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Balayage versus Ombré - how to add it to your custom order

Balayage versus Ombré - how to add it to your custom order

Posted by Cindy on Dec 15, 2023

The hair replacement industry has different terminologies that can get mixed up between clients, stylists, and suppliers. One of the most significant mix-ups we’ve seen in the industry is the terms Balayage and Ombré.

As stylists, we clearly understand the difference between the two, but the mix-up happens between the consumers and suppliers. For our clients, there seems to be this notion that it is dyed the same way or is easily mixed up because of a similar two-tone effect, not realizing there’s a different process between them. For suppliers, it might be a similar case. So it’s imperative when working with suppliers that offer custom or stock human hair wigs with Balayage and Ombré options that they know the difference.

This blog will break down the barrier between your clients and wig makers. At Superhairpieces, we offer stock and custom Ombré options and present Balayage only in specific designs with our wigs due to the lengthy processing in the factory. Understanding the process in the factory can also help navigate any confusion for our clients when they receive an Ombré-styled wig instead of a Balayage.

Now, let’s dive in and break down the differences between Balayage and Ombré and their factory processes.

As you know, Balayage is a colour-lightening technique that softens the highlights and gives a natural sun-kissed look by hand-painting or sweeping the brush on the surface of the natural hair. The process starts with random sections, and some, if not most, stylists now tease the natural hair and then paint the colour to get a softer and more natural look. The painting process typically starts midshaft and then becomes denser closer to the ends of the hair. It really gives that natural growth outlook.

Ombré, on the other hand, is a more gradual coloured look, which also means the process is gradual. It often requires two tones that fade from dark to light or vice versa. Ombré also has a more horizontal faded look that is done by traditionally lightening the hair from the tips and gradually darkening towards the natural roots of the hair. If not done correctly, the horizontal line can be very harsh and unnatural looking. To soften the harsh line, some stylists prefer to layer their highlights with foils, placing their foils an inch higher at each layer and then softening the Ombré on the foil using a vertical sweeping technique similar to Balayage. This is where the confusion between Ombré style and Balayage styles happen.

However, Ombré styles typically use the balayage technique to soften the horizontal line. Essentially, balayage is a highlighting technique whereas Ombré is a colouring technique that gradually shifts from dark to light.. See the image below for comparison.

Ombré vs balayage

When comparing the two, balayage has subtle, thinner streaks of color, almost like natural highlights that someone was born with, while Ombré has a more dramatic two-tone color that really stands out in terms of contrast. The fade is less dramatic in balayage, and there is no apparent horizontal gradient line like the Ombré. As you can see in the graphic, the Ombré hair color is what most people deem to be a balayage coloring but in fact, it is actually still considered Ombré.

Here are a few examples of the differences.





Communication is Key!

Now that we fully understand the differences between the two, it’s easy to understand how clients and suppliers can be confused. As a stylist, you must encourage your client to understand this, especially when creating a custom order and explaining the style of a stock wig. When clients ask for balayage-style wigs, it is best to clarify if they want the two-tone effect of an Ombré. If the answer is yes, you know to order an Ombré wig. If the answer is no, look towards styles with highlights, which indicates that the client seems to know their colouring techniques, which makes the custom ordering process a breeze!

You can place the order once you fully understand what the client is asking for. If the client is requesting a custom order, it is essential to find a wig maker who understands the difference between Ombré and balayage-styled wigs. As a stylist, if you feel that the wig maker does not seem to understand the difference, send a photo of what you are looking for rather than explaining in detail. Sometimes, there are some language barriers, and a picture says a thousand words. Or, if you want, you can always share this blog for reference.

Ordering Balayge or Ombré Wigs At Superhairpieces.

You have only two options when ordering our Balayage or Ombré-styled wigs: ready-made stock wigs or custom orders.

At Superhairpieces, we offer a range of stock wigs that have different styles and hair colours. Our stock wigs also have stock Balayage and/or Ombré color options. This means that you can order almost any model and choose the color of Ombré you would like based on our color chart. Now, it’s important to know these colours because if you are looking to do a custom wig with these colours, you can provide the custom order team with the stock Ombré or Balayage colour you would like on the custom wig.

When ordering custom wigs with Balayage and Ombré styles, the color combinations aren’t customizable, meaning you can’t swap out colours or provide your own color combination. Therefore when placing an order, for example on a Monica Model with an Ombré color, you would need to adjust to provide the Ombré color code. You cannot mix the colours, and there’s a really big reason for this, which will be explained later in the blog.

Why can’t Superhairpieces customize the Ombré and Balayage hair?

The reason why customizing the hair colours is not possibly at this time with Ombré or Balayage colour codes at Superhairpieces is due to the process of coloring the hair. It is quite lengthy and there is a higher risk of inconsistency of colours when new colours are introduced to the style. To create the Ombré or balayage-styled hair, hair is typically dyed in batches to save time and manufacturing costs. This allows Superhairpieces to provide more affordable wigs at a higher quality than most in the industry. Custom hair colours used for Ombré and balayage styles require the hair to be dyed completely separate from the bulk batch. Every wig with custom Ombré and balayage may take a lot longer because the hair colour is not readily available to wig makers. The process would take more time and resources to produce just one individual wig.

With Ombré and Balayage hair at Superhairpieces, the colour is already pre-colored in a bulk/batch setting. All the wig maker would need to do is follow a colour template to ensure placement and length are accurate. They pick the hair colour they need and design away. If every custom wig with Ombré and Balayage needed different colours, instead of just picking bulk hair, each wig maker would have to process the hair to ensure the hair will match accordingly and then ventilate. Custom hair wigs that offer such services can be very costly and the length of time to order may take longer than 6 months. For many companies who offer this, you can expect a long delay.

How can I custom Ombré and Balayage wigs with Superhairpieces?

The best way to get the exact style and color you want that provides the Ombré and balayage style is to create a custom wig, choose the Ombré or balayage color code that is closest to the color you actually want, then tone the hair to your desired color. This will still speed up the process of having to color or lighten your client’s wig. We do however suggest you go light and then dye the wig darker. Adding more bleach or using lightening products on the wig can cause more damage and premature shedding.

Here are the chart color codes and colours for our Ombré and balayage style wigs that can be added to any customer order.


At Superhairpieces, we strive to provide quality hair systems at an affordable price and have it delivered as soon as possible because we know how important it is to keep your clients happy with their hair. We have seen in the past how much delays can really affect a business. That’s the last thing we want as well. We look forward to continuing to work at such speed and quality so you can have clients leaving your chair in awe!

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