How To: Seamless Ombre Color Diffusion By Dimitrios TsioumasAt Free Form Color: The Art of Hair Painting, Goldwell Artistic Director Dimitrios Tsioumas directs the class in all forms balayage, ombre, diffusion and hair painting. In this demonstration, Tsioumas directed the class on how to create an ombre look using shades of copper and salmon on a blonde mannequin.

“The biggest mistake I see colorists make when creating an ombre look with color—rather than lightener—is they paint the color on the strand but don’t diffuse it with anything,” Tsioumas says. “This creates a dip-dye effect rather than a seamless gradiation of tone.”

Tsioumas recommends colorists use CLEAR to diffuse the effect into a bold color, in this case, copper and salmon. He does this by painting clear on the midstrand in a block. Then, at the ends, painting a bold color formula (dilluted to create a pastel). Then, using the color brush to feather in the two together.

How To: Seamless Ombre Color Diffusion By Dimitrios TsioumasFormulas:

Elumen copper: 50 ml SB@10 + 25 ml KK@all

Elumen salmon: 50 ml SV@10 + 10 ml PK@all + 10 ml GK@all


Step 1: Working in quadrants and with horizontal sections, begin your first subsection. Backcomb the subsection twice. Using a board and thermal papers, begin your color application. “I use a board because it allows me to create better saturation and to drive that color in really well,” Tsioumas says. “It creates a great support for me, especially when I begin to diffuse that color during feathering.”

Step 2: Begin by painting clear first on the thermal paper, before you coat the hair shaft. That way, you get more even saturation.

Step 3: Place the subsection on the board. Put clear on the strand first, beginning about midstrand and really saturate the hair on both sides of the strand, and continue the clear down to where you want the diffusion to begin.

Step 4: Then, switch to your color formula, and saturate the ends of the hair shaft.

Step 5: Then, to diffuse the two colors together, use heavy feathering with the tips of the color brush to create a seamless gradiation of tone.


Step 6: Continue up the head using the same steps: backcomb twice, apply clear to thermal paper first, then place the hair on the board, add clear to halfway down the strand, then add the color on the ends from point of where you want diffusion to begin (alternating the two formulas with every third slice—copper, copper, salmon, copper, copper, salmon, copper, copper, salmon) then heavily feather to diffuse the lines. TIP: If you'd like to break up the color effect, you can also add in a highlight after every salmon slice.

Step 7: Let the color process for 30 minutes, then rinse, condition, brush, shampoo twice. Tsioumas suggests using a Wet Brush at the bowl designed to remove the backcombed sections before shampooing (but after rinsing).


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