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A lot of has been said about sombre hair over the last few years. And, it’s been seen on everybody from Cara Delevigne to Olivia Wilde, Jessica Biel, Anna Kendrick, Selena Gomez, and many more. It is, essentially, a subtler and darker big sister to the ombre style. The basics are the same – you have a transition from dark to light tones – but instead of going really blonde on the bottom, you stick with rich auburn and brunette shades.
It’s a really appealing style for anybody who isn’t quite sure about that uber glamorous, honey blonde highlights vibe. Plus, if you work in a place that won’t allow you to change your hairstyle in a dramatic way, you can probably still get away with more delicate sombre colours. If that isn’t enough, we’re going to show you how you can skip the salon altogether and save yourself some serious cash. While sombre highlights can be fussy to create, it is possible to DIY this look.
Keep reading for a breakdown of what to do, when to do it, and how to produce those gorgeous transitional tones.
What Are Sombre Highlights?
If you’re still not entirely sure what sombre highlights look like, check out celebs like Ariana Grande, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Lopez. These ladies are all great examples of when sombre is done right. The two tone effect is not sharp or overly harsh, but gentle and natural. The hair is sunkissed and rich, with just the right amount of highlights. To get this one spot on, you need to get the hang of adding dimension and texture to your tresses. This is easier if you have quite long hair, so don’t hesitate to use clip in hair extensions for extra length. You can either buy a hair piece that has been pre-dyed and styled in this way or you can dye it alongside your own locks.
How Do You DIY Sombre Highlights?
The first thing that you want to do is start up high. Take your lighter colour and begin close to the roots. Do remember though that you’re not dying in block colours; the trick is to almost feather the lighter shade downwards, from the roots to the ends. This means that you won’t have a lot of colour right at the top. It will only start up there with hints and subtle streaks, so that you can transition into lighter shades.
Use delicate, light strokes and keep moving downwards. There is no need to worry about not applying enough dye, because it is always better to go for less. If you finish and find that you need more colour, you can always go back and add some. It’s much harder to correct highlights that have been over applied. The front should stay mostly dark (around your face). It will feel a little tricky at first, but take your time and avoid making any attempts to splash dye in any one spot. It’s a good idea to rope in a friend to help you with the back, particularly if you can’t use a big mirror to ensure that the strokes go smoothly. As you move towards the ends, the lighter colour should be more abundant, but you still don’t want any solid blocks.
How Do You Style Sombre Highlights?
The best way to show off sombre highlights is with a feathered, layered haircut, because that is precisely how the transitional tones are laid out. The different layers allow more of the colour to be exposed. In bright sunlight, the rich shades look especially beautiful and shimmery. With a long, textured cut, you’re guaranteed to stand out from the crowd and do your sombre highlights justice.