The brand new shadow root coloring technique has entered the hair world, turning it upside down and showing that the color renaissance has happened. If you follow hair trends, you remember the tortuous path of recovering from the dark roots trend, where flawless results would wash away in less than a week. Then, the Hairy Godmother gave us balayage with its long-lasting results and smooth blend. And you know what? That was only the beginning.

The color technique you’re going to meet today is absolutely different from anything else you could ever do in the salon. Forget about unattractive grown-out roots; smooth blurred transition between your roots and tips is here to perfect your color experiments. Dive in to get to know how you can benefit from going for shadowed roots!


What Is Shadow Root Hair?

by @instagram_salsalhair The shadow root hair technique is similar to the good old ‘dark roots, light ends’ and different from that at the same time: it has no sharp contrast. Instead, it results in absolutely smooth and flawless blurred transition between shades. When creating the transition, colorists stretch the dye along the whole length, leaving the roots untouched. In this way, the hair at the roots and near this area remains as it is, and then connects the lighter ends with the roots through a pleasant gradient.

Shadow root hair is an innovational color option for those who aren’t ready for commitment but still want to go for something new.


Shadow Root Hair Technique

by @instagram_colorsbycash It’s very important to find a colorist who knows how to shadow root the hair the right way, as the technique requires working with a certain method. First of all, the stylist applies the color to the midshaft and tips only, leaving the roots as they are. Then comes the fateful detail: the root color and the added shade should form a single whole, blending smoothly and softly with one another. Obviously, it’s better to stay away from the idea of getting a shadow root at home and leave the perfect smudge to professionals if you’re a newbie.

The best thing is, with such a well-blended technique, you can create any look you want: from natural and effortless to bold and outrageous. Modern hairstylists, including celebrity colorists, love to diversify the coloring method, applying the dye to the roots for exceptional blend and fabulous finish. Besides, more and more stylists insist on their clients going for this technique because it:
  • adds liveliness and dimension to the hair;
  • provides a low-maintenance hair look that won’t require updates for up to three months;
  • allows you to grow out your natural hair color while still having a well-balanced look;
  • involves less damage since you don’t need to dye your roots;
  • turns your hair into a canvas for endless color experiments;
  • gives a totally trendy, hip look that follows the latest fashion;
  • looks radiant on all lengths

Shadow Root Hair Looks To Try

Now, how about some inspiration? If you have no idea what your next color transformation will be, we’ve collected the most creative and special ideas that make heads turn and minds go crazy!


Highlighted Sandy Blonde With Shadow Roots

by @instagram_chrisjones_hair

A lightweight sandy blonde shade that gently transits from dirty blonde roots to soft beige tint is here to show you how naturalness can meet dimension in blonde shadow root looks.

Shadow Roots Into Brown Balayage

by @instagram_sheffpavelstylist

With a shadow root balayage, you can find the happy medium between the most natural shades by sweeping a transparent blonde hue into your rich brown base.


Brownish Toned Shadow Roots

by @instagram_lenabogucharskaya

This blonde with shadow root seems to have taken the popular dark-to-light graduation to the next level: it’s hard to see where the brownie ends and champagne begins.

Ash Blonde With Shadow Roots

by @instagram_frances_hairartist

You will see your favorite ash-blonde become more profound and seductive once you try achieving it through the root shadow technique that melts everything organically.

Dirty Blonde With Shadow Roots

by @instagram_a.shtyrts

Shadow root blonde may come into your life in many different ways. And if you want it to be natural, pick a dirty blonde as a base: this shade of blonde goes ravishingly with deeper tones.


Blonde Babylights And Shadow Root

by @instagram_frances_hairartist

If you can’t help but experiment with different coloring techniques, a shadow root is what can make your color play complete. Here, babylights enliven the whole length, while the shadowing gives it a beautiful gradient as a finish.

Root Melt With Warm Lights

by @instagram_frances_hairartist

Although the primary is cool-toned, the overall look is somehow warm. Call it magic, call it true, but a couple of warmish sun-kissed streaks with nicely cold blended roots are enough to reach the perfect balance between the tones.

Ginger Red Hair

by @instagram_ashley.m.stylist

Today, there’s no need to be jealous about natural redheads, as you can rock an even trendier shade with dimensional movement running from deep roots to lustrous tips


Deep Red

by @instagram_xostylistxo

If you’re into contrastive colors, why don’t you make the contrast look harmonic rather than drastic? This deep, wine-like red shade looks unbelievably tasteful and rich with the blurred touch of black hitting the roots.

Chestnut Brown

by @instagram_sheffpavelstylist

Getting back to naturally-looking color jobs, this idea shows how you can create a real masterpiece by mixing two similar shades. Make sure that the added shade is just a tone lighter than your roots, and you will get the most of the technique.

Colored Roots Trend

The shadow root universe has prepared something more for you - the colored roots trend that involves the same technique with a different color approach. If you love vibrant looks that stand out in the crowd, you should become friends with colored roots!


Reddish Roots

by @instagram_xostylistxo

Platinum blonde with shadow root colored red: who would’ve thought that would be a genius idea? What makes the look so special is an even blend of two absolutely remote shades.

The Beetle Flower

by @instagram_xostylistxo

When you are about to make your color play as distinctive as possible, vivid roots come in. Needless to say, this purple shadow root knows what the spotlight is.

Blue Toned Roots To White

by @instagram_xostylistxo

Here, the root smudge adds a lot of character to the snow-like blonde, adding even more depth and dynamics to the static cool tone.


Blue & Pink

by @instagram_xostylistxo

You can go creative and apply a bright shade not only to the roots but also to the tips, finishing the look with a lighter hue at the mid-shafts. And don’t forget about pastels; they will always be in style.

Tropical Sunset With Blue Black Roots

by @instagram_xostylistxo

Words are powerless when it comes to such dramatic, saturated, and simply unbearable color combinations. The colors are all different, yet, they build the ideal balance with this smooth transition, which is just the icing on the cake. No wonder that the shadow root technique is all the rage all around the globe: there’s no a woman who won’t love a perfectly smudged gradient embellishing her head. Apart from the amazing visual side, the color idea has a lot of benefits such as versatility and low-maintenance nature. Now that you know why it’s so special, as well as how different it can be, it’s time to think of brand new changes!

FAQ: Shadow Root

What is the difference between balayage and shadow root?

Balayage is the hair color technique that has already broken the internet. A shadow root, on the other hand, differs from a standard highlight in that it uses the balayage technique to make a gradient rather than a hard, abrupt color line.

Does shadow root damage hair?

Dyeing your hair on a regular basis is bad for your hair. Shadow roots, on the other hand, don’t necessitate as much dying as standard hair coloring methods. This is a fantastic technique to keep your hair healthy while yet looking fashionable.

Does a root shadow fade?

Shadow root maintenance may vary depending on how you want to look like, as well as your original hair color, porosity and texture. However, a shadow root should last until your next lightening procedure. So, you can wait as long as you like. To keep your color as fresh and bright as possible, use color-safe shampoo with a heat protectant.