Emma’s Ombre Hair Story

Emma chapmanI've had a few readers ask about my hair lately so I thought I'd share how I landed on this ombre look. It all started when I volunteered to be the first participant in Makeover Story. Part of my journey to updating my look was that I got my hair dyed blond. Very blond. It was just something I wanted to try and I thought it would go well with the 1970s vibe that I was wanting to incorporate into my style. I loved being a blonde. I sometimes miss it. What I don't miss is the constant upkeep and expense of being that blonde. I would often let my roots grow a little longer than I probably should have. I just didn't always have time to get my roots freshened up, nor did I enjoying the added cost. So, there's that.Blond hairThen I dyed my hair blue for my sister's wedding. Again, this was just something I wanted to try. And, you know, YOLO or whatever. So myself and Hope (one of the flower girls) got our hair dyed blue, and we were the something blue. I actually really enjoyed having blue hair. It was quite a shock the first night I got it done. I had that moment where I thought, "Oh my gosh! What have I done!" But then I chilled out and realized that looking like an X-Men was pretty cool. Maybe a little weird. But it was something fun I did for my sister's wedding and I don't regret it for a second. But I had never planned on keeping my blue hair for long. So a week or two after the wedding and I started thinking: What am I going to do with my hair now? I didn't really want to go back to being blond, and I wasn't sure I could anyway. There was a good chance the blue wouldn't completely come out, so I thought about darker options.Blue hairI had been intrigued by ombre hair. It was sort of trendy at the time and I wondered if it would look super dated after a few months. And honestly, I had probably already missed the peak of the ombre obsession. I don't really know. It's hard to know what's in and what's not. I'm just not that cool. I liked that it was a darker option but still incorporated some blond (because I love blond) and I thought the gradient effect might just work in my favor since I was coming off crazy blue hair. So I went for it. My hair dresser had to strip the blue out first, this involved some bleaching. Bleaching is not good for your hair. I know. But sometimes its a necessary evil. So that happened. Then she added two different shades of brown, one to the top of my head and one in the middle. The tips we left bleached and just added blond toner. My tips actually still had a few faint shadows of blue left in them for the first couple of weeks.Ombre hairAnd ever since getting ombre hair that first time I've never looked back. It has turned out to be my favorite hair ever and I plan to keep it for a long time. I just got my hair touched up last week and here was the process: The top 1/3 gets 5N mixed with 5A, this is a medium brunette color with an ash undertone. The bottom 1/3 gets lightener added to it, foiled in to keep the colors from blending too much. My hair naturally lightens in the sun so the color does change during the months in between salon appointments. That's right, I said months. I get my hair freshened up 3-4 times a year, making it a super low maintenance and affordable hair color. Not only does it suit my busy lifestyle (and cheap disposition) but I also love how it looks. I love the beachy, laid-back look of it left long with a few casual curls. I also love how when you braid it all sorts of color gradients shine through. I have multi colored hair, and I love it.Two toned hairFor me, maintaining my hair in between salon appointments is super simple. I use a brunette shampoo on the top 2/3 of my hair and a blonde conditioner for the tips. Using the blonde conditioner, couple with the fact that my hair naturally lightens in the sun over time, allows me to skip bleaching the tips as it grows out. And that's how it works for me. Everybody's hair is different so if you are planning to go ombre I highly recommended having it professionally done the first time. But you do what you like. It's just hair. Have fun! xo. Emma

  • I love it! I have wanted to do something similar for a long, long time, but I’m not sure I could pull it off.

    -Ashley
    abingdonavenue.blogspot.com

  • wow 🙂 I love your blue hair and also your ombrehair
    I’m thinking of doing a ombreloock to…but not blonde,maybe blue 😀

  • I absolutely love all of the hair style tips and tutorials that you all post! I alternate between long and short hair. As it is currently a messy pixie cut I can only dream about the day it is long enough to do some of these fun styles with. I was wondering if you would consider doing a hair blog on different ways to style short hair. Thanks for an amazing site!

  • What a perfectly timed post! This is my next planned die, so Emma, I hope you don’t mind but I saved your pic for inspiration, to show my hair dresser! I’m just waiting for it to grown out a little more!

  • Very helpful. I just chopped all my hair in to a pixie cut after having it red for several months. Not sure what to do next but I love your hair. Will be saving this!

    Kacie

  • Ooohhh the blue hair is amazing! I love the ombre hair on you too, glad you found the hair colour you love and want to keep. I’ve been a redhead for the past two and a half years and have no intention to change it in the near future. I love it so much.

    x
    Sabrina
    http://apixiesviewonfashion.com

  • Your timing is impeccable because I have been planning on doing exactly this. I want something that is affordable to maintain. Thanks for all your tips!

  • Dude. The ombre hair style looks great on you. Thanks for being an inspiration as I try to figure out my personal style!

