Wild Thing How to do Ombré hair at home… with a new kit from the drugstore!

Love it or hate it, the ubiquitous gradient hair colouring technique known as Ombré doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Despite the fact that the trend’s been kicking around for quite some time and has repeatedly been declared “over” (including by Michelle!), celebs like Rihanna, Rachel Bilson, and Lea Michele are still going steady with their two-tone locks.

Lea Michele Ombre hair at the 2013 SAG Awards How to do Ombré hair at home... with a new kit from the drugstore!

So, while it’s clear that the trend is alive and well among celebrities, I have a theory that the reason so many of us lesser mortals are embracing Ombré is because it’s not only on-trend, it’s economical. Yep, one of the best parts about Ombré colour is that it grows out really well. It looks natural months after first having it done. In fact, I managed to make mine last for almost a full year without one touch-up! Even after four haircuts that clipped off the lightest ends, it still looked pretty decent.

But here’s the thing about maintaining an Ombré hair look (or creating it in the first place). Until recently, there’s only been two options: spend big bucks having it done professionally… or experiment on your own with this DIY technique. But now L’Oréal Paris has released Féria Wild Ombré, an at-home Ombré hair kit: LOreal Paris Feria Wild Ombre collection How to do Ombré hair at home... with a new kit from the drugstore!

L’Oréal Paris Féria Wild Ombré collection, C$13.99/US$12.99 each; click here to learn more and purchase.

Celebrity colourist Christophe Robin, who collaborated with the company to create it, believes Ombré is the new way to do highlights. It’s certainly a lot fresher than foils or a cap (yikes), and is customizable based on your taste since the free-hand technique gives you free reign with the colour placement. It comes in five shades:

  • 050 for dark to very dark brown hair
  • 060 for medium to dark brown hair
  • 065 for light to medium brown hair
  • 070 for dark blond to light brown hair
  • 080 for light to medium blond hair

Shades 060, 070 and 080 are in stores now, and shades 065 and 050 will be released in May and July respectively.  You choose the shade based on your natural colour, or—if you’ve already got colour going on—the colour that’s currently on your hair.

I thought it could be fun to try it out and extend my Ombré just a little bit longer. I used the 080 kit for light to medium-blonde hair, which is somewhere in between my natural light brown colour and the honey blonde colour of my grown-out ombre. This shade was a pretty good match for me, though if you want more dramatic results, you can choose one of the kits for a shade darker than your natural colour. The kit includes a handy expert brush, which you use to distribute the colour evenly through your hair, wherever you want to lighten.

LOreal Paris Feria Wild Ombre brush How to do Ombré hair at home... with a new kit from the drugstore!

The kit comes with instructions that include helpful images that show you how to place the dye. 

How to use L’Oréal Paris Féria Wild Ombré

When I originally went Ombré at the salon, I noticed my colourist using a few tricks, so I decided to try them this time around and I think they really helped! Here’s how to work this kit like a pro:

1. Work in sections.

Divide your hair into three or four layers, pinning the top sections up while you start on the bottom layer underneath. This will mean that the dye stays on the bottom layer the longest, lightening it the most. This intensifies that graduated look, creating a more natural-looking peekaboo effect. It also gives you a little leeway in case you mess up even a bit while doing the bottom section first. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to mess up with this kit. If you accidentally apply the colour unevenly, just use your gloved fingers to smooth out the application, blending the dye downwards where it’s the most concentrated.

2. Tease it.

Work with sections about as wide as the brush (1-2 inches). Before you apply the colour, grab a comb or brush and backcomb your hair towards your roots. This pulls some of the hair upwards, and helps create the most natural-looking graduated effect. The majority of the colour should be on your ends, so make sure you fully saturate them.

3. Use a light hand.

When applying the colour with the brush, you want to avoid a harsh line between your natural colour and the lightened section. I would recommend starting from the bottom, applying it heaviest there, and then once you’ve used some of the product from the brush, start gently combing downwards from wherever you want the Ombré to start. Your goal should be to get a perfectly graduated colour. Make sure you reload the brush evenly before applying colour to each strand.

4. Leave the top layer natural.

When you get to the top layer you’ve clipped up, you might want to consider not dyeing it at all. By leaving it natural, you allow it to fall over the dyed layers, naturally shading the lighter parts. This will help to visually blend the colour even better.

5. Check and rinse.

Once the colour has been on for 25 minutes, wipe the product off a strand with a gloved hand. If you’re happy with the lightness, you’re done. If you’d like it to lighten a bit more, reapply colour to the part you just wiped, and let it process for a bit longer. Check it every five minutes until you’re happy with the colour, but don’t leave it on any longer than 45 minutes total processing time. Once you’re pleased with the colour, rinse it out with warm water, and then use the kit’s conditioning shampoo to thoroughly remove the dye. Dry and style as usual.

