Sarah Jessica Parker

Between your latest color application and trying to book an appointment with the most sought after colorist in town, maintaining your hair color for as long as you can has always been a struggle. A battle of keeping the color alive while maintaining the roots every once in a while. Ombré (pronounced ohm-bray), a trend that started last year and is still going strong, has taken hair color to a whole new level. It's the type of hair dye application that looks simple and easy yet in reality it takes more time to achieve the final look than any other process. It feels like a "surfer hair" look, but with a modern twist to it.

Ombré, or gradient, is a French method of dying fabrics gradually, usually from light to dark, hence producing a gradient effect. Hair stylists were inspired to create a similar effect on the hair after seeing previous fashion shows such as Burberry which used ombré techniques on materials, and other shows where models trekked out with a "surfer girl" messy hairdo. Combined together, Ombré hair was born. From Burberry trench coats to nail polish to hair, ombré seems to be dominating the world of fashion.

Even though it is trickier to apply, the ombré look is an easier look to maintain, since it goes on dark at the roots, and lighter as you go down.

As good as it looks, it's a low maintenance look but with a longer visit at the hair dresser (but isn't that extra hour worth it though?). A perfect result would mean that your hair will look like it's in between color touch-up appointments, or like you were growing out an old haircut.

Celebrities such as Sara Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, Drew Barrymore and model Lily Aldridge have taken on the look lately. Sara Jessica Parker and Lily Aldridge opted for a more natural ombré effect, while Lady Gaga went for a more peroxide effect. Drew Barrymore did a different take on it, but unfortunately it was totally wrong and lacked elegance. Ombré, when done right, should be gradual. Drew's hair was blonde and ended with a thick black stripe (huge no-no). The look would have been more successful if her hair was longer and the shades more similar.

Now, in this region, the Arabian Gulf, we don't typically have blonde hair. Most hair color tones range from dark shades of brown to the more severe black. If you want to do it right, follow these simple guidelines:

* Keep in mind that ombré works best with medium to long hair.

* Starting with the darkest desired shade at the top, you need to go three shades lighter to get to the end.

* Avoid going blonde if you have olive to dark skin, as your ends might look white.


* Even if the hairstylist suggests some colors, make sure that the final look isn't very edgy. Here is a suggested palette if you're a brunette: Start with a dark chocolate and end with a light walnut brown.

* Even if it's a playful look you're after, try not to go too far with the dyeing. Make it easy, fun and natural.

* Protect your hair with serums and conditioners because it can dry out from the lightening process.

Styling your newly dyed ombré hair can be fun yet tricky at the same time. For a day look, style your hair with natural waves or go for a playful look with a few braids on the side. For night, a sleek put-together Greek goddess look will show off the different shades of the hair. A messy updo will also expose the natural ease behind the look, and a side bun would work just as well.


Ombré hair is easy to maintain, easy on the wallet (no need to touch up the roots for months!) and ever so stylish. What are you waiting for? Book an appointment now!

By Moza Alhuraiz

– Images: SJP, Lady Gaga, Katie Shillingford, Drew Barrymore, Lily Aldrige


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