Woman with dark blonde, brunette and blonde ombre

Even though ombré hair has been a popular trend for several years, it still remains one of the most current and in-demand colouring techniques in salons around the UK. It’s a pretty, sophisticated look - but the beauty of ombré is it’s a low-maintenance colour which is perfect if you’re always battling root regrowth.

What is ombré hair?

It’s a colouring technique which uses a soft graduation to create a two-tone, natural-looking effect, allowing you to leave your roots on show and not feel the need to dye them as frequently as you currently do.

What is reverse ombré?

Reverse ombré is where the darker colour is focused at the ends of your hair, gradually fading into a lighter shade towards the roots - unlike traditional ombré, where your roots are darker.

What’s the difference between ombré and balayage?

Ombré is a hair painting technique where your colourist keeps the hair darker from your roots to midshaft, and then lighter from the midshaft to the ends. It’s the perfect way for brunettes to transition into blonde or for women to rock a vibrant hair colour without it saturating their roots and possibly overpowering their skin tone.

Meanwhile, balayage is a soft, sun-kissed sweeping colour which goes from your roots to your ends, and can be freehand painted and blended from higher up to your roots and around your face. It’s technically a highlighting technique, but don’t confuse it with the foiled highlights of the past - nowadays, balayage has taken over the traditional foiled highlights as the new way to brighten and lighten your hair.

Blonde woman with long blended ombre hair

How to ombré your hair at home

Creating your own ombré effect at home can be a fun DIY project, but it's important to follow the right steps to achieve the desired look.

We don’t recommend brunettes doing their own ombréing as going from dark to light can be tricky, and we’d advise you to visit your stylist instead. However, if you have lighter hair, it’s possible to get a professional-looking ombré style at home.

Getting organised and knowing exactly what you’re doing is key, so don’t scrimp on the following steps.

Kit you’ll need for ombré colouring at home

  • Hair dye - our Precision Foam Colour range is designed for flawless, rich coverage - it’s non-drip and covers 100% of greys
  • Mixing bowl and brush
  • Comb
  • Plastic gloves
  • Old T-shirt and towels
  • Aluminium foil
  • Hair clips
  • Shampoo and conditioner

The ombré technique

  • Protect your clothes and bathroom - wear an old t-shirt and cover your bathroom surfaces with towels or plastic sheets.
  • Follow the instructions on the hair dye packet to mix the dye, and use gloves to protect your hands.
  • Section your hair - separate your hair into four quarters, and then section each quarter into another four quarters, so you can tackle each section one at a time.
  • Paint on the colour using the brush through your mid-lengths and ends, and then gently backcomb the line where the colour meets your natural hair - that’s the key to avoiding a harsh divide, and achieving a more natural graduated look.
  • After applying hair dye to each section, wrap it in aluminium foil to keep the dye from touching the rest of your hair. Repeat for each section.
  • Continue painting and wrapping until all sections are complete. Leave the colour on your hair for the recommended time, and periodically check the colour by unwrapping foil sections.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly when you’re happy with the colour saturation, and wash your hair thoroughly to remove all excess dye.

Glamorous woman wearing sunglasses with brunette and blonde ombre

How long does it take to ombré hair?

If you’re going from dark to light, it really depends on your hair thickness and length - for mid-length brunette hair being professionally-dyed in a salon, it will take at least an hour and sometimes up to three if you have really long, thick hair. Dyeing blonde hair darker normally takes much less time, often just 15 - 20 minutes.

How often should you ombré your hair?

The great thing about ombré is that it’s low maintenance, so we would recommend three times a year - especially if you refresh the colour with a toning shampoo in between dyeing your hair.

How can I stop my ombré from fading?

To keep your blonde ombré fresh, our Violet Crush Purple Shampoo and Violet Crush Purple Conditioner, topped up with Violet Crush Intensive Purple Shampoo, will neutralise any brassiness that develops. These products work to neutralise any orange tones to keep your colour looking cool and ashy.

If you have a very dark base, try our Blue Crush range, which uses blue pigments to neutralise the brassier, coppery tones that can appear when darker hair is chemically-lightened.

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