If there is one thing to know about hair trends, it’s that they are never really gone for good. Some hair looks that were once “in,” can fall off for a solid decade, and still manage to come back in a big way. Take for example, ombré hair.
Back in 2010, ombré hair was pretty much inescapable. Plenty of celebrities—from Miley Cyrus and Sarah Jessica Parker to Jared Leto and Jessica Alba—dabbled in ombré hair looks, inspiring a collective interest in the hair trend that made it one of the most requested hair looks of the decade. While ombré hair eventually made its way out in the late 2010s, the once-beloved hair color has since found its way back into the spotlight thanks to celebrities such as Tinashe, Angelina Jolie, and Hailee Steinfeld, who have all fully leaned into the ombré effect, over the last few weeks.
To learn more ombré hair as well as how to achieve it, The Tease tapped celebrity colorist and Colormelt creator Chad Kenyon for his expertise. Keep scrolling for his tips, tricks, and helpful recommendations.
What is Ombré Hair?
Ombré hair is best described as a natural graduation in which one color at the root melts into another at the tip. Often this look tends to run from darker to lighter, with brunette-to-blonde being the most popular version. However, it honestly works with any shade—from gray to a pastel pink to even rainbow.
The beauty of ombré hair is that there is no color on the roots. As a result, it tends to be a perfect color for anyone wanting to “grow out” their natural hair without having to worry about constant root touch-up appointments.
How to Achieve Ombré Hair
For any colorist hoping to execute an ombré hair look for their client, you’ll want to make sure to personalize and customize their specific shade to suit their unique features. “I tailor-make each individual ombré with my Colormelt® method which means that multiple factors (natural hair color, skin tone, eyes, hair density) decide my placement and therefore the final ombré result,” Kenyon explains. “For example, just because it’s ombré doesn’t mean I can’t paint in some lighter threads around the face frame to illuminate the eyes.”
As far as a suggested technique, Kenyon says, “I always choose demi-permanent color and a level of depth (lightness-darkness) halfway between the existing base color and the lighter mids & ends. I apply to the root, overlapping onto the top of the lighter mid-section area and let that process for a bit. Then, I melt the two together by using my golden S Hearts S scalp brush ($48.00) which gives a seamless ombré blended effect.”
According to Kenyon, the most common mistake that a colorist can make when creating an ombré hair look is not blending the shadow root. “This all gets polished and perfected with lots of practice,” Kenyon says. “For example, my assistants learn on doll heads before moving on to the actual models.” He adds, “Another thing to avoid is accidentally sprinkling droplets of the shadow root into the unintended lighter areas (lower mids and ends) when melting the root into the upper mids.”
As far as hair colors go, ombré hair tends to be one of the most low-maintenance options around as it is only placed on the ends of hair. With that said, Kenyon says, “I recommend that all ombré clients pop in for a fast gloss and Olaplex treatment every 6-8 weeks for maintenance and a highlights touch-up every 3-5 months, depending on client preference.”
For more of Kenyon’s hair tips and tricks, be sure to follow @chadkenyon on Instagram.