Street-style superstars from all over were rocking ombre hair at this year’s Coachella, the prelude to long summer days. With stunning celebs like Leighton Meester showing her best good-girl-gone-ombre at the MTV Movie Awards, and Rachel Bilson still endorsing ombre, it’s safe to bet that this low-maintenance colour choice is going to be a high-style option going forward.
If you’ve been living in a cave for the last year, ombre incorporates light coloured pieces on the lower half of your mane and is derived from the French word which literally means ‘shadow’ or ‘in shade’. Think of ombre as dipping your hair into lighter colour, creating a dark to light effect. Brunettes and blondes alike can get away with a highlighted look that is natural, and much like you spent your winter on a beach in a bikini instead of trying to warm up in your parka. Although we’ve seen some extreme cases of ombre-fever (read: Lady Gaga and Leah Miller), we think a soft, subtle colour transition from root to tip is classic pretty and here for good.
Tips for top-notch ombre
Colour-safe shampoo and conditioner for long-lasting colour, and a once a week mask to strengthen hair. We like Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask for an affordable, non-greasy treatment.
This colour should be gradual, starting with your natural colour at the roots (we said low-maintenance, and we mean it!) and slowly getting lighter. Take pictures with you to your stylist of the colour you crave so that they have the perfect guideline for what you’re after.
Gloss treatments are a great idea every few weeks to keep colour shiny, healthy, and long-term. Trust us: you’ll want to keep this hair forever.
Ombre DIY? It CAN be done. This writer got her dark brown tresses lightened using a Clairol Nice N’Easy Highlighting kit, which is about $10-$16. Stay away from bleaching kits, which can be harsh on fragile ends and turn you orange rather than ombre. This is NOT the time to skip a strand test!
Separate your hair into small and short sections, keeping them separated using elastics or clips. You’ll need at least four sections, depending on the thickness of your hair. Thoroughly coat the ends (3-5 inches) in your mixture. Leave on for the time determined in your strand test. Remove your clips/elastics, and put more of the mixture another 1-2 inches above the sections that are already covered in the mixture. Don’t be afraid to vary this, as it will look more naturally grown-out. Leave on for another 10-15 minutes, and proceed with the rinsing process.