If there’s a hair DIY that’ll take the least time, it’s this one. There’s not much to it because you’ll be shading a part of your hair. If you have shoulder-length hair, the top color will blend into the bottom shade from around the tip of your ears. For longer hair, your ombre can start from your shoulders.
But, these aren’t rules cast in stone; you can blend the colors gradually from any length.
Most importantly, have a seamless transition from the top shade.
Let’s look at how to ombre your hair at home using this simple tutorial from TheChicNatural.
- What You’ll Need
- Final Thoughts
- Related Articles
What You’ll Need
- An old towel/old t-shirt
- Disposable plastic gloves
- An applicator
- Hair comb
- Haircare products (shampoo & conditioner)
- Elastic bands
1. Mix the bleach
Pour bleach into a mixing bowl, enough to cover the hair section to ombre. Always work in a ventilated room when handling such products.
Also, read the manufacturer’s instructions on the ratio of bleach to developer. You’d rather have excess mixture than run out of bleach halfway.
Mix the two ingredients using an applicator, not your fingers. The mixture should have a buttery consistency. If it’s runny, you’ll have a messy DIY, and the color may not process.
2. Divide the hair
Brush your hair to remove tangles so that it’s easier to bleach. It’ll also make the demarcation line clear to avoid a harsh transition of shades. For waist-length hair, divide it into two sections as TheChicNatural did here.
However, if you find it cumbersome, split each section into smaller parts you can tie with elastic bands. It’s also easier to blend the two colors when working with a small hair section.
Tie the elastic bands to mark the fade line so that you can create a symmetrical ombre. But, tie them higher than the ombre length to have room to fade the hair naturally. Or else, you’ll have a very sharp contrast between the top and bottom colors when you untie the elastic bands.
3. Protect your hands and the work surface
Wear protective gloves since bleach is corrosive on the skin. Plus, you’ll place the hair on your palm as you brush it with bleach for over 20 minutes. Additionally, cover the surface where you’ll put your bowl and applicator.
You can throw an old towel over your shoulders to avoid getting the bleach on your outfit. However, if possible, wear an old shirt or something else that you’d not mind throwing out if it bleaches.
4. Apply the mixture
Decide how high you want the ombre to start. As we mentioned earlier, it needs to blend naturally into the other color. If the new hair color starts too high, it might look like your roots grew out instead of appearing as an ombre.
If your hair is mid-length and you’d like to ombre high, the jawline is a safe distance for the two colors to meet and blend. You can split each hair section horizontally to have three to four hair sections of a few inches each.
For instance, start with 2 inches, followed by another horizontal level that is 4 inches long and so forth. The sections to ombre will form a ladder up to the demarcation line marked by an elastic band.
Start brushing the bleach from the tip of your hair so that it’ll be the lightest part of your ombre. Bleach one side of the horizontal section and flip it to work on the other side.
Work on the ends of all hair sections first, and give them at least 10 minutes to process. Then, move to the next horizontal area. Work your way towards your shoulders, each time aiming for a symmetrical length on both sides.
5. Let it process
The darkest section of the ombre, which will be the top-most part of your style, will take about five minutes. That way, it will fade into the darker color above it naturally.
The section below, it needs 15 minutes to bleach as that’s where the ombre style starts showing.
The bottom part will bleach the most as it’ll process for about 30 minutes in total. If you have more than three horizontal levels, you’ll use the same method to tell the processing time. But, give the bottom part the most time and the top part the least duration.
6. Wash out the bleach
Keep your gloves on as you rinse your hair with warm water to dissolve the bleach. If it doesn’t wash out, it’ll go on lightening your hair.
Remember, the routine after treating your hair prevents damage, breakage, and brittleness. Hence, shampoo your hair, then deep condition it to preserve moisture.
Next, style your ombre style or do a flexi rod set for some curls.
Is Ombre and Balayage the Same Thing?
Not really, as we can say balayage is a technique while ombre is a style.
Ombre is the style with gradients of light and dark colors blended into the initial hair color. The lightest part is usually at the bottom, creating horizontal color gradients.
The ombre bleach process covers the entire horizontal gradient for a uniform shade. On the other hand, the sweeping vertical strokes of balayage bleach the hair surface only. Therefore, the inner side of a balayage remains dark.
That’s different from the way TheChicNatural brushed both sides of her hair in the tutorial above to have all sides bleached. We can say that balayage gives your hair a teasing, sun-kissed illusion while an ombre style has characteristic light ends.
However, the two have many similarities as they are both low maintenance, and you can blend them to have a balayage with striking ends. On top of that, you can use any on different hair lengths.
Can You Ombre Your Hair Without Bleach?
Yes, you don’t have to bleach your hair. Instead, use hair dye. The process is almost like the DIY we did earlier, except where you mix the bleach. Plus, hair dye options include temporary and permanent hair dye, giving you the variety you’ll not have when you bleach.
The thing with bleach is that you’ll not second guess whether it’ll lift the color from your hair or the time needed for it to process. As you’ve seen with the DIY above, within 30 minutes, you have your ombre on.
How Long Does an Ombre Take?
It takes about 30 minutes when working on at least three levels of fades. If you’re working on a longer ombre, you’ll give the horizontal hair levels more time to process. Let’s say you’ll have an ombre within an hour. You’ll have time to section the hair, define the demarcation line, and process the bleach. Of course, you’ll take longer if it’s your first time bleaching your hair.
Brushing the mixture into a large section of hair at once lets you do the whole style in a shorter time, but if you miss some strands, you mess it up.
Lastly, the duration also depends on the ombre style. If you’re dyeing your hair after bleaching it, you have to let it air dry first. That’ll take about an hour or more.
How Do You Ombre Hair Without Lines?
One, fade the top-most section instead of applying a lot of bleach as you did at the end. When you brush the transition line with light strokes, your ombre will resemble a cascading waterfall. So natural!
You can also backcomb your hair, then bleach the lower part lighter so that it’ll form a blurred transition line when you brush it the standard way. Be gentle as backcombing can cause breakage.
You’ll backcomb before you tie an elastic band to make the transition line. But, if backcombing sounds too painful, forego it. Instead, mark the transition line, but when you reach that part, remove the elastic band. Brush the hair with extended vertical strokes, and you won’t have a harsh line.
Or, dye the demarcation line to fade it out after bleaching. However, a problem may arise when the dye fails to blend and creates another demarcation line. Therefore, make this the last option.
How Much Do Ombre Highlights Cost?
Prices start at $100 depending on the style and technique.
You’ll pay more in high-end salons or when working with a celebrity stylist. Further, the cost is higher when the stylist boasts years of experience. You’re also going to pay more when you ask a stylist to dye the light ombre after bleaching your hair. The more the processes, the more it’ll cost.
That’s why it’s more affordable to DIY since you can get all the ombre steps you need without worrying about the cost of labor. For example, the tutorial we looked at earlier needs bleaching products only.
Ombre highlights will brighten up your whole look because you can go as wild as you imagine.
So, get an ombre style you’d like to try, then watch TheChicNatural as she explains how to ombre hair.
She makes the process so easy that you’ll remember all the steps even days after you watch her. In conclusion, long hair creates the best ombre because the contrast in light and dark sections stands out. But, it doesn’t mean short hair queens shouldn’t sample this style.
While you’re improving your hairstyling skills, you might also want to know how to straighten hair without a straightener.
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