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It’s been years since ombré hair first became trendy. (To give you an idea of how long it’s been, we remember tearing out paparazzi images of Rachel Bilson’s sun-kissed strands from Us Weekly and bringing it to our stylist as inspo.) Since then, Instagram has forever changed the way we share photos with our stylists, but our love for ombré locks remains unchanged.

Blending highlights and lowlights is a genius way to disguise incoming roots and looks downright intentional, which brings us to the biggest upside to having ombré hair color: It’s easy to grow out. Pair the high-contrast color with shorter locks and you’ve got yourself a low-maintenance style that just looks better with time. But enough talking, let us show you the magic of short ombré hair. 

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1. Blonde lob

To think there was a time when we deliberately covered our roots?!

2. Brunette lob

Saving this cool mélange of browns for a later date.

3. Copper shag

From a deep auburn to copper to strawberry blonde on the ends, a red ombré will definitely turn heads (as will a shaggy cut).

4. Cinnamon ombré

Or for a subtler take on red strands, keep your brunette base as is and add a few auburn strands through the midlengths and ends to lighten things up.

5. Sun-Kissed Brunette

Placement is everything here. Notice how the lightest pieces are mostly concentrated in the front to accentuate her piece-y layers and brighten up her face.

6. Sombré Lob

Aka subtle ombré, which is a soft and understated take on the trend.

7. Ashy blonde ombré

Deep roots meet platinum ends for maximum impact.

8. Raspberry Blonde

Exhibit A of ombré in various shades. Consider this raspberry blonde a fun way to switch things up as your platinum strands begin to dull.

9. Brunette bob

Save for a few eye-catching pieces in the front, this brunette blend is very mellow and flattering without being too drastic. It’s the hair color equivalent of getting a good night of sleep—or coming home from a relaxing beachside vacation.

10. Baby bob

When you’re working with shorter lengths, a bit of dimension at the roots can really go the extra mile in making your hair appear longer than it is.

11. Curly Ombré

Proof that ombré locks look especially good on curls. In fact, the contrasting colors bring out each coil and make them pop.

12. High-Contrast ombré

What a high-contrast color like this might lack in subtlety it makes up for in cool factor. Trust.

13. Oreo ombré

We thought the name was fitting for this delicious fade from black to white.

14. Beachy brunette

For the brunette who isn’t quite ready to commit to a full blonde transformation, this sun-kissed balayage is a happy medium.

15. Banged ombré

Note to self: Full fringe with blunt ends adds even more contrast to an ombré lob.

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16. Banged bob

Similar idea, but a couple inches shorter.

17. Frontal Ombré

Still not sold on ombré? Take a look at this beautifully blended color. 

18. Shaggy bob

It’s amazing what a simple change—like lightening up your ends—can do for your hair. The coppery pieces break up the base color to add definition and texture throughout.

19. Bronde Ombré

We’d be remiss not to include the queen of cool hair herself, Alexa Chung, on this list. Her expertly placed brown and blonde color is just as coveted as her shaggy lob and curtain fringe.

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20. Coffee blend

Be still our heart. This brunette blend is the perfect complement to a collarbone-skimming lob.

21. Blonde blend

Whereas ombré used to conjure up images of two-toned hair, the latest iterations are more nuanced thanks to a few strategically placed highlights that connect darker and lighter strands.

22. Silver linings

And if you are a fan of two-tone colors, might we suggest going all in with a striking silver?

23. Blue tips

You could also try a deeper indigo blue on the bottom for a slightly less conspicuous (but no less cool) take on the trend. Bonus: This is also a good way to camouflage overly processed (read: parched and frazzled) ends.

24. Copper Coils

Keep your curls from looking like a clumpy mass by adding some contrasting color throughout.

25. Rainbow Ombré

We’ve tried a lot of different haircuts and colors over the years and we’ve got to say, far and away, our favorite style to date was the rainbow lob we had when we were growing out our silver strands. As anyone with dark hair can attest, bleaching your hair is a long and drying process, so you might as well get the most from the experience.

26. Undone blonde

Pro tip: Keep the color cool and ashy to blend more seamlessly with darker roots.

27. Reverse ombré

If you haven’t noticed already, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to ombré hair—or hair in general for that matter. You can go from light to dark, blue to purple. So long as there are contrasting shades (and a dash of confidence), you are absolutely rocking the look.

28. Copper Gradation

What better way to brighten up brunette locks and showcase the sharp angles of your fresh new cut than with some coppery highlights on the ends?

29. Magenta ombré

To say that electric pink hair can be subtle might be a stretch, but keeping the darker roots and adding deeper lowlights help ground the color. Tip: Pink dye tends to fade quickly, so definitely invest in a sulfate-free shampoo and ease up on the heat styling to keep your color fresh longer.

30. Amethyst ombré

And last but certainly not least, we present a truly bewitching blend of purples and browns that reads differently depending on the light.

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