End Game Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

Rachel Bilson amfARs Cinema Against AIDS 2010 benefit gala Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

Thinking about trying Ombré hair? That means a deliberate graduation of colour from the roots (darkest) to ends (lightest)—which is quite handy if you’re trying to cut down on trips to the salon to get your re-growth touched up. It can also be super-pretty in an imperfect, beachy, Surfer Girl way, as Rachel Bilson demonstrates above.

While Rachel, along with fellow Ombré poster children Alexa Chung, Ashlee Simpson and Jessica Biel no doubt had the help of professionals, I’m gonna show you how you can DIY the look in the comfort of your own home. Yes, really. And don’t worry. These instructions come straight from Luis Pacheco, consulting colourist for Clairol. (You’ve seen his work before, remember?)

He’s very subtle, so don’t worry that you’re going to end up looking like this:

Drew Barrymore ombre hair Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

Provided you choose the right shade (more deets below), it should end up closer to this:

camila alves ombre hair Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

I’ve actually got TWO how-tos for Ombré hair at home: one for hair that’s already been highlighted and the other for natural, virgin hair.

How to do Ombré colour on hair with existing highlights

1. Determine your natural hair colour level and choose a colour that either corresponds to it or is one shade darker, in a neutral to golden shade. If in doubt, go for the golden shade.

Luis recommends using a demi-permanent colour such as Clairol Natural Instincts. (Demi-permanent means it fades gradually without leaving any harsh line at the roots.)

Clairol Natural Instincts Medium Warm Brown Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

2. Part your hair in four sections. (Divide it from ear to ear and from the middle of your forehead to the middle of the nape of your neck.) Apply the colour to your roots and let it sit for five minutes.

3. Take each section and run the colour through to the mid-length of the hair, starting with the back sections and finishing with the two front sections. (Use your fingers or a comb.) Wait another five minutes.

4. Add water to dilute the colour and emulsify the ends (approximately the last third of the hair length). Let the colour sit for about one minute.

5. Wash your hair, condition and style as normal. That’s it!

Here’s an example of what to expect. Remember Kate from our Clairol makeover challenge?

Kate Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

Her hair was already highlighted, so Luis added the colour to darken her roots for an Ombré effect. Here’s a photo of the back of her hair:

Kate after Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

And now here are the other instructions, for hair that hasn’t been coloured already…

How to do Ombré colour on virgin, natural brown hair

PLEASE do not try this method on already-coloured hair. Colour will not lift colour!

1. Choose a shade of permanent hair colour that is three or four levels lighter than your natural colour, in a neutral to ash tone. (Luis recommends Clairol Nice ‘n Easy, which is permanent hair colour.)

Clairol Nice N Easy Medium Ash Blonde Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

2. Part your hair in four sections. (Divide it from ear to ear and from the middle of your forehead to the middle of the nape of your neck.) Using elastic bands, section off the last third of the hair length—the ends of the hair in each section.

3. Apply the colour to the sectioned off ends and let it sit for approximately 20 minutes.

4. Remove the elastic bands and spread the colour about an inch above the pre-sectioned spot, where the elastic bands used to be. Let the colour sit for another 10 minutes.

5. Wash your hair, condition and style as normal. You’re done!

This should give you a subtle effect, similar to Ashlee Simpson’s:

Ashlee Simpson Ombre hair Why yes, it IS possible to do your own Ombré hair colour at home

Get the products

Have your say

What do you think of the Ombré trend?
Will you be trying this at home?
Or is this one trend you wish would hurry up and pass already?

273 Comments

Rebecca
Tuesday, September 21/2010 at 1:28 pm

I LOVE this article and your tips are easy-to-follow. I tried explaining this look to my own stylist but wasn’t familiar enough with the term “ombre” so, needless to say, I didn’t get the right look. I’ll try achieve it on my own! Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 21/2010 at 6:12 pm

Oh don’t thank me, thank Luis! He’s the colour genius here. :-)

I hope you get a good result with his tips—please come back and let us know!

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sj
Saturday, September 25/2010 at 2:03 pm

I don’t quite understand step 4 in the first section, how much water do you add? Where do you add it?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, September 30/2010 at 10:39 am

Hi SJ – I double checked this with Luis – he says:
“Just enough water to emulsify the colour through! Can be done while standing in the shower.”

Hope that helps!

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karli comolli
Tuesday, March 6/2012 at 3:20 pm

so for step four (already colored hair) would it be like wetting the hair but not rinsing out?

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Jennifer
Thursday, October 7/2010 at 12:58 pm

Thanks for this intresting article but what if my hair is dark and its dyed dark brown/black how can i do the ombre technique then? thanks in case u answer! cause theres lots of us brunnettes out there too lol!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, October 7/2010 at 1:43 pm

That’s because it won’t work – as mentioned above colour will not lift colour. Your best bet is talking to a professional who can advise you on what’s possible for your hair’s current condition :-)

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pro
Friday, December 2/2011 at 2:25 am

@ Jennifer, and any other questioning, ombre loving beauties

Like michelle explained, do seek professional attension! If not, you many try to diy, end up with a hot mess, and need a pro asap! Then after all you went through, you will have spent money on your own color, then even more for corrective services at the salon. So if you have found a good stylist, and she colors your hair the way you wished, you wont pay nearly as much. Always remember, if you go home and decide your hair just isn’t what you may have wanted, you can always call the salon back and let them know, and they should correct your hair for free. If you do decide to still diy,do stay away from the drug store. Even though the price is tempting your results may not be! Somtimes you get lucky the first time with a box, but you can almost never achieve the same look twice. Try purchasing your an products at a sally beauty supply, ask for help @ the counter if you need it. As for my fellow brunettes, since you cannot lift color with color, you do the opposite! Like with highlights, you use a lightener, but not on your roots for an ombre! The lightener can begin from the middle of your strands and go down from there, and that can vary also. You don’t want to completley cover your ends, they will then look like Drew Barrymoore’s over done ombre. Leave some of your ends dark, so it will almost look like you have a grown out highlight and lowlight mixture. Remember to be careful when using these harsh chemicals, they can really damage your hair. We do love the french ombre, but we don’t want french friend ends!

Hope this was helpful ladies!
-just a helpful stylists advise ;)

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t
Thursday, October 21/2010 at 2:27 pm

i did a demi-perm darkening job on my hair 2 years ago. i’m pretty sure it is all gone now but i really didn’t notice that my hair darkened either. would it be safe to try?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, October 26/2010 at 6:25 pm

Honestly? I would check with a hairdresser. Or call one of the 1-800 #’s on these box colours. They say it takes a good 5-6 years for your hair to completely grow out colour… so unless your hair is super short I don’t know if I’d risk it… although demi would be less damaged than permanent colour. But better to be on the safe side – Luis was very adamant that you shouldn’t do this on top of previously coloured hair.

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Spenser
Wednesday, March 28/2012 at 9:32 am

With Demi-perm. Color it is ment to wash out eventually after 6-8 or 8-12 weeks this is what makes it Demi instead of permanent. With the hombre style I agree with the women above to see professional help from your stylist… I’m saying this one because I’m a stylist myself and two because I color my hair quite often and with many pure pigments. If you didn’t notice a heavy change with your Demi perm hair color it could be because it’s to close to your natural color. If you do attempt to do this tech. I would also have to say sallys would be the place to get your products for coloring and lightening. I don’t know if I helped at all but I hope I did.

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sultana
Friday, October 29/2010 at 4:24 pm

Hi, i had someone do ombre hair to me, but she only put the darker color on the top part of my hair where i part it! So when i put my hair back in a pony, its two different colors! ARGH! I wanted to try fixing it using the Demi color, whats the easiest way? because they if your ends are light and you do the roots, be careful to not get the color on the ends because it will ruin the blond and not come off! HELP!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 2:09 pm

Oh no! I’m going to see if Luis can answer this one for you Sultana. I’m a bit nervous about applying more colour on top of colour so I want to make sure I get you the right advice.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, November 14/2010 at 10:48 pm

Hi Sultana – okay, I talked to the Clairol people about this and Luis says he would really prefer to see your hair before recommending anything…just to be on the safe side. Do you have a photo you can email me? Then I can pass it on to him and get his advice for you. You can email me at michelle AT beautyeditor DOT ca.

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Lindsay
Friday, November 5/2010 at 2:34 am

ok, so i just tried this at home!

Make sure if you are planning to attempt this, that you have a very skilled/thorough friend to help (or in my case my mom :)
AND very important, I’d suggest buying AT LEAST two boxes of dye. My hair is pretty fine, but I have a lot of it, and we actually ran out of dye by the time we got to the last quarter! and that was on the roots part alone! :S

Then actually when I washed it out, it hadent taken to my hair (which is pretty much all bleached blonde) at all! I dont think there was enough dye to properly pull it through to half way, so it ended up just looking kind of dirty and splotchy :( not cool.

So when i went back for more dye, I bravely chose a much darker shade, and actually i bought two of them (so it would cover all the roots) then i bought two other shades so i had three tones in total.
Sounds overboard i know, but since its semi-permanent i found that you really need to saturate the hair for it to take (maybe this is only the case for people who have very bleached out hair..?)

In the end the result was pretty good, its def no SJP, but not too shabby for a first go! :)
The only thing i would do differently is not bring the dye too far down your hair, i went a bit further than half, and now because of that i will need to add a bit more blonde to the ends…

its all trial and error when your doing it at home, so i hope this will help someone! :)

good luck guys! this is a great trend that i havent seen on two many of us common folks yet, i hope it catches on!

i think its a great funky alternative for girls with long hair, seems like for a long time, short haired girls were the only ones that got to have fun with color :P
id love to hear how someone else dealt with this ombre at home experience?! :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 2:14 pm

Amazing Lindsay – thanks so much for posting about your experience with these instructions! I’m so glad you persevered and got a good result!

I agree… you don’t see too many girls with Ombre on the streets but whenever I do, I always appreciate it! So pretty :-)

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Katie
Sunday, November 7/2010 at 6:42 pm

For the second technique you specified brown hair. My natural hair color is dark blonde, would I still do the same thing? Or should I pick an even lighter blonde for the ends? Thanks for these tips, they really help.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 6:55 pm

Your hair isn’t coloured already, right? If not then yes, it would be exactly the same technique except you’d go with a lighter shade. The more of a contrast between the base and the ends, the more dramatic it will look.
Good luck!

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Emily
Sunday, November 21/2010 at 5:13 pm

I had been going to a salon to get this look for a few months now, but after reading this article, I decided to do it on my own! It worked and I love it! Thank you! Money saved!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 6:52 pm

Hurrah! So glad you got a good result – my salon Ombre cost $350 so you will save a fortune!! :-)

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R
Wednesday, November 24/2010 at 10:54 pm

I love this style, but I have a few grey hairs, what do you do with the dark part of your hair as your grays start to grow out? Is there a way that Luis recommends for retouching them?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, December 1/2010 at 7:36 pm

Hi R – I’d recommend going back to the salon for root touch-ups… unless you can get your hairdresser to tell you which at-home colour would be match. I’d just be nervous to try and guess that myself as you wouldn’t want 3 different colours in your hair – 2 is enough! :-)

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Jane
Monday, November 29/2010 at 11:04 am

Hmmm seems quite simple and easy to do. I’ve always done my own coloring at home. Right now i’m brown red. I’m curious if i can make this work with a darker brown on top fading to the brown red i have now.

Should be interesting :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, December 1/2010 at 7:37 pm

Are you planning to DIY Jane? That might actually be very pretty with a reddish shade instead of the usual blonde!

