What could possibly evoke more of a chill, beachy vibe than blonde balayage? Try its effortlessly more laid-back sister, blonde ombré. The amazing thing about blonde ombré hair? You can go months without touching up your color, and your hair still looks like 10 fire emojis. And frequent root touch-ups? We don't know her.
"An ombré is multifaceted," explains celeb colorist Jeremy Tardo. "A blonde ombré color differs from other blonde looks in that it displays a heavy concentration of solid brightness towards the ends of hair." Ready to lighten up? Here, 25 blonde ombré hair inspirations for your next salon appointment.
Choosing a Shade: "I usually stick with the two-rule method," says celebrity hair expert Cory Aaron Scott. "Do not go [more than] two shades lighter or darker than your natural base. Also account for warmth (unless that’s the desired tone) and try to neutralize accordingly."
Maintenance Level: Low, according to Tardo, "The lightened sections are focused on the mid-lengths and ends. A well-blended ombré look can be refreshed as little as once to twice a year."
Price: "The initial cost is going to be an investment, trying to lift all that hair, tone it," says Scott. "Also, purchasing the right products to keep the hair healthy and the color from stripping." Price will vary by location, but Scott says in Los Angeles typically the starting price would be around $350.
Blonde Ombré Locs
Ciara's expertly melted brunette-to-honey color is a work of art. Tardo's advice to nail your perfect color? "Consultation is key," he affirms. "This allows space for your goals and the colorist’s recommendations to be thoroughly be communicated in advance which creates a better understanding of what your next appointment together will entail."
Icy Blonde Ombré
Platinum blonde always makes a statement. But there's something about this melt from an ashy root into an icy blonde that makes us want to bleach and tone until we reach this level of ombré perfection, no matter how long it takes.
When headed to your colorist, Scott says to bring in reference pictures, "Even selfies [...] with a filter that is close to the end result," he suggests. "We have amazing technology—why not use it?"
"For an ombré that isn’t too 2015, brunettes should soften the contrast to their ombré," Tardo suggests. "Brighter isn’t always better. Let’s think ebony into chestnut or honey-toned ombré. This smooths out the color transition and still provides interest." For Sophie Piper, her gradual blonde ombré transition could not be smoother.
For natural blondes, Tardo says to "use your ombré as an opportunity to give your hair a wearable root that fades into a bright and creamy finish." Kristin Ess created this rooty look on Lauren Conrad, and we're obsessed.
Ess, the queen of blending dark roots to super bright ends, also did this contrasty ombré on a rich, chocolate base. We're in awe of the way she melted natural brunette into luminous blonde.
Nothing feels quite like summer like some sun-loved beach hair. We love how Sofia Vergara's warm blonde ombré evokes that very feeling, even without an ocean in sight.
All the Shades of Blonde
Anything we can do, Queen Bey can do better. But still, if our blonde ombré turned out half as great as this, we'd be thrilled.
Pro tip: Make sure to tell your colorist everything you're doing to your hair—whether that's dying it yourself, perms, relaxers, treatments—anything.
Add some major depth to curly hair with bright blonde ombré in naturally dark hair. It may take a while to lighten, but the end product will be 100 percent worth it. Plus, once you reach your desired color you'll hardly need to go in for touch-ups.
For natural redheads, like Bryce Dallas Howard, Tardo says less is more. "Concentrate the strong color placement to the areas where they matter most. I suggest brightening the edges of your hair around the face and on the outer surface which is similar to the effect created by sun exposure."
Shay Mitchell is always #hairgoals, but this blonde ombré hair look was particularly enviable. Usually rocking her signature dark brown color, this golden bronzed look is a stunning, yet subtle way to change up the routine.
We're loving this natural gradient from dark to light on Regina Hall. "If done properly, the result should have subtle blending and a beautiful grow-out," says Scott. Safe to say this is the ultimate example of ombré done right.
Ashy Root to Neutral Blonde
"Olive skin, with a yellow-green undertone, works well with blondes that have a neutral hue," Tardo says. "Think cafe au lait, nude, and tan." We're loving how this blonde on Kim Kardashian West begins with more of a cool, ashy base and warms up ever so slightly as the color lightens.
Brightened Up Dirty Blonde
Another top pick for natural blondes, Suki Waterhouse is a testament to the power of subtle highlights. Pops of beige and platinum placed at the ends is the cherry on top of her already English-cool-girl vibes.
Ebony to Sandy
If you've ever gone from brunette to blonde, you know what it feels like to not recognize yourself in the mirror after such a drastic change. That's why we love the idea of keeping your natural color extended pretty low before transitioning to light like Jordyn Woods. You get that blonde ombré fun, minus the post-appointment "shock."
Yet another example of absolutely perfected ombré wizardry by Kristin Ess, this understated gradient on Lucy Hale is bright and effortless. Pops of warm chestnut and platinum feel oh-so-summer time fine.
Soft Blonde Ombré
Leona Lewis will never not slay the ombré game. And she looks good with about any hue of blonde—or brunette for that matter. "When your skin’s undertones are neutral, have fun experimenting with the full spectrum of hair color tones as warmth or coolness will work equally well on you," says Tardo.
Beachy Brunette to Blonde
Not to be dramatic, but we're crying tears of joy just witnessing this masterpiece by Stephen Garrison. The way each hue complements Nadia Grace's skin tone and eye color is nothing short of wizardry.
"Warm and rich skin tones with red or yellow pigmentation can pair beautifully with blonde colors that have a golden or neutral finish," Tardo explains. "Think butter, beige, and sandy blondes." We are not surprised at this swoon-worthy buttery dream created by Johnny Ramirez.
Ash Blonde Ombré
This ashy blonde ombré color would look amazing on a variety of skin undertones, but Tardo especially recommends it for cool. "Cooler toned skin with pink undertones pairs nicely with blondes that have an ash finish. Think icy, light blondes," he explains.
Blonde Ombré Updo
The only thing better than blonde ombré hair? A blonde ombré updo with effortless face-framing beach waves, as evidenced by Laverne Cox.
Short Hair Ombré
The lighter ends give this short haircut an extra playful edge. The lightest blonde bits are kept at the front to really frame and brighten up the face.
Blonde Ombré Braids
Ombré braids are everything. We're loving this transition from sandy blonde to platinum ends on Jasmine Sanders.
We've already sung high praises of a good bronde hair color and we'll gladly do it again any day of the week. This color frequents the form of ombré that transitions from brunette to blonde, and in our opinion, is totally flattering on anyone.
Honey Beige Ends
Khloé Kardashian is one of the unofficial queens of ombré, and we love how amazing it looks pulled into a high ponytail. Her roots melt out seamlessly, keeping the otherwise major color transition looking natural.
Long Creamy Ombré
Chrissy Teigen's soft sandy ends are a subtle example of blonde ombré hair. A natural and seamless transition from dark to light is all in a set of perfectly placed highlights.