Trying to achieve the perfect ombre hairstyle presents many problems, especially for those of us who can’t afford to go to a salon. According to Good House Keeping 43 million women in the United States have dyed their hair in the past six months. But what is the best way to get ombre on blond hair at home?
Dyeing your hair at home is a viable option, but it has some consequences, such causing split ends. It gets even more challenging when you start with blond hair (brown hair is much easier to simply bleach the ends). So here is an at home guide for anyone trying to get ombre on blond hair.
Buy a box of hair dye
This seems like the easiest step, but can have disastrous effects if you choose the wrong one. Make sure you check the picture on the side of the box that shows how much each hair color will change when dyed. Getting the wrong color could result in your roots becoming too dark, not dark enough, or an awkward tint. Before purchasing also make sure you don’t have any allergies to any of the ingredients in the dye.
Read the instructions
This step seems simple, but should always be remembered. Different brands of at home dyes have different processes for mixing chemicals and it is better to be safe than missing patches of hair.
Prepare the dye
Follow the instructions you just read. Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly, or else it can result in patchiness in your dye job.
Start at the top
For those who are more experienced, you might have a different preferred method for dyeing your hair, but mine is top down. Create and even part middle part on your head to start. If you have an application brush use it (not all box dyes will come with a brush). If you don’t have one, using your fingers will be fine.
Create your gradient
There are two methods to use for creating the ombre on blond hair. Your first option is to let the first layer of dye sit for a minute before adding a second layer slightly lower down. The top of your head will end up darker because the dye has been there the longest. Warning: this technique can lead to stripe or splotches within your dye job, so if this is your first time, it might not be the best option.
The second method is my personal preference, and will create a more even result for those who are novice. Once you saturate your roots, take individual strands and rub the dye down each strand. This will cause less dye to be on each strand the lower it goes, thereby creating a gradient. With this method I like to make every strand a little different to create a more natural look. If each strand is too perfectly coordinated is can often look tacky.
Create a part slightly lower on your head. Make sure the hair that has already been dyed is securely fastened on top of your head, so it doesn’t accidentally get excess dye on it. Repeat the gradient method. Make sure to apply the dye both to the strands going upward and downward. Continue this method throughout your scalp until your roots are covered.
Let it set
The instructions in the box will tell you how long to leave then dye in. Waiting longer will creating a darker root, but don’t let it set for too long as this could severely damage your hair. Set a timer and fill your waiting time with fun activities: read a book, listen to music, overthrow the patriarchy, do what you enjoy.
Time to Rinse
Make sure to rinse out all of your hair thoroughly; continue to rinse your hair until the water runs clear. Cold water will lead to the best result, but warm water will also be fine (I personally have never used cold water because it is too unpleasant).
Conditioner Conditioner Conditioner
Make sure you condition your hair. If the box dye does not come with a packet of conditioner you can use your own; try to find sulfate-free if you can. Dyeing can do a lot of damage to your hair, so you need so make sure it stays moisturized.
For those of you who may be worried about your ability to dye your own hair, and easy alternative is a wash in dye. These are shampoos that will dye your hair for you. Wash it onto the base of your head, make sure not to include the ends of your hair or it will ruin the gradient. Shampoo dyes are less precise, but are a much simpler alternative.
Keep everything blond! If your hair is a dark enough blond you can bleach the ends to get a dark to light blond ombre. Cosmo has examples of all the ways to make your blond ombre hair look beautiful.
Helpful tips and tricks
Wear old clothes: Don’t wear anything you are worried about getting dye on. Wrapping an old towel around your shoulders is also a great option.
Use vaseline: Dye can stain your skin as well as your hair, but vaseline can help prevent this. If you are new to dyeing, put some vaseline on your face and neck around your hairline to prevent awkward staining.
Use caution: Although vaseline will keep the skin on your face and neck from getting dyed, it can’t protect the rest of your scalp. Try not to get any dye on your head or it will lead to stained splotches.
Friends: If you don’t want to dye your own hair, make someone else do it. Friends can be great, especially for reaching those spot on the back of your head you may miss.
Make sure to check out our article on how to style your new hair at home.
Enjoy yourself and your new look!