How to Gradient Dye Hair

by Sasha Maggio

Ombre hair dye effects work well on highlighted and lightened hair.

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Gradient-style hair dye has shown popularity with many celebrities sporting this natural look. Typically, the ends appear lighter with darker color gradually blending from roots to the light dyed hair. The proper salon term for the gradient hair dye effect is "ombre hair color," and this is a common alternative style with naturally dark hair previously lightened or highlighted so the ends are already light. With a little practice, the ombre gradient hair dye effect is achievable at home with store-bought hair dye.

Items you will need

  • Hair dye (close to natural dark color)
  • Gloves (included in hair dye package)
  • Towel
  • Hair clips
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Hair-dye brush or toothbrush
Step 1

Put on the gloves and mix the hair dye according to the included instructions. Put a thin line of petroleum jelly along your hairline, ears and neck to prevent hair dye from staining your skin. Wrap the towel around your shoulders to protect your clothes.

Step 2

Separate hair into sections using the hair clips, and leave some lighter pieces in the front for effect. Using the tip of the hair dye applicator bottle, apply hair dye to the roots of hair at each section in a strip of dye product, then use gloved fingers to smooth the strip of hair dye downward about one-third the length of the hair.

Step 3

Wait about 10 minutes, then begin brushing the dyed portion at the tops of each hair section down further with the hair-dye brush or toothbrush. Do not brush all the way to the ends, but brush down about another one-third of the hair length so two-thirds of the hair length has dye.

Step 4

Check the color after about 10 more minutes from the time you finish brushing the dye. If color is ready sooner, you can simply go on to the next step. If not satisfied with the color, wait longer; up to the maximum time listed on the hair dye instructions.

Step 5

Rinse out all of the hair dye from your hair with lukewarm water. Do not apply shampoo until all of the dye is rinsed out and water runs clear off your hair. Shampoo is optional. Apply the conditioner that came with your hair dye and leave on for two to three minutes. Rinse with warm water (not hot water), and style your hair as desired.

Tips

  • For best results, choose a hair dye close to your natural darker hair color.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Sasha Maggio specializes in topics related to psychology, fitness, nutrition, health, medicine, dentistry, and recovery after surgery, as well as cultural topics including Buddhism, Japanese culture, travel, languages and cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Japanese from the University of Hawaii, as well as a Master of Arts in forensic psychology. She is currently pursuing Medical and PhD programs.