Darkening roots for ombre in 4 easy steps


  • To create the perfect ombre, your roots need to be two shades darker than the ends of your hair.
  • Creating an ombre effect is easier than you might think. All you need to do is choose the right color, and buy a hair dye kit.
  • After that, apply the dye to the roots of your hair and blend it towards the middle portion, so the two colors fade from one to the other instead of creating two separate shades.
  • The correct way to create this effect is to use brushstrokes of varying lengths to brush the dye from the roots towards the middle part of your hair.


This technique works no matter why you’re thinking of doing an ombre.

Many of my clients decide to get an ombre to create a multi-dimensional look, and add some depth and movement to their hair.

Others choose this style because they want to let their natural hair color grow out, and the dark roots of an ombre allow for a much more low-maintenance transition.


 An ombre is simply a gradual color change from one color to another, generally from a darker color in the roots to a lighter color at the ends. 

That being said, it’s important to choose the right color. After all, the principles of hair color were not written for nothing.

If you choose to break the rules, you could end up with hair with two mismatching colors, or even worse, damaged hair.


But the solution isn’t to be wary of hair color techniques, but instead to learn how to choose the right color and to apply it correctly.

And that’s why we’re going to dicuss:

  • How to choose the right color for your roots
  • Techniques to create an impeccable ombre


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As you'll soon discover, there are almost endless variations on the ombre.


How to choose the right color for your roots

Have you ever heard of a balayage? If you have, you undoubtedly already know that this subtle technique imitates how your hair lightens naturally.

An Ombre also involves a hair color that gradually fades into another. Normally, an ombre has darker roots and lighter ends, with a difference of two levels in between the two colors.


Ombres usually look very natural, unlike other techniques such as the balayage, which can have up to four levels of color difference.

 To keep a natural look, the difference in color must be no more than two levels. 

The goal is to create a very natural change in color, not two separate colors.

But it's important to be balanced: but if you apply two very dark shades, you won't have a noticeable change in color and will lose the ombre effect.


The secrete to creating a great ombre with a natural change is color is picking the right color.

To choose the right color for your roots, first take a looks at the ends of your hair.

  • Are the ends of your hair a level 6 light brown? If so, a level 4 brown would be the right color for your roots.
  • If the ends of your hair are a level 7 dark brown, you should use a level 5 medium brown on your roots.
  • On the other hand, if the ends of your hair is a level 8 blond, you’ll be able to create a great fade in color with a level 6 light brown.
  • Finally, if your ends are a level 9 light brown, take your roots to a level 7 dark blond, whereas if your ends are a level 10 very light blond, darken your roots with a level 8 blond.


It’s basic math: apply a color two levels darker than the ends of your hair to your roots.

If you use a color that more than two levels darker, the change in color might not look natural, and you could end up having to apply another hair dye to harmonize the colors. All of that costs time and money, and worst of all, exposes your hair to the chemicals in hair dye twice.


Darkening your roots is very easy to do, and doesn’t require special skills. Still don’t believe me?

Then keep reading, because I will reveal the secrets to the perfect ombre next.


How to darken your roots to create an ombre effect

To darken your roots, and blend the color of the dye the color of the ends of your hair, you should apply the hair dye unevenly.

Apply the dye too evenly, and you run the risk of creating a line where the color changes in between your roots and ends. And to be honest, that just looks bad. The idea is to create a gradual, natural change in color from your roots to the ends.

To dye your roots darker, all you need to do is choose the correct color of dye and buy a kit.


Items needed to create your own ombre:

  • Color kit
  • Hair dye brush


Step by step instructions:

It's important to remember that this technique is pretty flexible, and irregular brush strokes will create a better effect that being overly precise.

Apply the dye too evenly, and you'll create a dividing line between your roots and the rest of your hair. And sorry, but that just looks bad.


To create the ombre effect, it's important to apply the dye in long brushstrokes of varying lengths, instead of just coloring your roots. This helps to create a gradual fade from one color to another.

 When creating an ombre, you have to extend the dye past your roots to blend the colors of your roots and the rest of your hair. 

Now let's take a closer look at how to darken your roots.


Step 1

Carefully comb your hair, and make sure there's no knots or tangles, which could make the hair dye more difficult to apply.

I recommend parting your hair down the middle, so you can see the difference between your roots and the rest of your hair as you apply the dye.


Step 2

The color kit should contain a bottle of developer and a container of dye.

Remember that the two ingredients should always be mixed in a plastic bowl, never a metal one. Mix them both well until you've created a homogenous mixture.


Step 3

Then use the hair dye brush to apply the dye to your roots. How?


By applying the dye in brushstrokes of varying lengths, from the roots of your hair to the ends. The brushstrokes can range from 1.5-2.5 inches, or longer if you want.

The idea is to create a gradual mix of colors, without a distinct line.

The irregular strokes create a blending effect between your roots and the rest of your hair.


 That being said, you should be careful to cover all of your roots with the hair dye. 

If you're comfortable working with a comb, you can also apply the dye to your roots, and they comb individual strands to move the dye to the desired length.

This technique also blends the color of the dye with the lighter color of your hair.

Once you've applied all the dye, all that's left is to let it process for forty minutes.


Step 4

After the processing time, rinse your hair in warm water until the water runs clear.

Don't immediately wash your hair with shampoo, as you run the risk that it will wash away part of the dye that you've just applied.

Have you ever noticed that your hair color kit comes with a small additional bottle?


It's a post-color treatment, and I would recommend using it, because it will hydrate and nourish your hair, two important things when it comes to hair dye.

But it's also important to care for your hair after doing the ombre.


How to care for your hair after getting an ombre

  • After applying an ombre, avoid washing your hair daily, or even every other day. Washing your hair too frequently can remove your hair’s natural oils and make it very dry. Not only that, but it will fade much faster. This is why it’s best to wash your hair two or three times a week at most.


  • It's also important to moisturize your hair with a hair mask once a week, because, just like any other type of hair dye technique, an ombre can leave your hair a bit dry and prone to breaking.

Coconut oil is one of the best ways to moisturize your hair and is a great way to condition dry or damaged hair.


  • It’s also important to pay close attention to your roots when you wash your hair, as they are more prone to damage. After shampooing, apply conditioner to the ends of your hair and let it sit for 5 minutes.


So, now that you know to darken your roots to create the perfect ombre, what color will you choose?

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