How To Ombre At Home

Ombré hair has been one of the most popular trends of recent years. It’s literal translation from French means ‘shaded’. One key reason for its popularity is that it’s great for those looking for a low-maintenance colour. By creating a natural-looking, two-tone effect, ombré hair removes the need to top up your roots every few weeks. While it might look like you need a professional stylist to get such a gorgeous look, it’s actually incredibly simple to create an ombré hair at home with our L'Oreal Preference Wild Ombré collection or Colorista Ombré kit. Here are our essential steps to achieving salon-worthy perfection at home.

Choose your ombré effect

Traditional Ombré  
Traditional ombré is a dark-to-light effect, where colours gradually merge from one shade to the next. Darker hair is at the root, gradually getting lighter from the middle to the ends.

Reverse ombré 
As the name suggests, instead of the traditional dark-to-light colouring, this ombré  technique reverses it with lighter roots that gradually darken towards the ends of the hair.

Dip-dye ombré
The third ombré effect is a dip-dye effect, which is achieved using bolder, less conventional shades such as reds or pastels. For example, our Colorista Paint Cherry Red Permanent Hair Dye creates a gorgeous, intense red ombré that’s perfect for autumn. 

Once you’ve decided on the ombré effect you’re going for, here are the steps to take to successfully create salon-worthy ombré hair at home. 

Decide where you want the transition of colour

Equally important to choosing the right ombré shade for you is deciding where you want the ombré effect to start and end. This might not sound that important, but if the two colours meet too high up the hair, you run the risk of looking like you have root re-growth, rather than a beautiful ombré. 

In general, ombré hair is more suitable for longer hair as this helps to to minimise the root re-growth look, however you can still achieve a gorgeous ombré look with shorter hair if you don’t get too carried away with applying the dye, and just focus on the ends. As your hair grows, you can gradually move the colour transition further up the hair.  

As a guide, we recommend positioning the colour fade in line with your jaw. It’s also important to remember that the intensity of the ombré will depend on how your hair naturally takes to the dye. If you’re not feeling that adventurous, it’s worth starting the process with a test strand, leaving it for twenty minutes, and checking every five minutes to see how your hair responds. This will give you a good idea of how long to leave the dye on your hair in order to achieve your desired ombré effect. 
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Applying your ombré colour

Divide your hair into sections and begin your transformation! Begin by parting your hair into two sections from the back, straight down the middle, then split those sections in half so that your hair is divided into quarters. If your hair is especially thick and full, you may want to introduce more sections. 


Backcomb the hair ever-so-slightly around the area where you want the ombré to begin in order to avoid creating a harsh line. Squeeze the mixture evenly onto the brush until it is covered, and apply the mixture starting from the tip of the hair to the line where you want the ombré  to stop and fade into the non-dyed hair.


Apply the product so all the strands evenly coated and work in small sections to ensure thorough coverage. For a more delicate effect, coat the hair using vertical strokes. If you’re after more intensity, angle the brush horizontally to cover more ground and create a sharper contrast. When you’re done, check in a mirror that the product is applied evenly to both sides. Use the two-mirror trick to glance at the back of your head, or ask someone else to check for you. 


Now’s the time to await your transformation. Leave the dye on your hair for the length of time recommended on the box, which is usually about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the level of the ombré contrast you want to achieve. If you’re unsure how long to leave the dye, or this is your first time experimenting with a lighter colour, simply wipe the dye off a small section of hair using gloved fingers after 25 minutes. If your hair doesn’t look light enough, reapply the mixture to the same section and continue to develop until you achieve your desired level of ombré intensity.

Once you’ve reached a level of lightness you’re happy with, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water and shampoo without removing the gloves. As always, follow with our expert colour care products to prolong your beautiful ombre locks. 

Now you’re ready to show your transformation to the world, enjoy! 

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