Have you a few hours to spare? Like 2-3 hours, I mean? Low maintenance hair is what I'm all about, which may sound strange coming from someone who has bright red hair. This look has been around for ages but it's still really on trend. I have been trying to distinguish the difference between the terms balayage and ombre and I think I have it figured: balayage is a free form hand-painted highlighting technique for hair done with a brush (I suppose this is compared to using foils) and is used to achieve an ombre look, which is French for shaded/shading and is basically a gradual lightening of the hair from the roots. The Ombre is usually done from the chin downwards and can be done with dramatic or very natural effects.
There are a few blogs that have shown how to do it, so I thought I'd give it a go considering my hair is dyed bright red. Would it work? Would it fail? I wasn't sure, but I thought the ombre effect could be really cool and different with red.
If you're trying this and your hair has no dye on it then bleach should take quite well and developing times may differ to the ones I used, in which case there are other blog posts on this topic which you can find on google. I use red hair dye and if you do have any other colour on your hair then I would suggest doing some research before trying it to see how to get bleach to take to your hair and if any stripping is needed. It might be more hassle and may be best left to your hair dresser.
- A bleaching/highlighting kit. Using a blonde hair colour simply won't work, you need to buy bleach kits. I bought L'oreal Perfect Blonde highlighting kit for about $20
- Towel (optional)
1. Mix together the contents of the packet according to the instructions. Grab a small section of your hair (underneath section) and do a strand test. This is optional but recommended especially if you're dying over another hair colour. I did my first strand test for 15 minutes and when washed away there was no change at all. With the second strand test I grabbed a different section from underneath and left the dye on for 40-45 mins and this result was much better (pictured).
|Results from second strand test|
|Lightening process for 30 mins - applied from chin to ends all at once|
|After the lightening process - the blonde streak is from the strand test. I was careful not to put too much bleach on it during the next steps for an even result|
4. Wash your hair out completely and use any additional shampoo or conditioners that come with the hair dyes and blow dry.
Ombre. Say it with me now - ohm-bray. Pretty cool. I'm really happy with the result and it wasn't difficult at all, just took a fair amount of time. Not sure how long I'll keep it but it has definitely given my red look a breath of fresh air. Hope you all like it.
Note: If you can, maybe get someone to help you. If you're doing it by yourself it's hard to get the back properly when its parted to the sides. I missed a bit at the back so might get someone to help me when I do it again in a week or two.On the other hand, I guess it does look more naturally faded. I like it, either way.
If you have questions about how to do ombre please contact me and I can try to give as much information about it as I know.