My Ombre Hair Experiment + How I Achieved It!

I’ve been wanting a change with my hair for a while now, and after procrastinating for months, I decided to finally “ombre” or “dip-dye” my hair. 
The ombre hair trend has been really big these past couple of years among celebrities, bloggers, and well – what seems like everyone. It’s in fact so popular, that there are countless tutorials on blogs, Youtube, etc on how to achieve the look yourself with a couple simple tools.
What does ombre mean? Ombre (a french word) specifically means “shadow” or “shade”. If you own a lot of French cosmetics, you may have spotted the word here and there – such as Chanel Ombre Essentielle Eyeshadow or the lovely Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadows. When referring to clothing, hair, etc, it simply implies a “gradient”, a graduation of a color from light to dark, or vice-versa.

So it makes sense to name this hair trend “Ombre hair”, as it’s a gradient of hair color. 

Here’s are a few examples- 
Here’s how my hair turned out-

My hair from the back
Overall, I really like it, but I’d still like to make some minor changes. I’d like a little more blond, and possibly additional highlights throughout my hair to blend it all together. I’m going to let my hair breathe for a few weeks, and by that time, I’ll see what I’m going to do. 
In the meantime, I wrote out how I achieved this look to my hair, and provided the names of the products I used from Sally’s Beauty Supply.

The Tools Used:

These are the products I used to achieve my hair color. They are all products I’ve used in the past, and have liked.
I’ve used the Beyond The Zone Bleach Kit several times to highlight my hair, and I’ve always had good results with no visible damage (of course bleaching your hair is damaging, but it was never in any worse condition than I started out with.)
I definitely recommend all of these products. 
Step 1 [using bleaching kit and foil] : Divide the powder bleach and developer included in the kit in half. I will be doing two applications of the bleach.

Step 2: Since the bottom of the hair will be the lightest, decide how far up your hair you want the lightest shade to reach. (I covered roughly 4 inches of my ends) Divide your hair in sections. I divided all of my hair in six sections- three sections on each side of my head.

Step 3: You can use a brush (included in kit) or your gloved hands to apply the bleach mixture to the ends. Cover the ends with bleach mixture. *They key to making the ombre look natural, is that you don’t want to apply the bleach in a precise line. Where the color ends, use the brush sideways and paint several small brush strokes, and then rub it in between your fingers, envisioning that you want the newly bleached hair to diffuse softly into your unbleached hair. You want a natural gradient. 

The lines represent brush strokes. The image on the right shows the correct way of applying the bleach. (I apologize if it’s not easy to comprehend in writing)

Apply the bleach to each strand of hair.

Step 4: Then, wrap foil around the area where the bleach was applied. It’s not completely necessary, but it makes everything cleaner while you’re waiting for the bleach to process.

It depends on the color of your hair for the time you need to keep the bleach in. Open the foil every now and then to check on the progess.

Step 5: You should see subtle blonde tones before removing the foil completely. After around 25 minutes, I took the foils out and rinsed the ends. You may require more or less time.

Step 6: After rinsing/washing your ends, blowdry (or air dry) the ends with low heat.

Step 7: Now, repeat, but this time, we are going to apply the bleach higher up. I used my hands for this – I put some bleach mixture in my palm and rubbed it in my hands and applied it to my hair as if I was applying a finishing cream to my hair. Starting from the back of the middle of my head, I brought the product down my hair, very lightly coating each section. To further blend the product, comb through the hair with a brush/comb. Then, saturate the ends as done previously, and wrap the strands in foil again.

I wanted to add a few lighter strands near the frame of my face, so with my hands, I grabbed a couple of strands that fall on the sides of my face and lightly coated them with the bleach mixture. I also pulled a couple strands through my bangs for color.

Step 8: Leave the bleach in for around 25 minutes again (periodically open the foil to check the progress.) 
Step 9: Wash your hair. 
Step 10: Mix equal parts of the semi-permanent dye with the Ion 20 Developer. Saturate your hair with the mixture, concentrating the product on your ends (the areas with the most yellow/orange-brassy tones). Leave it in for around 25 minutes. 
Step 11: Wash hair. I used Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo to further reduce brassy tones. Apply a deep conditioner, concentrating on the ends. I used a sample pack of One n Only Argan Oil Moisture Repair Conditioner and left it in my hair for about 10 minutes and rinsed with cool water. 
That’s it!
Here’s a breakdown of what I was wearing on my face-

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup in Warm Golden (Review soon to come!)
MAC Studio Finish Concealer & MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
Guerlain Meterorites (to set foundation)
MAC Nude on Board Pro Longwear Bronzer
MAC Crew Highlight Powder