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Helen
Friday, December 10/2010 at 12:01 am

hi, i’m asian but have quite light hair for an asian (dark brown), would this work for me? how would i do it?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 5:16 pm

Hmmm… I am not sure that I’d do this at home on Asian hair. I’ve heard that it can go reddish when lightened so you want to be very careful… to get the proper result you might need to do something more complicated like strip your colour with peroxide and then add the actual pigment back in, I’m not sure. The other thing is Asian hair tends to be thicker and more resistant to colour, so you may need to leave it on longer… a strand test would definitely be needed before you colour your whole head.

I’m going to ask Luis about this one to see what he advises, okay?

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bluebear
Sunday, December 12/2010 at 11:54 pm

I adore ombre hair!! I just found out that that is its actual name from your site :) now
I have done it so many times at home by myself and I always loved it! I think it looks best if you wear it with loose waves, not too straight. I combined chocolate brown with caramel ends or dark coppers with golden blondes, and even dark ash blonde with barbie-blonde ends, it looks amazing.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 5:17 pm

Yay! So happy to hear you are doing this at home!
I agree – it looks best with a bit of texture.

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Marcy
Monday, December 20/2010 at 2:28 pm

I tried this on my dyed dark hair and must say that I am pretty proud of the results! After a lot of research, here is what I did: bought two packets of bleach and two tubes of medium blonde dye (one ash and one neutral). STRAND TESTED everything first!! I applied the bleach to the bottoms, gradually moving it up once or twice as the time increased for a natural blending look. I also pulled the bleach higher in places to avoid a straight line. I started with the bottom side sections, moved to the back, then applied the bleach to the top most layers last. Once the bleach had gone past the orange colour, I washed it out. I mixed the two blonde dyes together (I added one ash bc my hair pulls red easily, and chose med blonde bc the brand I use goes on about two shades darker), and applied to my entire head. After it was all processed and rinsed, I was pleased. By the next morning, it had gone a bit orange, but nothing purple shampoo didn’t fix right up. A week later, once the colour had settled, I also touched up my roots with a dark brown, which I pulled down randomly. The colour ranges from a med/dark brown to a lighter/carmel brown.

Remember, depending on how bleached your ends are, they will grab more colour, but will also lose it quickly. Treat you bleached ends to a good trim and salon protein products if need be!

Jane: I have seen pics of this done with reddish shades and it lookes awesome. Did you try it?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 10/2011 at 7:02 pm

Oh my gosh you are so brave! I think I’d be way too scared to attempt all of that myself but WOW so happy you got a good result! (And I admire your hair colour fearlessness!) Do you have a photo? I would love to see the end result!

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MM
Saturday, January 22/2011 at 8:56 pm

Hi Marcy,
Do you have a photo uploaded anywhere ?
Hope so, as I have dark hair that is dyed to cover greys and would love to see your results from your home job.
Thanks !

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Marcy
Friday, February 11/2011 at 10:12 pm

I do have a couple pictures. Is there anyway to post them on this site?

I also forgot to mention that I back-combed the bleach line to also help break up any straight lines, as well as pulling the bleach higher in places.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 7:53 pm

I can post them if you want to email them to me? michelle at beautyeditor dot ca.

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ka
Tuesday, January 11/2011 at 6:56 am

i have asian hair. Will this work? N what shades of dye should i go for? Thanks

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 12/2011 at 7:38 pm

It will! I have a post specifically on colouring Asian hair coming up soon so stay tuned… just need to sit tight for a bit because it mentions a product that’s not out yet (so brand needs me to wait). Can you hold on a couple more weeks?

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Alexa
Friday, January 14/2011 at 12:40 am

Hi! I’ve been dying my hair at home for about two years now and I’ve really have been wanting to do this for about 8 months now! I just had one dilemma. My hair is previously dyed but I haven’t applied color to it for a couple of months now. My roots don’t show or anything so I’m pretty sure the color washed out, but it now has a red hue to it. Would process number one still be applicable?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 26/2011 at 8:30 pm

What kind of colour was it? If it was a demi then it’s probably washed out by now (they last somewhere like 25-30 shampoos). Do you remember what you used?

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ka
Saturday, January 15/2011 at 7:11 am

thanks for your reply. I’m excited bout your new post. But i’m currently overseas and that’s where i’d like to purchase my hair dye. I head back home this wednesday 19th. Will your post be up by then? If not, could you please tell me what colour dye that i can use to achieve alexa chung’s ombre colours? Thanks so much :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 26/2011 at 8:36 pm

Yikes – sorry – I wasn’t able to post because of an advertising campaign where I wasn’t allowed to mention the product until a certain date. Anyway just read through the answers I got from the stylist and he didn’t recommend a particular colour but said “think caramel tips as opposed to lighter blonde tones. Too light a tone on Asian skin can result in a skin tone that looks washed out. Safest bet is to choose a warm tone in the gold or caramel range! Stay away from colours that are cool in tone, anything with blue, green or violet undertones. ” He also said you have to be VERY careful with the degradation of colour so that you don’t get any harsh line.

I hope that helps! Let us know how you get on.

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Angie
Sunday, January 16/2011 at 2:37 pm

I Love the ombré look, but don’t understand if you hi-lite the hair first then wash then root colour. Or do I colour wash then hi-lite? I have old weaves hi-lites 6 months old that aren’t blonde enough.
Ang xoxo

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 26/2011 at 8:41 pm

If you have existing highlights then you want to follow the first set of instructions. The highlights won’t be getting lighter but the top part of your hair will go darker, so there will be more contrast.

It’s basically an either/or thing depending on your existing hair & what colour is already in it – either you darken the top or lighten the ends, but not both.

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nadine
Friday, January 21/2011 at 4:45 pm

Hi, I’ve got naturally quite dark highlighted hair, will this demi permanent cover the blonde? I’d like a strong dark colour, not mouse! I’m really desperate to try this look!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:19 pm

It should – if you look at the photos of Kate, who had blonde highlighted hair, putting a demi brown on top will tone the blonde down and give you a nice warm, rich colour. (If you don’t want mouse just make sure to choose something with gold in it as opposed to ash.) Then it will fade gradually – that’s the nice thing about demi colour as opposed to permanent.

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thalia
Friday, January 21/2011 at 8:57 pm

Hello, I have natural dark brown wavy hair. I’ve read that for the color not to go an orange-y color one should use a highlighting kit. I’ve not done it though because I know that bleach will cause my ends to become very dry and my hair is a bit fragile.
Would it be fine then with the normal permanent dye just a couple shades lighter? I want a natural transition to maybe a light, caramel brownish/ blondish color. What would you advise?
Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:25 pm

Actually I don’t think I would advise DIY highlights at all – for a couple of reasons. You need quite a bit of skill to get the application right (so that it’s very fine and evenly spaced – not stripey or chunky), so I think a professional at a salon is going to give you the best result.

And second, if you have natural dark brown hair, highlights are quite risky – I think they are hard to get right when your base colour is so dark. You’d probably need to lighten your base all over to get the caramel blondish look that you’re after.

Even that is tricky though… but a cool technique I just found out about (that should be lower-maintenance) would be instead use your natural colour as the highlight and do lowlights to give your hair some dimension. I know that’s maybe not what you’re after but would be easier on your hair, less risky and with less upkeep required.

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lacy
Saturday, January 22/2011 at 5:06 pm

hi there! so i tried this out (my hair is virgin and very dark brown) with a different hair dye than specified and it did not take unfortunately. but i am going to try it again tomorrow and i will be sure to get the kind that was specified, but i am a little concerned – i spoke a friend who said that the only way i can get this to work is if i literally bleach my ends and strip them of their color (which she than suggested i not do on my own as my hair will likely turn orange). i called a few places and most said that they would charge $70 which is OBSCENE considering it’s only my ends…so i really want to do this on my own! can you sooth my worries a little and specify about the hair dye that was suggested? and what do you mean when you say in the directions “brown” hair? do i need to bleach my ends before doing this? help!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:30 pm

You should be fine if your hair doesn’t have colour in it – and no, you don’t need to use a separate bleaching system. The Nice n’ Easy is a permanent colour so it will be able to lift your base a few levels depending on the shade you choose. Just don’t go too light as that’s where you get the danger of looking too brassy/orange.

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Seahorse
Monday, January 24/2011 at 5:42 pm

I’m so exited I’ve been looking for this hair style techniques forever and I’m finally going to try it. I colored my hair over a year a go, my hair is dark brown what tone should I use so the results would be golden color hair? Help please!!!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:32 pm

The best way to find the right shade is to match your base colour to one in the Nice n Easy line, and then from there move up a max of 3-4 levels. Luis recommends neutral or ash (not golden) tones for the ends.

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lil bit
Thursday, January 27/2011 at 10:12 am

please please please please go to a salon or have a professional do your hair…boxed dyes are TERRIBLE for your hair….its all false advertisement. theres tons of ammonia and other harsh chemicals in the stuff you buy at the store…if money is an issue go to a cosmetology school-the students there are supervised, use professional products and dyes, and its usually only a few more dollars (if not the same price) than what you would spend on the boxed crap…plus the students would greatly appreciate getting to practice their techniques…ive seen so many people fry their hair with the terrible dyes that are out there-please save yourself the aggravation and get it done with great product-and that way all the people that don’t have virgin hair can get it done-because you’re right-color wont lift color….please don’t try this yourself!!!!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:35 pm

I agree that if you’re not confident about selecting colours and/or getting this Ombre technique right, it’s best to visit a professional. But the colours themselves, especially the demi (Natural Instincts) are pretty goof-proof – I think the danger is when people try to put colour on top of colour, that can be very damaging. But I’ve been a victim of hairdressers who’ve done that to me too! :-)

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emily
Sunday, January 30/2011 at 11:28 pm

hi, great to find a simple sounding method online!
my hair is mid brown, and I want quite a subtle one, but also have struggled with red dyes not taking easily to my hair. could you recommend a particular shade that would take to my brown hair but is not too light or cold a colour? I am looking for caramel tones rather than paler ones. thanks

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:36 pm

Like I said to Seahorse above, the best way to find the right shade is to match your base colour to one in the Nice n Easy line, and then from there move up a max of 3-4 levels. Luis recommends neutral or ash (not golden) tones for the ends.

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Rebecca
Monday, January 31/2011 at 4:26 pm

I asked my hair stylist about this technique 2 years ago (before I even knew what it was called) and she said all it was was grown out highlights & not an actual coloring technique. Now that I know how to do it, I’ll finally be able to get it done! Thanks for the information.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:38 pm

My pleasure! Hope you got a great result!

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Katie
Friday, February 4/2011 at 7:27 am

Hi, I just took the plunge after years of dying my own hair, and you directions and technique was amazing!! Thank you! It was so simple! I had red hair (dyed) and now it’s my natural brown from the roots and it blends to an amazing copper blonde at the ends ( I wanted to maintain a warmer colour as my skin is very fair). I did so much research on ombré colour and your advice was spot on! Thank you so much! I am beyond pleased!!! Xo

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:38 pm

Hooray! Now I want to see a photo! :-)

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beth
Tuesday, February 15/2011 at 5:32 pm

I’d been wanting to attain the ombre look for a while now, but didn’t want to spend loads of money at the hairdressers – and to be honest I didn’t know whether my local hairdresser would do a good job, because I guess celebs have the top range stylists doing theirs. So after finding this article I decided to go ahead and do it.

I have un-coloured light brown hair with natural highlights, so I chose Clairol ‘ultra light champagne’. Although this looked VERY blond on the picture, the scale on the back of the pack indicated that if you’re applying the dye to light brown hair it should go and nice caramel colour.

