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Beauty 411: DIY Ombre Hair (with pictures)

Welcome to our DIY Crafts series! DIY Crafts is focused on crafts that we have done, crafts that we will do and crafts that others have done that I feel deserve the “Craft Spotlight”. I invite you to check back often as I share these projects with you. You can view all of the DIY Crafts by visiting our DIY and Arts & Crafts section.

Ok, so we’ve all seen it, and most of us have pinned it. It’s the new craze in hair color. It’s called Ombre and it can be interpreted in several different ways.

The most common Ombre style seems to be when the color goes from very dark at the roots to very blonde at the bottom. The amount of change, however is up to you. Others I have seen are blonde to pink, red to blonde, etc. You can really do anything you want!

I like to consider myself fashion forward, and I am willing to try most things. Especially with my hair (you can cover anything with black). I called around to a few salons to get pricing for Ombre coloring, and while the salon results will probably be best, it just was not in my budget this month. So, I turned to good ole Pinterest and YouTube to search and study tutorials. There are plenty out there, and they all say something a little different.

I am going to tell you what worked for me. I’ll start off by saying if you currently have your natural hair color, you are a step ahead! My hair has several layers of black dye on it, so this was a longer process. There are some tutorials that say to strip your hair color first, but I didn’t feel comfortable putting my hair through all that mess!

So here goes! (Please keep in mind these aren’t professional instructions. We are not responsible if you screw up your hair.. but really, play around with it, stick to what you know and you should be fine!)

What you will need:

Hair color of your choice (unless you are keeping your natural color)
Toner (optional)
Hair Dye Brush
Old Ratty T-shirt

You can get these things at your nearest drug store, but I went to a Sally’s to make sure I had the right stuff.

Instructions for DIY Ombre’ Hair

1. Put on your old T-shirt.

2. Start by determining what you want your main hair color to be. (this will be the color that starts at your roots). If you like your current color, you can keep it as is. If you want to put on a new base color, just pick one you like and put it all over. You will have to finish that whole process, including washing it out, blow drying, etc. before you can start on your tips.

3. Now get your bleach! I know it’s a scary thought. I’ll admit I was a little timid about it. But, the good thing about bleach is that you can kind of tell what color your hair is just by looking at it during processing. Determine how high you want the ombre effect to go. Look through pictures if you need to. I have short hair, so my lightest color is only up to my chin. If you do it too high it may just look like out grown roots, and nobody wants that!

Take the bleach and brush it into the bottom of your hair only about half way as high as you want it to go. You are going to do two different levels of bleach so that it looks like the color changes gradually. I put more bleach on the back side of my hair than the visible side. I still get blonde peeping through, but it’s not so extreme. Let it sit for 10-45 minutes depending on the darkness of your starter color.

3. After the tips of your hair start to change, brush bleach into your hair 1-3 inches higher than the first section of hair. This will give it the gradual look and is necessary for the ombre look, or once again, you’ll just look like you have roots.

4. When your hair looks like it’s reached the desired color, wash thoroughly and dry!

5. If your hair has a less than desirable color, you can use the toner to get the copper/gold tones out, or you can re-cover it with black (or whatever color you want). (sorry but that’s probably the best option if it’s not what you want)

One of the most famous images that show up when you search for Ombre Hair would be Jessica Biel.

This one may be a little too risky for you to try on your own, but I encourage you to be adventurous and give it a try! You only live once and hair is the easiest thing to fix!

Here is my finished product:

This article was written by Jamie. She is a mom of two, photographer and I would consider her to be a super crafty mama. Thanks Jamie for sharing your adventures in Ombre Hair. I super love it.

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  • Jessica

    I love this… now….. to go out and get the stuff to do it myself…. that is the question.

  • Carmen Ghia

    Guess I’m rocking the ombre since I haven’t colored my hair and have 6mos of roots n grays showing… siiigh

    • Jessica

      Stylin and you didn’t even know it!

  • Modern Day Moms

    I did this tonight and it turned out fab!

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