouring conundrum and her passion and skill set are enviable in the hairdressing community.

So in this blog we ask her to give her (rough) idea about the basic differences between the different hair colouring methods …



ombré noun from the French ‘ombrer’ to shade

Definition of ombré: having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark.

Basically ombre hair is darker roots gradually fading to lighter tips so the graduation if colour is down the hair shaft. This hair color looks best when it’s softly blended from dark to medium to light and it is vital that the graduation of colour is seamless.

Make sure the ‘fade’ is brought up a bit, rather than it be just tips, somewhere between highlights, and tips otherwise, it tends to become too obvious.

Ombre can be natural with tones of browns and blonde, but it can also include pastels or high fashion tones, as long as there is a soft blend between the tones used!



dip-dye tee

Dip-dye basically means to dye parts of your hair another colour. It is the contrasting in-your-face ’no blend’ cousin of the ombre technique. To achieve a great dip dye result, powder lightener is almost always going to be needed to get the contrast needed between the two colours. Little or no blending is required, at most a slight blur between the colours is all you need. Not for the faint hearted dip-dye can be in natural or pastel or vibrant tones depending on your style

Dip-Dye hair colour is most popular for bright, bold and ‘crazy colours’, towards the tips of the hair. and as the name suggests, it creates a look as though hair has literally been dipped in paint!




balayage verb from the French to sweep

Balayage is a process of highlighting the hair by painting on the product in a sweeping motion.

The colour is applied in a sweeping motion often by freehand from roots to tip with little or none applied at the root area and a much stronger effect towards the ends.

Unlike ombre which is graduation the colour down the hair shaft, balayage is about replicating the more natural effects that would occur after time in the sun and wind. The result is more subtle warm blonde and honey highlights that look natural. Balayage provides multidimensional color and allows for better outgrowth. In the beginning, you will need at least three appointments spaced six weeks apart to really build up the color. From that point, you could go three or four months without needing balayage, just getting a treatment to freshen the color every six weeks.




Super-subtle, Babylights are delicate highlights created using a very fine hair color technique to mimic the subtle, dimensional hair color seen on children’s hair, the look is fresh and natural. The result is subtle but beautiful with an application process is very similar to highlights, the difference is the amount of hair in each foil and the separation between. For babylights, you use just a little bit of hair and create small separations between foils so the highlights blend with the base colour.



Faux Balayage is a technique that gives maximum lift within a foil, while keeping the root area diffused so it mimics a true Balayage design.
When freehand colour is not going to produce a cool bright blonde result then faux balayage uses the best of both ideas, the insulation of foil but the naturally diffused look of hand painted colour