You’re oh-so-over your ombre hairstyle. The time has come to do something about it. If you’re a DIY kind of gal, then you’ll love the aspect of getting creative with your new hair color at home.
If it’s time to get rid of the gradient, we’ve put together this tutorial on how to dye ombre hair back to one color.
Before you decide to color your ombre hair with a dye from the drug store, you’ll need to think about whether or not you really want to move on from your ombre. Because once you dye it, the technique will be lost and you’ll have to start all over again.
We’ll break it all down here.
How to Dye Ombre Hair Back to One Color
Since ombres are usually done in softer colors that are meant to blend in with your natural hair color, using a drug store hair dye can do the trick of dying your hair back to one seamless color.
There are two ways that you can do this.
First, you can darken your hair with a color that you like. But you need to be aware that the different chemical reactions may not leave you with the hair color you see on the box.
Your other option is to lighten the shade of your darker strands with bleach.
However, this will cause more damage to the hair. And you may find it difficult to blend in your new lifted shade with the original ombre strands.
Reversing an ombre without professional guidance is a risky business. However, if want to try it yourself with a box dye, colorists advise that you don’t go more than two levels darker on the color chart than your natural hair color.
Otherwise, your hair will end up looking unhealthy and dull. You’ll also need to avoid dying over your ombre with cooler tones because you could end up looking like Beetlejuice… read on to find out why.
Reversing an ombre without professional guidance is a risky business.
The Science Part
If the tips of your ombre are blonde, then there’s something else you really need to consider. Natural hair color contains pigments that are found in the cortex of each strand.
These pigments determine whether you’ll be blonde (yellow pigment), redheaded (red), brown-haired (yellow and red), or black-haired (yellow, red, and blue).
The protocols to dyeing your hair mean that at some point in the process, the hair cortex, or cuticle, will be expanded to allow in the color.
The thing is, blonde hair that has been bleached already has swollen cuticles, which is how the pigment was taken out.
So when you now try to add color to it, depending on how much damage was caused during bleaching, it’s best to stay within the spectrum of two levels of the color scale.
For example, if you were to dye your hair jet black, then blue pigment would mix with the yellow in the hair and you’d be left with a green overtone. Yes, it can happen.
To avoid this hair horror, and achieve a uniform color from your box dye as you remove your ombre, you’ll need to color your hair from the roots to the ends using two different boxes of color.
Along with the applicator bottle and color developer, your box dye kit will come with a set of full instructions that include exposure times.
You’ll need to follow these guidelines if you want to dye your ombre hair back to one color.
Don’t even be tempted by rinsing out the dye before the suggested time or leaving it in longer than is suggested unless you love taking risks.
It’s very possible that your hair will end up quite messed up, and not in a good way.
The Steps to Undo Ombre Hair Color
Step 1: Take a Break
Don’t wash your hair for 48 hours before applying the dyes. These products contain chemicals like ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. They can cause damage to your scalp, so it’s best to have a bit of dead skin buildup to protect your skin from the harsh chemicals.
Step 2: Mix It Up
In one plastic bowl, mix four parts of the darker dye with one part of the lighter color. You will be using this mixture for the top half of your hair.
For the ombre section, mix four parts of the lighter color with one part of the darker dye in a separate bowl. This combination of colors will hopefully add more depth to the color of your hair overall.
Step 3: Section the Hair
Untangle your hair, part it down the middle, then separate again so that you have four sections. Now it’s time to apply the darker mixture. Starting from the roots with a tint brush, work the dye into the hair down to where the ombre begins.
Don’t worry about any overlap, as this will help to blend the two dyes together overall.
Repeat this process for each of the four sections, using clips to keep them from getting in the way.
Step 4: Apply Lighter Dye
Now you’re going to apply the lighter dye mixture from where the ombre starts to the ends for each section.
Again, don’t worry too much about the exact point for the blend to occur.
Step 5: Cap It!
After all your hair has the two dyes applied to it, cover your hair with a shower cap and leave in for the amount of time recommended in the instructions. It will probably be about 40-45 minutes.
Step 6: Rinse
Rinse your hair with warm water until it runs clear, which can take a few minutes. Do not shampoo it out.
Your dye kit will include a post-color treatment that you need to use instead.
If your dye kit doesn’t include this, then using a small amount of leave-in conditioner will also help to moisturize your newly dyed hair.
So now you know how to dye ombre hair back to one color. But if all else fails after using your at-home box dye to cover your ombre, you can always cut it out.
Shaggy bobs and wolf cuts are the latest trend, taking more inspo from the 90s revival, so you can rock a new style with the color that you really want.