Is Ombre Hair Professional?

ombre-hair-for-workIs ombre hair appropriate for the office? When does any hair color become “unprofessional”? Reader P wrote in with a great question, and perhaps might lead us to an interesting discussion of when hair dyes and colors cross the line:

I was wondering if you could do a post on whether ombre hair is professional. I graduated from law school last May and am currently interviewing for positions. I have this “fellowship” through my school for now (used for rankings), but am looking for a full time real job. I have long black hair and am thinking about getting the ombre look with either medium to dark brown on the ends or perhaps auburn. What do you think of this look? Is it acceptable in the professional setting or does it seem to casual? Here are some images of what I’m thinking of: here and here.

Every time I think we’ve covered hair as completely as it can be covered, another question comes up.  We’ve talked about platinum blond hair at the office, as well as gray hair at the office, but not other hair dyes and colors.  So let’s discuss.

When I first saw her question (before clicking on the pictures), I’ll admit my reaction here was HELL NO (followed by, is ombre hair still a thing?).  But… I looked at the pictures and I think these are subtle, interesting effects, and I think if she wanted to she could probably get away with them at the office.  That said, I don’t think I’d necessarily recommend the look for interviewing — it’s still a tough market out there, and there should be nothing about your appearance that distracts from your accomplishments and skills.

But in general, when does hair color become unprofessional?  It’s a sliding scale, I think.  So I’m going to lay out a few questions that I might ask myself when considering whether a certain dye job is too wacky for the office — but I’m curious to hear what the readers say.  Here are my questions :

1) Is the hair color you want found in nature?  Here, it’s a tricky question — ombre hair isn’t really found in nature, but the components of the hair color (reddish, brownish, blackish) are all found in nature.  I’d say that the farther you get from nature (blue, pink, clownish red) the more in danger you are.

ombre-hair-for-work 22) Does the hair color look like something you did intentionally, or does it look like you made a mistake?  I think this is the problem with some ombre hair (such as the black/blond combo pictured at right).  Some people have black hair.  Some people have blond hair.  But they don’t usually have both.  And even though the (model? actress? I admit I’ve no idea who she is) looks lovely, with super shiny, sleek hair… I just think that after a day or two (or particularly if you try to put your hair up in a bun or ponytail) it’s going to look like your hair color was not an intentional thing.

3) What will the crotchety old VIP in your office think?  Will he or she notice your dye job?  is s/he now going to call you “the girl with the wacky hair”?  I think if you have ombre hair like either of the two pictures Reader P sent in, s/he probably won’t even notice.  (I think the fact that ombre hair has been around for a few years actually works in your favor here).  If you’re making a drastic shift, though — say, mousy brown hair to platinum blond — they will definitely notice.  Which brings us to:

4)  How does it look on you?  I’d say you have anywhere from one to five business days (at most) to figure this out.  If the color is completely wrong on you — and you look like a clown, like an animal, like it’s blotchy, like you’re trying to look older or younger — then you have to change it as soon as possible.  Why?  Because wearing things that make you look bad is an error in judgment, and that affects how people view you professionally.

I’d say there are other considerations with hair color, as well.  For example, can you keep up with the upkeep?  If you have massive roots showing (for example) that brings us back to Question 4.

Ladies, what do you think — is subdued ombre hair appropriate for the office?  When does any hair color become unprofessional?  (And: would you interview with ombre hair?)


  1. The examples the reader posted are really subtle and pretty. I would not see a problem with something like that. Ugh, I cannot stand the dark/light combo thing. It just looks like you ran out of hair color half way through the process.

    • financialfashionista :


      I think for ombre to done well, it has to be subtle – Very subtle. The picture of Sandra Bullock barely even looks ombre to me, and as such I think it looks nice. Drastic changes in hair color just look your stylist ran out of coloring, or like a color change that’s not kept up.

      For the OP, it’s not territory I would venture into before an interview.

      • Diana Barry :

        Yes. The Sandra Bullock picture is fine – I think Gisele also has a nice ombre effect going sometimes (hers is usually lighter on the ends). However, the really high-contrast ombre is not appropriate.

