DIY OMBRE HAIR: tips & tricks!

The ombre hair is something I originally will admit to not exactly getting. But then early this Spring I felt like a change of barnet and re-read Zoella’s post about it and it looked fun! Which then led me to llymlrs post on how to diy it too. Hmm can’t be that difficult I thought, and it really isn’t. There are just a few tips & tricks I’ve picked up along the way which I hope may help anyone else trying to achieve this gradated look using Zoella’s and llymlrs tutorials.

* Less is more. The one thing about bleach is once the damage is done, it’s really rather hard to reverse. So apply your bleach cautiously. Less time is more time. if it’s not as bright as you’d like you can always apply more again.

* Approach foil with a weary eye. Foil. Sure it helps speed up the bleaching process but it can also leave you with a harsh line…i.e no soft smooth gradient. I once placed foil on the end of my tips and ended up with bright blonde tips, no ombre just a bad dye job with huge contrast!

* Different strokes. I’ve done the ombre job a few times now and the one thing I’ve found is that you get a smoother effect if you apply the bleach at the very ends of your hair and then gently stroke the bleach upwards. I aimed for a third of the way up so by the time you reach this point you would have spread most of the bleach about already.

* Ties don’t work! The first time I did it I thought I would be clever and use some hair ties to mark where I wanted the ombre to start. Basically I created very loose pigtails and this method sucked and resulted in a very uneven and unnatural effect…

* Heat. I know this helps speed up the bleaching process but again you won’t get enough time to judge how it’s looking. I wouldn’t recommend it.

* White toner works wonders. As my hair is naturally black, any lightening I did to it would ultimately be quite brassy. I hugely recommend you try out a white toner such as the one by the brand Directions as it really helps lift the colour and taking out the harsh yellow tones (I’ll review this product soon!)

* It’s easier if you have natural hair colour. The one thing I found hugely complicated whilst trying out the ombre was the fact that my hair is already dyed. I have naturally black hair but dye it red. Getting an ombre hair meant I had to bleach the ends which was all well  and good until I had to dye my roots! It then becomes a complicated affair where you can easily end up with three shades of hair colour (which I SO did!).

* Bleach damages. I was pretty fortunate with bleaching my locks as it didn’t really dry it out, but my work friend on the other hand has mentioned hair hair being quite dry afterwards.  So be prepared to sacrifice silky locks for this look!

TIPS FROM CHARLIE (see her results below!)

* Apply using toothbrush. The brushes that come with bleach are not very good. The toothbrush gets to all strands much easier.

*Use a hair brush. If you’re using powdery bleach brush it through with a paddle style brush so it distributes the bleach evenly.

* Start at the back. If you start at the front all of your hair sticks together and you can’t get to the front bit without tangles!

* Divide hair into two to make the application process easier.

I love having red hair so the ombre effect I achieved is as follows:

You can see it a bit better in daylight here:


My work friend on the other hand has a blonder and bolder ombre which I am hugely envious of! See below:



Have you tried the ombre? Let me know if you have any tips & I’ll add them to this post!

*UPDATE* Check out Charlie’s BLONDE ombre here

*UPDATE 2* Found a fantastic step by step tutorial with photos & product info. Definitely worth a read especially if you have dark hair. Click here to view.

*UPDATE 3* link above doesn’t work any more but found the photos for it here

Also check out the latest ombre I had professionally done for me here

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