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Ombre hair colour thoughts techniques!

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Ombre hair colour thoughts techniques!

This is a re post of a blog from 2011 Maybe its time to move on from Ombre its not new any more! It has progressed a little with the introduction of freehand Balayage techniques, when it first started out as a technique it was innovative and inspiring it certainly has promoted an increase in techniques and services being offered in the salon, some good some not so good, as a look style and technique it will always now be associated with the 2010 and on into today, as will the the blunt disconnected Bob a craze stared off by Victoria Beckham way back great at the time.

Fashion style creative should not stand still and so the wheels of change and re invention run on this should be the case with Ombre it never was new it was re invention.

Whats going to be next new exciting challenging: Its time to move on from ” Ombre looks ” !! or is it ?



Ombre Colour a technique of going from dark to light. When I first wrote or shared some thoughts on this topic look technique. It was 2010 lots has changed and happened since then! It was a look that had evolved really from the growing our of all over colour or to many highlights built up over time one that.Now some years later it is a look that stands alone as its its no longer just a gap filler or  stepping stone to change its a requested Look ! Evolution I like that.

Here is what I wrote on the topic when it first came to our attention as stylists.

How can one create this look? Well firstly I have to state it is dependent on the history of the hair that is being considered for this look.  It’s back to that consultation or being honest with yourself if doing it as a home project. Their are many formulations that one can explore and experiment with but one has to consider both target colour and effect required, the tone and shade being used.

Here is a link to The article is entitled: “Your Complete Ombre Hair Guide: 53 Facts & Ideas for 2018” 53 Ombre hair facts 


Using an example of level 6 Natural Dark Blonde. One with previous colour history. One with virgin un coloured or never processed hair.

The Look tends to be a graduated hair cut works well on longer hair.

In the event of previously coloured hair one would expect to see light ends dark roots, for the sake of this lets not go to complicated. So we will presume grown out Highlights and low lights. This look really does create a grwon out look going from darker to lighter. One formulation that will take care of any unwanted shade or pigment from previous colour would be to highlight maybe slightly thicker than finer.

I would suggest using on our pre-coloured hair  three different levels of Bleach decolouriser fading them into each other. How? You may ask. Well weave out your highlights to desired thickness having mixed three bowls of bleach decoluriser.

One with 10 volume peroxide  1part powder to 2parts peroxide normally makes good consistency but follow directions.

2nd bowl  20 volume as above mix

3rd Bowl 30 volume  as above mix

technical colour wheel

I would advise using different coloured bowls or mark each one so not to use wrong formulation. Ready to go. Weave your streak place on foil, easy mesh, paper, what ever you use. Now paste the 10 volume formulation on the roots and as far out as you like, next paste the 20 vol formulation on the mid lengths again as far as you want. Finally 20 vol on the ends.

shades tone

You have to keep an eye on this as it lifts. You may have to pull some out before your finished, but that’s ok. Once all done you have to decide on the tone that you want to blend them to. Two thing are key to this. Don’t do the whole head. Make sure that the lift you get is even down each section and all sections have the same lift. Think about the pigment you have exposed think about the tone you want use the colour wheel.

shade and tone pigment

Now lets look at virgin hair I don’t think in this instance one would need to use bleach but again personal choice here is my choice and suggestion. Remember we are sating of with a level 6 natural dark blonde. Things we have to consider when choosing  our formulation. What pigment will come in to play How will it effect our choice of colour.

Using the same highlighting technique as above. Lets play with both shade and lift.

My choice would be 8A or 9A .why? Well it’s an Ash base so will control any unwanted warmth that being [ orange ] Lets use 10 volume on the roots this will lift one level but will expose warmth even with one level of lift. Mid section 20 volume two levels of lift. Ends 30 volume on the ends. Remember your timing and your formulations.

You could use 20. 30, 40, if you want it lighter. But more lift will bring out more orange. You can also slightly over lap each shade, because although different levels of peroxide all in the same colour camp so no banding.

ombre with a tinge

Take you time think through both. Timing, application, formulation, use the tools available to you. Colour chart, colour wheel. Have some creative fun both with the cut and the colouring technique. You too could look like a movie star with this technique that allows for stylish casual sophistication. You can practice achieving the shades colours and looks you want on wefts of hair or keep long hair when the opportunity arrises from that make over !


Now here we are some years later when clients are asking for the dipped look those in some cases dramatic shades bright contrasted looks natural roots dark ends maybe black maybe dark blue or purple. We still have to consider the history and the condition of the hair. We have to consider the pigment we might expose and how it will effect the look the shade and tone  we want to create the contrast we are looking for that will add that extra dimension. This is hands on artistic colouring yet it still rely’s on our understanding of hair colour and chemistry !



This is great way to play with colour add dimension and texture to any look whilst having fun It also allows our clients to be adventurous without having major issues of re growth and rest maintenance,Unless they want to keep it up .The sky is the limit and its fun !



The ‘Three R’s’ 
”Reputation. Recommendation. Retention”. 
It’s not built on that constant looking for new clients it’s looking after what you have! It’s investing in your self and your business and those around you.


This journey, this career, is wonderful – challenging, inspiring, and yes, hard work.

Our industry is in constant change and is sometimes criticised. For lacking vision in some areas. However there is an ever growing body of professionals. That have a firm commitment to our industry, they have a passion for change, to raise standards through education and sharing. Leadership, education and team incentives.Will over time and with commitment give any individual that ability to do exceptional work and to be more creative. Leadership and management help create an amazing work environment for all concerned. So key for success for all concerned.
This journey. This career, is wonderful – Challenging. Inspiring and yes can and will be hard work. but the rewards are worth all the effort.
Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts with you today.These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with. Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. invest in ones /your self 

Are you driver or passenger !

 There are no guarantees in life and ones career and career choice is no different thing happen and its how we deal with them that defines us. Jobs change relationships come and go the one thing that remains after training is our skill both hands on creative and the ones we learn about people and communication about caring about being a team player. Constantly developing new skills staying current is so very important.

I also think that we need to always look at the WhyAsk the question Why are we in business whats it for? OrWhy do we want to go into to business what is success? Why do I suggest this I think by asking and exploring the why we get to the motive behind why we want to be in business what is true success. Why the will also help us to understand our true values this in turn helps us to follow the path to the success we want  and desire. It will help us to surround ourselves with the right team those who share our values and vision.


Remember. Salon success. Stylist success. Business success are all linked together it’s Team success. Its never about any destination only ever about a journey taking the right people on that journey makes it enjoyable maybe even fun!

Mike B2MR

The salon and the S word now available in book and e book format for links to purchase and reviews Click here or on the image.


The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

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