I followed the instructions that you provided, and did the first coat below the plastic bands for 20 minutes. I then removed the bands and put a second coat on about an inch above where the band was. I also decided to put streaks of colour further up my hair but not on the top section….so that they would blend in underneath. I left the dye on for a further 20 minutes then rinsed.

The colour I have obtained is lovely, but not quite as blonde as I wanted it. Its more of a caramel brown colour – Which is pretty much the same colour as my natural highlights.

If I was to do this again to try and get a lighter colour, would you advise using a lighter blonde colour or leaving the dye on for longer?? Or now that my hair is lighter, will applying a second coating of the same product make it blonder?

To people wondering whether to do this I would say yes go for it! The result isn’t as dramatic as you think it’s going to be, so you have time to get used to it before taking the next step to make it even lighter. The elastic bands technique works a treat too, as it blends the new colour in to your hair. Hope this has helped!! :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 7:55 pm

Let me check with Luis on this and see what he thinks! Glad you had a great result so far :-)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, April 1/2011 at 6:13 pm

Hi Beth! SO sorry for the late reply – it took a while to hear back from the PR and also Luis was away.

Anyway! Here is what he says – although he is unable to comment on that specific shade because it’s not available here in Canada.

“Have her do the same procedure a second time with a colour one shade lighter from the same line of Nice ‘n Easy products. If “Ultra Light Champagne” is the lightest shade, then simply repeat the same process with the same colour.”

I hope that works for you – pls let us know!

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Missseriously
Monday, February 21/2011 at 11:16 am

FINALLY! Some good easy to follow tips! I have looked everywhere from youtube to blogs to get a good guide to ombre my hair and I couldn’t until now! I think I’m gonna go for it.. I’m a virgin to coloured hair and have naturally DARK brown hair and was just wondering if I needed bleach because so many people are telling my I need bleach and that lighter colour won’t give the ombre’d effect.. I’m so confused and would appreciate any help before i take the plunge. I’m fairly olive skin toned so was thinking a light brown/caramel..
Advice please?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 8:00 pm

Oh no I wouldn’t do bleach! The permanent colour (the Nice n Easy in the second set of instructions) will definitely still lift your colour, but it will be a tone on tone look. If you read Beth’s comment above, she wants to go a bit blonder and it sounds like you do too, so I’m going to talk to Luis to see what he advises. Stay tuned!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, April 1/2011 at 6:14 pm

Hi! Like I said to Beth above, sorry it took a while to get this response. Anyway here is what Luis advises:

“Follow the steps explained above [for natural brown hair] using Clairol Colour Blend Foam in #9 – Light Blonde. The foam formula will make application a whole lot easier! I do not recommend using bleach at home as it is a volatile colouring agent and should only be used professionally.”

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HELP!
Monday, February 21/2011 at 6:24 pm

Okay I kinda have an ombre look going on already but its totally unintentional AND too subtle for my liking! Anyway I previously used a permanent dye about 2 years ago and i’ve got some reddish tints to my ends would i still have to follow the first one? I’m not too keen on using demi permanent so can I use permanent instead? Thanks in advance

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 8:05 pm

Do you want to go darker or lighter? Probably the safest thing to do if your ends have colour is the Natural Instincts which dyes the top part of your hair… but if you want to go blonder at the bottom then you could *probably* get away with the second set of instructions, since the colour is 2 yrs old now. I’d call the Clairol hotline though just to make sure you’ll be ok… Clairol’s US consulting colourist just told me the other day that you’re ok to dye your whole head of hair every 6 months, but I just want to make sure this doesn’t mess you up. The Clairol # is 1-800-CLAIROL.

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jess
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:37 pm

I really want to get this look done. my hair is black, so i wanna dye it brown and then do my tips but i dont know what type of hair dye should i use. semi per, or permanent? help please

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 16/2011 at 5:34 pm

If your natural colour is black then to lighten it to brown you need a permanent colour. A semi or a demi won’t lift it.

Trying to then make the ends even lighter though sounds like it could be very tricky. I would probably go to a salon for that.

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Courtney
Tuesday, March 8/2011 at 5:00 pm

I have naturally reaaally dark hair! Some people mistake it for black. Would I still be able to do this look? Its never been died before and my hair is about down to my elbows. Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 16/2011 at 5:36 pm

Yes! Just make sure you choose a colour within 3-4 levels (the box will have photos on the back). Not sure if you have Asian hair but there are some additional tips in this post for Ombre: http://beautyeditor.ca/2011/02/01/reader-question-can-i-colour%E2%80%94or-even-ombre%E2%80%94my-asian-hair-at-home-without-making-it-go-weird-and-brassy/

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Leigh
Friday, March 11/2011 at 2:19 pm

I just did this treatment on my previously highlighted hair. It turned out great. Thank you for this great article. It saved me $150.00!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 16/2011 at 5:36 pm

You’re welcome! Where I had it done it costs $350 :-)

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Marissa
Sunday, March 13/2011 at 4:09 pm

My hair color is naturally dark blonde, but it’s permanently died dark brown. I have about a centimeter of roots, though. How do I explain to my stylist how to do it from there? I want it brown at the top, and pretty blonde at the end but still blended well.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 16/2011 at 5:38 pm

The best way is to bring a colour picture, that way you can make sure you’re both on the same page. Find a celeb who has the look you want and then book a consultation with your colourist. I’ve had far too many disasters where I’ve kicked myself for not bringing a pic first!

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Linds
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 12:39 am

i know that you mentioned that the ombre looks better on textured hair but mine is super straight. will this still look okay? i like the look with curly/wavy hair but mine takes FOREVER to get like that and falls straight as soon as i step outside (very humid out there). do you think that adding colour for the first time will change the texture of my hair? or should i opt for a more permanent fix?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 2:15 pm

It shouldn’t change the texture of your hair too much – might be a bit drier but if it’s the first time colouring, you won’t have a lot of damage.
Do you have bangs? I wouldn’t recommend Ombre for bangs PLUS straight hair… otherwise you should be fine. Maybe add some salt spray or something to rough it up a bit? I just don’t think Ombre wants to look too perfect if that makes sense. :-)

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Linds
Thursday, March 24/2011 at 11:25 am

Salt Spray!!! I’ve been living under a rock! I do have bangs but they are side swept. I’m thinking about growling them out though. I got them in the first place because my hair was so blah but now that i’m going to get Ombre highlights, I think it wouldn’t be so bad to grow them out. Gosh…salt spray…answer to my prayers!!

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MaggieandFoxy
Sunday, March 27/2011 at 10:53 pm

I have naturally real light strawberry blonde hair with cool blonde highlights…what should I do to my roots?? My hair is even allover…my strawberry is the Nicole Kidman red…real pale.. Thanks!!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, March 28/2011 at 11:21 am

Not sure I understand – what is the issue at the roots – greys? In that case (if there are a lot) you’d need to touch up the base colour as well as doing the Ombre at the bottom. Maybe best to go to a salon. Sounds like your hair is a VERY pretty colour naturally so if it were me I don’t know that I’d mess with it. You’re lucky!

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MaggieandFoxy
Monday, March 28/2011 at 1:27 pm

I want the Ombré look…I was curious what shade would look okay for root coverage…I have no grey hair.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, April 1/2011 at 7:52 pm

What’s your colour now? Is it natural or is there colour in there? The Clairol colours are pretty easy to navigate as they show you the shades on the back of the box…

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Fer
Monday, March 28/2011 at 3:55 pm

Hi! I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials and overall they say you really need a bleach to do this because blond hair dye won’t work on natural brown hair. I’m really confused, should I just use permanent blond colour?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 29/2011 at 6:40 pm

Yes, you need a permanent colour – not a semi. Clairol Nice ‘n Easy is a permanent colour. Follow the 2nd set of instructions above.

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Amanda
Friday, April 1/2011 at 1:51 pm

Hi, I have a hair appointment next week and I really want to go for this look (as natural as possible). I have light brown hair that is at about an inch of growth now. I usually have a few VERY tiny caramel highlights put in and its starting to grow out – so tiny you can’t tell at all from far away, it just looks very natural. How do you suggest I ask my hairdresser about this look? Should I cover my roots myself before I go in (I usually do this) and go in asking for a few faded highlights – is that even possible or will she have to paint the ends, therefore costing much more? Thank you for your help!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, April 1/2011 at 6:54 pm

Bring pictures! Visual aids are the only way to communicate with hairdressers. I would actually go for a consult even before your appointment to make sure she knows how to do Ombre. It’s more labour-intensive than just regular highlights so you’ll want to get a feel for whether she’s done this type of thing before. It’s not really a matter of just painting on highlights at the bottom. When I got mine done, the colourist (Luis @ Hair on the Avenue in Toronto) used a very fine comb and some kind of backcombing technique in order to get that perfect graduated colour. So you might want to just leave your roots, go for a consult, and then if you don’t feel confident that your regular hairdresser knows how to do this, go somewhere else.

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Erica
Thursday, April 7/2011 at 4:42 pm

I recently dyed my hair an all over dark brown hair color (no highlights whatsoever), as opposed to my natural hair color, which was a chocolate brown. I am hispanic, with an olive skin tone. I am very interested in doing this myself, but I am at loss as to which set of instructions to use (since my hair isn’t highlighted, nor is virgin) as well as what color would be best for my skin tone. Any suggestions please?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 12:33 pm

Colour won’t lift colour so you would need to go to a salon in order for them to lift it… probably a pretty in-depth process.

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Lisa
Saturday, April 9/2011 at 10:38 am

Be verrrry careful when you go get Ombre ladies! I’ve just recently had an Ombre disaster happen to my head. I went in to my hairdresser to get Ombre on my dark brown hair. I brought with me various pictures to show what I like- natural looking, low contrast, etc. What I got was half dark brown, half white-blonde hair. It looks awful, and because they bleached my hair to get it so light, my hair is now super damaged. The moral is- even if you bring in pics and explain yourself like crazy, hairdressers can still butcher your hair. Make sure that the stylist has done Ombre before and has a really good reputation with it. Otherwise you’ll end up ruining your hair.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 12:32 pm

Oh no! Sorry that happened to you. I agree, it’s important to only get this done from someone you can trust.

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Natasha
Friday, April 15/2011 at 10:16 pm

As with Lisa above I’ve had an Ombre disaster!

I first coloured my ends about a month ago and the result was great but it was kinda dull and I wanted it brighter . Last night I put another blonde colour into the ends but this time it’s come up bright blonde making the roots look really dark. Despite this there is almost a line across my hair showing the step in colour, remember that bad Drew Barrymore Ombre hair? That’s what I’m stuck with.

How can I fix this disaster?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 12:35 pm

My honest opinion? I’d head to a salon to get them to fix it… especially since you have the line going across. Not sure if they’ll be able to get you back to a subtle, gradual Ombre or if you’ll have to dye the whole thing darker to match it up. I would talk to a professional instead of attempting to re-colour again at home – you could risk damaging it and still not get the result you want.

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Sofi
Thursday, April 21/2011 at 11:48 pm

Hi! I’ve wanted to try the ombré for a while, but I have short curly hair (like 1 inch down my ears). Do you think it will still look good or should I wait ’til it grows longer? Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 3:11 pm

I don’t know if it would even be possible for the hairdresser to execute on hair that short – let alone show up. I think you need it to at least be chin length or longer to give you enough room to show off the graduation of colour. With only 1 inch it would just look like you need your roots done.

