The Great Hair Experiment: DIY haircut + L'Oreal Wild Ombre hair color

April 22, 2013

After hemming and hawing over my hair for quite some time now, I finally took the plunge on Sunday and did a whole at-home cut and color. First and foremost, not only am I not a professional (yikes!), but I had no idea what I was doing. So here's how I tackled this challenge and how it turned out...

Since I had cut my bangs at home many times, I was actually less nervous about the cut until the morning of when I realized I had absolutely no idea how to go about an entire haircut. True to form, the great wealth of knowledge that is the internet offered some suggestions. I found this nice little tutorial that seemed simple enough... that is, until I started cutting. Seeing as I also decided to cut my hair dry for fear of cutting off more than I intended, it meant chopping through a ponytail full of half my hair - and I have a lot of hair. I quickly started to see how this would be much easier when wet, but I had started down this road and was now committed (in case you were wondering, I was using proper hair-cuttings scissors, so the issue was clearly my hair).

I managed to get through the ponytails as even as I could, but had to enlist my husband's help evening out the back (to avoid that v-shape). I was so nervous, I cut little by little until I was just too scared to cut anymore and made the whole process an hour longer than it needed to be. It's probably a touch longer than what I was shooting for, but better that than too short. My first finger still bears the blister and bruising from all this effort with the scissors, but hey, I didn't have to shell out €100 for a haircut, so I'm sucking it up. I evened it out a bit more when it was wet from my post-color shampoo and I think that helped. Luckily, I also had a hair-cutting-experienced friend who offered to help out if the cut went to awry.

I decided to go ombre with the color because of it's low commitment (no roots to touch up!) and because I'm still not sold on getting rid of my natural color all together, even as just a base for highlights. So, I watched several tutorials on the L'Oréal Wild Ombrés colors (I believe these are under the Féria line in the States, but over here, it's part of the Préférence line) and it looked even easier than regular hair color. I also liked that the 'after' photos on the all the reviews I saw weren't crazy drastic, but more of a subtle lighter color. I also chose the less drastic Ombré N°2 (070 in the Féria line), for dark blond to medium brown hair, rather than the lightest blond, so that my results would err more on the natural side. I figured I could always go back over it with a lighter color if I wanted it more dramatic.

The one thing I did notice on all but one review of the product was that everyone seemed to follow the instructions literally, which resulted in more of a dip-dye look as opposed to a fading ombre. Since I wanted more of a fade, applied the color higher and higher up my hair in ten minute increments, so that the color on the bottom was on for the longest and therefore would be more processed (read: lighter) than the next section higher. I had my husband help a bit with the back (so as not to end up with a color-v as well), but mostly just brushed it in haphazardly so that it would result in what I hoped would be a naturally-highlighted fade. I brushed some higher in the pieces that frame my face for even more color variation. In all, I would say I had the color on some part of my hair for nearly the maximum amount of time (45 minutes) before I washed it out.

In the shower, I could already see how blonde the ends looked and this was only magnified as my hair began to dry. But after my hair was totally dry and styled, the blond no longer seemed as light. Perhaps it was because of the curl in my hair or the rapidly fading daylight, but it was harder to see the significantly lighter ends.

Some close-up shots, as well as seeing the color in various lighting, helped demonstrate the color results a bit better. It is definitely on the warmer, brassier side of blond, but because my hair still has a fair amount of red tones from my time as a redhead, it works nicely with the color I already have on my hair.

Overall, I'm very happy with the results of my little hair experiment. I got fun new hair for the cost of a box of color (€6,95) and a bit of a bruised finger. While I may decide to brush some even lighter color through the bottom section and may have to enlist the help of my hair-cutting friend once I see the cut on a more straight hair day, for now, I am a convert to this whole DIY hair concept. I'm sure my wallet is too!