DIY Ombre Hair

by So Capricious

The ombré effect is obtained by dying the ends of your hair in another colour to create a gradient effect. Now, why pay a lot of money to get it done at a salon whilst you can get it easily done at home for almost nothing? Although the trend has been around for quite a while now, my flatmate has finally decided to jump the boat and get it done! I’ll show you how I helped her dye her hair and hopefully the information could come in handy for you if you ever decide to do the same. Let’s begin…


We did a bit of research on the internet at first and figured out she’d need a blond hair highlighting kit. Normal blonde hair dying kits wouldn’t work unless you use bleach (peroxide) with it. As I understood, the highlighting kit contains bleach powder in the mixture so it seems much more practical. We got the L’Oréal Perfect Blonde Creme Highlighting Kit from Boots for just £6. Aside from that, you’ll need:

• A towel or an used shirt to cover your back and shoulders in order to protect your clothes/skin from the hair dye

• A hair comb to help you apply the hair dye evenly

Instructions - Ombre Hair Gradient Dip Dye DIY Tutorial (1) - Ombre Hair Gradient Dip Dye DIY Tutorial (2) - Ombre Hair Gradient Dip Dye DIY Tutorial (3) - Ombre Hair Gradient Dip Dye DIY Tutorial (4) - Ombre Hair Gradient Dip Dye DIY Tutorial (5)

In regards to product mixing and preparation, the instructions on the box are rather clear and straightforward. But since it’s a highlighting kit, it doesn’t tell you how to apply the dye so here’s how we did it:

1) After pouring everything in the container, mix it until it becomes creamy then start applying it to your hair.

2) I first applied product on roughly 10cm of hair from the tips (where you want the hair to be most blond). Of course, you don’t have to follow my measurements since it depends on personal preferences. My flatmate didn’t want a large section of blonde hair so we only started with 10cm but if you want a larger one to start of with, just apply the product on a larger section of hair.

3) I left the section rest for 15 minutes then started applying more product upwards. The logic here is that the longer you leave the product on, the lighter is the colour turnout (be careful not to leave it for too long though, it could severely damage your hair). Therefore, you’d want to leave the bits at the end tips for a bit longer to create the “ombre” effect. We used foil to cover the end tip and then blow-dried those parts, hoping that the colour would develop faster – not sure if it actually works though, but sort of looks a bit more professional!

4)I let the product rest on QA’s hair for a total of roughly 35 minutes (including the initial 15 at the end tips) to let the colour develop.

5)Thoroughly rinse off the product from your hair with cool water. Whilst your hair is wet, the colour usually doesn’t seem to be light but it will show up more clearly once it dries up.

I actually ended up dying her hair twice. The first time it created a light orange gradient but she actually want the tips to turn out even lighter so I applied the left over product on a short section at the ends of her hair and left it for another 20 mins.


After carefully washing off the product, here’s the result… ( Beginning of process vs. ending result) - Ombre Hair Gradient Dip Dye DIY Tutorial (6)

QA was pretty happy with the turnout so I was quite glad! – Ironic how she actually looks happier in the “before” picture. I was really scared that I would ruin her hair but it actually turned out to be a really easy process. I really liked the end result as well because her hair looked like it’s on fire! If you look closely at the after picture, you can see that there are 3 defined sections to the gradient. However, in real life, the gradient is much smoother and looks quite natural. There aren’t any sort of harsh divide that looks as if your roots grew out to that length. However, that all depends on the hair dying technique that you are using. This one would allow you to achieve a more natural/feathered ombre look. - Ombre Hair Gradient Dip Dye DIY Tutorial (7)

We took 2 more pictures in daylight so you can see how the colour turns out and how it looks with straight vs. curly hair. Also, I just wanted to add that the colour of the gradient would largely depend on your original hair colour and the length of time you leave the product on your hair. Whilst it turned out quite orange-y for QA, it is because she had previously dyed her hair in that tint. It may turn out differently for you. Another point, the colour does get lighter after a couple of washes so don’t be disappointed straight away if you think that it’s not light enough!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional hairdresser. This may have worked for us in this case but do take caution in dying your hair. Be aware that bleaching your hair WILL damage and substantially dry your hair. Just to be cautious, make sure you do one of those skin allergy tests (amidst the fact that this process doesn’t involve putting the dying product near your scalp) and remember to wear gloves at all time if you’re doing the hair-dying job!