  • I really love the shade of blue you had. It’s amazing and yet chic! And I love your ombré look, as you said, very laidback and easy. <3

  • I have been craving ombre hair for a while! I think I’m gunna take the ombre leap before Christmastime, hopefully it will still be “in” then, if not, oh well!

    Stephanie
    owlsinmyheart.blogspot.com

  • I think I say this on all your posts but I am absolutely in love with your ombre hair!
    I’m a red head and recently gave myself a bit of a blonde dip dye which I love! It makes me look like a fox haha!

    Sarah

  • I ended up with ombre hair by accident (the underneath of my hair used to be dyed purple, but from lack of funds I’ve let it grow out to blonde). I love that just letting my hair grow out ended up on trend anyway hahahah! You look gorgeous any way you have your hair, but the ombre looks especially fun on you!!

  • I love your blue hair…but I really love brunettes…

    And Now I wanna say: I really – really love your blog. For me it’s like being-at-home-and-feeling-comfortable!

    xo from Berlin! 😉

  • I’ve been thinking about doing an ombre look for my hair for a while now. I’m naturally a very dark blonde, but I tend to prefer either darker or lighter hair than I have naturally. I think it would be cool to freshen up my look by leaving my hair mostly natural, but bleaching the ends to get that gradation of color. We’ll see how it goes! Thanks for sharing. – Alison { aliology.com }

  • I’ve been thinking about trying this out. I think it looks great, especially if the hair is wavy and a bit curly (which mine naturally is).

    I DO love you as a blue, though! It was such a gorgeous shade.

  • I love your hair!! I am a natural blonde, but I am definitely considering a switch!

  • SOOO funny! I so sent my hair dress/bestie a link to your blog yesterday asking her if she could/would do my hair like yours. I have been a blonde my whole like with the exception of right before my 30th birthday I wnet brunette and hated it. Well not hated so much as didnt feel like myself and coupled with just turning 30 it made me depressed! so i painfully ( bleaching is painful) went back to blond. Thanks for sharing the process, I think im going to do for it! Im feeling i need to add a spark to my look!

  • I love it. I had my hair dyed ombré a few months ago although it’s not as dramatic as yours. I wouldn’t mind going a little lighter on the tips next time though. One of my favorite things about ombré is that there’s so many variations you can have !

  • I’ve always wanted to try the ombre trend, but for now I will live vicariously through you. Thanks for this lovely post!

  • i have felt the same way about my hair ever since i went with this style a good while back. i tried dying it back all one color once since then and instantly did not feel like myself, and had to go back. ive never felt so at home with a hair color before. love it on you emma!

  • I got it done in April, and didn’t realise how popular it is! I just took in a photo I saw. I just to have wild coloured hair as a teenager and I thought this would be a good way to recapture some rebelliousness while not going over board.

  • I recently moved back to the Springfield area after living overseas and I cannot find anyone to trust with my hair. I have loved your hair for a while now – would you mind sharing where you go (and who you go to)?

  • I have been having the same conumdrum, is it too late to do ombre?? I think… probably not! It looks great on you, any way.

  • How would this look on curly hair? I’m always wondering about the hair ideas on here because I have chest length-super-curly hair. Thanks!

  • Now its time for Elsies Hair story!!
    Ombre=so pretty! Especially on Emma!

  • I have never dyed my hair before, and I’m in that phase of my life where I really want to do something different! Ombre looks like a great way to change it up, without having to go to the salon constantly. Thanks so much for sharing your ombre experience, it’s inspiring for girls like me who hate high up-keep!

  • The last shot of the four is so beautiful…I love to see that ombre effect in full force! I think ombre suits you so well because it is the best of both worlds! You look lovely with the darker around your face and eyes-but then you have the lightness and energy that the blonde is bringing. If my hair was longer (and my hubby was up for it) I would be bringing one of these photos to my colorist next week….sigh….guess I will just keep admiring yours via internet:)

    http://nateandabbyclark.blogspot.com/

  • Wow! Is that what it’s called? ahhaa! I am so behind. Your hairstyle actually makes me think of a beautiful fire!

  • I love this!! 🙂 Your hair is gorgeous. I actually just got my hair done a lil ombre today, and a few days ago I had the ‘am I just waaay behind the times with this??’, and then realized it didn’t matter – hah. I am totally in love and feel like I’ll be keeping my hair like this for a looong time!

  • Dude. I could never do that to my hair, it would totally fall out! Been a couple of years since I colored it at all. The look suits you 🙂

  • i’ve been thinking about going ombre, it’s such a fun trend!
    it looks amazing on you, but i must say – the blue is pretty awesome as well!
    thanks for sharing 🙂
    xo, cheyenne

  • I love your hair now so so much (although.. blue was pretty cool also! :D). The colors suit you really well. I’ve always loved the Ombre trend and you picked it up perfectly ♥.

