DIY Balayage an Ombre on Short Hair

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If you prefer the natural and sun-kissed look of balayage highlights over traditional foiled highlights, you aren’t alone. The balayage is the most natural looking way to add dimension to the hair. This free painting method is also surprisingly easy to do yourself. If you have a basic understanding of hair lightening, you can successful balayage your own strands and save time and money from going to a salon. Having short hair makes it even easier to do. Follow the steps below to create your own balayage ombre effect at home.

Determine How Light You Want to Go

Balayage highlights require you to lighten your hair using bleach. Many people are nervous about lightening their own hair at home because of how damaging it can be. Fortunately, there a variety of bleaching kits available that are easy to mix and will not leave your hair feeling fried. You can find these kits at drugstores and convenience stores alike. Also, there are a lot of DIY balayage tricks one can read and put into practice. Read more about DIY balayage and keep informed on the best steps to achieve the perfect look.

Determining how light to go is ideal for anyone who is new to hair lightening. If you are more experienced, you may prefer to purchase your own bleach and developer from a beauty supply store. If you go this route, you will also need hair toner to reduce the orange and yellow tones created by bleaching.

Before you can successfully choose your products, you should first determine how many levels lighter you want your balayage effect to be. For example, if your hair is currently a light brown and you want a medium blonde ombre, you will need to pre-lighten it three levels. It is important to keep in mind that the lighter you want it, the more difficult it is to do on your own and the more damage it will do to your strands.

Prep Your Hair Lightening Products

If you are using a hair lightening kit, follow the instructions included in the package for mixing the lightener and developer. If you are using your own bleach and developer, make sure you follow the ratios correctly. Most products use a 1:1 ratio for bleach and developer. Once your lightener is ready, put gloves on and have a bag of cotton balls on hand. You may also want a rag to wipe excess bleach of your hands to avoid over lightening your hair.

Apply the Lightener

Balayage is all about free painting highlights onto the hair to create a natural and perfectly sun-kissed look. Wherever the light would hit your hair is where you should apply the lightener. You may also want to apply it to the hair that frames your face. You may also consider applying lightener to hair that has not been washed recently. Following this strategy allows your hair’s natural oils to protect your strands during the lightening process.

When applying lightener with the balayage technique, start halfway down each section and gently pat it on without fully saturating the hair. Applying the lightener too high will not create the ombre look you want. Once each section is complete, gently place stretched out and flattened cotton balls over it to protect it and prevent it from touching other sections of your hair.

Once your lightener has processed according to the package instructions, rinse it well and condition. The final step is to tone your hair. If you purchased a bleach kit, it will likely have its own toner and special instructions. Most toners can be applied to damp hair and need to be left on for at least 20 minutes before being rinsed.

Lightener should be used sparingly because it can be damaging to the hair. Once you are done lightening and toning your hair, use a deep conditioning treatment to restore shine and much-needed moisture. (See also: Beat the Heat: 3 DIY Methods to Protect Your Hair From Heat Damage)

Creating your own balayage ombre effect at home is fun and easy to do. With practice, you can confidently create the perfect sun-kissed look on your strands. If you feel nervous about it doing it yourself, ask a friend or relative to help apply the lightener on hard to reach places, such as the back of your head. Create your own custom balayage look today by putting these steps to the test.

About The Author:

Olivia Gillmore is a DIY blogger at She has a unique interest in crafts and loves promoting this niche as much as possible. The website gathers a wide variety of tutorials, how-to plans, and detailed projects for any DIY project you can imagine.

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