How to Get Red Ombré Hair at Home

All Things Hair | 31 August 2016

Get killer hair with the ultimate traffic-stopping hue. 

Point blank, we love ombré hair. And we’re not the only ones: With looks popping up on celebs, in magazines and out in the everyday, this is definitely a bandwagon we’re happy to hop on to. Long story short, ombré locks—known for having traditionally darker roots that gradually become lighter towards the ends—give a subtle sex appeal to whoever wears them. Despite many people opting for more natural hues, red ombré hair is making its way into the scene as a fan favorite.

Whether you’re nervous about an all-over drastic dye job, are looking to disguise your damaged ends or simply think that the brighter, the better, red ombré hair is the perfect go-to for your next vivid ‘do. Up or down, chopped or flowing, braids or waves—keep reading to find out how to set the stage for your new favorite hairstyle with our quick D.I.Y. red ombré dye guide.

How to D.I.Y. Red Ombré Hair

long red ombré hair
A black cherry hue that lightens to bright crimson at the tips is the typical look of red ombré locks.

Step 1: Detangle.

Before you begin your D.I.Y. ombré, make sure that your hair is detangled because the smoother your locks, the better the application will turn out. We like washing with a moisturizing system such as TRESemmé Vitamin E Moisture Rich Shampoo and Vitamin E Moisture Rich Conditioner, then following up with Dove Quench Absolute Leave-In Detangler to soften and remove any knots.

Step 2: Prep your tools.

Slip on a bath robe or an old shirt to protect your regular clothes from the hair dye.

Step 3: Comb and rough-dry hair.

Using a blowdryer, rough-dry hair using your fingers or a detangler brush till damp (or 90 percent dry). Comb your hair into sections to make the dye job more manageable.

Step 4: Segment your sections.

Using a few rubber hair ties (you can snip them off once done), segment your sections as if creating a bubble ponytail: Tie on an elastic every couple of inches throughout the length of the section.

Step 5: Start from the bottom, or start bleaching.

A good place to start your red ombré hair is about three inches from the tips of your strands. If you have longer hair, starting around the jawline should do the trick. (Note: If your base color isn’t already lifted, you might have to bleach your ends first to strip your hair of any prior dyes or pigments.)

Step 6: Apply red dye to the ends.

If you want a more subtle look, brush the dye on vertically, going slightly past the bottom-most elastic for a more natural line. For a starker, more contrasted look, apply dye in horizontal strokes onto hair that’s been fanned out.

Step 7: Foil it.

Once you finish applying the dye, wrap your hair in foil to let the color set, then repeat on all sections. Remember to check your older foils periodically as you move across all sections, as they can set before you’re even done with the dye process.

Step 8: Do a time check.

Depending on how bold you want to go, you can leave the dye in for longer, but we recommend leaving the red dye to set for at least 20 minutes, and follow it up every so often with a little peek to see how the color is coming out. Once your strand test appears as the hue you’re aiming for, it’s time to remove your foils.

Step 9: Snip off your hair elastics.

If you did the bubble-pony trick, carefully cut off your elastics. If needed, you can lightly smudge your new red ombré hair color with your fingers to remove any telltale demarcation.

Step 10: Rinse and condition.

Using tepid water, rinse your hair and follow up with a color-safe system, such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Shampoo and Color Assure Conditioner, to nourish your freshly treated locks.

Love your ombré look, but need some inspo on how to style it for the upcoming season? Check out our article How to Transition Your Summer Ombré Hair for Fall. 

Include an "@" in email address
You have now subscribed to the All Things Hair newsletter.