Sombré Hair | 10 Gorgeous Ideas For The Natural Look.

A new season is the perfect time to experiment with your hair color, and one of the hottest trends right now is Sombré hair.

Sombré (pronounced “som-bray”) is a French word meaning “shaded” or “shadowed.” It’s a type of hair coloring that is usually darker at the roots and gradually gets lighter towards the ends.

If you’re anything like us, you probably spend way too much time on Instagram stalking your favorite celebrities and drooling over their perfect hair. So you’ve probably also noticed that a lot of them have been sporting the sombré trend. But will this look suit you? DO you have to bleach your hair to get it? Well, let’s break it down.

If you’re thinking about getting Sombré hair, here’s everything you need to know right now.

What is sombré hair?

Sombré is a French word meaning “shaded” or “shadowed.” It’s a type of hair highlighting technique that is darker at the roots and gradually gets lighter towards the ends.

This ombre-like effect creates a natural look that is perfect for summer. Plus, it’s low maintenance since you don’t have to worry about your roots growing out!

The key to getting the perfect sombre hair look is making sure that the transition is gradual and seamless. You don’t want your hair to look like it was dip-dyed! 

Unlike traditional highlights, which use foils to achieve stark contrasting colors, sombré uses a freehand technique to achieve more subtle, blended results and textures.

This makes it a great option for those who want to experiment with lighter colors without making a major commitment.

Check out the latest looks over on our sombré Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration.

sombré hair collection pinterest board

10 stunning ways to wear sombré hair

From a blended, subtle look to all-out sombre techniques that rock dark roots and bright highlights, you’re bound to find the sombre hairstyle for you in our top 10!

#1 Ash blonde sombré

This look is perfect for those who want to experiment with lighter colors without making a major commitment. Best for cool skin tones, the soft ash blonde shades will give you a sun-kissed tint that is perfect for summer.

#2 Caramel brown sombré

This is a great option for those who want to add some dimension to their hair without going too light. Caramel brown shades will give you a toffee-colored hue that grows out fabulously if you’re already brunette.

#3 Honey blonde sombré

Oh, the sun-kissed look of summer. This blend is perfect for those who want to add some warmth to their hair. The honey blonde shades will give you a golden hue that adds richness and warmth to any complexion.

#4 Light brown sombré

This is a great way to add some dimension to your hair if you’re looking for a more subtle change. The light brown shades will give you a natural look that is perfect for those who don’t want to go too light or over-process their hair.

#5 Golden blonde sombré

This is a great way to add some warmth to your hair if you’re looking for a more subtle change. Golden blonde babylights will give you a natural look that is perfect for those who don’t want to go too light or over-process their hair.

#6 Auburn sombré

If you have red hair or if your natural color draws warm red undertones, this is the blend for you. Auburn hair color is perfect for fall. Blend it with bright copper highlights and a darker shade of chocolate lowlights for a stunning, shimmering vibe.

#7 Chocolate brown sombré

This is a perfect way to add some depth and richness to your hair. To get this look, start with a chocolate brown base and then add some light brown highlights throughout for a natural-looking gradient in dark brown hair.

#8 Ash brown sombré with blonde highlights

This is a gorgeous way to wear sombré if you have cool skin tones. The darker roots and ash brown base help to give the illusion of thicker hair, while the blonde highlights throughout brighten up the overall look.

#9 Copper sombré

Copper sombré is a beautiful and trendy option for those looking to update their hair color. This sultry shade combines rich copper tones with golden blonde highlights to create a unique and eye-catching look.

#10 Mahogany sombré

Mahogany Sombré is one of our favorite takes on the look because it’s perfect for adding a little warmth (and dimension) to your strands. Plus, it looks gorgeous on every skin tone.

What is the difference between Balayage and sombré?

Balayage and sombré are both hair coloring techniques that can create a natural, sun-kissed look. The main difference between the two is the placement of the color.

Balayage is a French word meaning “to sweep”. It’s a highlighting method where the color is swept onto the hair using a free hand technique to create soft, natural-looking strokes.

Sombré, on the other hand, is a term derived from the French word for “shadow.” The color is placed in heavier strokes at the roots and then diffused outward to create a soft gradient.

Both techniques can be used to achieve a variety of looks, from beachy waves to sleek and polished styles.

What is the difference between Sombré and ombré?

At a glance, Sombré and ombré may look similar, but there are actually some key differences between the two.

For starters, Sombré techniques use graduation to create a more natural look, while ombre hair is a technique that relies on a stark strong contrast to produce a more dramatic effect.

Sombré colors tend to be more muted, while ombré colors are typically brighter.

Sombre hair color is generally achieved with highlights or lowlights, while ombré is typically created with all-over color.

