How To Ombré Hair At Home | The Greatest Guide For Beginners.

Oh how we love ombré hair, the fabulous year-round gorgeous trend that just keeps on giving. Once you ombré, you never go back, as it’s a look that’s so incredibly versatile. You can change it up with different colors and techniques as much as your heart desires. If you want to know how to ombré hair at home – read on!

This sassy trend is always evolving and looks like bronde and sombré – a more subtle blended feathery effect – are high on our hot hair color radar right now.

We’re here with everything you need to know about the ombré hair obsession and how to get the look successfully by yourself at home!

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What is ombré hair?

Ombré hair is a statement. It’s a gorgeous, two-toned dramatic effect that is similar in look to dipped ends. With ombre, the lower section of hair is lightened which gives a more horizontal, band-like effect.

This style is all about blended color gradients – typically darker tones on top and lighter on the ends. It looks fabulous when the darker top is your natural color and the bottom section is a few shades lighter.

This also means you won’t have to worry about roots growing out!

Colors work with this hair color technique too and anything goes – from pastels to black and silver ombre, red ombre hair to purple and blonde ombre hair and even black ombre hair or copper coloring.

Plus, ombre hairstyles look great with long hair or short hair and are relatively low maintenance. Styled it in beachy waves, braids, or with a few face-framing highlights.

Check out the latest looks over on our Ombre Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration.

how to ombre hair at home

Related post: Top 10 On-Trend Ombre Hair Ideas You’ll Love This Year.

Can I ombré my hair at home?

Absolutely! If you want to know how to ombré your hair at home, there are a few awesome at home kits that come with the special instructions you need to get your locks looking luscious.

All you need is a little bit of patience, an ombre hair dye or lightening kit, and a trusty brush or comb to get started on your color transition journey.

If you’re trying to keep costs low and don’t have experience with dying hair, this is the perfect option for your new look.

The best part about DIY-ing it? You can make fine adjustments as you go along that better suit how you want your ombré effect to look like!

If you have dark hair like black hair or dark brown hair, you may need to repeat the process a few times to get a lighter shade of ombré hair color.

Check out our reviews of the Best ombré hair kit to get the look at home to find the right kit for you. Our top pick is below!

You can also chat to your hairdresser about what colors and processes will work best for you.

What do I need to get the ombré look at home?

  • A hair dye kit that will give you all the tools you need to apply it like a pro.
  • A hairdressers cape to protect your clothes. Towels will get stained and keep falling off.
  • A barrier cream to prevent the color getting on your skin. (We love good old Vaseline!)
  • A wide toothed comb to separate your hair and comb through the dye.
  • An excellent color-safe shampoo.
  • And excellent color-safe conditioner.
  • A heat protection spray to protect your color before drying.
  • An excellent hair dryer that’s suitable for colored hair. Check out our Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review here.

TWO BOXES of your ombré kit of choice (see below!)

Best ombre hair kit

L’Oréal Colorista Effect Ombré Hair

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We love this kit from L’Oreal Colorista. The instructions are easy to follow and the formula is thick so it applied well to our hair. 

The brush in our hair dyeing kit is better than the one provided as it wasn’t so flimsy. We painted it on freestyle working from the mid section of our mid brown hair to the ends.

The results make this the best kit for us to ombré your hair. Our hair turned into a mix of caramel highlights that looked natural and not streaky. We applied tin foil on some of the ends to give it a really lighter effect. The overall look is lush!

How to ombré hair at home step by step.

Step one: Section your hair.

You should apply the mixture to dry, unwashed hair. Divide your hair into sections using the ‘hot-cross bun’ technique.

This means parting your hair down the middle and then width-ways to section your hair into quarters. 

Decide where you want your lighter hair to begin. Don’t have it too high up as it’ll look like bad highlights. Mid-length and lower is ideal.

Backcomb your hair slightly where you want the color start so you won’t get a wobbly line of color.

how to ombre hair at home

Step two: Paint.

Open box one of your chosen kit. Let’s ombre! The easy way to do this at home and produce a natural looking effect is paint the mixture from your kit on in vertical strokes on each section.

You don’t want it to be a band across your head so paint some solution on thicker sections and some just on individual strands. Rub the dye at the top so it blends into your hair.

Leave it on for the time required on the box, usually around 45 mins. If you’re using bleach it will look lighter but don’t panic! That’s just the solution getting to work.

Step three: Rinse and repeat.

Wash the color or bleach out thoroughly, it will keep working while it’s in. Then roughly dry your hair and separate into sections again! Yes really!

how to ombre hair at home

Step four: Highlight the ends.

Now, open the other box and apply the mixture again, this time just apply it to the bottom couple of inches of your hair. Use the same technique as before, working the solution into your hair to create a blended look.

We want to make sure the ends of your hair are lightest for a more natural effect that’s feathered and not so solid. Leave it in for 20 minutes this time.

