Hello, lovely readers! Here is the much requested step-by-step tutorial on how I achieve my ombre hair at home, for a fraction of the cost of getting it done at a salon. Just a heads up, this will be a long and picture heavy post....brace yourselves!
I know there are TONS of DIY ombre hair tutorials out there, but I have noticed a lack of tutorials for people that already have light hair (when I say light, I mean light-brown to light-blonde locks). So please keep in mind that this is meant for light hair!
In just a few easy steps, you too can have the ever trendy and stylish ombre hair look for much less than a salon, and in a jiffy, too. Let's get to it!
|Before photo is 2-3 month old ombre with lots of brassiness and regrowth. Results will vary!|
A little back story on my hair: My natural hair is of medium thickness, straight and is a medium, golden chestnut color; almost auburn but more on the golden side. In other words, I have a LOT of red undertones in my hair which makes it a pain in the ass to go lighter. I tend to go brassy quick, unless I use a purple shampoo to help tone it. I will go more into details about hair under-tones below.
- 1-2 boxes of hair dye (depending on your hair length) that is 1-3 shades darker than the ends of your hair, depending on how subtle or bold you want the gradient to be
- 1 box of extra-light blonde hair dye (this is optional, I just wanted my ends to be lighter than before)
- Plastic mixing bowl
- Tint brush
- Clean toothbrush (optional)
- Plastic hair clips
- Plastic or latex gloves
- Old T-shirt
TIP: Before applying hair dye, make sure to always do an allergy test 24-48 hours on your skin to make sure your body is cool with it. If so, then carry on!
Before I head in with the step-by step photos, let me explain how to choose the best color for your hair.
Have you ever wandered down the hair-dye aisle at the drugstore and have been overwhelmed with the options? Ever have the words GOLDEN and ASH leaving question marks over your head? Well, let me help you figure it out, and help you choose the best tone for your hair!
This is where the handy-dandy color wheel comes into the picture. It's simple; if you want to counter-act a certain shade or under-tone in your hair, you need to get the opposite of what you currently have. For example, in my situation, I tend to go very brassy (orangey/red) due to the golden-red undertones of my hair. So I would need a dye that has blue or blue-violet base (drug store dyes that are labeled "Beige" or "Champagne" work best for me). If you have strong red undertones, opt for a green based dye, also known as "Ash" and is sometimes labeled as "Cool". If you have very ashy or "dirty" hair and want to liven it up, go for a "Golden" or "Warm" shade. Some dyes are marked as "Natural", or "Neutral". These are always good for when you aren't quite too sure on what to get, or if you are satisfied with the current under-tone of your hair and don't want to change it.
The shade on the left is the one I used on the top of my head (roots to bottom of ears). The shade on the right was used on my ends.
A mixing bowl and tint brush are crucial supplies for DIY ombre hair. It makes it SO easy!
Please make sure that you do this in a WELL VENTILATED AREA. Hair dye fumes are very strong, and can cause you to pass out. Safety first, guys!
Now that you've got everything you need, let's get this party started!
Start off with brushed, dirty hair. The natural oils in your scalp protect your head from the harsh chemicals in the dye. Four for you, Mother Nature! Also, make sure you put on a shirt that you don't mind ruining.
Section your hair right above your ears. Securely clip the rest to the top of your head using plastic hair clips. As you can see in this photo, I have a considerable amount of re-growth going on.
If you are doing the optional step of lightening the ends of you hair, then go ahead and put on the provided gloves and mix bottles A and B thoroughly. If you just want to do the top of your head, then skip to Step 5.
Begin applying the blonde dye to the ends of your hair. Work the product up with your fingers and blend to create a seamless look. No one wants a blunt looking ombre! You can also use the tint brush or a clean toothbrush to help with the blending. You should have the most product on the ends, and the least towards the top of where you want the color to stop. The key to really great looking ombre hair is to keep it looking organic. There is no need to be perfect. (P.S., GO-GO POWER RANGERS!)
Continue to work your way around your head, focusing on the pieces around your face. You can do as few or as many blonde pieces as you'd like. Not only will it frame your face, but it'll help brighten up your complexion as well!
Repeat Step 3 with the darker color that will be applied to the top of your head and make sure that your utensils are clean of any previous dye. Also remember to put on a fresh pair of gloves! Go ahead and section your hair where you would like to start the color gradient. Start at the roots, and work your way down. I like to go a bit past my ears, but you can stop before or after that. Use either your fingers or your brush to blend the product down to avoid harsh lines.
Work your way from the bottom of your head to the top and front. Remember, apply to the roots first and blend down!
After you've applied the dye all over your head, blend everything one more time with your brush and/or fingers to make sure everything is well distributed. If you see any spots that you've missed, now is the time to fix it.
After all the dye is applied, you should let it develop anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Everyone's hair is different, so times will vary. I usually leave mine in for 10-15 minutes to keep it from getting too dark. I wrap my hair in a plastic bag to speed up the process. If you lightened your ends like I did, keep a close eye on those, since they were applied several minutes before the top and are most likely done, or close to being done at this point. If they seem done, go ahead and rinse and condition those while the top of your head is still developing.
When it comes time to rinse the dark shade on top of your head, I personally don't shampoo because I get better results that way. But if you want to be on the safe side, then shampoo as you normally do until the water runs clear. You want to definitely apply a generous amount of a deep conditioner of your choice for several minutes, or use the one that was provided with the box dye - they work great, too!
After all is said and done, you should have gorgeous ombre hair that took hardly any time and effort and left your wallet happy! I have been doing this method for a long time now, and it never fails. I get tons of compliments on my hair, too!
See the difference? Subtle gradient effect, and no more brassiness! YAY!
Total Cost (including supplies): $20.85!
I hope this step-by-step tutorial was helpful and useful to you! If you decide to try this out, please let me know! I'd love to see your results. I absolutely LOVE ombre hair and it's just so perfect for me. Not only is it very low maintenance, but you get the best of both worlds - blonde and brunette!
Good luck, and thanks for reading this insanely long post. Love you guys, and see you all soon!