DIY at home ombre made easy with L’Oreal Paris Preference Wild Ombres


It’s been almost two years but the ombre (also known as balayage – which is the name of the technique) hair colour trend doesn’t look like it’s set to fade any time soon. While we all love salon visits, sitting in a chair at the hair dressers can be time consuming and a costly. Thankfully L’Oreal Paris, together with their expert colourist Christophe Robin, has created the perfect at home solution with their L’Oreal Preference Wild Ombres permanent home hair colour packs.

When I first mentioned this new product to friends I was bombarded with a series of questions, from “How will it work? The colours look so dramatic on the box, what I want something softer? How do you make the streaks so it’s not just a ‘top deck’ balayage/ombre? How much is it? Can you do it for me?”

As it turns out, we attended the launch with Kimberly Nissen from The Plastic Diaries, who was equally as excited about Wild Ombres as we were, so we took a few hours out of our weekend to give her at-home ombre. It didn’t take us long to figure out that it was all in how you use the brush that comes in the box, designed in a way where it how you hold it determines the type of effect you get – vertical gives you streaks, horizontal colours in the larger areas of hair.

Facts you should know before you begin:

  • L’Oreal Paris Preference Wild Ombres retails in Australia for RRP$19.45
  • There are only two shades available in Australia (opposed to the four available in the USA):
    • Ombre No. 2 for Dark Blonde to Medium Brown (we used this one on Kimberly)
    • Ombre No. 4 for Light Blonde to Blonde (Kimberly trialled this one on a blonde friend)
  • If you have dark Asian hair, unfortunately none of the colour offerings is recommended for you (yet)
  • It is handy to have a friend around to help you so when it comes to colour placement on the back of your head, you have someone there for a second opinion / another hand.
  • The bleaching properties aren’t as strong as regular bleach, so don’t expect results that are as dramatic as what you see illustrated on the box.



Section your hair.

Start with semi clean hair (oily hair will prevent the dye from penetrating as quickly) and then section your hair. Why? To ensure that the underside of your hair gets the Ombre attention it deserves. Divide your hair into two to three layers, working with the bottom layers first. Work quickly and thoroughly because this means that the bottom layer will be exposed to the dye for the longest, lightening it the most.

Follow the instructions

The brush that comes with the kit is pretty amazing, use it vertically to create highlights first so the parts of the hair exposed to the dye for longer lightens just slightly more than the rest of our hair. Then when you have the highlights sorted, fill in the rest of the hair you want to have the ombre effect.  If the brush misses parts of your hair for the later part, just use your gloved fingers to smooth out the application. To create a graduated ombre effect, applying the dye with the heaviest hand at the base of your hair.

Be light handed with the hair around your face

Hair around your face is the finest, which means it will absorb the dye the quickest so be light-handed and work on that area last unless you want lighter hair framing your face.

Keep an eye on the time

The L’Oreal Paris Preference Wild Ombre kit recommends letting the dye process between 25 – 45 minutes in the hair. To see how strong and dramatic an effect we could achieve, we left the dye in Kimberly’s hair for a full 45 minutes. The result wasn’t as dramatic as it shows on the box. To ensure you achieve the colour you want, we recommend check a strand of hair after 25 minutes by wiping off the product with a gloved hand. If you are happy, wash you hair, if you are not, then reapply the dye on the strand and let it sit for another 5 minutes, checking it until you are happy with the colour achieved.

Our thoughts

Overall it was an easy process (but we were doing it on someone else) and the final results weren’t perfect but professional enough that we would do it again (and on ourselves when a shade for Asian hair is released).We tried the Wild Ombre kit on blonde hair shortly afterwards (see the results on Kimberly’s blog here) and it only needed 25 minutes of processing time to achieve a lovely ombre effect.

VIDEO: DIY at-home ombre with L’Oreal Preference Wild Ombres
and Kimberly from The Plastic Diaries

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The L’Oreal Paris Preference Wild Ombres packs were given to us for editorial consideration. All thoughts and comments are our own.