        • Diana Barry :

          This is verging on too much


        • Diana Barry :

          And this is definitely too much

          • A nonny moose :

            Your first link doesn’t work, but I think Drew’s hair looks great, and professional.

          • midwest anon :

            My hair looks a lot like Drew’s, except my blonde doesn’t go quite so far up. As I said below, it never occurred to me that it wasn’t professional, but my office and the city I practice in isn’t one in which I’d be concerned about it.

          • I think it looks like Drew’s growing out a dye job in that pic.

          • a passion for fashion :

            I agree — Drew’s hair looks great.

          • Giraffe with curls :

            I agree that Drew’s hair looks gorgeous but I don’t think it says “take me seriously as a professional.” Which is probably not the look she was going for, so it works for her.

    • +1

  2. I’m going to slightly disagree with the first point – I think the ombre effect does exist naturally.
    Long hair will often be lighter at the ends by virtue of being older and having had more bleaching sun effects. My hair will often (naturally, over the course of a couple of years) do what Ms. Bullock’s has done and be dark dark brown at the roots, and light up to a redder-brown at the ends.

    The successful professional execution probably depends on the fact that these are gradual changes between colors that occur naturally, and are naturally related to each other.

    • Agreed! I have long dark blonde hair, and the ends are about 2-3 shades lighter than the top because of the sun, etc. I would never color my hair to get it all even – that just seems silly. So if you’re looking for an ombre effect that does mimic natural coloring, (i.e. Ms. Bullock), then I think you’re more than appropriate in all settings, so long as its done well.

    • Back when I used to see daylight, my hair was like that, too. Dark at the roots, lighter blonde at the ends.

    • Wendalette :

      Absolutely, ombre, when IT LOOKS NATURAL and your hair is healthy-looking, i.e. the ends don’t look fried, is acceptable in a professional office. But I say that with the caveat, that I’m not in biglaw; I’m in government contracting.
      My hair actually has two (or three) whammys when it comes to questions about professional hair–it’s super curly coils that reach past my shoulders and every year, by the time winter rolls around, it’s ombered from darkest brown–almost black–to a lighter brown at my ends. And if I’ve had an especially outdoorsy summer, my ends are bright copper. Which looks kind of stunning on a darker-skinned woman (I’m multiracial).
      However, I have tended to tone it down in interviews and in official meetings by putting it in a bun or twisting it up into a clip. I do think, though, that the graduating colors go a long way toward softening a look, which should be considered for a woman trying to convey authority. Some might find that it softens her look too much and subtly undermines that authoritative air. Others might find it helpful in making her seem less harsh and more approachable. Depends on what you’re going for and the climate of your industry and office.
      And that’s my two cents.

    • frugal doc.. :

      Agreed. My hair does this as well, and I used to really like it. I would mix in some highlights as the greys started popping up. Then a wayward hairdresser made me feel like this gradation in color was very unacceptable, and convinced me to dye my entire head and then add highlights. What a mistake…. I HATED it. It looked so unnatural. Instantly it became so obvious that I was dying my hair (which also in my circles highlighted my age….) and I was doomed to constant retouching roots with a double process. My hair grows very fast and the touch ups were costing me a fortune. Ugh… what a mistake.

  3. I’m so glad for this post because I have been wondering the exact same thing. I work in the headquarters of a financial services company. The office is probably 70% men. The men dress substantially better than the women and generally have a metrosexual vibe, so I think I could get away with something subtle. But I’m still undecided.

  4. I would NOT want this for the office. I need to LOOK professeional, and this mean’s for me wearing my hair neately and consistentely. My hair is uniformely blond, so why would I change it intentioneally? 30 years from now, if I get GRAY, I will consider something, but since I am now exactley where I want to be and where the manageing partner want’s me to be, in terms of look’s and hair, I would NOT change things, or recomend that any one else change things.