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Kt
Wednesday, April 27/2011 at 4:51 pm

So about 4 weeks ago I got red streaks in my hair only on the top, and I’m getting tired of it. I want to do ombre hair, but I do not know what is the best way for me to do it. My natural color is dark brown, so I was thinking, maybe I could dye all my hair brown again. Then do my roots an even darker brown, maybe a soft black. Then I’ll have an in between color. Then my ends I was going to just bleach. I need some advice please!!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 4:24 pm

Oh gosh this sounds a bit complicated. For at home colour in your situation I think as far as I’d go would be to follow the instructions for highlighted hair using the existing red as your lighter colour and then darkening the roots. If you want to get rid of the red then perhaps a demi permanent would do the trick on the ends only? (They’re only supposed to change the tone not lift.) That’s probably as much as I’d do – but to be on the safe side it’s always best to see a professional. You just need to be really careful with layering colours on top of one another as they can cause damage as well as make the results very unpredictable.

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Bee
Monday, May 2/2011 at 9:57 pm

Hi, I have naturally dark hair but have been dying it very light blonde for the past couple of years. I don’t think just dying the roots darker would work as the blonde is far to light to be the ends colour and would result in a tacky contrast. A hairdresser friend recommended I gradually dyed my hair back to it’s natural colour, then used a highlighting kit on the ends, just wondering what your thoughts on this technique are?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:52 pm

Well with a highlighting kit you’re going to get more of a balayage look not true Ombre – which is the gradual seamless colour change. What you could do is use a demi permanent colour all over to tone down the blonde to a shade you’re happy with. And then follow the instructions above for highlighted hair using a darker shade at the roots (ideally one that matches your natural colour).

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Emily
Saturday, May 7/2011 at 9:03 pm

That seems awesome, I definitely want to try it at home. I have a question though. My hair is dark brown so I would have to do the bottom one. When you say that I have to spread the colour above the elastic band, how exactly do I have to do that? How do I spread it up? thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:45 pm

Just spread it with your hands!

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brooke
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 8:12 pm

Thank u so much…im in beauty school and I colored my hair dark brwn 3n with 4g it came out sooo black but i kept it until now i wanted to go lighter for spring. i did a rusk color removal to remove my level 2 color and the color remover only lightend my regrowth so I did a shampoo blching… half shampoo half blonders blch and developer mixed and my ends ended up light… I always wanted the ombre high lights so when i went to color my regrowth i left my ends open like u said too above and added a shampoo blching to my ends later :) thanks for ur help u helped me figure it out

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:41 pm

Glad it worked! Sounds like you know a lot more about colour than I do actually! :-)

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Kaitlin
Thursday, May 12/2011 at 7:41 am

I normally have a dark brown hair, shiny- I love it. But I wnated to do my own highlights.. BIG MISTAKE. I ended up doing my entire head, and it turned out a reddish/brown- not bad, just not what I wanted. What can I do to get the Rachel Bilson look.. her roots are my natural color. And the bottom of her highlights are the color I really really really want!!!!!!!! ahhhhh… so disappointed! Please help! I also used a demi color on it.. I bleached to lift color, than demi coloring. What suggestions?

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Kaitlin
Thursday, May 12/2011 at 7:43 am

also… rather than bleaching just the highlighted part… I was using a highlight cap ( I know, not smart!!!!!)… I ended up doing my entire head. my hair is reddish brown now- and I really want the Ombre look for summer. HELP ME!! :))) Thank you for this website.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 4:58 pm

So if I understand correctly you need to both go darker at the top AND lighter at the bottom? Sounds tricky for a home job… you could follow the instructions for highlighted hair so that at least you get rid of the streaky look and have a match to your natural colour at the roots. Then you’ll have the reddish highlights as your lighter colour at the ends. It will still be Ombre just not as extreme as Rachel Bilson’s look. If you want to go lighter still at the ends then I think you’d have to see a professional because adding new colour is not going to lift the existing colour that was already there.

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me
Friday, May 20/2011 at 1:16 pm

Hello!
I have just one question.
My hair is dark enough so I think I need to bleach the ends first. Otherwise, I won’t achieve the right look. But… how to bleach my hair? I’m thinking to dye my hair with normal blond color to get the ombre result, but how to bleach them?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 11:39 pm

If your hair has no colour in it, just follow the 2nd set of instructions. Nice ‘n Easy is a permanent hair colour and will lighten it – just choose a shade within 3-4 levels.

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Toi
Saturday, May 21/2011 at 7:51 pm

Love that I can do this at home! I recently tried to get the ombré Look and my stylist just lightly bleached strands of my top layer of hair a few inches down from the roots. No color just lightly bleached strands. I didnt want highlights at all but thats what happened- im weak in a hairdresser chair! My natural hair color is very dark brown and the highlights are a nice warm light brown. I’m looking for more of the Rachel bilson look, not the strandy look. Should I try the first method using a darker dye since some strands have been lightly bleached or should I use the second method w blonde dye since my hair is already pretty dark??

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 11:38 pm

I would follow the 1st set of instructions and use the blonde as your Ombre colour. (The 2nd instructions will only lighten your ends – that won’t fix the highlights near your roots, so it wouldn’t be Ombre.)

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Joanna
Saturday, May 21/2011 at 11:33 pm

I really want to ombre my hair it looks sooooo cute!! i have dark brown long hair, what color should I do? I want it to subtle (not bleach blonde or anything, but i want it lighter) I’ve never dyed or done anything to my hair before so I’m really clueless on the shade i should choose.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 11:36 pm

Stay within 3-4 levels. There are photos on the back of each box that should show you exactly how your hair will look based on its current colour.

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Sara
Wednesday, May 25/2011 at 12:24 am

Okay, so I went to a salon to get ombre hair and although showing my stylist the picture you used right after Drew’s of the really gradual look… My stylist basically gave me heavy highlights all over with maybe a half-inch of my roots. The blonde isn’t really blended with my med/light brown roots though and when it’s pulled back there’s a fairly noticeable line. Can I just use your steps for highlighted hair to blend it a bit more and to make it more of a gradual change so it’s not too sudden.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 11:35 pm

Oh no! There is definitely a specific technique your stylist should have used to get the graduated look. (See here: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/21/why-yes-it-is-possible-to-do-your-own-ombre-hair-colour-at-home/)
So yes, I would follow the first set of instructions above – that should help!

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Jamie
Friday, May 27/2011 at 3:12 am

I did this yesterday and it turned out, but not as light as I wanted it to… If I want to do it again can I just buy any type of hair dye and redo it over?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 11:40 pm

You followed the 2nd set of instructions, right? It’s not recommended to use permanent colour more than once every 6 months – too damaging. I would check with a salon to be on the safe side.

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Rebecca
Friday, June 3/2011 at 11:07 am

Ok.. I WANT this hair! However;
- I’ m prematurely grey (about 70% across my head of hair), and have been dying it my “natural” colour of dark brown, for quite some time
- I just had a half head of foils put in my hair to lighten the overall colour
- I don’t want to spend a gazillion $$ at the hairdresser for them to lift the colour
- I’m always going to have to dye my roots dark to combat the roots, so is this look ever acheivable, maintainable and/or affordable for me? You keep saying colour won’t lift colour, so if I’m dying my roots, I’m always going to have to dye it lighter when it grows and moves to the ends.

Help!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, July 29/2011 at 4:56 pm

Yeah, to be honest this sounds complicated for you. One of the reasons I ditched my Ombre was because my natural colour is quite ashy and so I didn’t want to have 3 bands of different colours – the new ashy re-growth, the dark colour at the top (which my hairdresser made warmer) and then the blonde Ombre ends. Definitely too much work – especially when you consider that the whole point of Ombre is to give you a break from always having to touch up your roots.
Have you seen this post? http://beautyeditor.ca/2011/03/24/double-process-hair-colour-is-doubly-excellent-and-the-reason-why-celebrity-hair-looks-better-than-yours/ I find this a much lower-maintenance way to go because I only get the highlights every 2-3 visits. I would recommend going with an all-over base colour that is a bit lighter and then doing tone-on-tone highlights.

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Tori
Friday, June 10/2011 at 12:45 am

First off, i love this hairstyle and have been wanting to get it done for a while now. I was debating whether or not to go into my hair salon and get it done, but i wasnt completely sure that it would come out the way i wanted if my hair dresser did it. so when i saw this website and how easy it seemed i thought i would try it. I have light brown to dirty blonde hair so i bought the lighter color to put on the ends of my hair. i made sure to get the lightest shade of blonde there was. after applying it to my hair and letting it sit for about 20-25 min i washed it out and everything and i could barely see a difference! it just looked like i got some extra sun in my hair, i was a little disappointed.
Seeing that the blonde hair dye didnt work the only other way i can think of for myself to make the bottom half of my hair lighter is bleach. Is that possible or should i do something completely different?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, July 29/2011 at 4:52 pm

Did you use it on virgin hair or did your hair have existing colour already in it? Colour won’t lift colour…

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Nas
Tuesday, June 21/2011 at 12:45 pm

this is an emergency – could you please email the best way to un-ombre your hair at home? would you dye the whole thing or just the ends? thank you!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 10:43 pm

I would use the Natural Instincts all over. It’s a demi and therefore more gentle… it washes out gradually over 28 shampoos. Nice ‘n Easy is a permanent colour so is riskier to work with, plus you don’t want to dye with permanent over permanent – too damaging. To be on the safe side get colour correction done by a pro.

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madison
Thursday, June 23/2011 at 6:14 am

i have light brown thick straight hair and ive been meaning to get an ombre forever. your instructions state to just directly apply the color onto the hair. what about bleaching it? ive heard that it will not work correctly unless you bleach the hair. or is the bleach already included in the highlighting color kit and you just skipped the step of explaining it becuase the kit already did? please helppp

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 10:33 pm

If you have natural hair (i.e. NO colour in it) then yes when you follow the 2nd set of instructions with Nice ‘n Easy it will lighten your hair.

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Z
Monday, July 4/2011 at 1:25 am

I want the ombre look.
Before that i wanted to be blonde, just for a while.
So now, i have all my hair blonde and want to know how to go ombre, i always do my hair on my own, but this time im scared.
You are by far the best source i have found, your help would
really come in handy.
(:

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Annie
Thursday, July 7/2011 at 11:20 pm

I want to try this out but I’m not quite sure on how to separate the hair correctly. I don’t really understand the whole ear to ear and forhead to neck. Could you clarify?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 8:12 pm

You want to section the hair on your head into 4 areas. So straight down the middle and horizontally across at about where your ears are.

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Deisy
Monday, July 11/2011 at 9:09 pm

Hi this seems like a great easy way, but I had a question. I have dyed my hair various time and at the current time its a light brown towards the bottom with my dark brown roots starting to show. My problem is that while I can just do the first example and dye my roots a darker color, I feel like I want my tips to be a little lighter than they are right now. Is there a way to do both or would you say get it done by a professional? Thanks in advance.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 8:04 pm

Colour won’t lift colour so yes, while you could follow the 1st example to go darker at the top, I’d suggest going to a pro if you want the ends lighter than what you have now.

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cailin
Friday, July 15/2011 at 6:24 pm

Hi, I have fine hair that’s really dark brown, and I saw ombre hair in a magazine and LOVED it, but I’m not entirely sure what shade I should get for the blonde part? I am also scared to mess up…. any advice?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 10:06 am

Check the back of the boxes, it should give you a fairly accurate idea of how the blonde will look with your existing colour. Make sure you stick to within 4 levels.

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Grace
Friday, July 22/2011 at 12:51 pm

would this look okay in red hair?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 8:01 pm

Sure!

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alex sharpe
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 9:55 pm

can you get the same effect using a rinse instead of a dye?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 10:04 am

You mean a semi or a demi? The 1st set of instructions (for highlighted hair) uses a demi (Natural Instincts) which will wash out gradually over 28 shampoos.

