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Ombre has evolved a lot in the last few years. We’ve seen versions soft and extreme, from dip-dye to gentle monochromatic melts, but only recently has this technique made it’s way into shorter shapes. On bobs and pixie cuts ombre takes on new dimensions, blending color around the head instead of just top to bottom. Dark roots and gradient lightness show off variations in length and add dimension to short cuts. Click the style notes to learn more about adding blended hues to your short shape. –– Laura Martin

Step 1: Start by thinking about placement. Because ombre is a hand painting technique it can be completely customized. You can add lighter pieces just around the face, through the top, or melt them throughout the cut.

Step 2: Pick your level of contrast. Select a light hue a few levels brighter than your base shade for a subtle, beachy feeling, or try a stronger contrast for a more dramatic look.

Step 3: As with long hair, ombre on short shapes will evolve over time and grow out softly. You can go a long time between full touch ups, but get a glaze of demi-permanent color once a month to maintain shine and tone.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA

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