hair color, hair products, highlights, how to, model's hair

The Ombre Experiment

I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing my own ombre hair for a while–actually, ever since I did that post on How To: DIY Ombre Hair! I talked myself into it by writing that post. And then I couldn’t get these images of Lily Aldridge’s amazing hair out of my head. I watched Missgemma910‘s video on her at-home ombre, and she kept saying that it was no big thing…

And I just happened to have a box of L’Oreal Excellence Cremelights Highlighting Kit. The next thing I knew, I was mixing and painting on highlights.

Just last week I re-dyed my hair a shade darker using Ion Demi-Permanent hair color. I use a mix of: One tube #7W Medium Warm Blonde and 1/2 tube each #7WR Medium Warm Red Blonde and #6N Dark Natural Blonde. (I do a different combination each time, trying to find the perfect color.) This one came out a little too dark and not totally right. I wanted to mix it with the Ion Clear Gloss, but Sally Beauty was out. I liked the color but it was a little too ‘one note’, so I wanted to break it up a bit. So, ombre! Plus, a  a few extra highlights using a balayage technique–otherwise known as just painting it on using a highlighting brush and highlighting wand from Sally Beauty.

I applied most of the color to the ends, but I was scared to leave it on too long. I thought my hair was going to lift really quickly, but it didn’t. After I rinsed it and dried it, my hair was lighter, but not by a lot. After I dried my hair, I colored it again, but this time I just applied color to the ends, leaving it on for 10 minutes. It lifted a bit more, but still not a ton.

I’m going to keep it like this for a while to see how I like it and to give my hair a break from all the coloring. But I might buy another box of L’Oreal Cremelights and do the ends again so they’re even lighter. As is, the effect is very subtle and natural looking. It definitely makes my overall color look way better since I think the ends were actually too dark to begin with.

This process was really easy to do and not as scary as I thought to do at home because the lifting is pretty slow. Major thumbs up for L’Oreal Excellence Cremelights because my hair looks healthy and without damage after using it. I also deep conditioned the hell out of the ends after I colored using Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask, which I left on for 20+ minutes. I also mix in a couple drops of Josie Maran Argan Oil whenever I color for extra shine.

If you’re considering ombre at home–make sure you have a few pairs of latex gloves, a plastic mixing bowl for your color, wands for spot applying color, and a brush for larger application. I recommend wearing old clothes and covering yourself with a garbage bag so you don’t get bleach on your clothes and skin. Use a deep conditioner after coloring. And always (always) read the directions that come with your color.

Also, I’m using the term “color” but a highlighting kit is really “bleach”, which is what you need to get the lifting action for highlights/ombre. Don’t use blonde hair color; it won’t work.

When applying the color, consider your application before you begin. I always section my hair (in 5 sections) when I’m doing all-over color, but for my first round of ombre color, I just kind of started randomly applying tiny swipes of color with the wand and then focused on applying the rest to the ends. The second time I did it, I sectioned my hair into two low ponytails on each shoulder, tied at chin level because I knew I did not want any more color above my chin. When I applied the color, I just focused on my hair from chin-length down, applying the most color to the very ends.

I will update you later, if I decide go lighter! In the meantime, have you ever done at-home ombre or highlights? And was it a success?