Beauty How To: Ombre Hair In 4 Easy Steps
Posted by Cat Meeker on April 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM
I will admit, I was pretty skeptical of the ombre hair thing. I mean, isn’t it sort of like really, really grown out roots? Then, a friend walked into happy hour with a fantastic two-toned look she did herself. I immediately had to know the deets so I could share with you! Sure, you could go to a pro, but these steps are so easy, there’s no need. Save yourself some money and follow these foolproof steps!
Step 1: Find the type of ombre hair you like the most
Being a naturally dark brunette, my friend thought she might look completely ridiculous with blonde in her hair. After seeing tons of dark haired ladies with ombre hair online, she realized this could actually turn out okay. Some girls have only a tiny portion of blonde at their ends, and others have opted to lighten almost all over. She decided to go for something in the middle, so she channeled Rachel Bilson and pulled up a bunch of photos to have as references during the dying process.
Step 2: Find the right hair dye
If your hair is untreated, you can buy a lightening treatment. However, if you have recently dyed your hair a permanent dark brown or black, using store bought dyes might not work. You may have to go to a salon to have your hair stripped.
Now, if you’re happy with the color of your naturally dark roots, you obviously don’t have to lighten your whole head. If you want to lighten your whole head and then re-dye the roots, try a shade or two lighter than your natural color for the roots. It will help the effect be less contrast-y.
My friend used Clairol: Born Blonde and was happy with her choice. It read, Maximum blonding for even the darkest hair. Even though the box claimed it would turn almost-black hair a platinum blonde, that’s probably not going to happen. Also: this does contain strong chemicals, so make sure you’re not allergic and that your hair can handle it.
Another option. If you’re scared to really take the plunge, use a demi-permanent color. It will still give you the look you want, but will wash out in 6 weeks if you don’t like it! Easy!
Step 3: The Dying Process (Part 1)
Started with the Clairol: Born Blonde. Its directions were to “put 80% of the hair lightening serum throughout your hair, leaving only your roots untouched.” You keep the serum in for 30 minutes or until you see your hair turning that copper/brassy tone. Once this happens, apply the remaining lightening serum to your roots.
Important: You leave the roots for last because the warmth from your scalp makes the lightening process move quicker, so you want to prevent your roots from being lighter than the rest of your hair. The box also cautioned not to leave the lightener in for longer than 90 minutes.
Wash, condition and blow dry your hair. Then…
Step 4: The Dying Process (Part 2)
Take the brown dye and apply it to your roots. This doesn’t mean just the top of your head: you need to dye ALL of your roots on your ENTIRE head. You must part your hair in a few sections to make sure you have applied the dye throughout. This way, if you wear your hair up/half up-half down/whichever way, ALL of your roots will be brown. Seems obvious, but very important!
While applying the medium brown dye, you can choose how much of your hair you’d like to be dark and how much you’d like lighter. My friend chose to have the medium brown start to fade into the lighter hair at around her ear lobes. After you have saturated your roots to wherever you’d like the brown to end, make sure it blends by running your fingers through the rest of your hair. Important: don’t spill any dark dye on the ends of your hair because that may result in a dark spot after you’re done.
Once the time is up, wash and dry your hair. If you like the look, well done! If not, simply use more of the brown dye to get the look you want.