by Gina Martin
Ombre and/or dip dye hair is the look that keeps on giving because even after it starts to grow out, it totes looks intentional. It was in 2010 that I saw a picture of Drew Barrymore on the red carpet at the Going The Distance premiere. She literally looked like a mermaid. I immediately decided to get my hair ombred or dip dyed, but the only problem was that, unlike Drew, I couldn’t afford to get it done professionally.
Somehow, with the help of Bleach London, an old work t-shirt and some odd purple shampoo, I pulled it off like a boss and have kept dip dyed hair for three years.
How To Dip Dye Hair
First, lets establish the difference between ombred and dip dyed hair. To tell you the truth, they’re pretty damn similar and it comes down to the final effect. Dip dye is a stark contrast between the darker and lighter part of the hair, whereas ombre gives a more graduated gradient effect. It’s up to you how defined you want to make it. In this article, they’re going to be used interchangeably.
Bear in mind that this is for people with dark hair, wanting to have lighter hair on tips, but you can do all sorts with ombre. I’m talking blonde ombre, red ombre, purple ombre, blue ombre… You get the idea. Here is how to dip-dye your hair step by step.
What You Need To Dip Dye Hair At Home
· Bleach London Total Bleach x2 (gloves, brush, tray, conditioner all included)
· A very old t-shirt.
· Pro: Voke, Touch of Silver Shampoo Dip Dye Hair
How To Dip Dye And Ombre Your Hair Brunette To Blonde
Okay, so the most important thing here is stages. I bleached the last 4 inches of her hair first and then went in for a second round, dying the bottoms to give that cool, gradual.
Just a heads up, this works best on natural toned hair, and if you have a lot of warm tones in your hair it might go a little brassy. However, that can be sorted with the Touch Of Silver shampoo after you’ve finished bleaching.
I used two packets, but you could probably go with one. Unless you also have a ridiculous amount of hair. Anyway, just half the amount you would use if you were bleaching your whole head.
Dip Dye Hair: Prep
I mixed the two sachets of powder with the one bottle of developer in the tray and cracked open a window.
FYI, bleaching always works best on unwashed hair. Once you apply the bleach, it starts to get pretty knotted. Another tip is to put the top half of your hair in a bun, and separate the loose section into two to work on, so that you can make sure both sides are evenly bleached.
Dip Dye Hair Round One
I worked through the hair, painting different thicknesses with thick chunky sections and a really loaded brush. First I went to town on the chunky bits – coating the hair from the bottom first and then painting up as the bleach ran out – before painting a few thin strands and starting the bleach higher or lower than the last, like I was highlighting. The trick to making it look natural is to be random with it, and to make sure that you rub in the bleach where the dye starts, so that there are no definite lines, otherwise you’ll get a more stark, dip dye effect.
Once I’d randomly painted all over her hair, I left the bleach on for half an hour. It’s easy to see the hair changing colour, but it will always look lighter than it is because of the bleach so DON’T FREAK OUT.
Dip Dye Hair Round Two: Dip the Ends
After half an hour, hang your head over a bath and wash the bleach off really thoroughly. Bleach will keep working as long as it’s on your hair. Use the Bleach London conditioner as per instructions, and rinse that off too. It’s also worth keeping in mind that, when your hair’s wet it’s about three times darker.
Next, I dried her off and separated the hair into sections again. I grabbed my brush and this time applied bleach to the bottom 2/3 inches of all of her hair, which lightened the already bleached sections and softly bleached the missed bits.
I left it for 20 minutes, but you can leave it for as long as you want, depending on how blonde you’d like to go. You want the bottoms to be a lot lighter that the rest, so be brave and scrape a little bit of the bleach off every 15 minutes to get an idea of how light it’s going.
Next I rinsed, dried and conditioned it again.
And there we have it! Stevie’s hair was naturally ombred!
Top tip: If the result is a bit ginger (and you don’t want it to look ginger), then apply the Touch Of Silver shampoo with some water as a hair mask and leave on for a few hours – it’ll take away any orange/warm tones and make it look way more natural.