    My only QUANDRIE is over why the manageing partner all of a sudden does NOT want me to wear scrunchies? Im OK with it now, b/c it’s cold, but in the summer, I do NOT want my hair makeing me uncomfotorble, especialy if he also does NOT prefer UPDOOes on me.

    What does the HIVE do when their manageing partner’s give them a hard time about SCRUNCHIES? Is this an issue elsewhere? As the only young female attorney here, I have no
    other point of reference, so I have to RELY on the HIVE’s sage advise. HELP!!!!

    • Perhaps if management has commented on your scrunchie, s/he views a scrunchie as too casual for the office. You would probably be able to solve this and still tie your hair up with a rubber band the same color as your hair. If you dislike the usual Goody’s (etc.) rubber bands, try Twistband (, also available through Birchbox). They have a variety of colors, but I would recommend a color that closely matches your blonde hair.

      Ban your scrunchies and try the simple rubber bands. If you still receive comments, then ask a few friends in corporate jobs (the kind that will be brutally honest with you) to take a look at your hair and see if they see any issues (for example, do you have multiple earrings or a tattoo that your boss might be wanting you to hide?)

    • I have to be honest – scrunchies are a terrible look. It looks reasonable on teenagers at a festival but on anyone else it looks unprofessional, messy and old fashioned. When tying my hair back I go for a simple band in a similar colour to my hair and sometimes even twist hair over the band so it is not visible at all. This will make your hair look smart, neat and professional.

  5. I’d say to wait until you’re done interviewing and somewhat established at the new job (and can gauge the vibe of your office) before doing an ombre look. Otherwise, I think it could be a little distracting.

    • OP said she had long hair. As long as the effect is subtle (which I assume it would be to be office appropriate), she could just put it up for any interview/first day.

      • As someone with long hair, I agree that if you can “hide” it by putting it in an up-do during business hours, go for it! But even then, it would have to be subtle… no pink on blonde or blonde on black. no way to hide that!

  6. midwest anon :

    I currently have the ombre look going on. It’s dark brown to dark blonde, which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t think it’s unprofessional. I never even considered that issue, though…

    • I had ombre done back in November 2011 and never even considered whether it would be unprofessional. I have dark brown, a little past shoulder-length hair and just did a gradual shift to lighter brown at the ends. I’m a lawyer in BigLaw, business casual office. I received tons of compliments from people at the office regarding it. I think subtlety is key here.

      Honestly, the ombre that I like right now is Patty Stanger in this season’s Millionaire Matchmaker. And yes, I judge myself for admitting that.

      • midwest anon :

        i can’t find a picture of Patti’s and I haven’t seen this season, so you’ve definitely got me curious!
        I’m a lawyer in a small firm in a small city, and since most of my colleagues are male, they just say something like “Wow, your hair is a lot darker than when I saw you last time.” Of course, only the top of it is. Haha. I have gotten lots of compliments on mine over the last year, as well. I am thinking about abandoning the look before it is officially “over”, but now I can’t decide whether to go back to blonde like I was in my pre-ombre life, or stick with darker hair. Is yours still ombre? If not, what were you before and what did you decide to do with it?

        • I only did it once. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I had my first baby in February and all pretense of regular dye jobs died. I’ve been growing it out (my hair has always grown like a weed) and with my regular hair cuts, at this point most of it is gone.

          That was also the beauty of ombre – growing it out was a LOT easier than growing out normal highlights.

  7. First off, I love reading this blog — great advice! I’ve been in HR for 25 years and the points in this post are spot on. Wait until after you’ve gotten the gig because you’ll have time to establish credibility. Whether we like it or not, this isn’t about hair it’s about perception. Can you look in the mirror at yourself objectively and see yourself how others do? Like the old guy in the office…?

  8. Subtly done, I think it can be office appropriate. But you must also know your office. I have red hair, in a shade that is not naturally found in nature. I have it colored so that it is darker underneath. I wore it however I wanted when I worked in a law firm, but I was in Central PA and was in corporate.