Maybelline Master Shape Eyebrow Pencil

Nars Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
MAC Satin Taupe Eyeshadow (all over lid)
MAC Soba Eyeshadow (blended in crease)
MAC Handwritten Eyeshaow (define crease and outer-v)
Bobbi Brown Black Ink Gel Eyeliner (top and bottom lash line)
Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara

In some of the photos I’m wearing Revlon Strawberry Shortcake Lip Butter (light pink) and MAC Morange Lipstick (neon orange)

*As a disclaimer, I’m not a hair stylist, I just like to experiment a lot with my hair! If you’re interested in doing the same thing to your hair – do lots of research! Bleach is damaging to your hair, so you have to be very careful when using it on your own. Getting it professionally done is your best bet, unless you have experience with hair dye, etc.

This style isn’t for everyone, so I won’t be offended if you don’t like it! I think it’s a fun look for the time being. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and I’ll talk to you all soon!


126 thoughts on “My Ombre Hair Experiment + How I Achieved It!

  1. Thank you so much! I love Morange, but I only end up wearing it a few times a year. lol I need to wear it more often, but I always gravitate toward my pinks 🙂

    & thanks! Yep, it is from Forever 21 a while back.. I sure got my use out of it. haha


  2. psh. I payed 160 to get mine done, and you did a much better job yourself. kudos! I need to blend my ombre as well. Yours looks good tho. I see what you mean by the blending with highlights tho.


  3. WOW WOW WOW!! U look absolutely stunning! I've been really wanting to do this but worry about bleaching my hair nd thought it would look odd with my black hair but it looks amaaazing on you!!!:-)


  4. Looks great! When you bleached your hair higher up the second time round did you put bleach through the ends again? And is it nessesary to put the ion 20 in your hair? What does it do?


  5. Yes, I put the bleach through the ends again so they will become lighter than the hair above it. The very bottom goes through a double process in order for it to get to blonde. My hair is very dark so it only became a medium, brassy brown the first time around.

    The Ion 20 is a cream developer, so with any hair dye, you need to mix equal parts dye with equal parts developer otherwise the dye doesn't work on it's own. It's like when you purchase a box dye. It comes with developer and dye (as well as a conditioner).


  6. I have short, color processed hair and can't go a day without washing it because it is sticking up all over the place when I get up in the morning. For you, I would recommend the Shielo Volume Shampoo. Its EXCELLENT at protecting the colored hair, and it has worked great to keep the volume in my hair without adding any build up.


  7. Hey there. Loved this blog, and your hair came out wonderful. I played w/some ombre highlights myself and thought I would share how I did them. I sectioned then took 'slices' of hair. First I would tease the slice heavily (this is how I avoided the LINE)! After that I applied 10 volume bleach mixture starting how ever high up I wanted to start and all but 2 inches down. Then I applied a 20 volume bleach mixture to the remaining 2 inches!! THIS gave me the sun kissed tips that I wanted to achieve w/o two processes!! Hope that helps you in the future! 😀


  8. OMG I love how you had dark hair just like mine. I am overwhelmed with the tons of DIY ideas I have found on the internet. I am going to stick with your directions and hope it looks this good. Thank you so much!


  9. Wow you did a great job! I would be scared that I'd mess it up (and I probably would haha) but your hair looks fab!! Maybe I'll get a little more confident and try this one day. 😉

    xo, Sarah


  10. Some dyes that have a lift (aka they're meant to lighten without the prior step of using bleach) require a 2:1 ratio though. 2 parts developer per 1 part dye) Just make sure to read the box and instructions first. 🙂


  11. I want to dip dye my hair pink and curl it
    Is that possible to do ? ><
    I have some blond highlight hair and when I went to the salon to curl it, some staff there said NO to me because of my highlight hair :<


  12. I want to dip dye my hair pink and curl it
    Is that possible to do ? ><
    I have some blond highlight hair and when I went to the salon to curl it, some staff there said NO to me because of my highlight hair :<


  13. Thats a pretty good job on ombre hair!! Mines been done at a hairdressers, and yours is just as good, or even better. How are you treating your hair now, products? Having bleached your hair it doesn't seem to look as dry as mine 😦 x


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  15. I love your ombre ! I'm looking for tutorials and talk throughs to do it myself and this is by far the best one I've seen ! I have a question though, when you used the Ion 20 Developer and the semi-permanent dye, did you apply it on your entire hair or only the bleached ends ?


  16. My stylist used the wrong stokes even though I kept telling her to wiggle and zig zag motion… she kept telling me that she knows what she's doing. I can still see the lines and I can't wear my hair straight right now. Have to get it fixed, any suggestions how do I go about it?


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