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Highlighting hair, regardless of whether it is black, red or blonde is a process aimed at expressing the hair's natural bright tones. There are several techniques in which natural highlights can be attained at home or in the salon. A technique that is taking the salon world by storm is the ombre technique. The ombre technique is a form of highlight where hair begins with dark roots that gradually fade into lighter tips. The outcome of this highlight is natural looking hair with a sun kissed shade.

To highlight with the ombre technique, stylists should ensure that the pieces of hair that are being ombred are long enough, to properly display the gradual lightening effect. If the hair is too short the ombre color might not be subtle and ultimately give a dip dyed look. A lighter tint of ombre is recommendable for summer while the natural color is ideal for the fall season. In most cases, ombre is not done at home, since stylists in a salon have the impeccable skill of averting the brassy look that may be accidently achieved when attempting this technique at home. The ombre technique is often a time consuming process. So, if you are planning to get ombre highlights be prepared to be in your salon for 90 minutes up to 3 hours.


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In order to highlight one's hair with the ombre technique, stylists are typically select 3 different shades. The darkest color for the roots, a middle shade for the mid-shaft, and a light color for the ends. The stylist typically parts the client's hair evenly down from the center of their head i.e. from their forehead down to the nape of their necks. Then, secure the right side in order to keep it out of way. At the left half, divide the hair from the center part toward the ear, creating approximately four to five sections 2-inch each. Thirdly, twist all the sections tightly and secure it with a clip at the base nigh the scalp. Repeat the same procedure with the right side.

To apply the color, the stylists needs to wear vinyl gloves. Then using a flexible brush and wooden paddle, stylists smooth the darkest color from the roots to approximately a third of the hair length. The middle color is applied to the middle third of the hair length taking care to blend it with the darkest color where they meet. The lightest color is applied to the lower third of the hair all the way to the ends. Color should be applied to all the sections and a length of cotton should be placed in between the sections. Color is processed according to manufacturer instructions. Hair is then shampooed and styled.

The ombre look can also be achieved using long foils and a board. Again the stylist and client chooses 3 different shades of color and mixes the color accordingly. Hair is sectioned the same way as before. Each section of hair lies upon a long piece of foil which lies atop a plastic board that is settled gently against the clients head. The 3 colors are applied to the appropriate sections of the hair and then a second piece of foil is applied to the top of the hair created a sandwich effect. In some cases the foil that is on top can be clear so that the stylist can see the hair during processing. All of the color will be applied to the hair in approximately inch sections approximately 1 inch apart. The hair is processed and then shampooed and styled by the stylist.

The other technique that can attain the natural looking highlights is through homemade techniques. Rather than going to the salon, people can attain natural highlights using ingredients that are found in their kitchen. An example of these ingredients is lemon. One can mix cup of freshly squeezed lemon and about cup of water in a spray bottle. Then spritz the lemon water into hair ensuring that you do not saturate the scalp. Let the mixture process for about two hours, with 30 minutes spent under the sun. Condition the hair before and after spraying lemon, since it can dry ones hair. A similar process can be repeated using other ingredients such as olive oil, chamomile tea and honey.

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