August 4, 2011


Call me super late on that bandwagon (probably even too late) but I didn't get interested in ombre hair until recently.
For those who wouldn't know what that is, it's a technique that consists of making the tips of your hair noticeably lighter than the roots to give the effect of lightened hair grown out for a long time and huge dark roots showing.
With that description only, you'd wonder why anybody would want such a style, but seen in real life, it can look super pretty.

As seen on the catwalk

Drew Barrymore wears ombre hair particularly well!

However I didn't think of doing it before having seen it on some bloggers I religiously read, like Jennie (love the way that pink looks in her hair, it made me seriously envious) and Laura
So I decided quite a while ago that I'd try it during my Summer vacation and in-between 2 hair dyes so that wouldn't traumatize my co-workers for too long and I wouldn't be stuck with it if I didn't like it.
Of course, I asked for advice to my hair guru Chloe because she's a pro and she knows best. (No, she doesn't blog much, but she has her own salon now, that's a good enough excuse in my book).

Chloe gave me excellent advice that I want to share with you:
  • Get powder bleach, it's the easiest to use and you can mix it to the consistency you wish (she recommended a thick paste) without caring too much of powder/developer ratios
  • Be gentle to your hair, use a vol 10 developer, or maybe a 20 if your hair is colored and the 10 doesn't cut it. Of course my hair isn't black, but why damage your hair if vol 40 developer if it isn't necessary? Plus, you don't want to go platinum blonde.
  • Start by applying at the tips and then work your way up by adding product every few minutes to get a gradient effect. Also use your brush to create a few highlights that go higher than the bleached zone - but not up to the roots of course.  You don't really need to bother with wrapping the hair in aluminium (but you can, if you have very dark hair and want to speed up the process). If for some reason you were to work in several steps, shampoo your hair but don't condition it, then blowdry it before you reapply bleach (don't apply on wet hair or conditioned hair).
  • When you're happy with the result, don't forget to deep condition your hair.
So I used a vol 10 like Chloe advised, applied it to the tips and waited for 10 mins. I didn't notice much of a change at that time but I applied a bit higher and created a few highlights and decided I'd wait till I'd be happy with what I was seeing on the tips (just scrape off some product and look at your hair in daylight to see at what level of color you are). My advice here: KEEP CHECKING! There's no way to know how your hair will react nor how fast it will get to the color you want, so check, check, check! I actually waited for 20 more mins, which makes a total of 30 mins for the tips. Then I washed my hair and conditioned it. I used this, by the way:

L'Oreal Professionel Absolut Repair Leave In cream

And so here's what it looked like (crappy iPad pics, but have you already tried to photograph your hair?? Not easy, guys, not easy!)

The color isn't really accurate in this one, ,but you get the idea on the contrast and how far up I went.

The conclusion? I love it! But I actually wish I had gone a bit farther with the bleaching to get a more contrasted result. So after I talked to Chloe about that, and she recommended going over the tips again, still with the vol 10, maybe using aluminium foil to create some heat and make the product even more effective. That's what I am going to do before my next shampoo (was too lazy to do it again on the same day).

Next time I dye my hair, I can either work down applying the product from the roots and leave the tips bare to keep the bleached effect, or I can apply the dye everywhere as it will probably take a few successive dyes for the bleached areas to build up enough color and get the same shade as the roots - in the meantime the ombre tips would be gradually getting darker and fading. 

Have you tried this? Did you do it yourself? Share your experiments and advice!


  1. I also jumped on the wagon quite late and got it done about half a year ago by my hairdresser and I am most pleased, I really like it!

  2. I love this! Sarah Jessica Parker also wears this style well (and she's been doing it for a LONG time). I would do this, but I'm not certain it would really look great on me. I have such a hard skin tone to work with in terms of hair dye. And my hair is so dark, it's hard to dye it anything other than black. Lame!

  3. Here's how much I pay attention to hair: I didn't even realize this was an I intentional style! It looks great on you and in the top pic, but honestly, if I'd seen that pic of Drew I probably would have asked WTF?

    Having said that, I can't wait to see yours after you go more dramatic!

  4. So pretty! My hair does that on its own in the summer, of course in a much less dramatic way. This looks great on you! x


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