Is Ombré over?
I don't think so, yet—although as I said in my 2011 trend predictions post, I think this will be its final year in the spotlight. (More on that in a future post—I have some thoughts on how the look is going to evolve.)
But still... Ombré is already over for ME. A couple of weeks ago, I officially ended my Ombré hair colour experiment, and I couldn't be happier to be back to my usual blonde highlights (technically, balayage, since they were painted on freehand—no foils).
But don't get me wrong: I'm not knocking the look for those who are still rocking it, or want to try it. There are just certain reasons why it didn't work for me... and therefore may not work for you.
1. My intention was not to be a brunette.
And yet, that's exactly how people identified me. I was in denial until an old friend (hadn't seen him in years) told me at a party that he didn't recognize me at first with my "brown hair."
Nein nein nein.
Same thing happened to Nora (@noraborealis), who I'm afraid I encouraged to go Ombré as well. She had this to say on Twitter: "When the man I'm dating described my hair as brown, it had to go."
What can I say? Us fake blondes are a strange, blonderexic breed.
Also: Check out the pic of Lauren Conrad, above. She still looks great, of course, because her hair is a mile long and there is still quite a bit of blonde at the ends... but when she puts her hair up, see what happens?
And correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think she's still wearing her hair this dark.
The fix for this could be to simply start the graduation of colour further up on your head, like Drew Barrymore's original Ombré colour (before *I think* she softened it up, above)...
... But to me it's WAY too high-contrast and just looks like bad roots, instead of deliberate colour. Yes?
2. I have straight, fine hair—whereas Ombré looks best with some wave/texture.
Any mistakes in the colour are more visible with straight hair. (Not that the fine man who did mine achieved anything less than a 100 percent technically perfect graduation of colour—he's a MASTER.) But as you can see in the above pic of Katherine McPhee, not everyone has a good colourist. Even celebs.
Also: see how much better, more natural, it looks on Camila Alves here with wavy hair? I LOVE it with wavy hair.
I just wasn't too keen on having to curl my hair every day to look like that.
3. I have bangs.
Not only do bangs tend to look a bit weird when worn straight with the rest of your hair wavy—necessitating even more styling headaches—they also, when Ombré'd, are *completely* brunette.
Just way too much darkness around the face for this blonderexic.
Compare the model in the pic above with the bang-less Rachel Bilson below. How much better does RB look?
Plus: Her makeup is awesome.
4. Blonde camos greys... Ombré does not.
Hair people like to tell you that Ombré is soooo much lower maintenance, and it IS—if you don't have any grey hairs.
But if you do (and you may not know you do until you go darker), the contrast of the greys against your brunette roots will Drive. You. Crazy. Even if there are only, like, three. (I keep telling myself I only have three... but who knows.) This is why I prefer highlights—they really are lower maintenance because any greys that pop up just look like highlights, and you can deceive yourself for a really long time that you are NOT going grey. Seriously.
5. Ombré can make you look like you didn't wash your hair.
Ask any fake blonde and they will tell you that blonde absorbs grease. I don't know if this has to do with the bleach or just the lighter colour itself, but when I'm blonde I NEVER have a problem with my bangs looking greasy or clumped together. And I can usually go a couple of days without washing my hair (if I want to).
But with my Ombré'd bangs and roots? I had to become a daily washer. And it was annoying. The darker colour just made my hair look limp and flat and since it was all becoming so very high maintenance, can you blame me for saying sayonara?
So just to re-cap... I think Ombré can work IF:
1. Your hair isn't super-fine.
2. It has some wave or curl.
3. You don't have bangs.
4. You don't have greys. (Or are willing to put up with the upkeep.)
Are you a fan of the Ombré look?
Or do you think its 15 minutes are up?
Can you believe THIS came up as an example of Ombré when I did a Google Image search? HAHAHA.