Ombre hair may not be the go-to over balayage, but it's still a strong look on anyone
Ombre hair came onto the style scene a few years ago and after raising some eyebrows, was thoroughly accepted by the A-list.
But no-one could have known that it would sit on the top of the hair colour throne for so long – only recently knocked off the top spot by balayage.
As lengths du jour come and go, ombre dyeing is a constant. Gracing almost every celebrity at some point, from Beyoncé to Blake Lively, it's still ranked as a seriously glam do in Hollywood.
And, while dip dye hairstyles leave an obvious edgy line, ombre hair is a much more subtle option. Think naturally sun-kissed, the kind of hair colour technique that looks as though your summer ends have grown out gradually.
As well as allowing you to experiment with different colours, it adds depth and definition to curled, waved and tousled styles; if you ever need to add volume to a bob, this technique works wonders. A trick Alexa Chung – who pioneered the very trend – employs.
How to do ombre hair
The good thing about this trend being so popular is that most salons now cater for the look. If you have time to visit your hairdresser, take a few images of what you want to achieve. This will show them whether you want your ombre ends to stop quite low down, or work their way up towards your roots.
Ombre hair dye
If you're happy with a DIY job, invest in the right tools and hair dye for ombre hair. First, choose your colour. Ombre doesn't just have to be blonde to brown, it can be pink, blue, purple, even green. Just remember, if you want to add a colour other than a lighter version of your natural colour, you'll have to bleach the ends. Unless you have blonde hair.
Next, decide where you want the fade to stop. Then, brush your hair thoroughly, so there are no knots. This will ensure that your hair colour is even. Once your hair is prepped, follow the direction from your hair dye. L'Oreal Paris Preference Hair Dye, £7.99, is a great one for beginners because it comes with everything you need for a professional look.
If you only have a regular home hair dye at hand, use a paddle brush to apply it. Simply saturate the top half of your paddle brush with your hair dye and then carefully brushes through the ends of the hair. This will give you a natural highlight effect.
Ombre hair extensions
If you want to test whether you'll suit ombre hair or not, try extensions. Paul Hair World stocks a great selection of human hair extensions in all shades. And because they're made from human hair, you can wash and style as you would your own. All you nede to do is choose your extension colour and then clip them into your natural hair. To make it look natural, use them sporadically.
Now that you know how to do ombre hair on your own, check out our favourite celebrity ombre hairstyles.
They're enough to make you get down to your favourite salon for an ombre job, stat...
Blake is pictured here at her first film since the birth of her daughter James. Worn in a relaxed wave, her ombre hair looks top notch.
Alexa Chung is the original ombre queen. She championed blonde tips way back in 2009 with this much sought after medium style that only gained popularity over the last few years.
Dakota Johnson's blunt straight cut showed off her ombre tips to full effect.
Beyoncé has been experimenting with ombre locks for years, with her long voluminous 'dos (when she's gone for a more usual lighter to darker look).
Emily Blunt's loose and tousled ombre look is one we're taking straight to the salon.
Jessical Biel has warmed up her dark blonde hair with ombre toning for years. Her long sleek hair is almost brown at the roots, merging into a honey blonde with no obvious dye line.
Kate Beckinsale has experimented with her fair share of blonde and brown hairstyles, as well as everything in between, but this ombre look is our favourite by far. It's perfect as she can keep her natural colour at the roots where it matters, and experiment with other colours at the tips.
Ciara proves that ombre dyeing isn't just for long-haired girls. Her honey blonde hair suits her complexion perfectly but it would be too much for an all-over colour, as would the dark tone at the roots.
Kim Kardashian's blonde phase featured this gorgeous blonde dip-dye to contrast her former characteristically-Kardashian deep dark tresses.
Sofia Vergara's long locks used to be all-over brown, but it was when she started experimenting with multi-tonal blonde ombre that she really started hitting the 'best hair' lists. The Modern Family star's dye job enhances the curly styles she favours for red carpet 'dos.
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Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.
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