DIY Ombre Main

Do you love the look of ombré hair but haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet? Well, with summer nearly here you can finally get the ombré you’ve always wanted without dishing out the dough or using harsh chemicals. All you need is a few kitchen ingredients and the sun on your side and you’ll be sporting gorgeous ombré hair in no time.

Lemon is acidic and when combined with sunshine can lift hair colour naturally; the only concern is that it can leave hair feeling dry. Surprisingly, raw honey has moisturizing properties and naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide. By combining these two common ingredients, lemon and honey can lighten your hair while protecting it from excessive moisture loss.

What you’ll need:

  • A spray bottle (you can pick one up at most dollar stores)
  • The juice of two to three lemons (depending on the length of your hair)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ½ cup water (distilled is best)
  • Mix ingredients together and let the concoction sit for half an hour. This allows the natural hydrogen peroxide to activate.

What to do:

  1. Wash hair with silicone-free shampoo and towel-dry (silicone can coat strands and prevent the mixture from "taking").
  2. Shake the spray bottle to mix.
  3. Generously spray ends with mixture. It’s up to you how ombréd you want your hair. For very subtle ombré just spray a couple of inches up, for a more noticeable effect, spray lower half of the length of your hair.
  4. If you want to attempt the sombré look use a toothbrush to apply the mixture to the strands that frame your face (just make sure not to get the mixture in or around your eyes).
  5. Be careful not to get any of the mixture on your skin–it can accelerate burning when in the sun. Put a towel or sarong over your shoulders for extra protection.
  6. Now it’s time to go outside, but not before you apply SPF 30 on exposed skin.
  7. Sit in the sun and read your favourite beauty blog for 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Wash mixture out of your hair and follow with a hydrating treatment, moisture mask or leave-in conditioner.
  9. Style as normal.

Lightening your hair naturally is a cinch, you just need to remember a few guidelines.

1. You can never fully predict the outcome–darker brown hair may go reddish-orange and black hair might not see much change at all. It’s best to test a small strand first to be sure.

2. This is a gradual process–you’ll need to repeat the process over a few days or weeks to start seeing a change.

3. Even though you’re using natural ingredients, it’s still quite drying and can cause split ends so it’s important to use a really good hydrating treatment after each session.

4. Remember, the effects are permanent.

If you want an auburn or chestnut red ombré, try adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the mix or substitute the water for rhubarb water (boil fresh rhubarb stems, strain and cool).

What natural hair lightening techniques have you tried? We’d love to hear your tips. Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

Louise-Griew-Headshot-2Louise Griew is a Toronto-born makeup artist and writer whose second home is Melbourne, Australia. When she’s not writing or making people look pretty, she can be found travelling, trying out the latest spa treatment or lounging in the sunshine with a good book. Read her posts every Tuesday and Friday on and for beauty and travel tips follow her on Twitter @LouiseGriew.

Leighton Meester image: Getty images