Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Ombre Hair - Professional vs L'Oreal DIY!

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.
From far too now!
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?!


  1. Well it does not look bad great job

  2. Thanks for the comment on my blog - have just followed yours, it's great! Love the ombre, it looks great. I wish I was brunette so I could go blonde at the ends haha! xx

    Lauren xx | Lauren J

    1. Thanks so much gorgeous! Followed you back! xoxo

  3. I've used L'Oreal DIY twice now. The first time I used it I was pretty nervous, but I was so happy with the end result. I haven't gone to a salon, because I don't really want to pay their sort of prices and I had a similar experience to yours. So I would defiantly say that the L'Oreal DIY kit is a better choice, and its a bargain.
    Your hair looks really lovely, you did a brilliant job.

    1. It's just SO expensive isn't it?! £100 or £7...hmm! Thank you love! Going to go check out your blog now xxx

    2. I know, £100 is so expensive. Thank you :D

  4. I looks so nice! I thought the more subtle ombre was lovely as well though :) x

  5. Your hair looks so good! I was too scared of doing DIY ombre on my hair so I went to a salon but yours looks amazing! I might try this when i redo it soon!
    If you have time please check out my blog!
    Thank you so much

  6. i always dye my hair with that brand! i honestly love it!

    lindsey louise

  7. This looks great and natural. The best I've seen so far, I might have to try this at sme point! :-)
    Following you on Bloglovin and gfc!


  8. Oh gosh, the blonde/brunette dilemma. I know that one well! I've been very blonde, honey blonde, dark blonde and the past few years, well and truly brunette. I'm getting blonde urges again though. Perhaps a subtle ombre would be the way. I love how your's has turned out! I'm not brave enough to do it myself though.

    Jenny | sunny sweet pea xx

  9. Great post!! I used this paint in the summer.

    Thank you for your comments on my blog!
    I follow you in GFC and Bloglovin, now it's your turn.

    Best wishes!

  10. I just followed you! Great post! I can't wait to see more posts from you (and I might have to try this as well!).

    Maggie D. xx

  11. You hair looks great! Can't wait to see more posts as I've just followed you!

  12. Wow that color looks great on you!



    Personal Style Blog

  13. It looks really nice and natural. I've been having blonde highlights for a while now but would like a change and would love to try ombre but I don't know if I'm brave enough! Maybe I will try it one day!

    I've recently started blogging and would really appreciate it if anyone could give it a look :)

  14. I'm glad to see this post. Been thinking about making a change to my hair and had recently bought the ombre kit...just haven't got round to using it yet. I love how it looks on your hair.

    Ellen x | Being Ellen Stacey

  15. Like your way of bloggin! Followed you, hope you'll do the same so we can keep in touch.

    xx. KL

    Weapons of Mass Seduction

  16. I absolutely love ombre hair! Great post :)

    Now following <3

  17. Love the fact that you did a post on this! I have my hair ombred right now, but have been wanting to get it re-done but also can't stand forking up $80-$100 to do! Might bite the bullet and just try to do it myself!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog and leaving your link :)

  18. Love this post and just your blog in general! I've been thinking of dying my hair ombre for a while now...maybe I'll think about it more and actually do it! :)


  19. I definitely need to try it!! love it on your hair :)

  20. It turned out really well! Looks very pretty and perfect for fall.


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