Tutorial: A Journey In Pictures – From Blonde to Ombre

Since being blonde I get complimented a lot on my hair, don’t get me wrong I like being blonde. What I hate it the upkeep; the roots, the conditioning, the damage from getting it there. Especially when your hair is as light as mine (About a base shade 10). So, recently I ombre’d (Is that a word?) my hair with a semi permanent colour (A light brown), this worked well except with my hair being so light it meant it went more of a dark blonde ombre – nice but subtle and I don’t really ‘do’ subtle.

My blonde hair before this journey

With time the semi has gradually washed out and I’m left with a warm light blonde – pretty boring to be honest and not for me. We will always have hair envy I think for someone we know, mine at present is with the very gorgeous Krissy (at Kickine – check out her blog!!). I love her ombre ‘do’ and decided, what the hell! I’ll go for it.

So, today you are going to take a journey with me in picture of taking my hair from blonde to ombre. I’ll talk about how I did it, what I used and maybe give you a tip or 2 on the way. I have to say, Krissy needs to take a lot of credit for the method I’m using as she’s shown me how to do it.

L’Oreal Récital Préférence in Palma (Shade 5) Natural Brown

So, I chose to use L’Oreal Récital Préférence in Palma (Shade 5) Natural Brown. Its basically a neutral brown shade. As my hairs a little warm it shouldn’t be too flat hopefully. I bought this at Boots for £6.63. I’ve used the Recital Preference before (This was their lightest ash blonde – review here) and liked the condition it left my hair in afterwards, it felt really soft and looked so glossy!)

The scary thing about Ombre blonde hair is you are working in reverse, its actually easier to Ombre brown hair and just lighten the ends. Instead, I’m not colouring my ends at all and am darkening my roots and working down the mid lengths. That’s why this tutorials different from others – its for blonde girls who want to have the brown to blonde fade and are working in reverse.

The tools I used were…

A large comb

Pintail comb

Tint bowl

Tint Brush

You could easily do this with the bottle but I prefer to work with a brush, so mixed the colourant in the bottle and then popped it into my tint bowl. I also wet my hair first as you would for a ‘fresh’ application with this colour – I actually prefer applying colour to wet hair although obviously you can’t do that with all brands.

The front sections I wanted left lighter and was colouring when I was running the colour lower

As I wanted lighter sections around the face I didn’t apply the colour to this area straight away and kept it out of the way as best I could (This is another reason why applying with a brush is easier than the bottle).

Part 1 colouring the top and back

I section my whole back off (Probably about 2″ from the crown down) and tied this back in a low pony. This way I was only working with the top section of my hair. I applied the colour through the whole top section and 3″ down the length. It looked pretty freaky because of the 2 bright blonde bits in the front (But these were having the colour ran through the second time). I then left the colour on to develop for 15 minutes.

Part 2 colouring the top and back

When I came back I then working through the back on my hair taking the colour to 4″ off of my ends. I then worked the front sections and took the colour down the lengths so it was about 4″ off the ends. As I have fairly short layers around my face some of these got completely coloured, I tried to leave a few out, so it would frame my face more. Then starting at the back I pulled my hands through my hair about another 2″ so there was no obvious line and took this through the rest of my hair. I also massage colour into the front fringe area lightly, I wanted this to colour over and look natural but also keep some of the blonde. This colour was then left to develop another 8 minutes (Although I was keeping an eye I’ll admit as it looked pretty scary).

Afterwards, I rinsed throughly as you normally would do and conditioned with the conditioner than came in the kit.

Although the colour is nice, it wasn’t as dark as I really wanted – so I went and bought another colour to pop over it again. This time I needed to add some warmth back into it. Adding a warm colour to my hair usually is detrimental but with so much ash there it needed something otherwise it was going to end up looking a greenish/grey/brown.

Boots Warm Medium Brown 4.3 Permanent Colour

This time I opted for Boots Warm Medium Brown 4.3 Permanent Colour, I don’t actually rate their colours very highly in that I find they dry my hair out but the reason I chose it was because I wanted to ombre my hair on a budget if I could. With the Boots colour costing £3.36 I had spent less than £10 (Well, bar 1p) – so it proves it can be an inexpensive experience.

The colour results on the box were near where I wanted my roots to be and would also add the additional warmth to the mid lengths. Its always hard to say what will happen when you add tint on top of tint, generally its a darker result and then you have the different tones to take into account.

The contents of the Boots colour were quite standard, although I’ll give them 1 serious plus point – they actually supply latex gloves with their colour! I prefer working with them and find them more comfortable (Not only that, if you rinse them well you can reuse them!).

My hair sectioned pre application of the second colour

The colour on my roots developing

Application was the same as before to be honest, I didn’t do anything different and even sectioned the front parts off again. I did alter the development slightly; for the root area the colour was left 10 minutes, for the mid lengths it was then left a further 8 minutes. Then my hair was rinsed and conditioned.

The final result

Here is my hair roughly dried after the second colour. I took the picture side on so you can see from the roots down and how the fade works. I think its pretty gradual. I’m much happier with the darker roots this time although would like to make the mid lengths  darker next time. This is just a case of pulling the colour lower to begin with. It will also be easier next time as I’ve already tackled the hardest part – going over the bleach and losing the blonde!

Here is my finished hair wavy wearing my gorgeous 20″ Dark Blonde Halo from Halo Hair Extensions

I hope this is helpful to someone, I know ombre hair has been around for ages but there are very few tutorials on how to do it when your hair is blonde!!

Massive thanks again to Krissy for the advice and chit chat!! Big thanks to Mark for driving me not once, but twice to Boots on colour buying trips!

Lots of Love,

Mel xxxx