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Sarah Semenick
Monday, July 25/2011 at 10:04 pm

My hair is just brown; not light enough to do the first step and not dark enough to do the second step. What do you suggest I do?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 10:02 am

For natural (virgin) brown hair follow the second set of instructions – the first is only applicable if you have existing highlights. Choose a blonde that is up to four levels lighter.

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Natalee
Wednesday, February 5/2014 at 1:50 pm

Hello Michelle ,a friend of mine has for years dyed her hair medium brown or darker colours with red /purple tones in them but never gone lighter.she stripped her hair at least four times within a few months has she was told this wouldn’t damage her hair which I think is ridiculous,obviously her hair went a gingery colour.she had been putting on a 24 wash medium ash brown,she wanted me to put a permanant in the same colour then wanted blonde highlights lol which I talked her out of for obvious reasons.she really likes the balayage/ombre look combined,I think more balayage.she still wants to keep the medium ash brown colour,I’ve never seen her natural hair colour ,she said she couldn’t even say what it is because she has dyed it for so many years but now is coming through grey.ive done ombre a couple of times which came out really good and sure iam more then capable of doing balayage,she said her hair is in good condition considering stripping it so much.she wants the ends quite blonde .help help please.thankyou

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Brit
Wednesday, July 27/2011 at 11:08 pm

Hi Michelle! You’ve just given some great feedback to other commenters so I’m hoping you can help me out. I highlight my naturally medium brown hair golden blonde, but haven’t touched it since mid-April. My roots are about 1.5 inches long now, and I don’t want to dye them again (I’m trying to get back to my natural color). Is it possible to do an ombre color starting at the ends of my roots? I hope this question makes sense…Basically I want to do ombre hair without touching my dark roots. Thanks in advance!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 9:56 am

You would just follow the instructions for highlighted hair but choose a shade that is an exact match to your 1.5 inches of re-growth. Then it should grow out seamlessly.

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ashley
Friday, July 29/2011 at 2:51 pm

I am a natural strawberry blonde and want the ombre look but my hair dont take to blonde store bought colors. what do u recommend??

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 9:50 am

I would see a colourist. I believe it’s notoriously difficult for reds to go blonde. You’ll need to have the colour stripped which is complicated.

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Gracee
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 2:19 am

What Clairol nice and easy shade would you use to get this colour ombre hair at the ends? (the colour of Julia Roberts ends) http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/08/13/drew-barrymore-and-julia-roberts-demonstrate-ombre-hair-2-0-which-is-way-more-wearable-than-1-0/ My root haircolour is about the same as hers… thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 9:55 am

I’m not able to recommend individual shades but if you check the back of the boxes it should give you a pretty accurate idea of what the shade will look like with your existing colour.

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Séra
Friday, August 12/2011 at 9:08 am

Ok thanks!

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Lauren
Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 2:07 am

Hey, I’m just wondering…but what If you
Have already dyed hair (dark brown) but
It’s faded. Along with 1/4 head of foils.. My
Regrowth is pretty dark but I have natural
Golden ‘strands’ through it. Could you
Recommend how I would do the ombre
Look? Thanks! :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 7:47 pm

Colour won’t lift colour, so you will need to see a pro to strip your colour – could be pretty complicated to do that plus Ombre. If you are in Toronto I recommend Luis at Hair on the Avenue.

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Molly
Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 5:56 pm

Hi Michelle,
I am a brunette and have never dyed my hair or done anything with it other than having the occasional trim. My hair is quite long and I love this look however I don’t want the dye to be permanent. Because I am brunette, will I have to bleach the tips that I will be dying blonde? Or will it be okay without? As I am a complete virgin to this I want to be sure!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 6:45 pm

The Nice n Easy (in the 2nd set of instructions) is a permanent colour. Demis (eg. Natural Instincts) will not dramatically lighten your hair – it’s really only for changing the actual tone or going darker within 2 shades.

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Francesca
Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 6:52 pm

Hi Michelle,

I have thin blonde hair and also have individual extensions. (FULL HEAD) Keeping up with my roots is awful and I want to get it a little healthy. What do you suggest? My natural color is a medium brown and I already have a bit of roots.

I’m new and really iffy with doing different things to my hair. I LOVE Isabel Lucas’ look

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 7:37 pm

Hmm I really don’t know how to advise on this because I’m not sure how the extensions would take to the colour. I would definitely see a pro – if you are in Toronto, Luis at Hair on the Avenue is the Ombre King.

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pamela
Friday, August 5/2011 at 12:15 pm

Thank you.. for trying to instruct people to do a stylists job. Not only are you asking them to use a mediocre product but you are offering them the opportunity to ruin their hair and possibly end up paying twice the price to fix it in a salon. You are also a disgrace to the industry for taking income from professionals who depend on their clients. Most likely you divert products and I’m ashamed to share a career with you. The only reason I found this page is because one of my clients.. who is smart enough to not attempt this herself wants to have her hair like miss bilsons. Which I will do amazingly… professionally..

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Amanda
Friday, August 5/2011 at 4:21 pm

Hey, Pam? Not everyone can afford to get their hair done at a salon, snob. Should they not be able to experiment w/ different looks for their hair? Maybe if you didn’t charge such exorbitant prices in a recession, people wouldn’t be looking for an alternative. Get some perspective before you run your mouth next time.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, August 5/2011 at 4:32 pm

I guess you have also have an issue with the entire multi-million dollar at-home hair colour industry, then? I mean, surely that is taking away from “a styllst’s [colourist's] job” too?
Look, not everyone can afford or has access to a colourist, let alone one who is skilled in the art of Ombre—so Luis has very graciously offered up these instructions for people to get a subtle version of this look at home. I still recommend seeing a pro for dramatic colour changes or colour correction work, obviously.

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Bryan
Saturday, August 6/2011 at 7:05 am

Articles like these used to annoy the devil out of me, mainly because I am a stylist. Now I Love seeing them posted especially with amazing results that were done in a salon, as they usually mean that I will have a lot more business coming into my salon to correct what someone thought they could do at home.
Thanks for sharing these kinds of articles, its keeping me in business.

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Lauren
Saturday, August 6/2011 at 9:36 am

Thanks :) haha no where near Toronto.
More like Brisbane, Australia :) hahah

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ALAN GEORGE
Monday, August 8/2011 at 10:38 pm

Hey Dear friends

I just love the now call “Ombre” look,
I’ve been doing this look for a long time… and I actually use the French balayage technique (sweeping) on lots of my clients, lot’s of then are models, artists and and
…we all know hair grows so fast and visits to hair salon every 6 to 8 weeks can burn a hole in some pocketbooks… The Ombre look ,( I wonder why they call Ombre and not “Mujer look”, Hum…) its not only a solution to long lasting color “look”, but also wont give that noticible mark when hair grows… I use the acrylic bord, ( I love acrilick bords), and I can really be the Artist of my craft . Either working with color, or hair lightners… It takes a bit of practice , but when you get this techinique down, you will be loved by your clients!
I am ♡d.
I am so glad “the Ombre” came to light!

Thanks Ombre!

Alan george / Brazilian Blowout NYC

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Séra
Tuesday, August 9/2011 at 4:01 pm

So what do I do, if my hair is naturally dark brown, but is colored in a more brown/redish-color (which is NOT permanent and without Ammoniak)?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 10/2011 at 6:08 pm

So it has a demi permanent colour in it? Follow the 2nd set of instructions… you might want to wait until your existing colour fades out though (should be about a month or two depending on how often you wash your hair).

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Sarah
Thursday, August 11/2011 at 4:59 am

I am thinking of doing this in a few weeks time. I have chin length med/light brown hair. I had balayage done In January which looked nice at the time but wasn’t as dramatic as I had hoped (and very expensive!). It has largely grown out now so I am looking to give my hair a colour lift. I was planning to choose a lighter shade of blonde than my balayage ends. Will this technique work for me?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, August 13/2011 at 5:28 pm

The only problem I see with Ombre is that you need some length to show off the graduation of colour. So if you have medium brown and then want very blonde ends, the transition might be pretty dramatic if you only have chin-length hair to work with. (But you did say dramatic is what you want, right?)
I would probably aim for a caramel blonde shade like what Alexa Chung has in these pics:
http://bohochloe.blogspot.com/2011/05/you-can-do-ombre-hair-on-short-hair.html
http://justaliljillybean.com/2011/01/29/blob/

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Stephanie
Friday, August 12/2011 at 2:55 am

I know it says not to try on previously colored hair, but do you think color would lift my hair if it hasn’t been colored for at least 1yr.+? Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, August 13/2011 at 5:13 pm

Hmm – good question. If it’s permanent colour, it still has to grow out – it doesn’t wash out like demis and semis…. but I’m not sure if after a year it would have faded enough to be able to take new colour. I would try a strand test and see.

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Bianca Shuttleworth
Saturday, August 13/2011 at 6:38 pm

Hey i love this look at recently got it done at my hairdresses. It turned out alright but not exactly what i wanted. I initially had died blonde highlighted hair, my natural colour is medium brown. What the hairdresser did was put dark brown at the roots and went down about a quarter of the length of my hair and then did brown foils in the remaining lengths so it didnt look as harsh. And also lightened up some of the blonde in the lengths. Is this the technique you would of recomended for someone of the same situation?? As my hair is layered alot of people where im from just assume its the old trend of dark on top, blonde underneath or vise versa (which i hate).

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, August 14/2011 at 4:05 pm

When Luis did Ombre on me he did a backcombing technique on the ends of my hair before doing the lighter colour – see here: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/10/28/this-intrepid-reporter-just-tried-2-trends-as-seen-on-sjp-ombre-hair-and-the-new-brushed-out-curls/. If you’re in Toronto I highly recommend him!

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Jessica
Monday, August 15/2011 at 4:08 pm

I just did the ombre on my hair. I have lightened, light blonde hair, natural hair is dark blonde.
I used a light golden brown at the roots, which is 1-2 shades darker than my natural color.
It definitely blended out my roots, but it’s not very dramatic and now my blonde is tented a shade darker too.
It looks more natural which I like, as apposed to bleached blonde all over. I’m wondering though if I can do it again and leave on longer to get a darker effect? How long do I have to wait to do it again? Then can I add some lighter highlights around my face or is that too much and will make my hair fall out?
Thanks so much!

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Stephanie
Wednesday, August 17/2011 at 11:23 pm

hi , i have a question , look, I paint my hair like my 3 months in black, and right now is very washed out, how do you suggest I can do it?

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Jennifer
Friday, August 19/2011 at 3:27 pm

hello this is a wonderful technique thank you however imma dye mah hair into blonde peekabbos then i want to dye it ombre but not lyk drew >.< haha more like ashlee simpson in this photo

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=ombre+hair&um=1&hl=en&client=firefox&hs=CYV&rlz=1R1GPCK_en___US357&biw=1280&bih=802&tbm=isch&tbnid=OuNb0yiOiwnDtM:&imgrefurl=http://www.sanctuarywebsite.com/ombre-hair.php&docid=vObtmrwHzNEgqM&w=428&h=594&ei=9LZOToXjDe7SiALh25SQAQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=26&page=1&tbnh=147&tbnw=104&start=0&ndsp=31&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0&tx=28&ty=73

sorry its long .. i have dark brown hair … heres a pic of me if it helps …

http://i880.photobucket.com/albums/ac6/mamaz889/bangs.jpg

do i still need to follow the same steps ? thank you !