Bonus tip: I have a little secret to share. To make my colour look more natural, I applied a semi-permanent, ammonia-free dye over top of the Ombré. You can find a selection of semi-permanent colours at any drugstore. I used Clairol Natural Instincts, but you could also use L’Oréal Paris Healthy Look Crème Gloss Color. I chose a dark blonde shade that was very similar to my natural colour. After the Wild Ombré colour was washed out, I towel-dried my hair, used a hairdryer to dry it about 80 per cent, and applied the semi-permanent colour on top. After rinsing that out, conditioning and styling, I have to say I was pretty pleased with how natural-looking it came out. It’s definitely not as perfect as it would have been in professional hands, but for a consumer product, it worked shockingly well!

From the back:

LOreal Paris Feria Wild Ombre review back How to do Ombré hair at home... with a new kit from the drugstore!

And the front: LOreal Paris Feria Wild Ombre review front How to do Ombré hair at home... with a new kit from the drugstore!

LOreal Paris Feria Wild Ombre review front 2 How to do Ombré hair at home... with a new kit from the drugstore!

Overall, I would give this product a very high rating. It’s easy to use, dramatic enough to give you noticeable results, but gentle enough to be pretty much foolproof. The instructions were super-clear and I was impressed with how well the brush worked for applying the product.

Tell me:

Would you try the Wild Ombré kit at home (or have you already)?
Are you still loving Ombré—or are you ready to move on to the next trend already?
Which celeb do you think does Ombré the best?

Get the products


Thursday, April 25/2013 at 12:54 pm

Love the tips (especially the teasing!) and of course this colour looks so fantastic on you, Dallas :)


Dallas Curow
Thursday, April 25/2013 at 4:09 pm

Aww, thanks, Paige!


Thursday, April 25/2013 at 12:58 pm

Saw this at Shoppers – is it not just bleach in different strengths plus a brush?


Dallas Curow
Thursday, April 25/2013 at 4:07 pm

In a word, yes. But, it’s kind of bleach for dummies (and I include myself in the dummies demographic). Basically, it takes the guesswork out of choosing/mixing the right formulation of developer and colour for your specific hair colour. Also, the brush is actually a really good applicator. I kind of wish I’d held onto it because it distributed the product better than any common hair dye brush.


Friday, April 26/2013 at 2:00 pm

Not sure if you’ll be able to answer this, but did you find there to be about the same amount of product as a normal box of hair dye? With some of these specialized at-home kits I find you get a bit short-changed when it comes to the actual colour. Still cheaper than the salon though!


Thursday, April 25/2013 at 3:13 pm

So pretty! I can’t stop looking at that back shot.


Thursday, April 25/2013 at 3:15 pm



Thursday, April 25/2013 at 3:41 pm

For clarification- when you say you applied the semi-permanent color after, did you apply it to your whole head, or just where you had applied the other dye?


Dallas Curow
Thursday, April 25/2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Jillian,

To clarify, yes I did apply it to my whole head. But I concentrated on the roots and anywhere that my natural colour had grown in. I left it on for 10 minutes, then combed it through to the ends for another 5 minutes. But I think you’d be safe to apply it all over and still not mask the ombré effect.


Thursday, April 25/2013 at 4:45 pm

Michelle & Dallas – so glad you guys found each other! So much beauty knowledge combined. Dallas this looks awesome.


Thursday, April 25/2013 at 5:48 pm

Holy hair envy! This looks incredible – better than some professional jobs I’ve seen. The gradation between two drastically different colours turned out amazingly well! Not what I’d expect at all from a drugstore product. Awesome.


Friday, April 26/2013 at 5:51 pm

Meh. I think hand-painted highlights in select areas (crown and around the face) look MUCH better than ombré. It just looks like a faded, grown out dye job. Sorry, I didn’t mean that too sound so harsh. Just one opinion.


Alexis Coronado
Wednesday, May 8/2013 at 2:40 pm

I love this ombre hair kit! It’s super easy to use. I love how yours turned out Dallas!

I tried this kit at home too, and it worked perfectly on my colour-treated, Asian hair: http://bit.ly/11SC8xj


Sunday, June 23/2013 at 1:08 am

Just wondering- did you not dye your top section of the hair as it says in step 4?


Emma Lani
Sunday, July 7/2013 at 12:30 am

Jillian- what shade # of the wild ombre did you use??? My natural hair color is basically the exact same as yours.


