DIY: Ombre Hair

Yesterday was a tough day.  And let’s face it, when a gal has a tough day, some hair therapy is usually in order, right? Plus I’m trying to girlify my life a little more and as I was perusing all the yummy ombre images on Pinterest (cause that’s the other thing a gal does on a hard day… browse Pinterest),  It occured to me that adding a blond gradient to my hair might actually be pretty easy. And just what the doctor ordered.

So, after years of not dying my hair at all… I did it.  And now I’m going to share the how-to with you, you poor things.

**Heads up: I have never ever done this before.  That’s my “I ain’t no pro, so do as I say at your own risk” disclaimer.**

My DIY tools: Clairol “Born Blonde”, an old tooth brush, precut tin foil and a bowl. Oh, and gloves… not seen here. I hear this is much easier with highlighting bleach kits so keep that in mind if you have darker hair than me.

My before hair. Not bad, but could be a lot more fun.  Definitely tired of the dull brownish blonde it’s become over the years.

Step One: Change into a shirt you don’t care about getting dye on and brush your hairs!

Step Two: Apply a pretty healthy dose of the dye about 3-4 inches up, depending on how long your hair is.  Use downward strokes with your brush. Set in tin foil and check regularly. I left it in for about 25 minutes before moving on to step 3. **One tip I learned is that when you’re doing it yourself, do NOT go above your shoulders. This leaves room for improvement.

Step three: Take the tips out of the foil and check your color. When it’s about a shade and a half lighter, apply more dye further up your hair.  Be sure to fade it in nicely with your brush. Leave the older dye on your tips so it continues to lighten while you do the rest (unless you’ve gone too light, in which case just go ahead and rinse it off). I left this in for another 25 minutes. For a little extra fun, lighten up random strands around your head here and there.


Step Four: Rinse, wash and condition. Then wait approximately 10 years for your hair to dry before you can take a picture of it. GRUMBLE!

I hope you enjoyed this! If you’re thinking of dying your hair, this is a really low maintenance, low hassle way of getting a really fun look. I HIGHLY reccommend it and plan to go even lighter the next time. PLEASE refer to these fantastic videos below. They really helped me learn how to master this technique.  OMBRE!


  1. Reply
    Todd H. Page March 22, 2012


    I like the way it looks

    • Reply
      Ry March 22, 2012

      YOU are really fun and I like the way YOU look! :) Seriously though, thank you! I had a blast doing it and I really needed the pick me up.

  2. Reply
    Caroline March 23, 2012

    Your hair looks gorgeous. This monkey feels like a damn fool for paying the $200 salon price tag.

    • Reply
      Ry March 23, 2012

      Nah, don’t feel like a fool. If I had the dough I would have gone even crazier I imagine. And besides, next time you can just buy a box yourself and implement the tricks you learned from the pros!

  3. Reply
    Hannah Gosser May 14, 2012

    Do you find it easier to use the toothbrush?

    • Reply
      Ry May 15, 2012

      I did! For the finer streaking absolutely. But eventually I just kinda slathered it on with my (gloved) fingers. Ha!

  4. Reply
    lippylash May 26, 2012

    I loved this DIY.. I’m still thinking about doing it at the salon because I’m so clumsy. But you make it seem so easy! Beautiful!

    • Reply
      Ry June 26, 2012

      Thank you! It really is that easy…

  5. Reply
    Sarah June 15, 2012

    Love this look! Though I have a question about the Born Blonde… Was it Original, Ultra Blue or Maxi? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ry June 26, 2012

      Original! I didn’t even know there were other options. Now that the fear is gone, I’d probably go for something even lighter. Thinking of touching it up soon!

  6. Reply
    Kristen June 26, 2012

    This looks amazing!! I have been wanting to ombré my hair, but I am extremely nervous. I have really long hair and I am a little hesitant, but after this I am defiantly ready to do it myself! You did a wonderful job!!! (:

    • Reply
      Ry June 26, 2012

      This is exactly why I did this. I wanted something easy but exciting. I can’t wait to liven it up again soon!

  7. Reply
    suzan July 4, 2012

    wow you look stunning!!:O but if you’re hair is darkbrown like mine, do you have to use bleach in your hair? cause I heard that’s really bad for your hair :(

  8. Reply
    Giselle July 4, 2012

    I am scared, but I’ll do it dammit. The glass of wine should help. 😉

  9. Reply
    Samme! July 19, 2012

    So Awesome! im Doing this tommorow With My Sister!!! :]

  10. Reply
    Samme! July 19, 2012

    What Color Did you use!?

    • Reply
      Giselle July 19, 2012

      Clairol – Born Blonde

  11. Reply
    Amy July 21, 2012

    can you do it on short hair? my hair is only chin/should length

  12. Reply
    Rachel August 4, 2012

    I just wanted to say that I just followed this guide to ombre my already fairly light blonde hair. I used the clairol born blonde ultra blue formula and I absolutely love it. I’ll probably try to find the lightest blonde that’s offered next time though, because my hair is already quite light it didn’t come out QUITE as shocking as I’d like, but still very noticeable.

  13. Reply

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  14. Reply
    Audrey September 9, 2012

    Currently using the Clairol Born Blonde MAXI because my hair is well… black haha. It smells horrible, but it seems to be working. I’m using my fingers too, it’s nice to grab little streaky sections and twist them in your fingers for some “highlights”! Waiting to start step two, it was so easy. I’m stoked to see how it turns out!

  15. Reply
    nonfashionista October 13, 2012

    You make it sound so easy..My hair is a very dark brown and I’m thinking about doing it in some dark caramel shades or something but I could’t risk doing it at home. I’m all thumbs 😛

  16. Reply
    Erin November 2, 2012

    It looks so beautiful on you – great job. DIY beauty can be scary but you make it seem like a snap! I’ve used this John Frieda “Go Blonder” gradual lightening spray on my ends to achieve the same effect over time – its a little bit less of a serious commitment but your super golden ends are making me think I need to take more drastic measures. :)

  17. Reply
    HAIR IS MY OCCUPATION February 15, 2013

    Please think realisticly look at her hair before had she already had a natural ombre from having blondish hair and then going in to the sun. I believe this worked for her but it wont work for everyone. The way she applied it WILL. LEAVE A HARSH LINE. We as stylist feed our children, pay our mortgage by you trusting us. Think twice before paying twice as much to have it fixed

    • Reply
      Ry February 15, 2013

      Thank you so much for the input! And trust me, I still go get my hair cut regularly by a stylist. :)

      I do want to point out though that my hair came out beautifully after this treatment and never had to get it fixed. Of course, as with anything, we should always use caution when doing things like this on our own, but that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t. I do appreciate your position and opinion. I’m a workin’ gal too and understand how you feel.

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