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Sombré Hair: A Quick Guide With Styling Ideas

Sombré – the chic, fun, and classy hair trend that’s taken the A-list by storm! Picture this: the sun-kissed naturalness of balayage, but with an added strategic flair, creating an effect that’s not as stark as traditional ombré.

That’s Sombré, or ‘soft ombré’ for you – a trend that’s about subtly lightening your hair from root to tip and giving it a natural, golden glow. Just a few shades lighter can add depth and a whole new dimension to your look.

You might’ve admired it on celebs like Lily James, Hayley Bieber, or Rosie Huntington Whiteley. So, ready to join the Sombré squad?

What is Sombré Hair?

sombre hair

Sombré hair is a softer, more subtle version of ombré hair, which is why it’s often referred to as “soft ombré” or simply “sombré”. This trend emerged as a response to the sometimes stark contrasts of traditional ombré hairstyles.

In a sombré hairstyle, the transition between the shades of color is more gradual and seamless, which often results in a more natural-looking color gradient. Typically, a sombré will involve your natural hair color at the roots gradually fading into a lighter shade towards the ends.

The great thing about sombré hair is that it can work well with a variety of hair colors and types. Whether you’re a brunette looking to add some warm honey tones or a blonde wanting to incorporate lighter platinum hues, the sombré technique can create a beautiful, sun-kissed look.

Overall, sombré hair is perfect for those who want to refresh their hair color without making a dramatic change, and it’s a popular choice for its low-maintenance nature.

Why is Sombre Hair So Popular?

  • Sombre hair is popular because of its natural look. The subtle transition from darker roots to lighter ends mimics the natural sun-lightened effect.
  • It is also versatile. It works well on various hair types, lengths, and colors. It can be personalized to suit individual preferences.
  • Sombre is low maintenance. Unlike other hair color techniques, it grows out beautifully, requiring less frequent touch-ups.
  • It adds depth and dimension to the hair. The mix of lighter and darker shades gives the hair more visual depth and texture.
  • This hair color is generally less damaging than other hair color techniques. It does not involve bleaching the entire head of hair.

Sombré vs. Ombré: What’s the Difference?

sombre vs ombre

Ombré is a dramatic, two-toned hair color effect where the bottom half of the hair is significantly lighter than the top half. It’s like your hair color takes a pretty abrupt vacation from dark to light! It’s a cool look, but it can be a bit too stark for some folks.

On the other hand, Sombré is pretty much the chill cousin of ombré. It’s short for “soft ombré”, and just like the name suggests, it’s a much more toned-down version. Instead of a stark contrast, sombré gives you this gentle fade from darker at your roots to lighter at your ends. It’s super seamless and gives a really natural, sun-kissed effect. Perfect if you’re going for that effortlessly stylish vibe!

Quick Difference Among Sombré vs. Balayage vs Ombre

DefinitionA softer, more subtle version of ombré. It’s often referred to as “soft ombré” or simply “sombré”. The transition between colors is more gradual and natural-looking.A hair coloring technique where a stylist paints or sweeps the color onto individual hair strands for a natural, sun-kissed look. The word ‘Balayage’ itself is French, meaning ‘to sweep’.A hair coloring technique where a darker base color is faded into a lighter color towards the ends. It’s known for its dramatic, two-toned appearance.
LookSombré offers a gentle fade from darker at the roots to lighter at the ends. It’s very seamless and gives a natural, sun-kissed effect.Balayage results in a multi-dimensional, highlighted effect. It’s designed to create very natural-looking highlights that are softer near the roots and heavier towards the ends.Ombré gives a stark contrast between the two colors with a noticeable transition. It’s a bold, dramatic look.
MaintenanceLow-maintenance as the roots can grow out naturally.Low-maintenance because of the natural growth out of the highlights.Moderate to high maintenance due to the stark color contrast. Regular touch-ups are required to maintain the look.
Best forThose who want a subtle, sophisticated hair color transition. Great for all hair types and lengths.Ideal for those who want natural, highlighted hair. Works best on longer hair.Best for those seeking a bold, dramatic color contrast. Can work on both short and long hair.

Can Ombré be transformed into Sombré?

Yes, if you’ve got ombré hair and you want to switch it up to sombré, it’s definitely doable. You’d need to blend the two shades a bit more to make the color transition softer and more gradual. It’s probably best to get a professional hairstylist to do it though, because getting that perfect fade can be a bit tricky if you’re not experienced. But once it’s done, it should give your hair a more subtle, sophisticated look.

Sombré is a hair lightening technique that dyes hair in a gradient. It uses shades from lighter to darker, from the roots to the tips, giving the hair a natural and subtle effect. This technique is ideal for women who want to change their look without being radical.

