It seems like ombre hair is here to stay and we’re definitely living for it. The hairstyle has surpassed trend territory cementing itself as a classic color style that’ll work in the years to come.
Get your hair summer-ready and finally take the plunge to get your tresses some much-needed update. To help you do just that, we’ve scoured the Internet to find the best ombre hair looks that’ll work with whatever hair type or preferences you may have.
Get ready to save your favorite ombre hairstyles to show your stylist on your next appointment. We’re serving up 123 hot ones.
Ombre styles for short to medium-length hair
Ombre is typically associated with long hair. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t work on short to medium hair lengths just as well. Look cool and stylish with this short bob and gradient ombre hair combo. Why not ditch your long locks this year for a drastic change like this one?
Getting tired of your regular bleached bob hair? Spice it up with a creative dash of pink ombre dip dye. Of course, you can also opt for other fun colors depending on your mood. The great thing is that it’s much easier to DIY ombre short hair compared to long hair. So, you won’t even have to make the trip to the salon for this look.
Ombre for pixies
When we said ombre hair can work on short hair, we really mean it. Yes, even on uber short pixie cuts like Scarlett Johansson’s. This look would work especially well for natural brunettes as their roots would make the brown/black to blonde ombre contrast more noticeable.
Here’s a similar ombre look on Rihanna’s pixie with long bangs. Another great thing about having ombre done on short hair is that it’s easier to maintain.
We’re also pretty obsessed with ombre-hair-and-bangs combos on medium length hair. Match your new and edgy hair color with blunt bangs and an angled lob like the one above. Sidenote: This cut and styling will complement thin hair well as they add volume and body to it.
We’re pretty biased with blonde hair to funky hair colors ombre styles like this one. Blondes are particularly lucky in this aspect. They won’t have to undergo the same damaging bleaching process that brunettes have to get hair dyes to show on their hair. So, you blondes out there better take advantage of this and play with as many colors as you can!
The best ombre styles for long hair
Look absolutely boho chic with these classic ombre styles on long hair. Get that summer-kissed look and opt for a more gradual and subtle hair color transition. Tell your stylist to bleach your ends just two or three shades lighter than your natural hair color. Style your new ‘do with loose waves and you’ll be ready to hit the beach.
Here’s another subtle ombre hairstyle for long hair cut into a layered cut. Match your ombre’s color transition to the layers is a great way to make your new color look more natural-looking. A few highlights here and there won’t hurt as well.
You can also choose to focus the styling and color on the bottom parts of your long hair. This is recommended especially if you’re just testing the waters and want a way out in case you don’t like your new look. Of course, if you go this route, you won’t get your ombre as subtle as you may want.
Here’s another version of the same look. But this time it’s done on long hair trimmed into a V-cut.
If you have long naturally blonde hair, you can choose to start the ombre transition higher. The color won’t be that much far off from what you already have. An ombre-balayage technique is usually done in this case to make the style look more seamless.
Classic dark to light ombre hairstyles Most ombre hair you’ll see on magazines or Pinterest features a dark to light color transition sometimes with a gradient effect. Thus, the style is more popular among women who have naturally dark hair.
The word ombre itself means ‘shaded or shading’ and is achieved using a balayage coloring technique which makes the hair change not so stark. Though its also worth mentioning that ombre hair can also feature stark dark to light contrast.
Britney Spears initially popularized the style in the early 2000s. But it would only begin its climb to its current popularity in the early 2010s. The time when fashion It girls like Alexa Chung and Lauren Conrad began wearing their hair ombre, to be more exact. Eventually, other celebrities like Katy Perry and Victoria Beckham followed suit. And the style became more and more popular among regular women.
If you want to get this kind of color transition, we recommend that you refrain from DIY-ing your hair at home. Ombre hair definitely requires more advanced hair coloring techniques than your regular box dye. Trust us, those few hundred bucks you spend getting your hair professionally done will be very much worth it in the end.
Three-tone ombre hair for any hair length
Going for a three-tone ombre is a great way to put a creative twist to an otherwise common hairstyle. This mix of multiple colors work well with longer hair as the length gives color transitions more room.
We recommend that you choose colors that are within two to three shades of each other to keep the look pretty natural.
Redheads can play with different shades of auburn hair to get a unique and stylish look. The bold and fiery shades of orange and red-orange can help brighten up your overall hairstyle. What more, it can make you stand out even more than you did as a regular redhead.
You can still get that fiery red look even if you have brown hair. Introduce some red tones to your brunette locks to achieve a three-tone ombre.
This type of multi-shade ombre can also work on shorter hair lengths. Though you’d have to start the transition color higher up on your hair to get that good gradient effect. Opting for this type of ombre can add instant body and texture to boring lobs and bobs.
High-contrast ombre hairstyles
If you’re looking for a more drastic change, opt for a high contrast ombre instead. You don’t have to go for a harsh color transition to get this look. Ask your stylist to do a gradient style at the ends of your hair. They should at least go two to three shades lighter than what they’d usually for ombre styles to get a stark contrast.
We find the look to work extremely well on chic bobs. It certainly adds dimension and a little more oomph to the classic hairstyle. Though it has the tendency to look just a bit dated, the style is still a great one to rock on hot summer days.
Here’s a similar high contrast look on Sophia Bush’s locks. Starting the ombre gradient right after the roots gives the color the illusion of being a result of actual sun fading. But going this route means spending less time under the sun which could lead to faster skin aging.
Don’t be afraid to get a little more creative to get that high contrast ombre look. It may be harder to pull off on short hair but it isn’t impossible as proven by queen Riri right here. Certainly, this style isn’t everybody’s mojo. But it could definitely work given the right styling.
