Color Melting vs. Ombre

     Roots are in.  Having dark at your scalp with lighter ends is the in style right now.  Two of the most popular ways of accomplishing this is Ombre Color and Color Melting.  Easily mistaken for one another there are huge differences, and I have a preference for sure!   This is to give examples of them each and to show the differences between them, also for any stylist that read this the basics on how its done.

Ombre’ First

    Drew Barrymore is a perfect example of ombre color.  Dark roots, light ends.  To achieve ombre the   hair is teased at the scalp, the amount of teasing varies based on how much of a root look is wanted, tease and inch worth or tease four inches worth.  Then taking strands from the unteased section of hair you highlight those.

     The way to distinguish between ombre and color melting is how defined the line is between the roots and the ends.  You can tell exactly how much of the hair was teased.

    I’m not saying this is a bad look, it isn’t, it very popular right now, it just isn’t my preference.

Color Melting Second

    Color melting is one of my most favorite techniques.  It gives a far more natural sunkissed type look to any color.  As seen in my previous post Sara Jessica Parker is a great example of color melting.  She is lighter on the ends with dark roots, but it is more blended.  There are a couple highlights that reach almost to the scalp. 

     It takes a little more effort to achieve this look, but I believe it is well worth it.  Section the hair to work with the hairs natural parting.  In each foil you use three different colors.  First apply a dark base color to the top of the foil, then use either bleach or a highlift blond at the bottom, blend the two colors with a clear coat.  The clear dilutes both colors enough so that you can’t truly see where one starts and the other ends.  Use this technique with alternating amount of dominate blond and dominate dark so that the start of the lighter pieces are spread throughout the hair, avoiding the line that ombre color leaves.

     Balayage has been around forever, and there are new ever improving twists on this technique.  With it you have full control over your color placement, and it does give you a more natural look that traditional highlights do, but it does not give you the melting into one another look that color melting has.

     It’s hard to keep up with ever-changing trends, these are at least trends that work with your budget since it does encourage darker roots.  Enjoy being stylish you hair guru you!


4 comments on “Color Melting vs. Ombre

  1. stephen says:

    thanks for posting those techniques. i’ve done color melting but i’ve never really done it with the clear mix.

    i’m going to be fixing someone’s ombre who kept her natural color her base and they just used a highlift color on the ends. the problem was that they brought the ombre too high up, and didn’t back comb enough to diffuse the lines. my plan is to color melt with a warmer version of her natural level towards the roots and mid lengths, then do low volume lightener on her ends to increase the contrast.

    so are you saying when i’m smooshing the lightener and color together where they meet (for lack of better words), i smoosh some clear mix into it too??

    • roesmccoy says:

      Yes, when you use only the dark and the blonde you can still see where the transition happens. When you add the clear in between the two it dilutes both colors creating the most seemingly natural, amazing, truly “melted” look. It is an extra bowl to clean but it doesn’t really take any extra time, it is so worth it. Use the clear, depending on length of hair, for about an inch of the in between area. Try it and let me know what you think 🙂

  2. Shay says:

    I’m going to have to try this melting technique. The way that I learned takes forever! I would put the dark color and the blond on the bottom, and comb them into each other, and then wash it out, then dry it and put a toner on the mid shaft to blend them better. Do you do all the hair in foils? Or do you leave some natural out?

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