Who Should Try Sombre Hair?

Any woman can adopt Sombré hair and rock blonde hair, no matter their hair color, type or length. However, if you have recently done chemical procedures such as straightening or a Brazilian blowout, be careful to not damage your hair.

It can be more fragile and sensitive because of the substances used in it. You should remove dyes or chemicals in your hair through pickling, before doing your Sombre hairdo.

Sombre will work better on virgin hair. It is easier for virgin hair to fixate the color and avoid stains, common when combining substances.

One of the best things about sombré is that it’s such a versatile style. It’s a winner for pretty much everyone, and here’s why:

Natural look lovers: If you’re someone who loves a natural, subtle look, sombré is like your dream come true. It adds just a hint of color variation to your hair, giving you that effortlessly sun-kissed vibe.

Busy bees: Got a packed schedule and can’t spend hours on your hair every week? Sombré’s got your back! Since the color transition is soft and the roots remain close to your natural color, the regrowth is less noticeable. So, you can go longer between touch-ups.

First-time colorers: If you’re thinking about coloring your hair for the first time and aren’t keen on making a drastic change, sombré is a great way to dip your toes in the water. It’s less dramatic than ombré and way more subtle than a full-on color change.

Adventurous spirits: Even if you’re used to playing with bold, vibrant colors, sombré can be a cool way to switch things up. It can add a surprising amount of depth and dimension to your hair, no matter what your base color is.

Tips for Choosing the Right Sombre Hair Color

sombre hair color for warn skin tone

Skin Tone

Cool skin tones: If you’re on the cooler side, like fair skin with those cute pink or blue undertones, stick with sombré hair colors that are also cool-toned. Think ash blonde, silver, or even icy blue!

Warm skin tones: Now, if you’re more of a warm palette kind of gal, with olive skin or yellow or golden undertones, go for sombré hair colors with warm vibes. Caramel, honey, and copper would be fab on you!

Hair Type

Fine hair: If your hair is on the finer side, lightening up the ends with sombré can totally boost the illusion of thickness. Blondes, light browns, and ash grays are some cool options.

Thick hair: Got thick hair? You’re lucky, you can pull off pretty much any sombré color! Just a tiny tip: steer clear of super dark shades that might weigh down your look. Brunette, chocolate, and auburn would look amazing!

Face Shape

Oval face: You oval-faced lovelies can rock any sombré shade you fancy. Just watch out for colors that are too harsh as they might widen your face a bit. Blondes, browns, and reds? Gorgeous.

Round face: If your face is more round, try sombré colors with darker roots and lighter ends to visually stretch out your face. Try brunette, chocolate, or auburn shades.

Square face: With a square face, go for sombré colors that are blended and soft to tone down the angles of your face. Blonde, light brown, or ash gray would be super flattering!

How to Do Sombre Step-by-Step

how to dye sombre hair

Sombré hair should ideally be done by a professional in a beauty salon. But it can also be done by yourself, at home, with the same results. To do that, you will need to be careful not to leave the dyes too long on your hair, so you don’t damage it. Simply follow the step-by-step below to get your Sombre for your hair:

Step 1: Draw a straight line on top of the hair and separate the hair on top. Next, divide the hair into sections on top of the hair, sides, and back.

Step 2: Prepare the dye or the solution with the powder bleach you’ll use for the Sombré hair. No matter the method you’ll use, the mix must be homogenous, not too liquid or too thick.

Step 3: Start applying the dye on your hair with a brush. Use a weaving technique to obtain a bigger number of streaks.

Step 4: It is important to weave the brush through the hair so there are no hard layers. Always go from the tips towards the top of the head.

Step 5: Leave the product on the hair for a few minutes. Check each section often so the hair doesn’t get too light. Remember that Sombré hair usually has darker shades.

Step 6: When the streaks reach the shade you want, it’s time to rinse your hair. Wash it with warm or cold water until the product is fully gone.

Step 7: Use an anti-yellow shampoo to prevent future possible yellowish stains on your hair. Rinse well.

Step 8: After washing, apply a conditioner. Then use a hair moisturizing mask and leave it for 20 minutes.

Step 9: Wash your hair again until the product is gone. Finish your hair as usual.

Step 10: If you blow-dry or flat-iron your hair, remember to use a heat protection product. When finished, also use a restorer on the tips.

How Much Does Sombré Hair Cost?

Sombré hair coloring typically costs around $150 in USA, but don’t be surprised if it goes up from there. It really depends on your hair length, thickness, and how complex the coloring process is. You should consider the maintenance costs too, such as touch-ups, specific hair care products, and treatments. Remember, a fantastic sombré is an investment in your look!

