Ombre: A color fade or a fading fad?

While most trends fade away, ombre could be here to stay.

Ombre is hair coloring with a base color at the roots, and toward the ends of the hair it lightens up, usually all the way to blond. The word itself is French and translates to shadow or shade. The hair trend started on celebrities, has an edgy vibe, and is being asked for at many Nashville salons.

FX Salon stylist Nan Nelson has many insights on the fad of the fade.

Ombre’s story starts at the recession, Nelson said. When the economy was hit, hair did not slip by without a knot or two. The hair market had to do something to get people back in the salons.

Ombre has longevity and upkeep is fairly easy, making it an economical hair color choice, Nelson said.

Of course people still value looks and fashion as well as economical choices.

“Hair always follows fashion,” said Nelson.

The seamless transition of color change in ombre is artistry, just as printed leggings or textured jackets are aesthetic trends.

It’s art, and hair is the “frame to your picture,” said Nelson.

Some skeptic hair lovers aren’t too quick to jump on the ombre wagon, however.

“It’s not for everyone, and not everyone is happy with it,” said Nelson.

It is more of a concept, rather than a technique or style. There’s no one way that makes the look ombre or not. There are so many different ways to do it, creating a lot of room for individuality, said Nelson.

“There is no ombre that is the same,” she said

Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw is the first person she saw with the color concept, making her a true pioneer way before her time, Nelson said.

Instagram and Pinterest have become the trend textbooks, Nelson said as she she explained how trends have become “something your mom didn‘t teach you.”

Trends go in and out, but ombre is something that Nelson said she would “like to see evolve more. It’s fun!”

With passion for locks, Salon Professional Academy student Jennifer Eure has become very familiar with the trend but thinks it’s already run its course.

“Celebrities started the trend and they have moved on. Soon everyone else will too,” she said.

Like Nelson, Eure remembers celebrities rocking the color. Drew Barrymore is the first person she noticed, but Eure believes Rachel Bilson deserves the blue ribbon for pulling it off best.

If regular people are to mirror these celebrities, how are they supposed to make it work for them?

“People do it to stand out but fit in at the same time,” said Eure.

A do-it-yourself should be out of the question, Eure said. With something that requires a bit of technique, it is even risky getting a friend to do it for you at home, she said. Going to a salon would be the safest bet, especially because bleaching is one of the first steps to creating the look, and it is damaging to your hair.

Still, so many take the plunge and go for the dip-dye look, and they will go to great lengths to get there.

Even though it is not always encouraged, thrifty college students attempt DIYs. Sometimes they don’t turn out perfect, but one thing you can count on is a story to tell.

Belmont freshman Brett Jackson smelled bleach for a few days after the adventure but her color is still ombre more than a month later.

“It was kind of fun to do it yourself,” she said. “We tried purple first, but that didn‘t work too well.”

She stayed open about the color and went for blond instead. Ombre is all about being fun and laid back.

Even though it may not last forever, it’s definitely put a splash of color in some hair for a while.