Sombré (subtle ombré) is now here, and being courted and wooed by everyone from salon hairstylists to celebrities.
A coloring technique that allows for a softer and more natural progression of color than the original trendsetter, sombré hair resembles more the natural color changes in a horse’s mane rather than the the jolt of color in a parakeet feather. The end result is very pleasing on the eyes, and not jarring in a neon billboard kind of way.
George Papanikolas, Matrix Celebrity Stylist and Colorist, who has given the sombré look to Jenna Tatum and Minka Kelley, among others says that although sombré looks more natural it requires some serious maintenance because of the delicate highlights at the roots that gradually fade to lighter brighter ends. It tends to grow out softly though, and needs to be retouched every 12-14 weeks.
But, he adds, sombré is more gentle on the hair because hair does not have to be lightened or processed heavily to achieve the look, which causes less damage and requires fewer treatments and conditioning. Papanikolas adds that the ideal sombré has “soft delicate highlights at the root area that gradually get lighter at the ends. All the ends of the hair should not look dip dyed.”
None of that harsh, spiky streaks of color that we had initially with ombré,despite Lindsay Lohan’s colorful version. Previously, there would be the great divide: your natural color, and suddenly ombre, as though gradual fading did not matter. But with the new trend, a gradual fade is truly key.
Of course, great sombré looks, such as the kinds worn by Kim Kardashian or Jessica Biel, require careful maintenance, and they tend to work best on straight or wavy hair. Papanikolas advises that hair moisturizers (hair masques, like Leonor Greyl’s Masque Quintessence, which we’re crazy about) is the key to maintaining the rich color process.
Get the Look at Home
And yes, there is a way to get the look at home. L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Ombré Touch ($12.99) just launched and aims to give you that subtle effect, with streaks of light that don’t look forced. The kit contains an Expert Touch Applicator, a plastic brush with fine teeth that easily fits onto a finger tip so you can brush the color into your hair. The Luminous Lightening System contains a Lifting Powder, a lifting Crème, and a Crème Develope, which when used together creates a sophisticated and subtle sombré effect.