    If you want to do it pre-interview, just pull it back into a bun so that no one can see the ends. I use this tactic when I decide to crazy my hair up. I make sure there is a pull back style I can utilize to disguise some of the more unique colors :)

  9. Sandra Bullock looks fine but the other two examples are bad. There is just too much hair, period: it’s hair extension central. So with the ombre, it looks tacky.

    • You bring up another question that I have been wondering: are extensions professional?

      • I personally don’t think so. I mean, why do you need so much hair in a professional setting? Most people are born with enough hair for any reasonable person. There are always exceptions to every rule but to me, extensions read a little too Paris Hilton for my liking (and even she seems to have given up hers recently).

        • Diana Barry :


        • Lots of hair :

          This is concerning to me, as I have a ton (as in probably 3 people’s worth according to my stylist when she mixes color) of hair. I generally keep it back in a bun for work, and have been asked in the past if its one of those fake clip-in bun things… yikes! I didn’t realize that people would be judging even the amount of hair, aside from color, texture, style, etc. I can’t wait until we all can just work remotely in our pjs and not have to worry about crazy stuff like this.

          • Clarification: I’m not going to judge, I just don’t see extensions as necessary. Generally if someone has extensions, you can tell. If you naturally have lots of hair, who cares? You are just lucky!

        • I disagree. If we’re talking the super long hair extensions, perhaps. But if they’re cut with your hair and used to add volume, I don’t see why not. I have thin hair, and I’ve considered extensions—not for length, but for body.

        • Christine :

          I have a friend in big law in DC who wears extensions all the time with her hair down. When she bought them, she immediately took them to her stylist to color match them with her natural hair. Her whole reasoning for extensions was not to add length but to add some volume. She, unfortunately, has extremely thin hair and she finds that w/o the extensions she looks less professional when she wears her hair down.

          • Right, during interviews, really thinning hair could read as unwell, in the way that my Mom’s head after chemo looked. And while it is illegal to discriminate based on health, that might cause you to be viewed as less reliable than another. Everything that you do for your appearance should be focused on making you look capable, reliable and ready to do the job. So clean, neatly styled hair, makeup and clothes are all going to be part of the deal. So, unless your hair or boobs or nails or hemline are applying for the job, what you want your future boss to notice is you as a whole, not one dramatic particularly flashy part of you. Think well groomed, not va-va-va-voom.

      • Olivia Pope :

        Are huge real housewives-style extensions professional? Not really.

        But I wear subtle fake hair fairly often. (I prefer half wigs, allows more versatility for less money and less work!) The key is that it’s natural looking. My fake hair is all the same texture and color as my real hair. When I just don’t feel like blow drying, I put on a half wig. Or if I want my hair to look curled without having to curl it, I put on a half wig.

        Even my close friends don’t know sometimes. One friend said, “Oh, I thought your hair looked a couple of inches longer than yesterday.”

        That said, on the weekend all bets are off.

        • Forgive my ignorance, but what is a half wig? I googled it to see, but the pictures aren’t helping me understand the idea.

          • Olivia Pope :

            It’s a wig that covers the back 3/4 of your hair. The front of your own hair stays uncovered, so you can blend it into the wig. It looks more natural than a full wig, because your hair is visibly growing from your scalp in the front.

          • As someone whose hair straight as a board but has increasingly weird kinks and dents with age, this sounds like a dream come true. What’s the best place to get one and get one fitted?

        • I have a friend who rocks the half wigs. She has work ones and party ones. It’s awesome.

          I can’t muster the energy to do anything awesome with my hair, so that’s that.

      • Like Joan Rivers like extensions work. I personally would never notice this unless you have short hair one day and long the next. And obviously Black women get extensions and they look professional.

        Now I whine.
        I want to go blondddde. No one thinks it’s a good idea. I am so bored with my hair. I saw an Olivia Wilde makeup ad in Instyle magazine where she was blond. And she’s a winter. It was during my haircut so my stupid old dye was already on but I ripped it out (the ad not my hair) and said come onnn. My stylist says no way. I promise to apply tanner. and makeup. I am so boredd. REady for winter to be overrr.

