DIY OMBRE: A NO-KIT HOW-TO FOR SUBTLE, SOMBRE COLOUR

High-contrast, obvious dip-dye ombré hair is over. And trashy. To make the distinction, the term is "sombré."
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High-contrast, obvious dip-dye ombré hair is over. And trashy. To make the distinction, the term is "sombré."
lea michele_you can diy ombre without a kit for this look

lea michele -- yes, you can diy ombré – or sombré at home for a look like lea's

High-contrast, obvious dip-dye ombré hair is over. And trashy. There, I said it. But subtle, timeless ombré hair, seamless colour that gently, gradually lightens to sunkissed instead of sun-bleached -- that's not going anywhere. Mother Nature's been doing it forever, but to make the distinction between what ombré became (obvious) and what nature still does (subtle), a new term was coined: sombré. And it turns out sombré hair at home is pretty easy, even without a kit. This new how-to is a little different from our recent DIY ballyage (aka baby ombré), but just as easy. It's DIY sombré hair -- classic ombré hair -- demonstrated by Luis Pacheco, Clairol consulting colourist and owner of Hair on the Avenue in Toronto.

diy sombre: ombre hair à la mother nature

diy sombre_diy soft ombre_minka kelly_shenae grimes

minka kelly and shenae grimes-beech

This particular DIY ombré hair approach prevents that obvious line where dark meets light, and delivers a gentle, more natural-looking colour change. (Yup, sombré.)

diy ombré or sombré hair: key points

1) To DIY sombré, choose a permanent dye three shades lighter than your natural colour.

2) Section by section, backcomb the hair, apply colour to the un-backcombed length, then wrap it in foil. "By backcombing you're removing about half the hair, then you're going to apply your hair colour," says Luis.

3) "Once that colour processes and you wash it, you're going to comb [the hair] back onto [the coloured hair] to diffuse the line." Think about it like the view through a bare window vs the view through a window with a sheer white curtain. The sheer curtain softens the view, reduces the contrast between the colours. (I love that analogy!)

4) The closer to the scalp you get when you backcomb, the higher up you're going to lighten. Keep that in mind for the front of the hair, where you want a bit more lightness to frame the face.

5) If you already colour, using a hair colour to achieve an ombré or sombré effect won't work. Instead, here's how to DIY ombré or sombré colour-treated hair.

DIY ombré on, lovelies. Oh, sorry – sombré!

Want to go lighter overall? Click here for our DIY ballyage -- or balayage -- highlights video with Luis.