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Allison
Friday, August 19/2011 at 11:30 pm

Hi,
I LOVE your Ombre hair! I recently went to my hairdresser and asked her for this look. I had dark brown hair with a few highlights when i went in. The end result is pretty horrible. My ends are a very brassy almost orange looking color and there is a VERY distinct harsh line where the color transitions from dark to light. So my question is.. Is there any way to fix this at home? Would trying to fix it at home just cause an even more disastrous look??

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jessica
Monday, August 22/2011 at 8:17 pm

i already tried this on my hair and it only came out a little bit. i want to do it one more time to get it a little lighter. this was the first time my hair has ever been colored, does this still count as already colored hair even if its only the bottom or can i still use the method for undyed hair?

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Marisa
Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 1:22 am

Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!

My hair was a little too heavily highlighted, and was beginning to get brassy from our horrific hard water, and my roots were just not going to wait another two weeks for my next salon appointment, where incidentally, my stylist can’t/won’t ombre me because she hates roots, even purposeful ones.

I purchased Natural Instincts Sandalwood, which is a dark cool blonde (my natural color is probably a shade lighter than this color, and very cool toned). I followed the directions, and voila! It’s amazing! The color is seamless, and the super added bonus? Using the cool tone completely canceled every last bit of brassiness from the water! It looks glorious!

The color now also comes with a little touch up packet of color boosting something or other that you can use to refresh your color at the two week mark. I think I will follow a similar procedure with that and see how it goes.

I also got ballsy, and did a trim on myself too! Nothing major, but I have to say, I am pretty darn impressed with myself right now!

Thanks Michelle and Luis for the wonderful directions!

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hanalei
Wednesday, August 24/2011 at 9:54 pm

Hi, I have medium length black asian hair. Its pretty much asian hair except I tried to bleach my tips about 1 month ago. I didnt keep it on to long so it didn’t change much,its probably a really dark dark brown instead of black. What do you suggest my for me to do to my hair without damaging it so much and something that is goof proof? I want something very subtle

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Claudias
Saturday, August 27/2011 at 2:52 am

I love this diy! but question: I’m trying to grow my natural hair color back which is darker than the one that I have right now. So I was thinking I could make it look like ombre hair while it grows. Should I just dye my hair end lighter that the “middle” color?? And make like a 3 color ombre? or what? Has anyone done this?

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Seychell85
Tuesday, August 30/2011 at 8:45 am

Hey, I really like this look but I already have light blonde hair (highlighted), but I am also naturally blonde. How can I achieve this look? Thanks!

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Teresa
Friday, September 2/2011 at 9:00 pm

Hi, I am going to try this on my hair but I’m wondering what shampoo/conditioner I should use once I have Ombre hair? Right now I have the John Freida Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner and I love it, but do I need to buy a different shampoo/conditioner if my hair is blonde (or almost blonde) at the tips?

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Bobo
Sunday, September 4/2011 at 7:09 am

Hi I’m am really interested intrying this out!!! My hair is a darkish brown with the slightest red tinge, never dyed before. Since my hair isn’t super dark I kinda want the ombre look but with the very tips being a bit blondey.. SO I was looking on the clairol website and thought maybe for the main dye to be the strawberry blonde colour with the tips being maybe a medium golden bLonde?? Would that look ok?? And also if I were to end up doing hat, should I apply and wash etc the main one and then apply the tipped one after and ontop ( and alsO on same day or not?? ) also should I fully do the main one and them on top do the blonde tips or should I leave a gap at the tips for the blOnd dye??? Thank you very much and I hope you understand my question!!!! :)

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Bobo
Saturday, September 24/2011 at 11:19 pm

Hi, me again, I got confused, only gonna use one colour, but would it be too damaging to get a loose wave perm after dying… Probes like a few weeks though.??! Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 6:04 pm

I would check with the manufacturer to be sure, but if you’re only using a demi colour (which coats the shaft instead of penetrating it) then I think it would be ok. I would wait at least a few weeks to be on the safe side though.

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elle
Sunday, September 18/2011 at 12:12 pm

do you need to use foil?? thanks:)

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ALAN GEORGE
Sunday, September 18/2011 at 1:09 pm

no foils needed
usually paint on hair with a brush…. becareful you want dark to light , so demarcation lines…
paint on the hair… like you were painting on canvas…
like an artist!

depending on your hair color, you can use ( kark 30 to 40 volume peroxide)

you have to know how your hair changes color and watch for the color you want…

alan- http://www.braziliankeratinnyc.com

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JillCee
Tuesday, September 20/2011 at 3:51 pm

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! I actually took a risk and followed ur instructions for Ombre for virgin hair, because its been forever since ive died my hair, though its def not virgin…Anyway, the important piece: It worked sooo well!!! I actually thought it would be a little more dramatic and i might be a little overwhelmed, but not so!! And i figure i can always darken my roots a bit, or wait a few and lighten the ends a bit more. I used a Clairol lightener, that said good for med blonde to dark brown hair…perfect!!!! thanks again!

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Jayce
Friday, October 7/2011 at 8:48 pm

Hi(:
My sister is looking to do this color, and I was going to use Ion Color Brilliance, would that still be ok, as long as I toned it? It’s a bleach, by the way, but I’ve done an all over color on myself with minimal damage, I don’t even think
I had to cut my hair. Also, I’m confused on your sections. A visual would be an AMAZING help.

-thanks(:

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Joanna
Friday, October 7/2011 at 11:23 pm

My hair is naturally dark blonde but I’ve been dying it most recently (its been almost every color) a reddish brown for the last year or so, using a demi permanent. I really like the color and what it fades to (a lighter shade of auburn) so I’ve just been touching up the roots once a month and it’s created a subtle ombre look.

What I want to do is create a slightly more dramatic ombre by lightening the ends a bit more. I go to a salon when I can afford it but I’d really like to try doing it at home. So my question is, can I lighten the ends by using a hightlighting kit or since I have dye on my hair is that totally bad to put highlights over it? I have naturally pretty curly hair and it takes to dye really well. Is there any way to lighten the hair without doing hightlights if hightlights are a bad idea? Thanks!!

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Joanna
Friday, October 7/2011 at 11:35 pm

To add to the above post, a good example of what my hair color is right now is similar to Julia Roberts hair in the post about ombre 2.0 http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/08/13/drew-barrymore-and-julia-roberts-demonstrate-ombre-hair-2-0-which-is-way-more-wearable-than-1-0/ except that the ends of my hair arent quite as light as hers, its more like the midlength color of hers all the way down, but with the darker roots. So what can I do to get the ends like hers?

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Melissa
Monday, October 17/2011 at 10:08 pm

I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply or a supply store that doesn’t sell box color. Its was a 2 step process, one to darken the roots hen rinse and dry, then using a powder bleach use 2 different developers 20 & 40… The bleach and the 20 developer was used on the mid shaft then the bleach and the 40 developer on the ends. I didn’t use foils but did use very small sections and air dried so we could watch the developing process. My sister was my guinea pig and she didn’t want to go too light.

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debbie
Thursday, October 20/2011 at 10:28 am

DO NOT USE BOX COLOR!! Henna and metallic dyes have to.be cut out because no matter what the color u want will not anything close. Also after a while metallic dyes used over and over will break hair off. Using box lightener is horrible for the hair. It has high levels of ammonia and most use a double 40 developer. Ever wonder how ur hair got so blonde then turned an icky brassy color? Stick to going to a professional. On a budget go to a Paul Mitchell school. These techinques are great and all but not professional with a professional look.

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Paola
Thursday, October 27/2011 at 12:25 am

I just tried doing this and while it did lighten my naturally brown hair a little bit, it didnt quite get it as light as i would have wanted to! I also used the exact die that Luis recommends. What should I do? Should I wait for a couple of days and do it again or not at all??

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Ashley
Thursday, October 27/2011 at 2:30 am

never dyed my hair before so i do have virgin, extremely dark brown (almost black) hair. its straight and thick and long so i really dont know how to go about this. would i have to buy anything else besides the nice and easy box? i would want to go from my natural hair color to a lighter brown at the tips. would the lighter brown even show up with just this product? would there be anything else i would need? and would it look like the color was naturally fading from dark to light brown? i just dont want it to look like 3 blocks of different shades of brown on my hair? (how would i prevent that?). i know its a lot of questions but if you could get back to me i would appreciate it. Thank you :)

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Ashley
Thursday, October 27/2011 at 2:38 am

what i meant by by the blocks is how do i get it to look seemless? thanks :)

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Val C.
Sunday, October 30/2011 at 2:57 pm

Hey,

I had recently got my hair dyed ombre at a salon, and at the time i wanted an obvious ombre, but now I want to just make it look smoother.. I have asian dark brown hair and I dyed the bottom 2/3″ of my hair a dirty blonde and then top a dark brown but a few shades lighter than my natural hair color. I just wanted blend them better and not have to spend 60+ to make this happen. Should I just redye the top again and let it blend into the blonde more and then let water blend it out a bit more?

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cw
Tuesday, November 1/2011 at 5:15 pm

hiya,

this has been really useful! ive been looking about for diy ombre hair colours but couldnt find anywhere that said how to do it on naturallyh brown hair! my only question is, i dyed my hair red about a year ago and have since attempted to cover it with brown. since, it has grown out and faded, but the bottoms of my hair are still a little orangey. would this mean waiting for it to grow out or would it be alright to dye? thanks! x

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Anna
Saturday, November 5/2011 at 4:43 am

I really thought it would be difficult but this looks really easy enough to do. My only question is will this work for black hair? o_0

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ale
Wednesday, November 16/2011 at 8:35 pm

What if my hair was highlighted 6 mo ago… what steps do i follow?

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Lauren
Saturday, November 19/2011 at 2:00 pm

Okay so here is my issue:
Yesterday I went to get my hair colored to this ombré style. My stylist darkened the top part of my hair to a dark brown, however underneath she highlighted the bottom w beach while leaving some pieces to the color I have on top of my hair. My hair underneath looks more of a blonde and I didnt want that. I want a caramel brown that drastically goes down. How do I get this look now and fix it at home? I can’t leave it like this! Please help

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Ally
Sunday, November 27/2011 at 8:52 am

Hi I’m ally and I have dark brown hair naturally and I don’t want to bleach it beacause I get orange hair and I am allergic so will the ombré hair work for me on the tips. And also what color should I get

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Monica
Tuesday, November 29/2011 at 8:54 pm

Hi, I know that this a little off-subject…but I need hair advice…I naturally have darker brown hair, and this summer I went lighter/blonde for the first time. I saved the box that I originally used ..but I can’t find it now that I need to do my roots. I know the name of the shade that I used, but I have no idea what brand and I’m afraid that if I use the wrong box even if I colour my roots, the blond I already have will go lighter and so I’ll still have two-toned hair (and I already have a backwards ombre thing going on (my bottom is darker), so it’ll actually be three-toned :S) Any idea what to do?

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Kristin
Thursday, December 1/2011 at 2:44 pm

I did this last night to cover roots that were growing out from a bad highlight job. I’d had by hair ombre’d before I got highlights and it was stunning – but it cost me $150. I’m pretty sure that I achieved the same effect with a $10 box of demi and your fab instructions! Thanks!

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Samara
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 10:12 pm

oh my gosh. i really wish i did it myself, i went to the hairdressers today to get more of an alexa chung look and i came out looking like drew barrymore and now my ends are fuzzy and afro cause she took it so blonde!
now i dont know what to do, i dont wana go back but i dont wana ruin my hair! what shall i do? please help. :)

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Gayle
Monday, December 26/2011 at 9:32 pm

GO BACK!! Tell the owner of the salon you are not happy and you want someone who knows what they are doing to fix it!! If there is not an owner, if stylist is boot rental then go TELL her you want your money back!!!