How to Maintain Your Sombré Look

sombre hair color

Touch-Ups: To keep your sombré hair looking fly, plan a visit to your stylist every 4 to 6 months. It’ll help maintain the color and keep your hair in top condition.

Hydrate: Don’t let the bleach suck the life out of your hair. Keep it moisturized with weekly deep-conditioning masks and give your hair the love it needs!

Hair Rehab: Bleach strips away proteins from your hair, so consider some restorative treatments. A little hair TLC, like keratin treatments, every couple of weeks will keep it strong and shiny.

Special Products: Switch to products made for color-treated hair. It’s all about that acid-pH shampoo, conditioner, leave-ins, hair oils, and masks. These will help keep your sombré hair looking its best.

Cool it with Hot Showers: Hot water can make your hair dry and brittle, so lukewarm or cool showers are the way to go.

Less Heat Styling: Try to cut down on hair dryers and flat irons. If you can’t live without them, make sure you use heat protection and restoring products.

Hair Sunscreen: Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s a must, especially in the summer! Your freshly lightened hair needs protection from the sun to avoid damage and dryness.

Sea and Pool Smarts: Chlorine from pools and salt from the sea can play havoc with your color. If you can’t resist a swim, try a swim cap or rinse your hair thoroughly afterwards.

Say No to More Chemicals: After going sombré, avoid other chemical treatments, like straightening or Brazilian blowouts. Your hair is more sensitive post-bleach, and you don’t want to risk damaging it.

Celebrities With Sombré Hair

Here are the 9 best celebrity Sombré hair color looks:

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid sombre beach waves

Gigi Hadid’s Sombre hair color is pure magic. She starts with a darker blonde at the roots and lets it gently fade into a lighter, almost sun-bleached tone. It’s like she’s spent the summer surfing on the beach!

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner sombre hair

Kendall Jenner totally rocks the subtle Sombre. She keeps her dark, almost jet black roots and eases into a slightly lighter tone towards the ends. It’s very chic and gives her a bit of a mysterious vibe.

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn sombre hair

Olivia Munn’s Sombre is simply elegant. She goes from a dark brown at the roots to a slightly lighter shade at the ends. It’s not a dramatic difference, but it’s just enough to give her a fun, relaxed style.

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba honey blonde sombre hair

Jess’s Sombre is just stunning. She keeps her roots a rich, dark brown and then gracefully transitions into a warm, honey blonde. It’s the perfect color combo for her golden complexion.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez straight sombre hair

J-Lo’s blonde Sombre is an absolute show-stopper. Her darker roots blend into a lighter blonde, creating a cool, edgy look that’s still totally wearable for every day.

Blake Lively

Blake Lively sombre curls

Blake’s got that perfect beachy blonde Sombre going on. She starts with a darker shade at the roots and lets it fade into a lighter blonde at the ends. It’s so effortless and yet so beautiful.

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel sombre hair

Jessica’s Sombre is a subtle transition from deep chocolate brown to soft, warm caramel. It’s very sophisticated and gives her hair a lot of depth and texture.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez sombre hair

Selena keeps it classic with her Sombre. Her dark brown base lightens up just a touch with some medium brown on the ends. It’s a great way to add a little something extra to her style without being too over the top.

If you’re looking for a new hair color that is both stylish and flattering, Sombre is a great option to consider. With so many different celebrity looks to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect Sombre style for you.

Ombre Sombre Hair Ideas

This hair trend promises to be in fashion in the next season. Blondes, brunettes, redheads… Anyone can adopt Sombré hair and turn heads everywhere they go. See below the most popular trends:

Dark-skinned Women

sombre hair for dark skinned women

Sombre hair color can also be adopted by dark-skinned women, or on black and brown hair. Since the bleaching and dying are subtler, there is no shock caused by a strong contrast between the natural hair color and the dyed parts.

See some photos below to get inspired!


blonde hair sombre for women

Blonde Sombre hair looks beautiful on brunettes and dark hair but also can be used on blonde hair to brighten it naturally. See below a few pictures to inspire you!

Honey Blonde

dark honey blonde sombre hair ideas

This darker Sombre hair shade can also be used by women everywhere. This shade can be used on black and brown hair, as well as blonde hair. The desired effect is always to create a natural, subtle ombré on the hair.

See a few photos to go get your Sombre hair right now!

Short Hair

sombre hair on short hair

Short-haired women can also safely adopt Sombre on their hair, in several tones. It only depends on the creativity and good taste of the one doing it. If your hair is too short, like a Pixie cut, that might make it harder to bleach. But all of this depends on the experience of the professional or of the one doing it by herself.

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