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Dip into ombre, the hot spring trend for hair, fashion and food

FARGO - A five-letter French word is everywhere this spring. Ombre (pronounced om-bray) is a way to dip your toe into bright or dramatic colors without falling into the entire batch of dye.

Ombre trend
Teresa O'Day, trend watcher and owner of Proper & Prim in downtown Fargo, sells an ombre top at her boutique that just happens to match her dip-dyed tresses. (David Samson/The Forum)
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FARGO - A five-letter French word is everywhere this spring. Ombre (pronounced om-bray) is a way to dip your toe into bright or dramatic colors without falling into the entire batch of dye.

The French word, meaning shade or shadow, translates into a graduated-color trend that is showing up in hair, makeup, fashion, home wares and food.

"It's something that's popping up everywhere," says Teresa O'Day, a trend watcher and owner of downtown Fargo boutique Proper & Prim.

Ombre offers a fun way to add color to an outfit without throwing in a loud print or bright solid, O'Day says. It's also a way to take a serious piece - an oxford shirt or long maxi dress - and make it more playful, she adds.

"I just like that it's not something too serious," O'Day says. "You can put pops of color in places you wouldn't normally see it."


Last week, O'Day received an ombre-inspired top for her boutique with coral coloring that fades from the bottom up. It just happens to match her hair.

Kristie Young, owner of Fargo's Salon Why?, started giving her clients' hair an ombre effect starting last year, but as a way for them to save money and because it was easier to maintain.

"I more started doing it just because everyone was broke," Young says.

But starting this winter, people started asking her for the ombre treatment by name.

Celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Jessica Biel and Rachel Bilson are sporting long flowy waves that start to fade around the face and lighten to blonde through the tips.

"You do have to be careful so you don't just look like you forgot to color your hair," Young says. You want to look sun-kissed, not like a black-and-white cookie, she explains.

O'Day has tinted the tips of her locks for the past few months, first with pink, then blue and now a dark coral.

"It's just fun," she says.


Here are a few do-it-yourself ideas to incorporate ombre into your life this spring.


Think of ombre as the new and sophisticated cousin of tie-dye. Remember to be careful when doing your own coloring, as dye (by design) can stain items you weren't hoping to turn into an ombre-tastic work of art.

Here's what you need

to create an ombre effect

on fabrics:

Liquid or powder dye

White garment or fabric in cotton, rayon, linen, silk or nylon


2-cup glass measuring cup

3-gallon plastic bin or bucket

Metal spoon

Rubber gloves


Dishwashing liquid

Dowel rod, 1-inch diameter

Plastic cover or tablecloth

Launder fabric to remove any finishes that may prevent absorption of dyes.

1. Cover work surface with a plastic cover or tablecloth.

2. Wearing rubber gloves, shake liquid dye bottle and measure ½ cup liquid dye or 1 box powder dye into a disposable container. Add 1 cup salt and 4 cups very hot water; stir well. Note: If water is not hot enough, heat water in the microwave or a tea kettle.

3. Pour dye solution into a 3-gallon plastic bin or container. Add 2 gallons very hot tap water and a squirt of liquid detergent; stir well.

4. Wet fabric and squeeze out excess water. Wrap two-thirds of dress around a dowel rod. Immerse bottom one-third third of dress in dye bath for 10 minutes, gently moving it back and forth and up and down

5. Then dip middle section of fabric in dye bath for 5 minutes, gently lifting and lowering it to create lighter and darker shades or until desired shade is achieved.

6. Then, wearing rubber gloves, unroll top section of fabric and quickly dip dress in dye bath just long enough to achieve a very light shade.

7. Remove fabric from dye bath and wring out excess dye. Rinse fabric under cool running water, holding the lightest color at the top. This allows the dye to flow through to the darkest area. Then rinse fabric in warm water, until water runs clear. Wash fabric in warm water with detergent. Rinse thoroughly and wring out excess water. Machine dry

or hang to dry.

Source: www.ritdye.com


Canvas tote

Sponge brush

Fabric paint in white and color of your choice

Parchment paper

Painters tape

1. Cut desired shape out

of parchment paper; tape

in desired position on flattened tote bag.

2. Section off a portion of the cutout with painter's tape and fill in with darkest color.

3. Add white fabric paint

to original color and remove tape from first painted area, and place a clean piece of tape about a ½ inch up.

4. Continue adding white with each new section and taping off a new area. No need to let it dry between applications because you're creating a blended look anyway.

5. Remove parchment paper and hang to dry.


Cake just got sweeter. Now you can create a new hue in layer for an ombre dessert.

Buy three boxes of white cake mix, and split each batch into two separate bowls. In each of the six bowls, add an increasing amount of food coloring in your choice of hue.

Bake in round pans following directions on the box; frost and stack as desired.

Related Topics: FASHION
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