ombré hair dye at home

Is ombré hair still in style? I’ve seen it around for years, and over time the look has grown on me immensely – especially when done more subtly, so it looks sun-kissed and naturally grown-out. It can be very chic when it’s bold as well, but I need something more casual, more everyday, a hair style that can look good when styled messy or chic.


I’m not really sure if it’s still in or not, but I’m not one to jump on a trendy bandwagon until the ‘cool’ people are over it, anyway.

I tend to play it safe with my hair lately – first because I’ve been trying to let it grow out forever and it takes a loooong time to grow. Secondly because bleach kills my hair, so if I was doing highlights and extreme colour changes, then my hair would die a slow death and I would need to cut it to keep it healthy.


So after years of being a fabulous, but boring, brunette, I decided to do something with a little more je ne sais quoi… and I decided to do ombre hair at home.

And why did I decide to do an ombré hair look at home? Because the salon quoted me $250. And L’Oreal Feria came out with an at-home ombre kit which immediately intrigued me as well as horrified me, because although the box with the blonde girls looks pretty good, the dark-haired model box looks kind of bad. Who wants two-tone hair that looks like a ruler is separating the colours? So I researched a bit, and discovered that the Feria ombré  kits are great for ‘virgin’ hair – ie. not mine. So I decided to go with a Clairol lightening product for dark hair, basically a high-peroxide bleach product.

So here is the somewhat terrible looking “before” shot. As you might be able to tell from the horrible iPhone pictures, the ends of my hair are darker than the roots, mainly because I’ve dyed it so many times – and I used to dye it a bit darker, whereas my roots are just blah.

In order to achieve a natural-looking ombré, I applied bleach to the tips of my hair, and let it sit for a five to ten minutes, and then reapplied. Each time I reapplied I think I went a wee bit higher. If you decide to do this, take a look at pictures online and really figure out what you want the end result to look like. There is no right or wrong way to achieve an ombré, you have to decide if you want it all over, how high you want the colour to go, what type of contrast you are looking for, etc… I admit I was a bit undecided and actually went higher with the bleach than I thought I might.

And now, for the most embarrassing picture ever taken and put on a blog – the I-wear-my-husband’s-old-dirty-shirt-to-dye-my-hair look:



Bwahahahaha. Pigtails are so not my look. Near the end of the process, I took out the pig tails, just to make sure that the bleaching product was applied rather evenly, and because I took the product all the way up to my chin almost. I left the bleaching product on for about an hour – you might not have to, but my ends were so heavy with colour that it simply took that long to lift. The good thing about doing it this way is that you can also wipe the product off of your hair with a paper towel and see how light your hair is getting.


 And voila! I will take another picture when I’m outside, so you can see the colour a bit better than what my bathroom lighting (which sucks) and my iPhone can give you.  You can tell the bottom half of the hair is lighter! Ombré achieved! I am very happy with the results! The ends of my hair are lighter, it looks like it has been grown-out, and the colour, though not exactly what I was hoping for, was what I expected anyway.


It’s hard to lift dark hair colour, especially at home, so in the sunlight the tips look a bit ginger-ish, which is kind of a fun take on the whole ombré look.

The whole process was super easy – especially because it’s supposed to look a little messy, perfection is not a necessity! But I will say that it was trés stressful. I had no idea what the end result would be or if it would even look good on me – so I bought a box of back-up hair dye in the colour brownjust in case it turned out looking not so good.

I am so in love with this easy hair-change! If you’ve been wanting to try an ombré hair style – go for it! It’s very simple to do and is a lot of fun, especially if you are fearful of huge colour changes. If I get sick of this look I can easily dye it to match my ‘roots’, or I can even make the ends lighter by bleaching them again, which I think I might do in the summer.

What do you think? Would you ever try this at home?

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2 thoughts on “ombré hair dye at home

  1. I think you accomplished a natural ombré. I am actually going to the salon this Saturday to lighten up my ombré. I am lucky that my salon only charges $80.

    Last year, I did a purple at-home ombré kit. My BFF helped me out with it and it was okay for a week, and then it washed out to a burgundy colour. It did the trick but I think yours turned out much better.

    1. Thanks for the compliments! A salon that can charge a good price for hair is a keeper! I’ve been having trouble finding someone I trust, so each time I go I think I overpay! Good luck with your ombre look – the purple sounds fabulous, but that’s the trouble with bright colours, they fade…