So a few months ago, having spent far too much of my time looking at photos on Pinterest and Instagram, I decided I wanted to ombre my hair. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what ombre is, it is a ‘grown out dye’ style with dark roots and lighter tips. Quick hair history: I had blonde hair until I was about 13, at which point it started to go mousy brown. I spent my teenage years trying to make it be blonde, until finally accepting that, actually, it is quite dark, dyed it back to it’s natural dark brown around three years ago and have been really happy with it ever since.
I was pretty concerned about dying my hair again, which is weird considering before becoming a brunette I used to dye it all the time. After some thought, though, I decided I really did want to give it a go, thinking ‘well, worst case scenario, I hate it and I’ll just dye over it.’ Because I was so nervous I made an appointment to have the colour done at Toni & Guy. I didn’t actually take any proper before and after photos, but here’s a photo of me with normal brown hair.
Now, I’m not blaming the stylist at all for this, because I was really clear that I only wanted a subtle ombre, but here’s how it looked afterwards:
While there was definitely some highlight, it was very subtle. It gave me a chance to get used to it, and I realised I really liked it and actually wanted it brighter…but just a month down the line, I really couldn’t justify spending another £100 getting it done again. After reading a couple of blog posts it sounded pretty easy so, somewhat nervously, I went and purchased the L’Oreal Ombre Hair Kit in number 2.
This is actually the kit for light brown to dark blonde hair, but I figured that with the colour already in my hair, I didn’t want the darker one. I tested the colour on a strand of hair, then took a deep breath and went for it.
The process is pretty simple – you decide where you want your ombre to start (this was even easier for me because I just followed where the hairdresser had lightened my hair) and apply the product using the little plastic brush. I tried to be systematic but ended up just slapping it all on. I did make sure I coated the tips first, though, so that they were subjected to the dye for longer. Then I sat around shivering in an old towel for 45 minutes.
It says you can leave it on for 25-45 minutes, but I know from experience that my hair takes quite long to suck up dye, so I just left it on for the full time, then jumped in the shower and used the supplied moisturising shampoo.
Now, I can only apologise for this photo – by the time I finished last night it was quite late and I was in my pyjamas happily watching the Great British Bake Off, so I really couldn’t be bothered to put any make up on – but here is the finished effect.
I really love it! It’s gone the blonde shade I wanted, it isn’t too drastic and there are no harsh lines. Considering I’m terrible at DIY anything (nail art, customising clothes – you name it, I can’t do it) I was pretty impressed with myself. My hair still feels in good condition (although I’m going to make sure to give it lots of TLC over the next few weeks) and it was the exact colour I wanted.
The L’Oreal kit costs around £7 in Boots, compared with the £100 I spent having it professionally done. Now, it could well be that it was easier for me to lighten my hair once it had been done once by the professionals – not being a hairdresser, I don’t really know! I’d read a lot of negative reviews of the dye online – some people said the smell was really harsh (it just smelt like hair dye to me – you wouldn’t want it as a perfume or anything, but it didn’t make me want to vomit), others said their hair went orange or it all snapped off. All I can say is that none of this happened to me – my hair went blonde and faded really nicely into my natural colour. The shampoo supplied was gorgeous and I would say my hair actually feels in better condition than before I did it.
I’m really happy with it and would definitely use the kit again! What do you think of the ombre look? Would you DIY or go professional?!