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Gabri
Wednesday, December 7/2011 at 6:58 pm

Hello! I read several posts, but I did not seem to read any that match my dilema. I am mixed with African American and Mexican. So I have naturally dark brown, Curly hair. The texture is on the softer side, and my curls are looser and not kinky. My hair is sensitive and tends to break easily. I’ve been wanting to get this look for over a year now, but sadly cannot afford it. Because my hair length and texture it would cost around 350$ in a salon. Can I still acheive this look on my own? Please let me know! Thank you!

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Gayle
Monday, December 26/2011 at 9:35 pm

You should be able to get it done for less than that!!! Have them use a hilift tint and not bleach if possible! Also you do not need ALL of your hair done…top few layers is enough for this look….I charge less for this than I do for a full foil!

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Emily
Friday, December 16/2011 at 7:03 pm

Hey Michelle!
i was thinking of trying out the nice and easy on the ends of my hair and im asian, but my hair is very thin, not thick at all and i want that caramel look but im not sure if only clairol dye will do the job? or do i need to bleach it as well? and my hair is dark brown, not dyed. Thanks!

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Gayle
Monday, December 26/2011 at 9:30 pm

I just love the fact that non professionals go on the internet and tell people how to color their hair! Im a stylist and colorist and have over 25yrs experience….This is what I tell my clients,color in a box is about $10.00 and color correction in the salon is $100.00 an hour!!
Why do you people think you can do at home what we do in a salon??? I often tell people that I went to school and took lots of chemistry…also I have spent thousands of dollars in continuing education!!! Go ahead….make your stylist day!!! Color your own hair!!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 7:50 pm

I guess you didn’t read the part where I said these instructions are from one of Canada’s top colourists – definitely not a “non-professional.”

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Zoe
Wednesday, December 28/2011 at 6:16 pm

Would this style work on African American hair?

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Bryan Dean
Thursday, December 29/2011 at 10:20 am

Last Step, Call your hair dresser to fix the really horrible thing that youve done to your hair that you should have paid for in the first place. I love correcting this kind of thing for more than they would have paid to have it done correctly in the first place.

LAME LAME LAME

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Esther
Saturday, December 31/2011 at 2:45 am

Hi ! I am so sick of having the same hair all my life and wanted to try something new. Ombre hair looks so fun! but, I have no idea if I can do it! I have asian black virgin hair. and its very very long and straight, and i have side swept bangs. should do this look?!

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carrie
Tuesday, January 3/2012 at 4:48 pm

i have virgin brown hair, and would love to do this. i see the second option is for me, but im wondering if i can use a demi-permanent color? would it work the same? also, would trying this at all turn my hair orange??

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Jade
Thursday, January 5/2012 at 2:18 am

Why will ombre hair not work on already colored hair???

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 7:51 pm

Colour won’t lift colour.

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alissa
Monday, January 16/2012 at 10:03 pm

wait so tons of people have been asking you questions and the only posts you “managed” to answer are the pointless ones with insults in them. good job michelle. REALLY good job -_-

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KL
Monday, January 16/2012 at 10:40 pm

This post is from Sept. 2010. What do you expect? Sheesh, get a life.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 16/2012 at 11:00 pm

Hi Alissa, I’m sorry you feel this way. I felt it was important to address the misconceptions as to where these instructions came from.

As for the other questions, while I would love to be able to answer every single comment that is posted on this website, unfortunately due to the volume I am unable to do so – particularly for older posts (This is an old thread from 2010…it is now 2012…) I do try my best to pop in every once in a while in between keeping up with writing current posts and of course all the work I do outside of this website for magazines.

Was there a specific question you had that I did not answer?

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Norah
Monday, January 9/2012 at 6:26 am

hi i have dark brown virgin hair and has a lot of layers and the top layer is where my cheek bones are. so i was wondering if this ombre technique can work for my hair & my skin tone (i have olive/tan skin tone) since the pictures i have seen of this look have ladies with a very light complexion wearing it. need advice before trying this out. thanx!

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Grace
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 11:26 am

just tried this step by step, used the hair dye suggested and non of my natural colour was shifted, my natural colour is medium brown with natural red streaks through it and i have never dyed it before :(
is there anything else i could do to get this look without bleaching the colour from my hair?

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marissa
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 9:27 pm

hey, i know this post is from forever ago but i was wondering what you mean by “spread upward”? should i just apply it up or take some color from below and spread it up

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Natalie Seeto
Wednesday, January 18/2012 at 3:24 am

So this ombre step by step was for asian hair right? Because I have asian hair lol and i really wanna ombre it…….
This tutorial doesn’t have any bleaching in it right?

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aibi
Monday, January 23/2012 at 12:12 pm

i have really fine but kinda wavy hair and i have lots of hair falls.i have shoulder length hair and is naturally black…
do you think i can do this look??

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Lynn
Tuesday, January 24/2012 at 9:47 pm

I LOVE it! It is perfect for our economy, and also looks great. I plan to try this at home. :)

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Becca
Friday, January 27/2012 at 11:03 pm

What happens after the Demi-perm color fades out? Do u do the same process again? Can’t wait to try this!! Thanks :)

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Paulina
Saturday, January 28/2012 at 9:09 pm

Im hispanic and I have natural (or virgin, never dyed) black hair. Would the tutorial still work with my black hair or does it just work on brown hair?

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Mar
Monday, February 6/2012 at 11:53 pm

Hi I was wondering, I have virgin hair and I bought clairol 103a. Would that also be okay to use? I have dark brown hair and im looking to achieve the lily aldridge look. Can you tell me if 103A is best fit? or do i actually need to buy 102?

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Hiba
Wednesday, February 8/2012 at 5:01 am

I know this may have probably been asked already but if you have completely black hair and have never dyed it can you do this ombre hair without bleaching the ends? Will the colour show up? I am a bit unsure as a lot of people have written that they have dyed black hair not just natural black hair.

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Samantha
Wednesday, February 8/2012 at 6:45 pm

I just got the ombre effect done at the salon… and she did the ombre way to high it just looks like highlights :( can I fix this with the same technique ? dying the roots ?

thanks !

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Samantha
Wednesday, February 8/2012 at 6:45 pm

I just got the ombre effect done at the salon… and she did the ombre way to high it just looks like highlights can I fix this with the same technique ? dying the roots ?

thanks !

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Lynn
Wednesday, February 8/2012 at 7:18 pm

I followed the instructions and it came out great! :) Thanks for the info.

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veroni
Wednesday, February 15/2012 at 5:43 pm

I have shoulder lenght hair(right onabove mu shoulders ) with highlight would u recommended doing the Obre on me…..thanks

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Nadia
Friday, February 17/2012 at 8:58 pm

I have very dark hair and if I were to ombre my hair WITHOUT bleach, and just use an ash blond permanent colour.. would my hair go orange? How do I avoid this from happening and how many steps would it take if I wasn’t bleaching it?

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Jess
Wednesday, February 22/2012 at 9:30 am

I have a natural colour of light brown but have been dying it for quite some time now, like heaps. I really want this look but worried my hair will go orange or a total different colour to what i want, i have tried bleaching before and i had to dye my hair red i dont want to do this again. Should i try it out or just forget about doing this for now?

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Lynn
Wednesday, February 22/2012 at 3:35 pm

Do not do over colored hair. :)

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Lauren
Monday, February 27/2012 at 3:35 pm

Hi, I had the ombre-like hair, until I went into the hair dersser to have highlights put in the front, which unfortunately turned into all-over highlights (she didn’t listen to what I wanted. :( I was contemplating putting a darker brown, my natural hair color, on the top 2/3ish of my hair. Do you think this will work? It is currently a gold/blonde. Thanks!!!

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Ambar
Monday, March 5/2012 at 11:27 am

I have dark brown hair and in the middle I have blonde highlights… Can I do the ombre even with the highlights?

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Li
Friday, March 9/2012 at 6:48 pm

The finished colour is really lovely, but I’m not seeing the Ombre style here.
Ombre means shaded from light to dark. Its a colour transition from dark to light or visa-versa. I can’t see that represented here in the final make-over picture. Also, the curls are way too tight, the look carries a long loose wave, not a curl.
I didn’t come here to be critical, but there are several pictures of the style here as a reference and the final result looks like none of them?

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Rita
Sunday, March 11/2012 at 2:40 pm

I really love seeing the ombre on people and I have always been indecisive whether I wanted blonde or brunette hair. My natural hair color is a dark blonde/light brown with red tones. My hair gets brassy easily FYI and it’s highlighted blonde right now. I was told that I have level 7,9 and 12 highlights in my hair so it’s pretty light. I would like to keep it somewhat lighter than my natural hair color when I try the ombre. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do or better yet, should I just take it to a stylist? My hair picks up orange very easily so I’m afraid to do it myself.

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Nobeleen
Monday, March 12/2012 at 10:52 pm

Hi. I really like this look and want to try it on my hair. My hair is its natural dark brown right now. My question would be about the lightness of the shade I would buy to get this look. Would I have to bleach my ends before putting in the new color or would the lighter brown show on my hair if I was to just put it on without first lifting my natural color? Thanks.

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Delina
Thursday, March 15/2012 at 2:34 am

I acquired the ombre look accidentally on my own. Since having surgery three months ago i haven’t had the chance to dye it. My hair is naturally dark brown but I dye it dark brown to get rid of the faded look that comes afterfter using permanent dye. My last dye job has faded so my hair is lighter on the ends and the roots are darkr. I last used airol natural instincts. I also swim and go the beach often so it lightened even more. Ive grown to like the look and noticed celebrities have it so decided to leave it this way. Everyone says it looks great and i look younger too.

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Brooke
Friday, March 16/2012 at 5:12 am

Hi I have dark brown/almost black . I’ve read a few comments but really wanted to clear this up so I can get it right :) so since its dark I lighten the ends then color or just lighten?

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Gina
Tuesday, March 27/2012 at 7:52 pm

Omg ok I see that you haven’t been answering people’s questions anymore only the earlier ones of last year :( I hope your still reading this!? I read almost 100+ of theese comments and questions and replies and I think I totally understand but I just want to make sure. My hair was highlighted about a Year ago and they r literally down half my head it’s l basically already have ombré nd I like the way it looks but I want it to be more defined and a little lighter st my ends solo would I have to have a pro do it cus I want lighter ends? J don’t want to touch my natural dark color at allll tho it’s almost my whole head so there should be no need to!

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Ariel
Saturday, April 7/2012 at 5:46 am

hi
I have warm brown hair with red and blonde tones. I wanted to keep this color has abase but go lighter blonde for ombré. what color and brand do you think I should use? because I don’t wanna turn orange.

thanks

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Hafsah
Friday, April 13/2012 at 3:32 am

HI i was wondering if i have to use more dye in part 5 for virgin hair. or do i just spread whatever dye was already in my hair. and is semi permanent dye ok ?
thanks

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Dani
Monday, April 23/2012 at 11:09 am

Hi,
I asked my hair dresser to ombre my hair, she looked confused, so i said looks a little bit like dip dye, she shut down and said no. showed her some pictures, still said no. So i’m being left to my own devices.
I dont want to dye my roots, because thats they are quite dark, so have read that i can use a lightner and lighten the ends … is this right? I really dont want to mess my hair up! x

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Claudia
Tuesday, April 24/2012 at 2:48 am

Hello, I would like to try this. I havent dyed my hair in a little over a year. So I’m confused as to which technique I should use??

