30 Gorgeous Ways to Rock Short Ombré Hair

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.

How to Grow Out Hair Color Seamlessly

1. Blonde Lob

To think there was a time when we deliberately covered our roots?! Straddling the line between short and long, the lob length is especially versatile and flattering on many hair types. Add in a few tousled waves with a curling iron before breaking them apart with your fingers to get a similarly tousled texture.

Get the look: T3 Singlepass Curl 1.25" Curling Iron ($160)

2. 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. We'd recommend this style for wavy hair types, as the cut and color work with your natural texture. For the odd end bend that doesn't cooperate, simply wrap it around a curling iron, making sure to leave the ends out to get that beachy effect.

Get the look: Hot Tools 24K Gold Curling Iron ($50)

3. Curly Ombré

Proof that ombré locks look especially good on curls. In fact, the contrasting colors bring out each coil and make them pop. To ensure you get the length you want, have your hair cut dry to avoid any surprise shrinkage. Keep your ringlets well defined by using a hydrating cream regularly.

Get the look: Curlsmith Curl Conditioning Oil-In-Cream ($26)

4. Brunette Lob

Saving this cool mélange of browns for a later date. The blunt ends give thinner strands some bulk, while a generous misting of texturizing spray (or dry shampoo) adds volume throughout.

Get the look: Tigi Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo ($22); Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($48)

5. Copper Cut

A copper-toned ombré will definitely turn heads (as will a blunt cut). Rub a few drops of a moisturizing oil between your palms before scrunching them through your strands for a smooth finish.

Get the look: Moisture Love Seal With A Kiss Finishing Oil ($27)

6. Cinnamon Ombré

Or for a subtler take on red strands, keep your brunette base as is. Then, add a few auburn strands through the midlengths and ends to lighten things up. This single-length cut works best for ladies who have dense, fine hair—meaning the individual strands themselves are thin, but there a lot of them. Using a flat iron, add a few bends in the front to give the style some shape.

Get the look: Bio Ionic 10X Pro Styling Iron 1" ($230)

7. Sombré Lob

Aka subtle ombré, which is a soft and understated take on the trend. Tip: Adding curls will give limp locks more volume. Don't be afraid to hit the hairspray before (and after) curling to help hold the style and brush them out after they've cooled for a couple minutes to loosen them up.

Get the look: Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray ($20); Hot Tools 24K Gold Curling Iron ($50)

8. Brunette Blend

This brunette ombré shines bright, with each curl literally catching the light. Work a dollop of cream between your fingers and scrunch through the mid-lengths and ends for added definition.

Get the look: Rizos Curls Curl Defining Cream ($22)

9. Ashy Blonde Ombré

Deep roots meet platinum ends for maximum impact. And if you have the type of hair that doesn't hold any style (i.e., sleek and slippery), the bleach roughs up the cuticles and gives your strands that rumpled texture. To combat the inevitable damage that comes with repeat bleaching, lay off the heat whenever possible and use a weekly treatment to strengthen your strands.

Get the look: Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector ($28)

10. 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. Carefully nipped-in ends and long layers keep this cut from looking bulky; a sulfate-free shampoo keeps the color from fading too quickly.

Get the look: L'Oréal EverPure Moisture Shampoo ($8)

11. Oreo Ombré

We thought the name was fitting for this delicious fade from black to white. Might we suggest trying a clear at-home gloss for some shine and luster?

Get the look: Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss in Crystal Quartz ($14)

12. 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. The face-framing layers and lightly feathered ends are a good way to remove bulk from thicker hair. Just keep a can of dry shampoo nearby to blast the roots whenever they get a little greasy.

Get the look: R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo ($32)

13. Baby Bob

When you’re working with shorter lengths (or growing out a pixie), a bit of dimension at the roots can really go the extra mile in making your hair appear longer than it is. A blast of sea salt spray on damp strands will deliver instant texture.

Get the look: OGX Moroccan Sea Salt Spray ($8)

14. Frontal Ombré

Still not sold on ombré? Take a look at this beautifully blended color. A light misting of shine spray will bring out the dimension.

Get the look: Kenra Professional Shine Spray ($18)

15. High-contrast Ombré

What a high-contrast color like this might lack in subtlety, it makes up for in cool factor. Speaking of cool, you'll want to have a purple shampoo in rotation to keep the ends from turning brassy.

Get the look: Matrix Biolage ColorLast Purple Shampoo ($24)

16. 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. (Note: A co-wash or conditioning cleanser will be your best friend during this time.)

Get the look: Hairstory New Wash Original ($40)

17. Banged Ombré

Note to self: Full fringe with blunt ends adds even more contrast to an ombré lob. Remember what we said earlier about purple shampoo? The same applies here. Swap one in place of your regular shampoo once a week to keep your color cool.

Get the look: dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo ($26)

18. Silver Linings

If you are a fan of two-tone colors, might we suggest going all in with a striking silver? Tip: Keep the ends, which are driest, well-conditioned with a weekly mask.

Get the look: Gloss Moderne Clean Luxury Masque ($65)

19. Blue And Purple Tips

You could also try a blend of blues and purples on the bottom for a vibrant take on the trend. This is also a good way to camouflage overly processed (read: parched and frazzled) ends. Remember to stick to a sulfate-free wash to keep the color from fading.

Get the look: Jim and Henry Nine Organic Hair Cleanse ($22)

20. Banged Bob

A shorter style suits finer strands. To get a similarly flipped out effect, take a flat iron (note: slimmer plates work better on shorter strands) and bend the ends.

Get the look: Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron ($140)

21. Coffee Blend

Be still our heart. This brunette blend is the perfect complement to a collarbone-skimming lob. For ladies with naturally straight, thick hair, the soft layers and slight A-line cut are endlessly flattering. Work a dollop of cream through damp strands before blow drying to get the smoothest finish.

Get the look: Sephora Collection Smoothing Cream ($14)

22. 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. (A bit of wax on the ends helps, too.)

Get the look: Redken Water Wax 03 Texturizing Pomade ($20)

23. Copper Coils

Keep your curls from looking like a clumpy mass by adding some contrasting color throughout. Use a leave-in conditioner to protect and nourish your curls until the next wash day.

Get the look: Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler ($12)

24. 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. Self-described as having greasy hair, Chung prefers washing her strands every day before twisting or pinning it into small buns to dry.

Get the look: Klorane Shampoo with Quinine and B Vitamins ($22)

25. 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. For a beachy texture sans frizz, start with straight strands and add in the bends using a flat iron.

Get the look: Harry Josh Pro Tools Ceramic Flat Styling Iron 1.25 Inch ($200)

26. Undone Blonde

Keep the color cool and ashy to blend more seamlessly with darker roots; keep the cut layered and slightly shorter in the back for more body. Add a quick blast of dry texturizing spray to finish.

Get the look: Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray ($28)

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. As we stated with the rainbow lob above, a co-wash is your best bet for keeping your strands vibrant.

Get the look: As I Am Coconut Cleansing Conditioner ($8)

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? Tip: Run a flat iron (preferably one with wider plates to cover more surface area) through for the smoothest finish.

Get the look: Paul Mitchell Express Ion Smooth+ Flat Iron ($125)

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 helps ground the color. Just know that 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.

Get the look: Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($31)

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. Recreate the ruffled, just-rolled-out-of-bed texture with dry shampoo.

Get the look: Batiste Original Dry Shampoo Clean & Classic ($9)

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...