DIY Ombre in 5 Steps

Learn how to get do it yourself ombre hair in five simple steps!

91kbqNs79cL._SL1500_ You know that sinking feeling when you leave a hair salon and you don’t get what you asked for (and are also out $150)? Well, I was so sick of that feeling that I decided to take matters into my own hands. Though I leave the haircuts to professionals, I’ve done all of my own color for years — from darkest brown to golden blonde. I’m finally getting exactly what I want AND saving some money. And by saving money, I mean spending it on other frivolous things.

One of the looks I get the most inquiries about is my subtle ombre/balayage look, or as my friend calls it, “the zebra.” I’ve been self-ombre-ing on and off since 2007 using a plain, old
highlighting box that can be found at any drug store
(but disregard the finger tip thing, as the only tool needed are your hands and gloves). I pick the color based on the season. I usually go for a more bronze/caramel-y shade in the fall and a champagne-y hue in the summer.

I should note that I’m a daughter of a former hair stylist, so I’m not afraid to treat my hair like a test guinea pig. And surprisingly, my tests usually end with me not going far enough, which is definitely a good thing.
So, here’s my do-it-yourself ombre hair in five steps:
1.  Start out with wet hair. Here I am right out of the shower. (A tip within a tip: Do you need to post a picture on the internet and don’t feel like putting on makeup? Use the Mayfair filter on Instagram. Flaws gone.)
2.  Brush your wet hair and change into a shirt that you don’t care about getting bleach on.
3.  Follow the highlighting kit instructions and mix the kit’s various powders and serums together.
4.  Once the color is mixed, scoop up the mixture with your gloved hands and start scrunching upward into the ends of your hair — like you’re adding mousse or gel into your hair.
5.  Wait however long the kit’s instructions suggest. Wash out and style.
*I also pick a few random strands onto which I add the bleach for fun.
See? Easy!
Photos:  Lyssa White/beautyXposé
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7 Responses to “DIY Ombre in 5 Steps”

  1. Lyssa says:

    *coarse

  2. Lyssa says:

    From my experience, absolutely, but depending on how light you want it, it may take a couple of attempts. Also, you'll need to factor in your hair texture. Mine's fairly course and handles damage well.

  3. Shelby says:

    Would this work on my hair if I have dyed it recently? I dyed it a dark burgundy color.

  4. Jenny says:

    Hey Lyssa, thanks for putting out this easy "zebra" tutorial! Ombre hair is getting really popular now, I think I'll give it a go!

    • Lyssa says:

      Yay! BTW, I think I just gave your post an accidental thumb's down – sorry. Did not mean to.

  5. Lyssa says:

    Hi, Christi! I'm no expert, but I imagine you could use the same technique for dark ombré. My one suggestion would be to find a color that matches your lighter color in case you mess up or don't like the results. I hope it turns out well! – Lyssa

  6. Christi says:

    how would you do this with lighter hair and going darker ombre?? same way without the bleach?