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Janice Tadgell
Friday, April 27/2012 at 12:20 am

Just looking for some guidance… I have about shoulder length hair now and died my hair black over seven months ago and has grown out (natural roots are ash brown and are about half way grown out). The black had of course faded and now I have somewhat of a negitive ombre look with lighter roots and darker ends. It does not look bad at all but want to go lighter for the summer, maybe caramel ends. My hair is complicated as the black part is grow out from being a hair model about a year and a half ago but have been very easy on dye and heat since it was a toll on my poor hair. I am worried that the colour will lift wierd. BUT what are your suggestions. My hair is naturally wavy, thin but lots of it and takes to colour way too well.

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Terry£
Tuesday, May 1/2012 at 4:56 am

I have brown hair right now that i.bleached last yr to a light blonde to go bright red, then i finally died it all back to brown. Instead of bleaching again to get the lighter ends for ombre, would it work to just use a color stripper to remove the red and brown I used? Would that be more or less stress on my hair than bleaching?

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connie
Monday, May 7/2012 at 6:26 pm

hey! just followed ur directions after reading a toooon of blogs online.. your instructions are great! THANKS!!

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Jaki Hamilton
Thursday, May 10/2012 at 2:09 am

hi is it possible to get the ombré look on dark brown hair using copper/mahogany tones thanx Jak x

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lisa phillips
Sunday, May 13/2012 at 3:58 pm

Hi

I have bleached blonde hair and was wondering if a dye would cover the bleach and would it come out ok. Also what colour would you suggest to use.My own hair colour is a very dark blonde

Thanks Lisa

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Stephanie
Monday, May 14/2012 at 5:35 pm

Hi!
I had auburn hair and have let it fade to a medium brown
with a lot of red still showing in the sun. From the root down about three inches is darker and after that its lighter because I had blonde hair before I went dark. I am going to try this but am wondering if leaving the color on the roots for 5 minutes and then to mid length for another 5 min will be enough time if the color I have says processing tim e is 25 minutes……. Please let me know your thoughts

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Celine
Tuesday, May 15/2012 at 4:37 pm

Hey ive got a little question, can you also use like normal haircolour instead of bleach?

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Jadyn
Saturday, June 2/2012 at 1:14 am

For my clients who want the soft dimension ombre instead of emulsifying your ends:
Color your roots and midshaft through all the hair below your temples. Part your hair where it normally parts, and weave through it horizontally and color those pieces roots to ends. That way you get the shine, and dimension. Even if your hair is colored, your ends are most porous and fade the fastest. Usually about a half shade and will fade a warmer tone, its soft and very natural!

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Hannah
Wednesday, June 6/2012 at 11:36 pm

So I’ve never colored my hair before and my hair color is natural brown hair (like what you have this DIY listed for) and I did everything in the steps, but there’s no difference. My hair is practically the same, maybe a tad lighter. My friends said I should have bleached it before. That wasn’t listed though, so I thought it was unnecessary. Should I dye it again? Advice?

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Carleigh mayle
Sunday, June 17/2012 at 7:59 pm

Does ombré work on naturally CURLYYYY hair?

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Melina
Saturday, July 14/2012 at 7:43 pm

Hi my hair is darkish red and i wanna do ombre but i dont wanna bleach it and i cant afford paying to much to get it done professionally, i want the tips to be dark blonde not so blonde can i dye the bottom just a dark blonde color?? please help!

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amber
Tuesday, August 7/2012 at 4:08 pm

hi I have naturally blonde hair and would just like to do a reverse type ombre sort of like Jessica simpson, so would I just start at step two? with the sectioning of hair and dying the bottom of the ponies? also when you take out the hair tie and blend up a little bit.. do you blend it with a brush or what?

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ValerieH
Monday, August 27/2012 at 10:06 am

I have gotten these results with lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide to lighten my hair. It only takes a little in a glass that you dip your comb into and then comb into your hair. It is cheaper and without all the chemicals.

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Maleeha
Friday, September 14/2012 at 7:18 am

I tried ombré-ing my hair last night and the results were non existent. I used a permanent highlighting dye (garnier h3 frost and glow) and left the lightener in my hair for 20 minutes to achieve almost no color difference! It was heart wrenching! I’ve been wanting this for so long and this is the second time I’ve tried it to end up with nothing. I have virgin hair and it’s very dark, thick, and slightly curly. I’m Pakistani. My mother is telling me that because my hair is so stubborn we should get it done at the salon but I’m afraid they will have to bleach it which I won’t allow. Help!

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Laura
Friday, September 14/2012 at 11:16 pm

Great advice! I have naturally dark brown hair, and a while back I dyed it fire engine red, which I hated after about two weeks. I went to the salon and had it professionally done, and ended up with a pretty light coppery brownish/blond color. Unfortunately, it started looking pretty ridiculous when my dark roots came in. I used Garnier Nutrisse in “castaña” (I live in Costa Rica, so the colors are different I think, but castaña means brown) and followed your tutorial, and it looks great! There’s not quite as much contrast as some of the above pictures, but it looks incredibly natural! Thanks for the help!

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girlshowtoimpress.com
Friday, September 21/2012 at 7:12 am

I love ombre hair! I did it last Oct and since then I didn’t have to do any color on my hair! as I wanted give it rest of any coloring treatments (its condition was really bad…). But if you want to have an ombre hair you need to blow them nicely each time – when I don’t do nothing with my hair, just let them dry on the air, I look as a hippie (no offence;) ) but when I blow them nicely or my hairdresser does it, then an effect is stunning!

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Gladys
Tuesday, October 9/2012 at 2:10 pm

If your hair is already dark (virgin hair), do you really need to do the first section?

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Lola
Tuesday, October 16/2012 at 2:41 pm

This is a wonderful article! I am in love with ombre hair, and after reading this article, I decided I was brave enough to try it on my own hair, and got mixed results. My hair is naturally light brown with red undertones, so I selected a medium blonde shade. I did get a lovely gradient, but it TOO subtle – there’s only about a 1 shade difference between the roots and the tips. I would like it to be more dramatic, but at the same time, I am trying to avoid anything too orangey. Do you have any advice on products that would lighten my hair, without turning up the brass? Thanks!

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Laura
Wednesday, May 15/2013 at 2:13 pm

Here what I suggest you do. First do the same thing again, but leave the dye on until the color lighten to a medium blonde. The dye has to turn orange into blonde.Remeber not to freak out when it get to an orange stage. it will become blonde. when it get to the color you want, wash it out then let it air dry. Blowdrying will make your hair drier. If the color look more golden blonde than a natural blonde to you then hit the beauty store and get ash blonde hair toner and shampoo. The toner will remove any existing red and yellow tone and leave you with beautiful blonde color. Get the “purple” shampoo. This is design to keep your hair from getting brass over time. Don’t use the shampoo on a daily basis. it is very drying. only use it to refresh the color and remove brass. John frieda and Matrix offer shampoo design to care for blonde hair and prevent brass.

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Sasha
Friday, October 19/2012 at 7:46 am

I think step by step images would be easier to follow so you know you are getting the technique just right.

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Emma
Tuesday, October 30/2012 at 11:42 am

This post is really helpful and seems trustworthy (especially after reading all the great comments). I have medium brown hair with a few natural, summer highlights left. I’d like to ombre dye my hair a bright red for the fall; should I bleach my hair or use a very light blonde to achieve a more natural look?

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Meleny
Tuesday, October 30/2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for the great tips; I will be trying it out this weekend!

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Ellie
Wednesday, October 31/2012 at 1:09 pm

i went to the hair dressers 3 times in 3 days, the first one got it ALL wrong and i went DARK to dark drown.. and the second fixed what he did.. but there is alot of redy like ginger color below my brown and above my blonde from diying the dark blonde.. will it fade? or will i ahev to fix it.. and if i do how can i do it at home?
thanks ! x

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A concerned professional stylist
Tuesday, November 6/2012 at 12:12 pm

This should be done at a professional salon, not at home. Unless you want lines in your hair and box color has metallic dyes and henna dyes that they don’t tell you about which will ruin your hair. Just FYI – Clairol won’t tell you that of course

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Meghan
Wednesday, November 21/2012 at 8:17 am

iv liked this look for a long time and i LOVE dying my hair different colors, i did mine somewhat like this, i dyed my roots and half of my midsection of hair black then i bleached my ends and the other half of my midsection, i then proceeded to add pinkish purple color for the first month it looked dip dyed then the very tips faded to blonde so it looks ombre and its so pretty iv gotten many compliments ^.^so i suggest if you want to do this but slightly diffrent add color :)

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RY
Thursday, November 22/2012 at 5:33 pm

Hi! This is really helpful! I’v been wanting to ombre dye my hair for a while but cant figure out how to make it look good withought having a distinct line in my hair…please help!!
I’m asian with thick black virgin hair……..my plan was to bleach the last thirds of my hair (to strip them of color) and to bleach them twice – one week apart to cause less damage…….I want to dye them peacock blue so i need them to be completely stripped(not orangeish) ..and dont want a distinct line in my hair either…………..Can you please give me advice… I really need it…….Thanx!!!!

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Melissa
Saturday, December 1/2012 at 12:14 am

How can I fix my “professionally” ombre colored hair? My hair was way over processed!

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bethany
Saturday, December 29/2012 at 11:01 am

Hi, I love this style of ombre hair and this article is great. Im a natural red head and my hair is more on the darker copper side, Ive recently been thinking about dying my hair strawberry blonde and I’ve been told that i should get it professionally highlighted for more of a natural look. But I’ve seen a picture of a girl who already had naturally strawberry blonde hair and tried the ombre style and it turned out amazing, its exactly how I’m trying to achieve my hair. My problem is I’m not sure if you can do both? looking at the directions here i don’t think my stylist could do it at the same time or if she should get the strawberry blonde down and then ombre? please help!!

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Lolie
Monday, January 28/2013 at 5:15 pm

Honestly, I prefer Drew’s ombre. I love the bolder look! So cute!

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Kathryn
Sunday, July 14/2013 at 7:20 pm

I followed instructions 1 and wow- best at home hair color ever. I did not stray from my roots. I actually did a test with light brown and it wasn’t enough to cut the demarcation with my highlights. I did medium brown and love the results!! Thank you!!! I don’t feel washed out, too dark, or like I lost depth.

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jennifer
Friday, August 9/2013 at 11:23 pm

hi, so ive been debating on whether to dye my hair ombre. since ive never EVER dyed my hair. I have dark brown/black hair so i was wondering can i do it with out bleaching my hair & if i dont bleach my hair what shade should i go for ?

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Monika
Tuesday, August 27/2013 at 8:48 pm

Hi! I’m so glad I found this, it was very informative! I did have a question, though; there have been an awful lot of girls lately doing rainbow colors in their hair, instead of just blonde (or reverse ombres). Would you happen to have any recommendations on how to do other colors, not just one?

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For Girls
Wednesday, August 28/2013 at 4:31 pm

The ombre is I used to play one and a half years ago, but not so strong, because I have the color (dyed) golden blonde, it’s just the tip did a shade lighter (+ a few strands) and it looked pretty cool. And when it comes to coloring at home is in my opinion is a better option than dying at the hairdresser, because I was a few times and I’ve never been happy with the result, and if I do it myself it somehow always comes out so that I like.

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lisa
Sunday, February 2/2014 at 6:14 am

I have bright intense copper red dyed hair but the home colours on the market are struggling to lighten my roots which are very dark brown. I’d love to keep the copper just on the ends, dying the roots back to natural darkest brown would help so much with regrowth. I’m worried about getting a line where the dark brown stops and the copper starts. What can I do?

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