Monday, July 8/2013 at 4:04 pm

lush, you have done such a good job. will you come do mine pls lol x


Sunday, July 21/2013 at 12:49 am

does the dye wash out after a while?


Dallas Curow
Saturday, July 27/2013 at 12:55 pm

Hi Tess, the temporary colour I put over top did wash out after a while. The wild ombré colour, however, does not wash out. It’s bleach-based, so the change is permanent.


Friday, July 26/2013 at 1:18 am

If you have really thick hair, would one box be enough?


Dallas Curow
Saturday, July 27/2013 at 12:54 pm

Kaylee, I’d definitely recommend two boxes if your hair is very thick and/or very long. Better safe than sorry!


Thursday, August 1/2013 at 5:48 am

Is it semi perment so that the ombre bit washes out


Wednesday, August 7/2013 at 3:03 pm

Hi Aderyn,

The semi-permanent colour I put overtop washes out. The Wild Ombré does not wash out. It permanently lightens the section of hair you apply it to.


Wednesday, August 7/2013 at 2:43 pm

Just wondering if this product acctually contains bleach or just a lightning creme, It looks great by the way :)


Wednesday, August 7/2013 at 3:02 pm

Hi Georgia,

To be entirely honest, I don’t really know the difference between bleach and lightening creme. I would guess that lightening creme has a mild bleach in it? Since the different colours available in Wild Ombré each are intended for different base colours, I would guess each one has a different strength level of bleach in it. Sorry I can’t be more precise. I’m not a professional!


Wednesday, August 7/2013 at 2:57 pm

How many shampoos?!


Friday, August 16/2013 at 9:41 pm

I just did this and used the 070 kit. I absolutely love it. I wish it would have turned out slightly blonder, but that may be because I did not use that much dye. Your tips definitely helped with the application! I love the ombre trend!


Sunday, August 18/2013 at 4:16 am

Thank you for this review! I was tossing up whether to buy this and try it and you’ve definitely convinced me to try it :)


Maria Evangelopoulos
Sunday, August 25/2013 at 1:06 pm

I love your ombre. I have done it and I’m so happy with it.. other friends and relatives want to do it but they/I need to know whats the strength of the bleach in the wild ombre for dark hair. Thanks!


Sunday, October 6/2013 at 1:00 pm

Can you help me?! So if i already have a layer of ombre, and my natural hair color is darkish brown, to make it lighter would i want to buy a 065? Or if i want a big difference get the 060 or 070? I really want it to to be like this http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wPuN2jxufU0/UP2Mu06HCDI/0/QMZ0m55pioQ/s1600/blonde-ombre-hair2.jpg my hair is a little darker at the roots but dont no if youll know what i should do but i need help!


Sunday, October 6/2013 at 1:57 pm

Can you help me! I already have a layer of ombre and my natural hair color is darkish brown, to make it lighter would i want to buy a 065? Or if i want a big difference get the 060 or 070? I really want it to to be like this http://hairstyleslooks.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2012-Ombre-hair-color-trends.jpg my hair is a little darker at the roots but dont no if youll know what i should do but i need help!
I re sent this because the photo didnt work in the last one!


concerned stylist
Saturday, December 21/2013 at 10:00 am

That is all well and good that it worked for you, but stylists spend thousands of dollars on an education and thousands of dollars on continuing education after school for a reason and that education does not come on the back of a box. Feria color is the worst box color on the market due to the fact that it reacts just like metallic salt color, even though L’Oréal denies it, and when you put any chemical, be it perm or color, over the top of metallic salt your hair is HIGHLY likely to smoke and melt off your head. But good luck to anyone who thinks being an at-home stylist is a good idea!


Monday, December 23/2013 at 5:36 pm

Hi I was just wondering how long the dye lasts? My friend used it in the summer and her’s is still perfectly bright, is it permanent? If so could recommend a semi permanent colour?


Tuesday, December 24/2013 at 12:55 am

I was looking for this , good tips! The testing is the key to this when i went to dye my hair Ombre i noticed that my hairstylist did the teasing part & it looked grate


Friday, December 27/2013 at 10:15 am

Hi, which one of the l’oreal dyes did you use?


Monday, June 23/2014 at 1:59 pm

I have a kind of medium brown hair colour, would the 080 have the right affect on my hair or will it turn a ginger/copper colour? And should I look out for any unexpected suprises whilst dying it, like the colour not looking blonde whilst the dye is developing on my hair?


Elizabeth R
Thursday, August 14/2014 at 1:23 pm

Great read! Luckily enough i’ve just bought a store-bought Ombre hair kit, and I’m glad I haven’t tried using it before reading this! Feel much more confident about dying my extensions now! Thanks :).


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