As much as I love my natural hair color (to this day my mom still tries to get the exact shade at her salon), when winter hits it starts looking flat and dull. The dip-dyed effect of ombre hair always seemed like a good way to add a little depth—but let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to even get me into the salon at all let alone commit to 1.5 hours in the chair. And I’m definitely not about to shell out $100+ for a pro treatment. So when my beauty editor pulled out a do-it-yourself dye-in-a-box ombre kit, I immediately offered to be the office guinea pig.
I read the instructions, grabbed the specially designed brush that comes with the L’Oreal Feria Wild Ombre kit and enlisted the help of my roommate Patrick, who I soon discovered was absolutely necessary to prevent the test-run from turning into a disaster. Dying your hair ombre is different from a traditional dye job. Instead of applying color your entire head, you strategically brush it on from mid-shaft to ends in an even circle all the way around your head. Bless Patrick’s soul and steady hands as he carefully combed my hair with dye!
Despite needing a little assistance, the kit was really easy to use and the end result turned out so natural and subtle that my friends were convinced it was dyed at the salon. The ‘Light to Medium’ color option that I went with was just drastic enough for people to notice my lighter locks but not over-the-top like some blonder ombre looks. Naturally, I Instagrammed a photo and texted everyone as soon as my hair was dry.
Get it now: L’Oreal Feria Wild Ombre hair color, available in ‘060 Medium to Dark Brown’, ‘070 Dark Blonde to Light Brown’ and ‘080 Light to Medium Blonde’, $12.99 each at lorealparisusa.com
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.