Fashion statement of 2014: DIY sombré hair!

One of the good things about being in Edinburgh is the lack of interest and awareness of what’s going on in Hollywood. I was getting tired of my innate curiosity to know what celebrities were getting up to and all the minute details of their lives. They’re human after all and as much as we’re fascinated with what the wealthier (and more glamorous) people live, they should still be given the respect and privacy we would expect from our neighbours and members of the public. The only downside is, I miss out on new styles and fashion that might be of interest. The ombré hair trend various celebrities were sporting in 2012 at various events was one of these things I missed out on.

Imagine my surprise when I came across an article in Glamour magazine about the sombré hair trend for 2014, the new softer ombré. I knew my hair needed a bit of a change, I’ve been getting layers in my hair which hasn’t been dyed in 10 years and I was looking for something fun. Sombre was just the thing I needed!

Sombré dark hair. Source: VP Fashion

Maggie Q. Source: VP Fashion

Sandra Bullock. Source: Glamour magazine

Kate Beckinsale. Source: Glamour magazine

After looking at various photos of celebrities’ sombré styles, I knew I wanted something that was definitely gradual and nothing too dramatic. With black hair, I didn’t want bleached ends and feel that something natural, like a chestnut brown colour, would do nicely. When I came across Mila’s sombré hair, I knew that would be the one I wanted.

Mila Kunis. Source: Glamour magazine

It’s been 5 months since I last had my hair cut with a Groupon voucher for a hairdresser nearby and my fringe ends up getting long quite quickly so I had been looking around at different hairdressers in Edinburgh to see if I could find one who could do a decent sombré/dip dye job while also giving my hair a quick cut.

My hair at the moment

I’m not one to balk at paying decent money for things that are for a good cause and is durable (like my ShopBop + Born Free tote), but the quotes I was getting for a cut and dip dye was estimated to be between £70-100! I had found a salon I was set to get it done at because 1) they had posted a photo of another customer who had their hair dip dyed sombré at the salon, and 2) they came highly recommended by some friends. The only issue I had was another blogger had previously posted in 2013 that she had the same service I want for £62.70…only because she was a student and had a Snapfax for the deal, original price would have been £104.50.

I decided against spending so much money on a service that needs to be refreshed any time I decide to cut my hair or it fades in colour, so found a few tutorials that you can follow if you want to DIY your hair sombre (like here, here and here). When I was looking for suitable dyes to do this myself though, I came across the L’Oreal Préférence Wild Ombrés kit which was exactly what I needed.

L’Oreal Préférence Wild Ombrés No 1 Dip Dye Hair Kit Light Brown to Dark Brown, £6.49 from Boots

You can choose between dark to light brown, medium brown to blonde, or dark to light blonde. I stuck with kit #1 because it was more suited to my black hair and after reading the reviews, I knew the end colour would be a light brown which was exactly what I wanted it to look in the end. I only wanted it to get to a lighter brown colour for a more natural look. I gave my fringe a quick trim and got started on following the instructions and brushed the peroxide mixture onto the ends of my hair. I started around halfway down the length of my hair and focused on getting most of the dye mixture onto the end 2/3 length towards the tips so the colour was stronger. I brushed a little bit of dye between the halfway and 2/3 sections occasionally so the colour blended in for a more graduated effect.

I haven’t dyed my hair in 10 years and it takes on colour quite well, but I was worried that the colour wouldn’t show up too well so at the OH’s advice, I left the colour on for slightly longer (about 15 minutes more) than the instructions recommended (although I would suggest if you go ahead with this to proceed with caution and make an informed decision based on the condition of your hair). The end result turned out quite well and I’m glad I decided to take the plunge for DIY sombré hair, not only because my wallet would thank me but I’m happier that my own handiwork turned out well.

The end result: my DIY sombre hair

At first when the dye was setting in, it seemed like my hair was getting quite light, almost honey brown, but I wasn’t too sure how even the colour was brushed on so I had the OH to have a look and spread the colour across the ends a bit more evenly. The OH was worried that one side was going to be lighter than the other based on the way the colour has dried, and I wasn’t too sure whether it was light enough because it was still quite dark when I washed the dye out. I knew hair is a darker colour when washed so I quickly towel dried my hair and gave it a quick brush and blow dry. Luckily the colour came out well and I’m pleased with how natural the bottom part looks and the gradual sombre effect has been achieved, even though the kit was for ombré hair.

The L’Oreal Préférence Wild Ombrés kit is really easy to use. For people with lighter brown hair, the ombré effect would most likely be as blonde/bleached as the model on the box, but with natural black hair like mine, leaving it on for an hour gives you the natural light brown coloured look. Depending on how you like it though, if you have naturally dark hair and you want lighter coloured ends, you could always choose kit #2 for a more bleached/lighter ombré look.

Trying to achieve the DIY sombré look might not be for everyone, so I would recommend going to a professional hairdresser for a more polished and professional job. But for those who want to take a chance on DIY sombré, I would definitely recommend anyone who wants to try the sombre look at home get this kit!

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