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

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