Okay, to be fair, it never really went away, but we heard the word ombré so many times last year that we were thisclose to going medieval if a colorist mentioned it one more time. But, no matter how over it you may think you are, the fact remains that — according to almost every colorist on the planet — ombré is one of the most flattering things you can do for your hair color.
"Ombré hair is a natural beachy look," according to Tracey Cunningham, Redken creative consultant for color and co-owner of Beverly Hills salon, Mèche, meaning that it lightens up your hair and gives it a sunkissed glow without looking brassy or fake. "I don't think it ever went away," continues Cunningham. "I had a few clients who tell me that they are so over ombré, but then they tell me they want highlights, they don't want them coming out of their roots, and they want the ends lighter." Not to burst anyone's bubble, but that is the very definition of ombré.
Then why are so many of us are we still wearing a look that, for all intents and purposes, we seem to be trying to resist? We think the ombré resurgence has to do with the recent spate of brunette stars taking the dip-dye plunge. Cunningham agrees that brown-haired girls are the drivers of the trend, with stars like Jessica Biel, Beyoncé, and Jada Pinkett Smith leading the charge. Brunettes, she says, do not have a ton of options for natural ways to lighten up their hair. "Do you remember the highlights brunettes used to get? Thank God for ombré," she exclaims. "Brunettes used tell me how they were naturally brown, but after three or four highlights, they were suddenly blondes. A client of mine and I nicknamed that color 'bronde' — it was awful."
According to Cunningham, what makes this iteration of ombré fresh and new is that it's no longer about a drastic, two-toned look, but more about a natural, subtle gradation. That means blondes and redheads can also get in on the trend without fear of it looking harsh or unnatural. Just be sure, advises Cunningham, that you don't do your colors too solid — they should flow gently into each other, not create a stark, harsh contrast.
If you're still not convinced on ombré's staying power, Cunningham has a few words for you. When asked if she thinks ombré will be one of those hair color trends that we look back on in horror, she replies, "Never. It's always going to be around — I promise you on my life." Strong words from the woman responsible for keeping the lush locks of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron, and Drew Barrymore looking flawless.