The best part? I did it myself! At home! And all this cost me was 400 bucks for a box of Revlon Medium Blonde hair dye (shade 175) from the Watson's near my office.
Materials1. Virgin hair* - hair that hasn't been dyed, at least for a while. Mine was last dyed was in 2009, so it's technically a virgin again. Stopping now before I add something inappropriate. Hurhurhur.
2. Box o' hair dye, four shades or so lighter than your current hairrr. Again, I used Revlon Medium Blonde hair dye (shade 175). Ash blonde and light golden brown shades work too.
3. Gloves, if hair dye kit does not include. Well even if it does I prefer latex surgical gloves, if you can get them.
4. Rubber bands
5. Aluminum foil, cut into four to eight 4X4 squares
6. Dye brush or toothbrush if you're feeling fancy, but I just used my hands. Ombre hair's supposed to be a little messy and beachy so precise streaks aren't that important.
7. Old shirt or towel to wear while dyeing that you won't mind getting stained.
ReferencesDon't attempt to go it alone. Read up a lot on DIY Ombre hair online. These were the most useful:
- The Gloss. A bit complex since she uses two dyes, but a great pyschological boost in the "if she can do it so can I!" vein.
- Beauty Editor. This one's a bit too simple, but the basic premise is there.
- coachel.la.life. The Goldilocks of DIYs. Juuuust right.
- Arts & Drafts. Got the idea to use foil from her. Advocates using a brush too.
(*if your hair is currently dyed, check The Gloss and Beauty Editor DIYs. Or better yet, go to a salon.)
Step by step1. Brush DRY, not freshly shampooed hair thoroughly (best guide is dye at least 12 hours or more after last shampoo) and divide into four equal sections. I parted my hair down the middle and across behind my ears.
2. Section off the last two inches or so of hair with rubber bands. This is the part that's going to be lightest. (We are all agreeing on the definition of ombre here which is dark at the top and light at the bottom, not the other way around, yes?)
3. Mix dye according to package instructions. Don't forget to wear gloves. I hope you've got your old shirt or towel on too.
4. Spread dye on sectioned-off ends of hair. Use enough to saturate hair completely. Leave for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the rubber bands one by one. Apply more dye to the end of each section and then spread upwards. You can use your hands or a brush if you wanna be precise about it. A good section for ombre hair is until about under the ears, but you can go higher or lower depending on your preference.
6. Also pull off random sections of hair, such as a few framing the face and some near the crown, add dye and push up beyond the ombre "water line." Do step 5 and 6 this till you use up all the dye.** Or until you are satisfied, whatever floats your boat.
7. Wrap the tips of your hair in aluminum foil. This heats the hair and makes the dye more effective on the parts you wrap. I only used four squares for the end of each section since my hair's pretty thin; you may need more depending on your hair's density.
8. Leave foil and dye on for another 20-30 minutes.
9. Follow the dye kit's instructions for washing off and conditioning. Try not to shampoo for 24 hours to seal the color. If your kit doesn't come with a conditioner, make sure you use an intensive leave-on conditioner on the dyed parts because they're going to be a little dry after the process.
**I recommend using all the dye up. I actually had to dye my hair twice. The first time I used less than half the bottle, and the result was a bit too subtle for my liking. A few hours later I dyed my hair again, this time using the entire bottle even when it felt ridiculous and how much dye can hair really take?! and the result was so much better than the first time. It's up to you really if you want noticeably ombre hair or something more subdued.
Now behold hair in all its ombre glory!
Hope you enjoyed this quickie tutorial. Try it out yourself and let me know how it goes!