Balayage, ombre, highlights: Decoding hair colour trends

06 November 2019 | By Reneé Fortune

Looking to switch up your colour? We’ve got expert advice on this season’s must-try trends. Plus, learn how to chat with your hairdresser about the hair you want.


When it comes to hair, there are those amongst us for whom one acronym applies – YOLO. Yes, you only live once, so why not try everything once – at least when it comes to hairstyles, right? We’ve been keeping an eye on the catwalk and the red carpet for the latest hair trends and one thing’s for sure – there’s a colour and cut for everyone. Wondering how to get the look? We chatted to Gary Rom, CEO of Gary Rom Hairdressing for an expert’s opinion on the latest trends.

What on earth is balayage?

We loved it on Sarah Jessica Parker and Cara Delevingne, and a little birdy told us that the latest trend is balayage, but what is it all about? “Balayage is one of the easiest trends to follow this season,” Gary explains. “It is a combination of different lighter and darker shades that give the hair dimension while keeping your root area natural, or as natural as possible. This means that when your hair starts to grow out it will blend in with the look, meaning maintenance is really low. It’s the softer version of the ombre – much more natural and blended.”

What’s the deal with ombre?

We’ve seen ombre hair in all the colours of the rainbow and we’re crazy about this trend. It’s the perfect way to stand out and be adventurous with your hair. And the experts seem to agree. “We love ombre, whether it is subtle or bold,” Gary says. “For example, natural into blonde or dark into flaming red. It’s a super versatile look, but bolder than balayage. The most daring one I have done is purple into ice blonde. Ombre is great for making a statement.”

Highlights or lowlights, that is the question

What is the difference between highlights and lowlights and which one should we go for? “Highlights are lighter pieces. Lowlights are darker pieces,” Gary explains. “Anyone can do them. Everyone can add a dash of colour to enhance a facial feature or the design of their cut. If used correctly a combination of both can give hair new life or even make it appear fuller. The possibilities are endless.”

How can a stylist help with choosing the right look?

Gary advises, “By asking the right combination of questions, your stylist can help you figure out the best way forward; for example, are you someone who colours every four weeks or do you want to only colour every six to eight weeks? How much time do you spend on styling your hair? Does your hair have to be tied up? How often will you be trimming your hair to keep the style? These types of questions give the stylist clearer guidelines of what he or she can do.”


IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com

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