Step five: Rinse.

Wash it out and condition your hair with a really good nourishing conditioner.

how to ombre hair at home

Step six: Dry and style!

Dry your hair with a hair dryer and fall in love with your new do!

If you find the color too bright or brassy, you can use a purple toner to dull it down. 

Watch and learn: DIY – How to ombre your hair at home.

To get it absolutely right, watch the pros in action to see how to ombré your hair, step-by-step.

Ombre hair FAQs

What hair colors are best for ombré?

Ombré is a combination of two colors that compliment each other so in theory, anything goes!

It’s most gorgeous and lasts longer with natural hair colors, especially brunette, reds and blondes – so think on trend ash browns, light natural brown, auburns, and chocolate brown hair mixed with caramel, honey blonde and light blonde or light brown ombre hair.

That’s not to say that vibrant and alternative colors don’t work too. We love pink and blonde hair, brunette and purple ombre hair and purple and blonde ombré from the hot hair trends of this year.

As always, we recommend only attempting to go one or two shade lighter than your base color to avoid any orange hair hiccups! So don’t try and go platinum blonde ombre if you have a black hair base!

What’s the difference between balayage and ombre hair?

Balayage and ombre hair are both popular hair coloring techniques that give your locks a beautiful, sun-kissed look.

The biggest difference between Balayage and ombre hair is in how they’re applied.

Balayage hair is more subtle and natural, with color being painted on by hand in layers. (Balayage is a french word that literally means ‘to sweep’).

Ombre provides a bolder transition, with the lighter color and dark roots being a more prominent feature. (Ombre is also a french word meaning ‘shadow’!).

Every hair trend comes with its own set of pros and cons and suits different hair types, so be sure to weigh your options – or chat to your hair stylist or colorist – when deciding which one is best for you!

Are ombre and highlights the same thing?

If you’ve been considering adding some dimension and brightness to your hair, you may be confused between ombre and highlights. We hear you!

Although they are very similar techniques, there is a difference between the two that’s easy to spot.

Ombre gives a more gradual fade from dark to light, while highlights are thin sections of hair that are lightened.

Both Ombre and highlights have the ability to bring a new level of depth and texture to your hair, and can be customized to fit your personal style or preference.

If you want a more subtle change that uses your natural hair color as a base and gives it a sun-kissed look, go for ombre.

If you want more of an obvious transformation and brighter, blonder hair, go for highlights.

What is a reverse ombre?

If you’re looking to switch up your hair color game in to something more unique, a reverse ombre might just be your thing.

Imagine the feathered ombré look, but with the gradient of colors flipped on its head. Instead of the light color gradually fading into the dark, a reverse ombre sees the darker shade fade into a lighter, brighter hue at the ends.

It’s a fantastic way to add a pop of color to your locks without going too over-the-top, and it looks especially stunning on naturally dark-haired beauties. Try it with alternative colors for a grungy look.

Is ombré damaging for my hair?

Ombré is as damaging as any other coloring process. And actually less damaging if you use your natural color as a base to begin with.

What will damage your hair is the use of bleach to lighten your hair. But it can be done without any bleach at all, depending on your base color. As the ends of your hair are color treated, you’ll regular trims to keep it in tip-top condition.

Once a week, use a deep conditioning mask to moisturise your hair.

Does ombre suit everyone?

Yes, for sure, ombre hair color suits everyone with all kinds of skin tones! This elegant hairstyle is extremely versatile and ombre looks can be blended with any shade, depth and tone of color!

All you need to do is choose which hair colors suit you!

Luckily, we have a quiz for that! Just take our quiz below and find out which hair colors are best for you!

Which Hair Color Suits Me?

How long does ombre hair last?

Ombre hair is incredibly low-maintenance and it can last a long time! Up to 3-4 months if you look after it with a good hair care routine and upkeep.

It’s a look that grows out well with the darker roots gradually coming through.

To keep it looking fresh, simply trim the ends when needed and make sure to focus on brightening the lighter sections with a toner or toning shampoo.

While ombre hair won’t fade, it will naturally grow out over time, so be prepared to consider refreshing your look every few months – it’ll be worth it for beautiful glowing locks!

How can I care for my ombré hair?

As well as looking after your hair with the right deep conditioners, you’ll need to use the right colored hair products to tone and care for your color.

To keep brassiness at bay if you have blonde, lighter sections, you’ll need our best Purple shampoos for colored hair.

And don’t forget to always follow our guidance in How to look after colored hair and keep it luscious for longer.

Parting words

We hope you enjoyed reading about how to ombré hair at home!

This lovely technique is sure to give your locks a gorgeous makeover, without having to spend a fortune at the salon.

Now that you know how easy it is to achieve this look, we’re sure you’ll be hooked on ombré for life – just like us!

This article was written and reviewed by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
    Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.