I went to a salon for an Ombre colour and it has turned out awful! What should I do now?

You are here


Yesterday after months of research I went to get my hair 'Ombré'd'. I rang my local salons and only one of knew what Ombre was, which I find shocking, so I booked with the one which did; I'd been to the hairdresser before for a cut and I was happy with it.

I went in yesterday and showed some pictures, all showing colour gradually going from dark brown (my natural colour) to an ashy blonde/light brown. The hairdresser said it was no problem and seemed confident in doing it. I sat down and kept checking that it wouldn't be just a line and one block colour and that it would be faded. She kept assuring me that it would be faded and gradually getting lighter.

She then went to apply the colour onto a barrel brush which turned out to have no colour what so ever on it and was just bleach. She started with my bottom layers extremely close to my scalp after me saying I wanted it to start lower. She brushed the colour through starting at the highest point and when she got to the bottom there was barley any bleach on it.

The right side had already started lightening before she had even started the left side. She left it for around half an hour and then checked it by taking a strand and removing the bleach, she then decided to wash it out.

As she was drying my hair I noticed a very harsh line as the bits she had bleached were just one block colour. She curled my hair without asking which was obviously to hide the harsh line. This cost me £55 for a bit of bleach and little knowledge, frankly I could have done a better job with a £7 kit.

Now I'm left with a harsh line with the bottom half of my hair orange and the ends barely bleached. I only realised just how bad it was when I got home and straightened my hair. I'm honestly stuck on what to do, I have school tomorrow and I have to go with my hair like this. How can I fix this?

Thank you,

Sophie, Heywood

Hi Sophie,

Firstly I’m sorry to hear of your bad experience. Unfortunately it’s a common misconception that Ombré colour is an easy look to achieve, however it is actually quite an advanced and lengthy technique, so I’d always recommend you visit a salon that specialises in colour in this situation. The best way to check if the salon offers quality hair colouring services is to check to see if they are certified with any of the main colour houses such as Redken, L’Oréal, etc, as this tends to be a good indication that they have been trained in such techniques to a high standard and should have proficient knowledge.

The good news is there’s no reason why your colour can’t be altered to reflect what you originally hoped for. I suggest you visit an expert colourist. They should not add more bleach to your hair, it should be fine to apply colour in order to lessen the stark contrast between tones. They will more than likely need to pre-treat the hair to ensure the condition is right for colouring, as you’ve recently had a service and I’d recommend a post-treatment to restore elasticity and help your hair look healthier.

Before you book back into a colour specialist, request a consultation to give you the opportunity to see some of the styles being produced in the salon first hand. Whilst it’s always great to take pictures of your desired style along perhaps see what images the stylist produces so you can see if you are on the same wavelength and that they are fully aware of the look you hope to achieve. Only book an appointment if you feel comfortable.

I also think it’s worth you contacting the salon where you had your hair done previously, explaining that you were disappointed with the experience and final result in order to request a refund.

During the interim period, try wearing your hair in a bun to disguise the sharp line between the two colours. A bun will hide a multitude of sins and are also still on trend for the season. 

Kelly Scott, Artistic Director at Strands Hairdressing and Redken Platform Artist 

Doing some research into choosing a hairdresser and in your case a colourist who is up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques is vital in getting a good result. Many people find their hair colourist by asking others on the street who have great hair and where they get theirs done. 

The fact that you have now had a bit of a disaster and they seemed a little novice in the way they did the Ombre service, I wouldn't go back to them to fix it. Nor should you attempt to change it yourself as it could just make it worse. I can only suggest you go and have a consultation with a confident colourist who then may be able to sort it out for you.

John Clark, Head of Colour at Brooks+Brooks, London 

Related Articles