High contrast ombre on long hair was the look of the summer of 2013. Bring back this chic and fun style to life this summer of 2020. It’s a relatively low commitment hairstyle that just screams summer, don’t you think? Once your three months of carefree bliss comes to an end, you can easily chop off your bleached ends for a brand new style.
Want to know how blonde hair looks on you before making the big change? Go for a stark black to blonde ombre to see yourself as a blonde first. You can have your roots touched up later.
Reverse light to dark ombre hair
Here’s a new take to the classic ombre style. Reverse the color pattern and begin with a lighter color transitioning to a darker one. Since you’re gonna need to deposit color instead of stripping it off, reverse ombre hairstyles aren’t as damaging.
The style would work best for women with a natural hair color that’s shades lighter from black and dark brown. Starting with darker roots may not allow for the gradient effect. We’re pretty biased for light blonde to brown ombre styles like the one above. The darkness of the hair at the bottom part of the hair brings attention upwards to your face. Wearing your hair cut in layers and styled in curls completes the look.
See how good the color looks on long and layered hair? To emphasize the natural bounce of your hair, tell your stylist to focus the layers only the ends of the hair except for the face-framing ones. Apply some styling cream and you’re good to go.
We also noticed how the reverse ombre hair color works well for older women whose roots may have already turned gray. Show off your gray locks while also giving your original hair color a shoutout with something like the gray to black one above. Not to mention, just how cool does this hair color look?
Style ombre hair with curls for a beachy look
We’re sure we’re not the only ones out there who associate ombre hair with summer, are we? You can definitely wear the style all year round, don’t get us wrong, but you’ll look more in sync with the season if you have it done in the summer.
Get that beachy summer look and style your ombre with trendy waves, the looser the better. Just be sure to wear a heat protectant to avoid further damage to your locks.
If you’re not up to applying heat to your hair but still some casual styling, get a flat iron and go over your hair ends with it. This will create instant movement and volumize your hair in no time. Pro-tip: Follow the layers of your cut to end up with the best effect possible.
You can still wear waves in your ombre hair even if it’s cut in a short haircut like a bob. Just be warned that you may not be able to achieve the loose waves in the earlier pictures. If you’re hair’s too short, focus curling the tips of your alone.
Long-haired girls are lucky as they can pull off the beachy waves look easily. For bigger, looser curls like the one above, make sure to use a wide barrel curling wand.
Or keep it straight to make the ombre transition stand out
Leaving your hair straight would help you showcase your brand new ombre hair more effectively. But unfortunately, straight hair can look limp and lifeless when left unstyled. Counter this and introduce some shape-adding layers to your long, straight locks. Follow Shay Mitchell’s suit and get layers beginning from your shoulders down.
Combine straight hair and a chic angled bob to better show off your gradient ombre transition. Keep your locks looking healthy and shiny by using a good moisturizing conditioner with straightening effects. You can also use some styling gel to keep your stray hairs in place.
Watch out for split ends and breakage a few weeks after you get your hair done. Since ombre hair usually involves some bleaching, your hair is most likely left dried out and damaged. This damage will make your hair more prone to breakage that’s especially noticeable when you wear your hair straight. Consider getting a trim when you begin to notice damage on your hair ends worsening.
And while you’re at the salon getting that trim, get yourself a proper blowout. If you take care of your hair right, you can make a blowout’s effects last for a couple of days and even up to a week. Just be sure to keep a bottle of dry shampoo at bay to help out with oiliness and smell.
Standout with bright and unexpected colors
More and more women are experimenting with ombre hair. One of the ways they do is through using unusual colors like pastels and bright blues instead of the usual light brown or blonde. Check out the ultraviolet ombre look above which uses a cool palette of colors.
If blue’s not your color, you can go for just about any other color under the sun. We’re particularly obsessed with these shades of pink ombre hair on a bob. The hair color and the trendy cut just screams quirky and fun, don’t you think? What more, the color combo will definitely flatter just about any skin tone.
If you’re not up for a full head of hair color change, you can stick with dip dye style ombre. Take cues from this gorgeous black to dark violet ombre to inspire you. We think that shades of light brown hair and blonde tend to look better when paired with pastels and muted colors. Likewise, darker hair colors go well with brighter and bolder hues.
See what we mean? Doesn’t this silver blonde to pastel pink ombre look absolutely bomb? The bob cut completes this cool-girl look.
We’re here to remind you that gray is a color, too. Take advantage of the granny hair trend and finally try out gray or silver hair. A gray ombre will look particularly great on women with naturally dark hair, the darker the better. Case in point is the style above.
Don’t forget to observe proper hair care to keep colored ends healthy
Now let’s get down to the business of caring for your new ombre hair. As mentioned before, your stylist most likely used a bleaching agent to get your hair lighter. Thus, your locks definitely incurred some damage in the process. Heat will only contribute to this so we recommend that you refrain from using heat every day when styling your hair.
Avoid drying out your hair even more and skip washing it. You can follow an every-other-day shampoo routine or even go for two to three days before each washing. To keep your hair from looking greasy or smelling bad, you can use a dry shampoo instead. Just make sure that your dry shampoo can accommodate the current hair shades you have.
If you have a light brown or blonde ombre, your strands may get brassy once in a while. To avoid this unwanted color, wash your hair with a purple shampoo as it’ll cancel out the warm tones. You can also opt for toning your hair with a blue or purple toner.
Ready to give ombre hair a try? Which of these looks is your choice this coming summer?
Scroll down to see other ombre hairstyles you can get inspiration from.