Remember the world before ombré took over? No? Neither do we. According to our very official, totally anthropological Google searching, our first-ever article about ombré was in 2009 when we innocently wondered, "Are these ombré hair highlights total radness or just plain badness?" Obviously, the answer was "total radness." But, of course, no one could have predicted that this look — while eye-catchingly edgy at the time — would turn into such a classic.
In the years since this dark-to-light fade started showing up, it's taken on a life of its own, becoming a trend far more complex than a simple gradient effect. With ombré variations as infinite as the number of hair colors between platinum and chestnut, it can be confusing to identify what genre of ombré a look is. So, we decided to break it down for you.