14 Hair Ideas That Prove Dip-Dye Is Worth Revisiting

Updated 05/04/18
Dip dye hair: Jessica Alba with honey-toned dip-dye hair
Getty/ Allen Berezovsky /Contributor

Do you remember when you couldn't go about your day without spotting someone flaunting dip dye? Our obsession with all things ombré, balayage and dip-dye may have softened in recent years, but come summer, lighter lengths always seem quite appealing. Back when the trend was born, the majority of dip-dyes you’d see featured darker roots and lightened tips, re-creating the same subtle, sun-kissed finish of childhood summers past.

But dip-dye has come a long way. Now it’s seen on all manner of hair colours and textures, with acid brights and pastel tones joining the traditional bronde palette. Search “dip dye” on Pinterest and you’ll be treated to a raft of two-tone looks in a rainbow of shades, from golden toffee to pumpkin spice to aquamarine. Let’s clear one thing up, though: While many still think ombré, balayage and dip-dye are one and the same, there are a few crucial differences between these colouring techniques that you need to be aware of.

We’ll break them down…

Dip-dye: Two colours make up a dip dye; the root shade and the tone throughout the tips. Done right, your hair will appear as if it has been literally dipped in dye (hence the name).

Ombré: Much like dip-dye, ombré is a somewhat “blocky” colouring technique. It features a transition from light to dark, but there’s a colour in between the roots and the tips that makes it look more natural.

Balayage: This is a freehand technique. Highlights are swept through random sections of hair to create a softer gradation of colour that appears entirely sun-kissed. To enhance the effortless finish of this dye job, no foils are used.

Now we’ve got that covered, why not have a browse of the most covetable dip-dyes out there? Keep scrolling for two-tone looks you’ll want to print out and take to your next hair appointment.

Dip dye hair: Olivia Munn with subtle dip-dye ends
Getty/ Steve Granitz /Contributor

Want something super subtle like Olivia Munn? Ask your hairstylist to balayage a few pieces around the mid-lengths and ends. This looks particularly good if you have some layers. 

Dip dye hair: Miley Cyrus with a super blonde topknot
Getty/ Rob Kim /Stringer

Super-blonde ends can make a real two-tone statement when pulled into a topknot like Miley Cyrus’s. Protect your bleached ends with a hair-strengthening treatment like Olaplex Number 3 Hair Protector (£32).

Dip dye hair: Laverne Cox with creamy blonde mid-lengths and ends
Getty/ Robert Kamau /Contributor

Want to go a creamy blonde like Laverne Cox? Ask your colourist to apply a toner at the backwash to help remove any yellow hues. 

Dip dye hair: Jessica Biel wth piece-y dip dye
Getty/ Dave Hogan /Contributor

Want a look that’s a little more subtle? Make like Jessica Biel and ask your colourist to weave a few pieces through your fringe as well as your ends to balance the look.

Dip dye hair: Vanessa Hudgens dip dye bob
Getty/ Jon Kopaloff /Contributor

A textured bob is the perfect canvas for dip-dyed ends. Get that beachy texture with a misting of IGK Beach Club Volumizing Texture Spray (£25).

Dip dye hair: Lea Michele with blonde tips
Getty/ Jeff Vespa /Contributor

Kept to just a few inches at the end like on Lea Michele’s hair, a dip dye can make a real statement. Plus a solid trim will remove the bleach once you're over it. 

Dip dye hair: Kylie Jenner wit dark turquoise dip dye
Getty/ Jon Kopaloff /Contributor

Once your ends have been lightened, you can experiment with all kinds of temporary colours like Kylie Jenner. 

Dip dye hair: Emma Stone with strawberry blonde ends
Getty/ Jim Spellman /Contributor

A wash of bleach on red hair will turn those mid-lengths and ends strawberry blonde just like Emma Stone’s. Keep the lightened pieces looking shiny with Windle & Moodie Light Shine Spray (£22).

Dip dye hair: Chrissy Teigen with blonde mid-lengths and ends
Getty/ John Shearer /Contributor

Got really long hair like Chrissy Teigen? Then work your dip dye further up to ensure it looks nicely balanced, rather than bottom heavy (unless that’s the look you’re going for—see Lea Michele). 

Dip dye hair: Jessica Alba with honey-toned dip-dye hair
Getty/ Allen Berezovsky /Contributor

You don’t have to go super blonde; make like Jessica Alba and opt for a soft caramel hue if you’re a natural brunette. 

Dip dye hair: Drew Barrymore with blonde wavy hair
Getty/ Daniel Zuchnik /Contributor

Tonged hair looks great with dip dye. Shop curling tongs here, and remember the longer the hair, the bigger the barrel you’ll need.

Dip dye hair: Khloe Kardashian with creamy blonde ends
Getty/ Jim Spellman /Contributor

Not a fan of the true dip-dye look? Then how about this two-tone ombré effect Khloé Kardashian wears so well.

Dip dye hair: Ashley Tisdale with warm blonde dip dye
Getty/ Barry King /Contributor

On shoulder-length hair, get your colourist to blend the dye from your jawline down like Ashley Tisdale. 

Dip dye hair: Olivia Wilde with subtle blonde mid-lengths and ends
Getty/ Gregg DeGuire /Contributor

How great does Olivia Wilde’s beachy braid look with the addition of some sun-kissed pieces? Give it a try this summer.

Not convinced by the dip-dye look? Then check out 2018's biggest colour trend instead.

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