How To Do A Quick Colored Ombre That Looks Instagram-Worthy
As an extreme fashion fan, I can say that I definitely stand out in a crowd. My love of glittery nails, wildly colored jeans, and graphic tees is pretty easy to pick out in a crowd. Despite my crazy fashion choices, my clothing isn’t really what I’m most well known for.
If there’s one thing people expect of me, it’s my multicolored hair. It’s exceedingly rare to see me sport a single color, and that’s by design. I love the ombre look. In my opinion, it’s the perfect way to settle an inner argument between two potential hair colors while keeping things stylish.
Instagram has really brought (and kept) the ombre look in the public eye. Ever wonder how people get those amazingly bright, multicolor hues? Let me clue you in, as someone who sports dual-color hair on a regular basis.
Start by prepping your hair.
Extremely bright colors are not easy to maintain, or even achieve. Unless you’re naturally blonde, you will most likely end up harming your hair. To reduce the damage you will do, it’s best to prep your hair with a nourishing mask or adding a little extra conditioning to your routine.
If you’re new to ombre, my advice is to treat your hair as if you’re going to dye it platinum blonde. In other words, add moisture to your look as soon as you can!
You will probably need to bleach that hair.
You know how alternative models have those insanely bright colors in their hair? They can’t do that without bleaching their hair. It’s true; you need to remove your browns and reds in order to get a good overall look.
If you want to get a wild color in your hair, bleach will always be your first step. Bleach lightens your hair and helps the color stand out more. It’s also the one hue that will work wonderfully as a base color regardless of what your final goal look will be.
If you just want to add a bright color to part of your hair, just bleach the bottom or top of your hair. Bleaching the ends of your hair is usually a far easier, low-maintenance option. It also has the added perk of being easy to cut should anything go wrong.
When I decide to create my ombre, I bleach my hair until it is fairly close to white. If you are just looking for a brighter twist to the ends of your hair, bleach the tips. I find that bleaching the ends of your hair is a safer bet for people who have naturally dry hair.
Darker ombres can skip the bleaching process.
The cool thing about hair dyes and conditioners is that they don’t always need bleach to work. If you want a slight, subtle shimmer to brown hair, you may be able to find dyes and color depositing conditioners that can make it happen without bleach.
Brunette-centric dyes tend to add a slick color shimmer to darker hair colors. I’ve seen great ombre do’s with the Midnight Collection from Splat, as well as some of the more intense color depositing conditioners on the market.
If you’re looking for an “oil slick” look or a dramatic ruby-to-black look, you will most likely be able to skip bleaching. If anything, bleaching might actually wreck your look.
Tone it, if you are looking to go green, blue, or purple.
Most brunettes and redheads will have a lightly pinkish or orange-y tint to their hair after they bleach it. This is not going to look too good if you are trying to opt for a blue-based color. Tinting your hair using a toner color can help you achieve better results.
After bleaching your hair, use blue or platinum toner on your hair. Afterwards, use purple shampoo or purple conditioner to get rid of the brassiness on a regular basis. Depositing a little purple can even out the brassiness and give you a greyish hue.
Grey might not be your end goal, but hear me out. Grey is the best hair color to start with when you dye your hair.
Give your hair a break if you need to.
If you don’t have naturally light hair, you may need to repeat the first three steps several times before you get a greyish hair color. That’s okay, as long as you give your hair a break in between bleaching sessions.
It may take up to two to three months to get a light grey or white hue to your hair. That’s okay, and that can help you improve your ombre’s staying power in the long run. During your bleach break, make a point of conditioning your hair using masks and damage repair conditioners. Your hair will thank you.
Grab two to three color conditioners.
Conditioners these days don’t just heal your hair; they can help color it, too! Color depositing conditioners are easy to use, easy to remove, and also offer up a nice variety of different shades.
I typically use bright color conditioners to get my favorite looks. My favorite brand is Viral from Celeb Luxury, but you can really use any color conditioner brand to get the look you want. Since you’re going for an ombre look, it’s wise to choose at least two colors you enjoy.
Speaking from personal experience, you should stick to colors that are somewhat similar to each other. Or, try to work your way through warm or cool colors exclusively. This gives your hair less chance of a color clash.
For example, if you want to use red as a color, you might want to grab yellow or a warm purple as your second hue. Blue hues work well with greens, greys and purples. This gives you an awesome rainbow look.
People who want to stick to a ombre with a single color just need to choose a single color to add to the bleached portion of their hair. I find that this isn’t always a good look, though, since it can make your hair look one-dimensional. If you choose to have a “single” color, make sure that you use several washes to add more highlights and lowlights using your color of choice.
Dye it, if you want crazy bright colors.
Most people aren’t looking for bright neon colors when they do an ombre. If you’re looking for super extreme colors like blood red, neon blue, or wild green, you might need to dye your hair using regular dye.
That being said, you will still need to keep it up using conditioners in similar colors. Super bright dyes only last around a week or two, if you’re lucky. The only way to keep up that freshly dyed look is through color shampoos and conditioners.
Conditioners are great for people who want to have more control over their hair’s brightness, or for people who want to be subtle about their changes. If you want a more subtle appearance, it’s best to stick to color depositing conditioners.
Here’s why I avoid the dye.
Dying your hair with an ombre can be done pretty quickly, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the healthiest option for your hair. If you’re like me, you probably will want to change your color from time to time. This means you have to think about your hair health more than others do.
To get a bright color, you already have to bleach your hair. Adding dye can damage your hair even more. It’s also more difficult to layer and can also dye your hands various colors. That being said, you absolutely can use dye if you are looking for drastic, semi-permanent changes.
Color depositing conditioners are gentler on your hair, and also deliver similar results over time. They also are easier to remove, which makes it easier to change your hair style. Healthy hair is Instagrammable hair, so it’s important to curb the damage it receives.
Layer it on.
Heads up! The following technique can be used with both dyes and conditioners. If you’re using a dye, prep your hair dye according to the instructions on a box and use gloves to protect your hands. If you’re using conditioners, just step in the shower and start “painting” your hair!
To create an awesome ombre look, use one color at the top of your hair, and then grab the next color you picked. Create a slight overlap on your hair, ending with the second color in its unadulterated form at the ends of your hair.
If you choose to add a third color, it’s often best to use it as an accent color. Grab your third color and add small accents to various parts of your hair. Adding a third (similar) color to random tousles will give your hair dimension.
The idea behind your ombre should be to offer up a similar aesthetic to a rainbow. You want the colors to fade as seamlessly as possible into one another. Once you layer conditioners on your hair, you will need to wait about five minutes in order to let the color sink in.
Rinse off via bath.
Rinsing your hair off can be a bit difficult when you’re looking to kick off an ombre. It’s often best to shower rinse your hair from the top down. If your ombre is more complex, you might want to hold your hair on a horizontal angle so you can just get rid of the excess conditioner without having it interfere with nearby hues.
Believe it or not, high intensity colors can actually be rinsed off successfully in a bathtub. So, if you’re not a shower person, don’t sweat it.
Repeat your conditioning routine.
The drawback when dealing with conditioners is that they aren’t as intensely colored as typical hair dyes. They also don’t last as long. In order to get your hair to the bright intensity that you want it to have, you will need to do multiple rinses over the course of a month.
It’s not a fast process by any means, but it is a process that works well with most hair types and will keep your hair looking good while you switch colors up. If your hair starts to look dull, treat it with a mask and some hot oil. Ta da! Your hair will be the talk of the town.
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