  10. Judgment alert: I don’t know that it looks unprofessional exactly, I just think it looks…not well maintained. At least to my eye, in each photo, it looks like the woman is growing out her highlights (and I am not a fan of highlights either). I am just not a fan.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I agree with this. To me it looks like you dyed your hair and are just letting it grow out. Sort of like when ripped jeans became a ‘trend’ it was supposed to not look sloppy anymore, because people bought their jeans specifically pre-ripped, so they didn’t ruin them! So it’s okay! It still looked/looks sloppy to me.

      That said, I do see the point above that your hair could totally do that naturally by being lightened by the sun more at the older (bottom) of your hair than the top.

    • Haha, this is why it’s the best thing that happened to me – I can grow out my highlights in winter and pretend I’m going ‘ombre,’ rather than having to re-highlight every few months!

  11. I had the same initial reaction that Kat did, and then the “oh, that’s actually nice” reaction to the pictures. Still, don’t do it if you’re interviewing and right out of law school. See 3) above — even if your interviewers are fairly young, ombre hair screams “trend,” and wrong as they might be, it might cause them to call into question your priorities if you are bothering to dye your hair in a trendy or seemingly high-maintenance way.

    But, if you’ve already got the job and want to experiment, knock yourself out with the subtle ombre (if it is truly subtle the way the Reader’s pictures show). I recently dyed my dark-brown hair red for my 30th (albeit a tone of red close too my natural tone).

    Oh also, how well do you know your stylist? Because some of the worst dye jobs I’ve seen in the past few years were BAD ombre jobs. Beware the blonde “ombre”!

  12. TO Lawyer :

    I really like Sandra Bullock effect – I was thinking that it would be a no but I think it loooks really nice.

    Slight TJ: I’m actually thinking of chopping my hair off (I was considering it anyways but I always make a big hair change post break-up so now it seems like I actually have to go through with it).

    I am kind of terrified though – my hair has always been long and I know it’s hair and it always grows back but STILL – it seems like such a huge change.

    • Anonymous :

      I think making a huge change that will greet you every time you look in the mirror makes a lot of sense after a breakup. If I were you I might make an appointment for a week from now, or so, and if you change your mind in the interim you can always cancel.

      The impetus for my becoming vegetarian about 10 years ago was getting dumped! It had no connection at all to the guy or the relationship, but it gave me a sense of making the transition and, in the end, has wound up being the only valuable thing I kept from that ex! I had wanted to do it for a while, but for some reason heartbreak was the kick I needed. If you don’t feel like cutting your hair after all, perhaps think of something else.

    • The last time I cut my hair shorter than usual (and it wasn’t super drastic, from a couple inches past the shoulder to just above the shoulder) I did not like it. Objectively it looked good, I just didn’t like it. Proceed with caution!
      I know a lot of people get makeovers after a breakup to get into a fresh start mindset, but to me it almost feels like letting the ex affect you even after the break up, as opposed to just moving on.

      • This. Sometimes, in life the locus of control IS external, but let’s not make that more often than it has to be.

        If you’re reacting to that person, they’re still controlling you on some level (even if it’s unintentional and they are no longer in the picture.)

      • TO Lawyer :

        I guess I never thought of it that way. I just always used the new haircut as a way to get a fresh start and reboot. In my mind, it’s not about letting my ex affect me but as my way of saying that it was time for a change and if the haircut is awesome, it’s an immediate confidence booster.

        • s in Chicago :

          Why don’t you change the color up instead of chop? You’ll still get something “new” without putting yourself in the position of possibly doing something rash because you’re emotionally a little vulnerable right now.

          I’m probably a little biased here.

          I’ve had some of my worst hair cuts after break ups. Would have killed for a friend to step in and say “not so fast….”

    • A good rule of thumb is don’t make any major changes in your life when you’re emotionally compromised. Express your emotions in a better way. See: Britney Spears’ shaving her head. I wouldn’t chop off your hair (which may be a fabulous look for you and ultimately what you decide to do) for at least a month.

