1. Create a Root Shadow
Red ombre hair relies on a dark to light graduation, which means the root area needs to be up to three shades darker than the ends. Unless your client’s existing root colour is already a match for their desired look, you’ll need to begin by giving them a root shadow.
The shade you choose here will depend on the type of red ombre you’re aiming for. For example, if you’re doing a black and red ombre, you may want to use Koleston Perfect 2/0 for near-black roots. Meanwhile, an auburn ombre may start with a mahogany hue up top, making something like 55/65 or 5/41 the perfect pick.
2. Apply a Pre-Lightener
Unless the existing hair colour is lighter than the shades you’re applying through the lengths, you’ll need to apply a pre-lightener to help the ombre hues show up. Try Blondorplex, which provides up to 7 levels of lift, while constructing bonds inside the hair with Wellaplex Technology.
Use your tint brush to apply the hair lightener where you want the fade to begin, then sweep it down to the ends. This will act as a base for your red ombre. Allow the lightener and root shadow to develop, before rinsing and neutralizing locks, ready for the colouring step to begin.
3. Mix Up the Red Shades
Finally, mix up your red gradient colours. Depending on how gradual the fade should be, you’ll need one or two different shades to colour the mid-lengths and the ends. Your middle shade should be one or two shades lighter than the root shadow, while the shades through the tips will be a shade lighter than the mid-lengths, resulting in an even graduation.
If you’re using just one red colour to seamlessly melt from root to tip, choose a shade that’s two levels brighter than the roots for the dreamiest sombre (subtle ombre).