I hope that this post was helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below!


Adam Levine 19/04/2012 - 11:16

wow whos that hawttt chick??

Mai 19/04/2012 - 15:48

nice try QA :p!

Ryan Gosling 20/04/2012 - 02:06

zayum, Adam cant believe u got here first. allow hands offff

Amber 11/10/2012 - 17:51

you guys are so cute. hahaha

Ombre Hair Trends | New Hair Color Trends 22/04/2012 - 11:31

[…] it carefully and very subtle, more about Ombre hair DIY click here. TweetRelated posts:Brunette Hair Color Trends Fall 2011 – Illuminated BrunetteNew Dip […]

KT of 09/06/2012 - 09:54

You are beautiful and I think you did such a great job DIYing this… especially the back of your head is not easy! I like the pics in the day light but to be honest, I LOVE your hair before. It’s a beautiful color! Either way you look great and when you’re tired of this trend you can simply dye it again. :)


Jenny 07/07/2012 - 10:08

Great tutorial, Love the end result!


Mandara 06/08/2012 - 23:57

The ombre looks great! Quick question: did you dry her hair before dying it again? I know you can put colour on wet hair, but wanted to check for the bleach.


Mai 07/08/2012 - 00:17

Hi Mandara, I did dry her hair after the first dye to check whether the colour was ok. It was only after we saw that the colour was not light enough that we dyed it again. Hope that answers your question :)

nana 23/08/2012 - 11:01

Hi, I was just wondering if I need to use blonde colour, of would light brown do well. As I am dark brown, almost black I would like to avoid the orange result.. please answer. :)

Mai 24/08/2012 - 21:21

Hi Nana,

Light brown doesn’t really work in my experience. Keep in mind that to get such a light colour, we had to dye her hair twice with blond hair dye (containing bleach). I’m not sure how it works out with brown but usually, when I use light brown, it doesn’t make much difference or any at all for that matter. If you want to avoid the orange tone, you could try and find “ash blonde” shades. My friend’s hair was initially slightly orange that’s why it turned up orange but it might be different for you :)

Ro 08/11/2013 - 03:14

The best way I’ve found to counteract the orange tone is to put in a blue or violet toner on the end. I’ve used wella in T10 and T18 with vol. 20. I wouldn’t use it for as long as it says though, maybe 5 min, but if it over does it, it will fade out. It would rinse the ends out faster though. I know it’s an old post, but I think this info will still help someone.

Paige 17/10/2012 - 20:36

Hey I was wondering when do you put the aluminum foil on the hair? I saw the picture, but I didn’t see you say it needed done anywhere?

Mai 28/10/2012 - 01:59

Hi Paige,

In theory, the aluminium foil is usually used when highlighting hair, to separate the highlight from other portions of your hair. We thought that it would retain heat and make the colour come out more but in reality, it makes no difference so I just skipped that part :P

Marta 05/12/2012 - 01:54

looks great!! :))

Emma 17/01/2013 - 03:24

Wow! It came out SO well. I got mine done at a hair salon and it looks pretty much the same…except you probably saved $100 more than me. Awesome :)

Mai 21/01/2013 - 18:59

Thanks Emma! I’m pretty sure that the salon would have given you you’re money’s worth in terms of hair care. Home dyes tend to leave your hair badly damaged (leaving in too long, not rinsing well enough, etc…) – for which you’ll have to spend the $100 on repair products anyways!

Mina Masotina 18/01/2013 - 15:39

I love them :) great post, xoxo Mina.

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