  • Your hair looks really really nice and as soon as my hair is longer I want to go ombre as well. The only bad thing (or good thing) is that my hair is super straight and I have the fear that ombré + straight will look awkward. I also can´t go for this beachy “just came out of the water” hairdo because my hair is quite heavy and getting it wavy would take hours. Therefore it would mean the world to me if you could show me a picture of your hair when it´s straight. I you never straighten your hair then it´s ok but maybe you even already have such a pic? I´d would love to hear what you think on my problem, too 🙂
    xx

  • I love that you said “its just Hair”
    so true , I am a hairdresser , so I think its fab that
    you try all these different colours
    Everyone should just go for it !

  • I didn’t even realize you had dyed your hair to ombré, I just thought it was growing out from being blonde! My hair looked almost,identical to your when I was about 18 and it was growing out from when I had dyed it ultra blonde.

  • The thing I like about the ombre trend is that it looks natural– like your hair is gently growing out of summer blonde. That said, the blue did look very fetching on you!

  • My daughter just had this done and she loves it! It took 3 rounds at the stylist, thankfully she lives 2 doors away:)

  • “But you do what you like. It’s just hair.”

    I hope everyone really reads this bit. I think people often forget that it’ll grow back, life’s too short to worry so much about hair! You can always wear a hat lol

  • The fact you died your hair blue is amazing, that is such a bold and wonderful move for your sister. And as if people don’t want to look like xmen.
    I’ve always loved the ombre look and yours in no exception.

  • i love love love your hair! i have been wanting to go ombre, but my stylist (who’s also my bff) thinks my hair is a little fried for bleach on the tips :-/ i’ll have to wait a little bit to give this look a try. your’s looks fantastic though!

  • Pretty! I was actually relieved when everyone started on the whole ombre thing. I thought, finally.. they all catch up! Because ever since I started dying my hair, it’s always one version or another of the now faddy ombre hair because I leave it waaaay too long between dye jobs (boxed). So if anyone wants to know a super natural, easy peasy as HECK way to get the ombre look.. just get lazy!

  • i loved the blue. Very cool, but I can understand that you didn’t want tot keep it very long. That ombre hair looks good on you too. I think you can almost wear every haircolor with your pretty face!

  • Hi Emma,
    I think you are better with your present hair, because very blonde hair makes you too pale. But I must admit that blue hair were great on you 😀

    Claudia

  • I rarely get my haircut (once every few years) or dye it, but I think I may just have to get on this trend Emma! It looks beautiful on you.
    Also admire your bravery for going blue! You look like a rockstar with your blue hair in photos hehe.
    Laura xo

    http://www.thecupthief.wordpress.com

  • I can’t believe this post actually contained the word “YOLO” 😀 Thanks for sharing your story! I love your ombre hair!

  • I love how it looks on you. It totally suits your personality. I have been slowly doing it more due to lack of money (to keep up my blonde hair) and lack of time. I am loving it so far.

  • The first time I saw ombre hair was on you blog. I really love how it looks on you, and if I ever want to dye my hair I’ll consider this as an option.

  • Hi! I’m new to your blog, and to blogging in general, and I have to say that yours is the most impressive one I have come across so far! I also really want ombre hair but I stupidly cut my hair short a few months ago! Waiting for it to grow back 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Love Lucy x

    http://lucyvictoriajackson.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I actually really like this way better than the blonde. It really suits you. Very lovely 🙂

    xo
    Angie
    sundaybelle.com

  • If you ever want to go back to blond but are worried about the upkeep, you should know that you can TOTALLY do your roots yourself! I had no experience with DIY hair-dye, except for some dabbling with Manic Panic in high school, so I was a little bit nervous the first time I did it. But I was kind of shocked at how easy and inexpensive it is. For less than $10 I re-dye my roots once a month or so with supplies from Sally Beauty, and it looks great (if I do say so myself). I think there is a conspiracy to convince women that dyeing their hair is some kind of magical process that can only be done in a salon. Especially for a seasoned DIY-er like you, it should be no problem 🙂

  • I don’t really get the whole ombre hair-obsession, to me it doesn’t seem very new or trendy but what do I know? 😀 You look great with your current hairstyle.

  • This really looks great on you. I’ve been wanting to do the ombre look for awhile now, just need to wait until November comes along 🙂

  • It was fun reading about your journey to ombre, Emma. I love my ombre hair, it’s fun having the blonde but not worrying about the regrowth. When I was getting mine done my hairdresser joked that it was funny that people now put regrowth in their hair! 🙂

  • your hair is amazing and ive been quite tempted to have ombre hair myself. it was nice to see that you went to a hairdresser as alot of blogs have the girls saying ‘its super easy i did it at home, you can do it to blah blah’ which usually ends up in disaster. thanks for your great post 🙂