DIY Ombre Hair

I am a little behind the times with the Ombre Hair Sensation (I just coined that) which has taken Hollywood by storm.  Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, and Gisele Bundchen are just a few of the ladies of Tinseltown that have made this look famous.  I have been wanting to give this a try because obviously, I will look exactly like them in every way if I copy their hair.

I scoured the internet for DIY videos for a whole 45 minutes and decided that I was ready to give it a try.  I have been coloring my hair at home for about 13 years now so I wasn’t terribly hesitant;  not that experience even matters for this look.  I think my 7 year old brother could have done this for me with his eyes closed.  Also, who wants to spend the “$350.00 Because I live in LA” price at a salon?  Not this girl.

The supplies you will likely need for this DIY project are:

  • A bleaching kit
  • A good conditioner
  • Some toner/toning shampoo (go to Sally’s and ask for purple shampoo)
  • A hair brush
  • Clothes that you would really love to ruin
  • Foil
  • A serious ventilation system for your bathroom (shit gets serious when the fumes start to reach your brain)

People say to make sure your hair is at least one day dirty.  WELP, I had to work that day and I do take showers often.  So, I skipped this tip.  Seriously…it didn’t make a difference as I wasn’t coloring my scalp.

The bleaching kit that I bought came with an applicator bottle.  I assume this is fine to use but I decided to mix it in a bowl and apply with my gloved hands.

Also, before beginning, understand that this will be a 2-step coloring process.  As in, color once…rinse…color again.  Make sense?

Alright, let’s do this.


Comb your hair out and part it down the middle as shown below (FYI, I hate taking pictures of myself.  They are purposely blurry and obscure).


Decision making time.  How high from the tips of your hair do you want your ombre hair to be in effect?  I went just below my shoulders.

Using my hands, I saturated the hair that I wanted to be colored.

I let this sit for about 8 minutes and then rinsed my hair in the sink.  If you have hair as dark as mine, you will easily see the hair developing and lightening.  Don’t overdo this or you will be a sad, sad panda.  You can see here that it is obviously changing and it has been less than 10 minutes:

Seriously, watch the clock.  Don’t let this get away from you.


Completely blow dry your hair.  Apply the bleach to half of what you colored in the first development.  This is important because it will help with the ombre/gradient effect: darkest on the top, fading to a lighter brown, then blondest on the tips.  Hopefully that makes decent sense.  At this point, you can put some foil on the ends to keep the color on the ends from drying out in the air.  See my incredibly chic photo below:

I left this last bit of color on my tips for another 5 minutes.  Feel free to leave it on longer if you have lighter hair or want a more dramatic look.  I just didn’t want it to be so incredibly drastic (a-la Drew Barrymore…seriously… Google that shit) so I didn’t let this process for too long.


Shower time!  I rinsed all of the bleach out of my hair.  Then, I used the toning shampoo to try to remove any brassiness that might be lingering.  Once this step was completed, I did a serious deep conditioning.  I really recommend this as bleach terrorizes relentlessly.

Blow dry and check it out!  If you don’t think it is drastic enough, you should have some bleach left over to go in for a third processing.  Good luck with that.  Your hair will murder you in your sleep.

I was satisfied with my end result and didn’t go back for more.  Yeah, this is an instagrammed photo and I don’t care who knows it.