Sombré Hair Is the Low Maintenance Color Trend to Try in 2024

November 30, 2023
Jordan Julian
By: Jordan Julian | by L'Oréal
Person with long dark hair

We can’t believe we’re saying this (where does the time go?!), but a new year is fast approaching — and with a new year often comes a craving for change. That’s why it’s the perfect time to debut a different look. Whether you finally work up the courage to chop your hair short or you just swap out your basic nude lipstick for a vivid red, January is a time for embracing newness. 

Looking for something in between an extreme hair makeover and a lipstick switch-up? Try the low maintenance hair color trend we’re expecting to see everywhere in 2024 — sombré. We tapped pro hair colorist and Matrix brand ambassador George Papanikolas to fill us in on the subtle look.  

What Is Sombré?

According to Papanikolas, “the term sombré combines the words ‘soft’ and ‘ombré,’ which describes a more natural version of the ombré trend.” With traditional ombré, the look is characterized by deeper, darker roots and lighter ends. While the shift in color is a gradient, there is a stark contrast between the shades of the roots and the ends. 

Sombré, on the other hand, consists of a more blended, subtle color gradient. “The key feature that makes this look current is the soft graduation of color from the roots to the ends,” says Papanikolas. “In order to keep this seamlessly blended look, the highlights should not be lighter than four shades from the base color, so that you limit the amount of contrast between the root color and the highlights.” 

Since the sombré trend is all about subtly enhancing your natural look, it’s a great option for all hair colors, types and textures. “This hair color trend has a universal appeal since it works with your natural base color, and essentially lightens the hair how the sun would naturally,” says the colorist. 

How to Try Sombré Hair

“Typically, you would leave the roots as their natural color, or if you’re covering gray, do the base color close to your natural color,” explains Papanikolas. “Then you will want to add soft, subtle highlights that gradually get lighter towards the ends of the hair. If your hair is very dark, you will want your colorist to apply a gloss like Matrix Tonal Control, which will help balance out the color on the ends so you don’t get a harsh contrast between the color and the highlights.” It’s always a good idea to bring a reference photo to show your colorist exactly what you’re going for. 

The good news? Since this look is so natural and low-key, it requires minimal post-salon maintenance, and the blended highlights should grow out nicely. But as with any color treatment, you will still need to put in a bit of extra work to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy. “Anytime you lighten the hair, you’re causing some damage, so it’s important to keep the hair hydrated and moisturized,” says Papanikolas. “Use a care system like Matrix Food For Soft, which contains hyaluronic acid to help keep the hair hydrated and soft and supple.”

Matrix Food For Soft Shampoo
Photo: @claudialonpeluqueria

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