People are quick to associate ombré hair color with long locks. They tend to think of what we like to call "mermaid hair," the kind that falls as far down as the lower back, with beachy volume and texture. Short hair, however, is rarely called to mind. That, our friends, is a mistake seeing as ombré hair works on almost any length, including lobs, bobs, and any other short haircut. No matter the length of your hair, darker roots and lighter ends result in that sun-kissed, gradient effect we all know and love. Yes, we're officially putting it out there: Short ombré hair indeed exists.
It can be a longer process, as each version of ombre ends up looking distinctly unique. Hair-colorist Jenna Viney mentions there's a whole lot of freedom when it comes to this style, as there are so many different versions out there. One style is never exactly the same as another. "I paint, don't foil, so it's incredibly creative looking at placement, and gets me to think outside box as each head and cut are all so different."
One thing to note is this style won't last as long as a traditionally longer look. "It will grow out faster, you won't get longevity like a long layered cut (easily only done 1/yr), but it's also more creative, fun, and playful."
Ombre can be soft, natural, or it can get dramatic with high contrast colors throughout, and placement is key, Viney says. She strictly specializes in balayage, so even that would mean a different placement than foiling. Plus, note that tone is separate from ombre placement, which is why a consultation is important so you can discuss any issues and communicate what you're looking for.
We realize that like most things in life, we can't just make a claim without providing any proof. That's why we curated a list of our favorite short ombré looks from celebrities, Instagram, and expert hair stylists.
Keep scrolling to see 25 photos that demonstrate the shorter side of ombré.
Ombré For Short Hair
Choosing a Shade: Try keeping the root as natural as possible, which makes for complementary tones, and keeps the upkeep lower maintenance, which is the best side effect to ombre's, Viney says. Plus, work with the underlying pigments, not against them.
Maintenance Level: Very low maintenance and makes for an easy and natural-looking grow-out
Goes Great With: A warmer makeup look like jewel tones or earthy naturals look amazing.
Price: Starting around $275.
Celeb colorist and stylist Stephen Garrison posted this photo, which shows how well a subtle blonde ombré works with a chin-length cut.
What starts out as a deep chestnut color at the roots, slowly brightens up to an ashy blonde at the ends. The color progression is soft and subtle, even though her hair is only shoulder length.
Honey I'm Blonde
Sure, this haircut is verging on mid-length rather than short. However, this honey-blonde ombré is too good to miss.
Sleek and Straight
Short ombré hair doesn't have to be beachy and textured. It can also be sleek and straight, like this chin-length bob.
The combination of brunette and blonde hair, which has been coined "bronde," was all the rage this past year, and it's a hair color trend that's not going away anytime soon.
How about a cool silver-blonde ombré hair color for winter? It's fresh and icy, just like the season itself.
Cafè Au Lait
On the other end of the hair color spectrum is this incredibly warm, golden-blonde color. Everything from the seamless ombré color to the glamorous vintage-inspired waves is on point.
Vanessa Hudgens's bold ombré lob blends three separate hair colors: dark chestnut roots, warm honey-brown mid-lengths, and golden-blonde ends.
Ciara's chin-length bob is all about one thing and one thing only: texture. Try replicating the piecey definition of her hair by spritzing Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray ($28) from the mid-lengths to the ends.
Bold ombré, like this brown-to-pink transition on influencer Irene Kim, can pack a powerful punch with the limited mileage of shorter hair.
Here is Cara Delevingne with a pixie grown out into a feathered chin-length bob. Everything from her blonde ombré to her soft and windswept texture is simply lovely. She looks like a modern-day Twiggy.
One of our favorite hair looks by Sarah Hyland is this one, in which she wore her seamless ombré strands tied up in a soft half-up, half-down hairstyle.
Miley Cyrus wears her dark-to-light 'do slicked back in a cool androgynous style. Shout out the pink glitter paste she has placed above her ear.
Here's another ombré look that verges on medium-length hair instead of short. However, it's worth including to show how even people who start with a dark base can paint their ends blonde. All it takes is an expert colorist who can blend the two shades seamlessly.
Say goodbye to harsh highlight lines. Lived in highlights like Jamie Chung's lighter color fade better. By blending a dark root and myriad lighter colors together, you get a super-relaxed look that helps color grow out in a natural way.
Sleek Ash Blonde
Tamera Mowry knows the power of a sleek ombré bob. Hers is a cool-toned combination of dark brown and ash blonde.
Chrissy Teigen's blunt and textured bob is like something out of our wildest dreams. We love the razor-cut ends and the two face-framing blonde pieces at the front of her hair.
Rashida Jones paired her famous bangs with sleek, shoulder-length strands at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Her bangs are dark, which emboldens the look of her hair's ombré color transition.
Remember when Emma Stone had these blunt bangs for a hot minute? They're great, but we can't stop staring at her red ombré color. It starts off a dark auburn before seamlessly transitioning to bright strawberry blonde.
This is how a French girl does short ombré hair. Jeanne Damas nails that effortless yet put-together vibe that French women are known for.