    • My only comment is please, please have a hairdresser do it. L’oreal has a new box color that they say can do this. DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

  13. Billing TJ :

    Anyone else at a firm where attorneys don’t get to use the billing software? At mine, legal assistants enter time and we just track it ourselves.
    I would love to find something better than logging myself in an out of a spreadsheet every time I change tasks/ get interrupted. Any recommendations?

    • This isn’t very technologically advanced, but I have my assistant print out a blank calendar page for me for each day and note what I am doing at the time I start, and draw a line at the time the task ends.

      • Billing TJ :

        What kind of interval do you bill in? It seems like it would be tough to do this if you are billing in 6 minute intervals or doing lots of task-toggling.

      • I summer at a firm where we were given a pre-printed notebook that had the whole day broken down into 6 minute increments with a line next to it (as in, each page of the notebook was this page, with a space to fill in the date each day). It was a little bit tedious, but it was easy enough to keep the notebook out on your desk and jot down the case you were working on at the time that you started and then again when you finished.

        I assume you’d have to specially order something like that, or maybe even go to a printer and have it specially made, but I’d love to have it again.

        • I *summered* – should have been past tense.

        • another anon :

          I do something similar. My assistant a table that has the hours of the day listed across the top, and then 6 minute increments listed vertically (00-06, 06-12, etc.). then I just use one of these every day, and use a different color of pen for each client or matter no. to draw a line extending from the time I start working on something to when I stop, making notes on the page to help me remember what I did. Then I enter it into Excel at the end of the day and my assistant enters it into the firm timekeeping software weekly. I could just enter it into Excel I go, but I usually already have 5-10 different windows open on my computer, and it drives me nuts to have another open all day. Plus, it is harder to keep track of things when you get interrupted.

    • midwest anon :

      We use the old school time slips and then turn them in to our assistants to type up every day. I just write it on the time slip when I am finished with a task or grab a new time slip if I get interrupted with a phone call for another matter. I also find it is helpful to write out the top of a time slip for all the matters I intend to work on for the day, so it serves as sort of a “to-do” list. One of the partners at the firm dictates his time into one dictation file as he goes and his assistant types it up the next day.

    • We have old-school DayTimer calendars. They are premarked with tenths of an hour on the diary/work record page.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Mine is similar to what others have stated–I have a sheet every day with the matters that I work most frequently on and a blank box in the table for other things that come up. I write the time that I spend working on something –e.g. 3pm-4pm (Y) next to the matter number. My secretary takes the numbers, converts it into 6 minute intervals, and inputs it into the firm software.

    • Springtime :

      I use time tracking software I downloaded for free. It also notices if your computer is idle (i.e. if someone drags you into a meeting last minute) and asks you what you were doing while you were gone.

  14. For ombre (and my navy blue pixie), I think it’s a know-your-office, know-your-sector (law, technology, finance, creative), and know-your-region judgment. A dramatic ombre (blonde to black) might be OK in a creative/tech office in L.A. A subtle ombre might be too much in a finance group in New York. If you do go non-traditional with the hair color, keep it well maintained by a professional (Kat’s second point). It’s not something I would have been able to afford as a starving law student.

    Having gone pixie, blonde, super dark brown, and red while at my current job, I know that 80% of men don’t notice major hair changes. I don’t think most men would notice a subtle ombre proposed by Reader P and I think it’s very pretty! But I would caution her to leave off major changes until she has enough money to maintain the color and cut, established credibility in her fellowship, and knows the office culture.

    • Anonymous :

      Hehe. The two men I work with did not comment when I chopped off about a foot of hair. The next day, my (female) assistant ordered them each to compliment me on my new hairstyle, which they did, in a way that made me realize what had happened.

    • First of all, I think it’s awesome that you’re rocking a blue pixie ‘do.

