Get the Look: Soft, Seamless Ombré

Ombré hair hit the fashion elite in 2009, and exploded in the next two years as celebrities picked up on the trend. Now, three years later, it’s one of the most requested salon color services. To help you achieve the effect on your clients, Matrix Artistic Director Patrick McIvor, one of the industry’s most respected colorists, shares (and demonstrates) his secrets for perfecting the trend:

  1. Always stay below the parietal ridge. Don’t bring the color transition above the cheekbones; it makes it look grown out and not professionally placed.
  2. Pinch each section with fingers and backcomb it twice before applying color to diffuse placement. The hair that is left in fingers will be the hair that’s colored. Remember: Saturations equals results.
  3. Graduate the foils to create a soft color transition. After backcombing, color or lightener should be applied to the first section (closest to the head) about halfway to ¾-inch down the strand from the parietal ridge. The second foil should be ½- to one-inch further down from the first. The last section should be all ends.
  4. Fold foils in triangles—it looks progressive and secures the foil to keep it from sliding.
  5. Use diagonal sections in the back.

Brianna Keefe  


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