Awesome on the Cheap: Red Ombre Hair

*For the sake of transparency: Affiliate links are contained within this post*

My super-fantastic-classy-box-dye-like-a-pro silly face

It’s been so long since I’ve posted a hair update you’d think it’s finally all fallen out from the constant abuse…. But fear not lovely readers, I do in fact still have my hair. Actually, it’s longer than it’s ever been!

*For the sake of transparency: Affiliate links are contained within this post*


I can’t continue to compose this post without first paying homage to the white girl dreads that have been lost to me. I pay homage not only because they were my own, but also entangled in that funky little mess were contributions by some very special women in my life, soul sisters, one of which has returned to the magical ether she must have sprung from in September of last year. I kept her dreads twisted into mine through the time it took for me to say goodbye (Miss you Freedom <3). When I did cut them earlier this month I had only 6 little mini strands hiding out at the base of my head, most folks didn’t even know I had them at all. But I knew at some point I’d have to let them go…. I cried oceans that day.

Now, I’m trying once again to do something a bit more grown up… I know it’s just fine to have colorful hair at any age but, if you want to be taken seriously, there are things you just have to do… Like, have a “normal” hair color.

It really was magical though…

And so I picked up a box of Feria Power Reds R57 (Intense Medium Auburn) from the drugstore. Not my go-to for sure, but this was impulse or nothing!

I wanted something “powerful” to replace my lovely purpley-blue but….The results were less-than-dynamic… Sort of a solid, bland deep burgundy. It was hard for me to appreciate it just because it was so plain!

Sorry for the phone selfie.. I wasn’t feeling very DSLR….

Usually, I’d have marched right back into the store (if there weren’t a solution under my bathroom sink like there usually was) and gotten another dye to completely recolor or bleach it back out again… But in the interest of my ongoing battle to have long hair (while still having nice color), I opted to use the skill of patience I’ve been cultivating over the past few years. I waited… okay… like a week.

Knowing what I know about my hair, that it’s not in the best condition, that it’s not going to hold color on the ends very long due to over-bleaching, that any more bleach and I might as well just light my head aflame now and be done with it… I went through that week of boring hair in a much more graceful way than ever before due to my rigorous patience training. and when it was up I rocked on out to the drugstore (MORE hair dye from the drugstore??!? Like, who AM I anyways?) ignoring everything I know about the quality of goops they carry…. But is spite of (or, perhaps because of) what I know… that drugstore dye came out quite awesomely!

This time I picked up this stuff: L’Oreal Preference (LB02 Extra Light Natural Blonde)
I plotted my technique… Highlights and a red ombre type job was the goal.

First I applied it to VERY thin strands all over the top of my head and throughout my bangs

After 5 minutes I applied it only on the very bottom inch of my hair.

every few minutes I blended it up a bit more.

about 10 minutes in a sprayed my roots with water so they were entirely dampened.

I kept blending the dye higher and adding small amounts of water to my roots, blending the mixtue as much as possible into my hair while keeping the roots dye-free and the ends without water.

after about 30 minutes I was done.

Again with the Phone camera! Sorry guys, I swear Ill knock it off next post hopefully!

I’m psyched with how it came out! It looks “natural”…. or at least “grown up” 😉

What do you guys think, do you like it? Have you ever tried advanced techniques with box dye/at home?

Let me know in the comments!


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