So, which technique is right for you? If you’re looking for a subtle change, go for Sombré. But if you’re feeling bold and want to make a statement, ombré is the way to go!

How to get sombré hair.

There are a few different ways to achieve sombré hair, but the most popular method is with highlights or lowlights. Follow these top tips to make sure you get it right.

Choose the right shade

The first step in getting Sombré hair is to choose the right shade.

If you have dark hair, you’ll want to choose a lightener that is one or two shades lighter than your natural color.

For blondes or those with lighter hair, you can go up to four shades lighter. It’s important to talk to your hairstylist about which shade will look best on you before making a decision. 

Prepare your hair

Sombré hair requires bleaching, so it’s important to take care of your locks beforehand.

If your hair is damaged or dry, it’s best to wait until it has been repaired before undergoing any kind of chemical treatment.

You should also avoid using any kind of heat styling tools for at least a week before getting your Sombré treatment. This will give your hair time to recover from any previous damage and will help it withstand the bleaching process. 

You can always talk to a professional colorist at your local salon who will assess the health of your hair and work out the perfect look for you.

Get the look

Once you’ve chosen your shade and prepped your locks, it’s time to get the perfect Sombré look.

Your hairstylist will start by applying lightener to the ends of your hair and then work their way up. They will then use a toner to even out the color and add shine.

The final result should be soft, natural-looking highlights that frame your face beautifully. 

Can I sombré my hair at home?

If you decide to go the DIY route, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, you will need to purchase an ombré hair kit, which can be found at most beauty supply stores.

Second, you will need to section off your hair so that only the section you want to color is exposed.

And third, you will need to follow the instructions included in the kit carefully so that you don’t end up with uneven color.

How to sombré hair at home.

Here’s a great video from the experts at Clairols that shows you how to sombré your own hair at home, step-by-step.

What is the sombré technique?

The sombré technique is used to create a natural-looking transition from dark to light, or to add dimension to otherwise flat and boring hair.

To achieve the sombré look, the hair is first divided into sections. The roots are then left their natural color, while the ends are lightened by several shades.

This creates a subtle gradient effect that is both flattering and trendy.

The best part about the sombré technique is that it can be customized to suit any hair color or type.

So whether you’re a brunette looking for a little bit of brightness, or a blonde searching for some depth, the sombré technique is sure to give you gorgeous results.

What is a Flamboyage?

A flamboyage is a type of hair color technique that is similar to sombré.

The main difference is that, with flamboyage, the color is applied freehand rather than with a deliberate gradation.

While sombré tends to be more dramatic, with a more obvious contrast between the light and dark sections, flamboyage is more subtle and softer.

How long does sombré hair last?

The good news is that this trendy style is surprisingly long-lasting. 

But just like any other hair color, the longevity of your sombré depends on a variety of factors, including how often you wash your hair, the products you use, and your natural hair color.

If you have dark hair and want a subtle ombré look, you can expect your color to last around 6-8 weeks before it starts to fade and you need to head back to the salon.

If you have lighter hair, you may find that your color fades a bit quicker, but with proper care, it can still last for several weeks.

Of course, if you’re looking for a more dramatic sombré effect, you can always touch up your roots as needed. It looks incredible with grown-out roots in a root blur effect.

Is sombré hair low maintenance?

Yes, sombré hair is low maintenance!

The best thing about the trend is that it looks good when it starts to grow out.

With other hairstyles, you have to be really careful not to let your roots show, but with sombré, a little root growth can actually add to the effect.

And if your hair is looking a little flat, you can just spray some sea salt spray on it and scrunch it up for an instant beachy look.

That makes it super low maintenance, trendy, and easy to style. As long as you care for it properly…

How to care for sombré hair.

Sombré hair is easy to care for, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to keep your color looking fresh and vibrant.

First, be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner that are specifically designed for colored hair. These products will help to protect your hair and scalp and keep the color from fading.

Second, avoid washing your hair too often. Over-washing can strip the color from your hair and leave it looking dull.

And third, be sure to use a heat protectant before using any hot styling tools. This will help to keep your hair healthy and prevent any damage from the heat.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your sombré hair looking gorgeous for weeks on end.

Parting words

Sombré hair is a beautiful and subtle way to add dimension and interest to your hair.

With its soft and subtle gradation of color, sombré is the perfect way to enhance your natural hair color or add a touch of brightness to your look.

And thanks to its low maintenance and easy-to-style nature, sombré hair is the perfect choice for busy ladies who want to look their best with minimal effort. So if you’re looking for a trendy and flattering hair color, sombré is definitely the way to go!

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Nicola Freeman

Creative Director & Owner

With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during Covid for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!