DIY: Balayage/Ombre Hair (to eventually go purple)

Coming at you 4 years behind the trend, I am no stranger to messing up my hair. I’ve had very good hairdressers before, and not-so-good hairdressers. Since I am on a budget, it just makes more sense for me to do it myself these days. I’ve talked about my hair history before, and I am very aware of my hair’s limits. Lately I’ve had an itch to go purple, but before I could entertain that thought, I knew I’d have to lighten my hair.


Around Thanksgiving I lightened my hair and added balayage highlights. They came out alright but I was pregnant and tired and fed up with waiting for my hair to lighten so I stopped the process too soon. Luckily, I had a toner, so I didn’t have to live with blorange hair (blond/orange, my worst nightmare for my hair). Fairly soon after, I ended up with very brassy hair. Being heavily pregnant, I could not care less.


I decided I wanted my mom haircut because I just wanted to full on become a stereotype, thus most of the blonde was chopped off. So this is what I was working with:


Wear a shirt you don’t care about messing up!

While some pieces were light enough, it wasn’t anywhere near blonde. I found a brand of semi-permanent hair color that does not require a bleach blonde tone to provide the results I’m looking for. Knowing that, I knew what products to get at my local Sally’s Beauty.


Toner, Hair Protector and Color Sealer, 10 and 30 vol. developers, and Creme Lightener

I’ve only ever worked with powder bleach before, but I’d been reading up on crème lightener and I decided to purchase this instead. I already had the 30 and 10 vol. developer from other hair escapades. The rest I purchased at the store.

I began by mixing the 30 vol. developer with the lightener. Always follow the ratio directions. One thing to note is that it’s a different consistency than powder bleach to developer. It was thick and smelled horrible. I also used the Ion add in to protect the integrity of my hair. I added half, but you can add the entire vial.

I sectioned my hair and worked with about 1 inch thick pieces. Because the consistency of the mixture was different to me, I opted to backcomb my hair and foil it. This is a very old school way of creating the gradient I was looking for, but it works.

Once I was happy with where my highlights were placed, I let it sit for about 15 minutes. This stuff is potent. My hair lightened quickly and I took out the foils. I washed my hair with shampoo and let it air dry.

Once it was dry enough, it was yellow. I followed with Ion’s Lavender Moon toner. I purchased this toner for a few reasons: 1. The purple would cancel out the yellow I was expecting to reach, 2. The toner said if left on long enough, it could possibly turn your hair a light purple.

I mixed the toner with the 10 vol. developer I had. The instructions say 20, but I already had the 10. In hindsight, I would’ve mixed the 10 and the 30, but I was cautious because I wasn’t sure how fast it would work. After 20 minutes, I rinsed it out and followed with Ion’s Color Sealer. While it didn’t tint my hair purple, it definitely canceled out the tones I didn’t want and left me with this:



While this is not the final result, this is a good place to start. I’m letting my hair rest for a bit before I go in with the purple color. Once I do that, I’ll post my review/results. I also still have more of my bleach and toner and can use more if I decide to lighten a fair bit more before adding the purple.

I hoped this DIY helped anyone looking to color their hair at home.

Stay tuned for the purple color and I’ll see y’all soon!


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