Absolute Hair Salon Waikanae New Zealand

Latest Hair Colouring Styles Explained


Ombre, Sombre, Melt, Balayage, Foils?

Need help with understanding all these hair colouring terms and techniques?

Here’s our guide to help you.


In simple terms… Ombre has morphed into sombre (soft ombre), and now into colour melt which is a more gentle variation that has more colour closer to the root, melting down to more solid ends.




Many people say Ombre is going out of style, but all of the new techniques that have been coming out are just different variations of Ombre.

There are a few minor differences, but the main point is that people love low maintenance colour. They love keeping their deeper roots and having lighter ends (the best of both worlds).


Similarities of all techniques:

* Low maintenance.

* Versatile.

* Can be customised for any length of hair.

* Great for all textures.

* May take two or more sessions to achieve.

* Can be dramatic, fashion-forward or natural.



* Little to no highlights at the root.

* Dark roots to light ends.

* The desired goal is natural, low maintenance and has natural tones.

* Consists of a base colour, background colour & highlight colour.



* Lighter version of ombre.

* Highlights feather off the root, making sombre softer than ombre and colour melt.

* Softer transition from dark to light.

* Highlights frame the face then gradually feather farther and farther off the root.


Color Melt 

* Made up of 3 or more colours.

* Can be achieved using dark to light or light to dark.

* Colours used must be in similar or the same tone to create the right blending look.

* Colours are overlapped so they create a seamless flow.

* You can’t tell where one colour begins and ends.





Ombre and Sombre are generally low maintenance, but remember, tones that are close to your hair naturally require less maintenance. Having the root colour darker than your natural makes ombre high maintenance.

Time involved

If you have previous colour, box colour or an all over dark brown-black shade, prepare for more time and cost. Ombre, Sombre and Colour Melt require multi-dimensional blending.  This means that there needs to be a base colour, background colour and a highlight. Be patient, the end result is worth the wait.


These colours require a professional stylist that has been trained in consultations so you get the best advice. We have an essential Consultation Guide to get an effective colour and style consultation with your stylist. All the questions you should ask and what to expect.




If you want to know how to get what you want from your hairstylist check out the Consultation Guide in the Resource Library.




Bayalage, Flamboyage, Ombrelage

More techniques to watch out for. This really is just a way to describe the technique and look together. 


What is the technique Flamboyage and Ombrelage?

Flamboyage is a new, modern, low-maintenance hair colour technique from France, where the colourist sticks strands of hair to clear adhesive paper. The colourist has a lot of control because you can watch the colour process through the transparent strip. It looks best on solid hair colour.

Ombrelage is a unique technique that allows a hair colourist to create a natural and gradual colour that lightens towards the ends of the hair with accents of painted streaks throughout. In turn creating a flowing and dimensional hair colour that has very little maintenance.


Get your copy of the latest colour report in the Resource Library.


So what’s the difference between foil, balayage and flamboyage?

Foil is the most traditional and precise way to create highlights. Carefully selected strands of hair are placed on foil and the product is painted on. It’s great for women who want their hair highlighted from root to end and don’t mind keeping it up regularly because foiling is high-maintenance.

Balayage means to ‘sweep on.’ You paint the colour in a sweeping motion wherever you want. You can go chunky or paint a few strands. It’s great for a natural look with more contrast.

Flamboyage looks like a combination of balayage and ombre. The colour generally starts above the mid-shaft and runs through the ends. You can go natural or dramatic with both ombre and flamboyage and both those techniques require less upkeep than foiling and balayage.


We are trained in all these techniques and are very experienced in achieving great results. See how we can colour your hair HERE.


Book a colour consultation and get on the way to beautiful hair colour.



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