      But do you worry that this hairstyle and your posting about it could effectively kill your anonymity? (Or do you not care at all) Not trying to be snarky, just curious, as I recall that sometimes people opt out of the “what are you wearing” threads to avoid this. I’d think such a distinctive hairstyle and color would be hugely more “outing” than a noteworthy outfit.

      • I like the point about having the money to maintain your new ‘do. While I absolutely love having above the shoulder hair, I have to get trims more often and realized this morning that a bun/ponytail is out of the question so I need to be prepared to wear my hair down in such a way that it still looks put together. Guess I’ll be looking up YouTube tutorials tonight.

      • I think a lot of people know who K-padi is in real life. I believe that her posting name is close to her real name even. And I know she is pretty open about work in a niche area of law. She does meet ups and stuff too I get the feeling that she is not worried about it.

  15. I’m the reader who submitted the question. Thanks Kat for answering my question and thanks everyone else for the comments! Based on all of the input, I think I will hold off on the look until I get hired somewhere. While I do have long hair, it’s a bit on the thin side, so my bun looks very tiny. I’ve tried the sock bun, but my hair doesn’t cover all of the sock. I can get away with a low pony, but I think the ombre look would be more obvious with that.

    • I’m not sure if anyone raised this or not. Have you considered whether you’d want to avoid a place that wouldn’t hire you simply because of your hair style? To me, *some* of the ombre styles look tasteful and office appropriate. I often intentionally wore pant suits to interviews because I have no time for a firm that won’t hire me because I’m wearing pants. I realize that’s not exactly the same thing but just a thought.

  16. ugh do not go ombre before an interview. Unless it’s for something in marketing/social media/pr/i don’t even know. I don’t like 97% of the “ombre” styles I’ve seen thus far, but Sandra Bullock’s looks great in that picture because it’s very subtle as already mentioned. The other 97% of the time, someone’s “ombre” hair looks like they just stopped dying their roots. Not okay.

  17. Anonymous :

    Yes, ombre hair DOES exist in nature. I have naturally brown roots that lighten towards blonde at the tips. Hopefully 1. I “exist in nature and 2. I am employable… Discrimination, ppl.

  18. Victoria W. :

    Personally, I think ombre hair is extremely professional as long as, like you said, you stay away from unnatural colors that draw extra attention. The cool thing about ombre is, if done right, it never “fades.” As a norm, ombre hair never starts at your roots (unless of course you have black hair, but you want your hair to be brown that fades into blonde. Or some other variation). I myself have dark brown hair with natural light golden highlights. So ombre was a good choice for me. My natural hair picked up the honey and blonde that was used for the ombre.
    That being said: just because it is a low-maintenence hair coloring option, it does not mean you don’t need to take care of it. Especially if you used bleach, you’ll have to find a REALLY good conditioner that will keep your hair booking fresh. But that’s a given with any hair coloring option.
    I especially find it cool when I put my hair into a smooth bun. The hair on top is brown, but when you look at the back you see all blonde.
    So anywho, all of that is just to say that I think ombre is a good choice for anyone. Especially those who wants color, but don’t want that mandatory monthly touch up to keep your roots from showing!

  19. Due to variations in skintone, culture and hair texture/cut, no one size fits all when it comes to hair. Meh to the “must look natural” line of thought. I’m of East Indian descent with black hair, so pretty much any ombre look would be “unnatural” by European standards, though henna is used in many parts of the world to add an ombre-like tint to hair.

    I recently did an auburn-brown ombre on my angled bob because I think red/purple/brown tones complement brown skin. It also adds dimension to my bob, adds a bit of volume and keeps me from looking washed out in the fluorescent light of my workplace/most boardrooms.

    Three things that are very important when considering ombre colouring:

    1) Tone/brightness of the colour – does it complement your personal skintone/undertones or compete with it?

    2) Placement – does it look like it was painted on in one stripe (usually less attractive), or is the placement a bit more subtle (I prefer a sunkissed effect)

    3) Maintenance of the hair itself – if the haircut/style is itself looking frayed, unpolished or unkempt, ombre colouring will add more of a “relaxed” effect than one might prefer.

    Just my $0.02.

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