brunette ombre

Recently I decided that I am finally ready for a hair change, and took the plunge to ombre my hair.Ombre means “shaded or graduated in tone”, and on the hair it is supposed to look like a shade gradually going into its lightest hue. So many people get ombre SO wrong, that it made me cringe and reconsider the whole thing. I asked L’Oreal Professionnel to send me to their best salon to get mine done, because I wasn’t taking any chances here. They send me to Tanaz and I ended up with a result that I really, really love and I think it looks great!:)

brunette ombre

You see I was very scared of doing anything to my hair because I previously had a terrible experience. Throughout out high school my parents didn’t allow me to dye my hair because they said it would damage it. I thank them gladly now, because my hair is healthy and shiny, and who knows what it would have looked like if my mom let me dye my hair platinum blonde like I wanted to when I was 16. After I left high school, I was finally free to change my hair, and I decided to just add a bit of highlights to experiment and see what it would look like. An ex-friend of mine had relatives in the hair dressing business, so without thinking twice or doing research, I went for it. This is what I ended up with.

I know you are laughing at me right now, but please stop ;)
I know you are laughing at me right now, but please stop 😉

Yep, the dreaded zebra-head. The hairdresser who did my hair did such a terrible job, and I ended up with cringy yellow highlights all over my head. She bleached my hair which gave it that ugly colour, but never bothered to tone it- toning the hair darkens the bleached bit and makes it look more natural. At that time I didn’t realize how terrible it looks so I went back for more! Eventually a year later when I looked back at old pictures and saw myself, I knew it had to stop. As I didn’t want to damage my hair even further, I decided not to dye it but rather let it grow out naturally. It took almost 2 years for the highlights to be gone, and after that I was so traumatized I didn’t let anyone touch my hair again. I stuck with my natural hair colour and even getting a trim at the salon was a nightmare for me. Hairdressers have a real effect on you, and I say this to you after having been to a bad hairdresser- please take the time and the effort to find a good one! Find a hairdresser that listens to you and you can trust, the one that pays attention to your wants and doesn’t just do whatever and then ring up the bill!

Another dreadful photo
Another dreadful photo

After 5 years of plain brunette hair, I started getting itchy to do something to it, but with my bad experience before I kept putting it off. I have always loved the ombre trend, and there are some stars that have gotten it so right. With that in mind, I finally decided to do it and asked L’Oreal Professionnel to help me out. I wasn’t going to just any salon again, I was going to do my research and only go to the best. When L’Oreal Professionnel suggested Tanaz, one of their top professional salons, I finally agreed to go ahead with it. I’ve only heard great things about Tanaz prior to my visit, and it is known in the beauty industry as one of the top-notch salons.


Let me also just say that Tanaz is also very pretty visually,and they offer everything from hair to nails to body treatments. It’s a massive property, and they even have a little cafe on site! I had a little lunch before heading into the room and talking my hairdresser, Gaby about what we are going to do. Here are my tips on ombre and how to make sure you get what you want.


DO Show What You Don’t Want– Everyone always comes in with pictures of what they want, but I also make sure to always take in a picture of what I don’t want too. I also do that with make-up because often things that seem so far apart are very similar. I showed Gaby a picture of what I wanted- something like Kate Beckinsale(doesn’t she look gorgeous). I also showed her a picture of what I didn’t want- Khloe Kardashian. That colour would be too light for me and would not work well. Gaby took that into account when picking the shades and she got it just right.


DON’T Be Afraid To Ask For What You Want– With my darker skin tone and hair, the lighter hair doesn’t work on my face. I asked Gaby to make sure that the part framing my face stays brunette, and the bottom part gets dyed only. That’s why my ombre is a little lower than you would usually see it on other girls, because I asked for it to be from my face downwards.

DO Ask Questions– I wasn’t shy to ask exactly what was happening to my hair every step of the way. After all, this is my hair that is getting bleached and pulled. I think I made Gaby very stressed because I was very intense during the whole process. What are you doing now? How is it going to look? What dye are you using? What shampoo? Don’t be afraid to ask for all the information that you need.

DO Make Time– Overall, the process took 4 hours to complete! It’s rather tedious as with my hair it had to be bleached it order to “lift” the colour, and since ombre involves a couple of different shades that blend in together, it had to be done strand by strand and little by little. After the bleaching, the hair had to be toned down and finally trimmed and blow-dried. It is not an easy job!

what the ombre looks like from the back

DON’T Forget About The After Care!– Even though ombre doesn’t involve dying your roots, you are still dying your hair and that will have an effect on it. Luckily with ombre the up-keep is rather an easy one, I simply just switched to a shampoo that is for colour-treated hair because it treats the hair and the colour more gently. As my ends get dry due to the bleach and the heat-styling I am using the Pureology Precious Oil for blonde hair on them which is just fab. Find whatever will work for you, and don’t be afraid to ask your hairdresser for advice on after-care products.

brunette ombre

And DO have fun with it! I am loving styling my hair into soft curls because it really makes the ombre come through beautifully. I went for a very natural looking ombre, so natural that a few of my friends didn’t notice and thought that’s how my hair got naturally from the sun! Such light ombre might not work for everyone, but I love it because it’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted it to look natural and gradual, and I am still only dipping my toes in the hair experimenting pond! My mom suggested next time I go a little higher with the light toffee hue, and maybe I will! But for now I just love what I have.

What the ombre looks like from the side
What the ombre looks like from the side

The cost of doing ombre at Tanaz will range from R1000-R1500 depending on your hair lenght and what you want exactly. It’s quite a hefty fee, but girls seriously don’t try and find a shortcut when it comes to your hair or you will end up looking like I did the first time I got highlights. A good job is worth the pay, so make sure you find a hairdresser who can do what you want.

What do you think of my ombre?:)

brunette ombre

13 thoughts on “Going Ombre- Do’s, Don’ts And What You Need To Know”

  1. Having had the ombre’ as well… I completely agree with all the do’s and dont’s. It is better to go one shade lighter first and gradually go lighter as you get use to it not to damage and dry out your ends all at once. It looks great Irina and suits you so well!! I still love this trend!! And miss it already on myself 🙁

  2. Hahahaha, I love that you shared those pictures! We all have terrible hair skeletons in our closet, don’t you worry 😉 That being said, your current colour looks lovely and natural. They really did a great job!

  3. you hair looks amazing… i have been growing mine to do the same as I am so scared to mess up my hair
    my colleague done her’s and it looks like your “gone wrong” pics but I don’t have the heart to tell her and she was not prepared to go to an expensive salon instead she went to a ‘suburb’ salon
    please tell me Tanaz has a CT branch….?

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