I’ve been dying hair since I hit the two digits mark, wait no I started dying hair way before that. I must have been seven or eight. Back then, my mom would dye her hair on a regular basis. Almost every single month. I was the one that always got the job. It was rough in the beginning. I couldn’t care less about being careful about not getting any dye on her forehead, ears, and neck but as time passed, well I kind of figured the art of hair dying out. Eventually, I got quite smart and decided to charge my mom for every hair dye session. I demanded R20 so basically €1 at first and gradually increased my price. She eventually started to ask someone else. In my defense, it was always over the weekend and that’s when I could do what I want and not worry about school. I was about sixteen when I dyed my own hair for the first time and quickly discovered there is an art to it too. This is how I dye my hair at home.
The final result I’m going for is a natural looking ombre but I had to dye my roots or top part of my hair first. In September I dyed my hair bright red and my roots were starting to show. So, I knew if I wanted a natural brown ombre look I had to dye my hair in two sessions. I do want to add one thing before I explain to you how I dye my hair. Red hair dye is incredibly stubborn to get rid of. It always somehow peaks through and can take you a few dye sessions to fully get rid of. This is what happened to me. I only dyed my hair my natural hair color once and immediately went over the lighter color the next day. This lighter color only brought out that red. So, if you would a brown ombre look with no hint of red (that is to say you previously dyed your hair red) you will have to do so over a few months. You will have to start off with dying your entire head your natural or root color. Allow that color to settle and wash away and then dye your entire head in your natural or root color again. I would probably do this about three times to be safe before I apply the light color. What the light color does it opens up your hair follicles so if you still have a red base to your hair that will come to the forefront. In this instance, I didn’t think of the red color peeking through and just applied the lighter color and this basically undid all the dark brown color I applied the previous night. I do quickly want to add that I’m not a hairdresser. This knowledge is just what I’ve gathered over the years and this is what has happened to me.
Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s explain how I dye my hair at home. I took a ton of pictures, or well the husband took them but I will explain each step fully and just add the picture as a little extra guidance.
Comb out your hair. The last thing you want is to have knots in your hair. If you dye your hair with the knots in, the color will take place in some funky ways. Basically, when you unknot your hair some of the hairs that were in the knot won’t be freshly dyed. I always dye my hair when I know there are no extra products in my hair and it needs a wash soon. What I mean with that is, your hair needs to be product free, no mouse, gel, and spray. I also don’t like to dye my hair if I washed it the night before. I feel like this does extra damage so I will always wait about two days before I dye.
I divide my hair into two sections and find my middle part. I then start right in the middle by concentrating the dye brush on my roots. I do both sides of the part before I would take the back of the brush and section my hair. I basically make a new part just on the side and then toss the hair to the opposite side. I will then place the hair dye on the roots on both sides again before using the back of the brush and making a new part. I will do this until I’m all the way to my ear. I will then go back to the first original middle part and repeat the process on the other side. Make a new part with the back of the brush, dye on both sides, new part, dye on both sides and etc.
Once I have dye on my roots on the front part of my hair I will move on to the back part. This is where things get a little more difficult because you are dying at the back of your head. You will go mostly by feel but you can turn to the side and take a peak after every new part. I have a lot of confidence in my skill so I just do it by feel. I start off by bring the front part to the front and making a clear path at the back. It will basically be a wonky line from ear to ear. I find the part that is completely dye free. The top is the front part of your head that is dyed and the bottom is the start of the back of your head. This is quite difficult to explain. I’m so happy I have pictures. The process is very similar than before. You find your starting point, dye on both sides, make a new part, dye on both sides, make a new part and repeat until you get to your neck. I always make sure to really get all of those baby hairs at the back of the neck and brush them all up. If you get to this point all of your roots are dyed.
I go right back to the beginning and start at the front of my head. I part my hair in the middle and start at the top and slowly work my down to the bottom. One side at a time. I will take small sections at a time and apply dye to the dry hair. I only dip in once and apply lightly before I rub the dye in my hands. If you’re are dying your entire head you will do this with all of the dry hair in your little section but if you’re doing an ombre you will stop in the middle. I will then flip the little hair section to the other side of my head and pick up a new bundle. Apply enough dye to cover everything, rub in and then flip to the side. Pick up a new bundle, apply the dye, rub, flip, new buddle, apply the dye, rub and flip. Repeat till you get to the ears and repeat the process on the other side of the head. It’s very similar than part two.
Once all of your hair is dyed, I will take whatever dye I have left, put it in my hands and massage it into my scalp. I will always make my hair into a pony and put a decent amount of dye at the back to make sure that if I put my hair into a pony everything will be dyed. I just go nuts, really get the leftover dye everywhere. I always allow my hair to sit in a little bun at the top so if you give yourself a little once over when you’re done, you will be able to see if there are any parts that are still dry. I will also make sure to get all of my baby hairs around my ears, forehead, and neck at this moment. Of course, when you are doing an ombre you can’t go too nuts and you definitely won’t apply a large amount of product in your ponytail hair or the bottom part of your hair. I’m struggling so much with explaining everything.
It’s time to add the lighter color and bring your ombre to life!
It’s very similar than step three in the part above but instead of applying the lighter color at the top ends of your hair you concentrate on the ends. Stop roughly in the middle, rub the product in and then take a comb and brush everything in. I simply combed my hair with my fingers. Don’t worry about getting the lighter hair product to high in the hair. What I mean with that is that you don’t want a clear line at the back of the head where the one part is dark brown and the bottom part is light brown or even blond. By combing it a little higher you will have a blended effect. Wait let me try to explain that again. You brush on the product at the bottom part of your hair starting in the middle, rub in the product properly and then comb through your hair with your fingers. The leftover product on your clove will do the blending for you. Only a small amount of the lighter hair product will be on the upper area of your hair. Oh, my this is really hard to explain. Originally, I refused to get hair dye with any bleach in and had hoped that the lightest blond hair dye that is bleach free would lighten my hair enough to get the ombre effect. My hair looked very natural but quite dark and it wasn’t the ombre effect I wanted so I went back a few days later and bought bleach. I repeated the entire step five or ombre process and washed it out after 25 minutes. I wanted the golden brown ombre effect but if I would have left it on for longer, I’m sure I would have walked away with blonde.
Picture 1 with pink pants is without bleach and picture 2 with the blue shirt is with bleach. Blue shirt hair is also before hair mask so the hair looks dry.
If you use any bleach, apply a shit done of hair mask on. I put quite a bit of product on the next day and left it in my hair the entire day. Bleaching and hair dying as a hole dries out your hair. If you want healthy looking hair that feels nice and soft a good hair mask once your done will do it wonders. I will do this twice a week until my hair recovers from the three hair dye sessions.
I used Garnier hair dye as I love the conditioner they supply in the boxes. It is also a brand my mother loves. I bought the L’Oréal Ombre box when I saw that I needed a bleach. My end result does have a bit of the red in. As I mentioned before, I put the lighter color over my newly dyed natural/root color and this just lifted all of that dye from the day before and the red just popped. It basically removed the dye there. I don’t love the red hint but it doesn’t look too bad so I decided to leave it as is. Next time I will just be more cautious about it. Again, I just want to make it clear that I’m not a hairdresser. This is just how I dye my hair at home. I do ask that you limit your expectations. At the end of the day for a full professional look you will have to see a hairdresser. If you’re dying your own hair for the first time just fully prepare yourself for some oopsies. You’re not going to get it 100% perfect on the first try. Best of luck!
Before I leave here is some pictures of my hair, dry and refreshed after a hair mask the night prior.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!