Everything You Need to Know About Root Shadow and Root Melt
Whether you’re looking to brighten up your hair color or go bold this season, a root shadow or root melt may be the technique for you. Gone are the days when dark roots are seen as unkept or messy and we’re ready to embrace this effortless, low maintenance hair color!
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about root shadows, root melts, and the difference between the two!
What is a root shadow?
Essentially, the root shadow technique is lightening the lengths of the hair but leaving darker roots. The purpose is to create a slight shadow at the roots of the hair to blur the area where the highlights or lightened hair meet the root.
The result of this technique is a soft, gradient transition from dark to light. The amazing thing about root shadow is that it looks very natural so you will never see a harsh line where the light and dark tones meet.
While root shadows are typically done on people who want to go lighter, they can also be used for those who want to rock fashion colors such as blues, purples, pinks, and more! In this case, if you’re going for blue, the colorist will typically color the roots a darker shade of blue to still allow for a smooth transition from darker to lighter tones.
Even though the roots are colored, it still looks natural when the hair starts to grow out because of those darker tones up top.
What is a root melt?
If you’ve heard of root shadow, you may have heard of root melt. The root melt technique is done after foiling services like highlights or babylights to completely blur out any lines of demarcation (AKA the line where darker hair meets lighter hair.)
If you can guess by the name, the purpose of the technique is to literally make it look like the base or root color is melting into the other tones of the hair. This means that the natural root color is pulled down a few inches past the roots to really blend in with the other colors.
Like with root shadow, root melt can be used for bright color applications to provide extra dimension and movement to the hair.
Difference between root shadow and root melt
Root shadow and root melt are extremely similar in their technique and end result. After all, their purpose is to make the hair color look more natural and give dimension but there is one key difference between the two.
With a root shadow, your colorist creates a very slight shadow by either leaving your natural roots alone or pulling the color down about an inch.
With a root melt, the darker shades are pulled down further to really eliminate any harsh lines and give the illusion of a seamless blend between light and dark. Overall, a root melt will look darker than a root shadow because the darker tones are further down on the hair than a root melt.
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Benefits of both techniques
Still unsure if a root shadow or root melt is right for you? Here are some benefits of the techniques to consider before your next salon appointment:
- Both techniques provide a super low maintenance hair color. If you’re someone who can’t come into the salon often or can’t afford a root touch-up every few weeks, getting a root melt or root shadow can save you time and money. With these techniques, your color can last up to three months before needing any touch-ups.
- When you leave the roots untouched, it allows for healthier hair growth as the roots don’t have to be lightened or colored constantly to avoid harsh lines. When your roots start to grow in, they look naturally blended with the rest of your color.
- If you’re trying to grow out your hair or hair color, root shadows or root melts are a great option for you. These techniques allow for a seamless regrowth without damage and allows the hair to grow longer and healthier.
- Believe it or not, root shadows and root melts can actually give the illusion of more voluminous hair! The shadow effect of the techniques provide dimension which makes your hair appear plump and fuller. So, if you’re someone who has a finer hair density, these two techniques are definitely for you!
- Root shadows and root melts provide a natural, sun-kissed look to your hair–almost like you just spent hours basking in the sun at a tropical beach! Because there are no harsh lines, your hair color looks like what naturally grows out of your head (your secret is safe with me!)
- These coloring techniques can work with all lengths of hair—from a pixie to a lob to hair that reaches your butt! They are universal and can work for anyone.
- Speaking of using these techniques universally, a root shadow and root melt can be used to achieve almost any hair color, from the brightest of blondes to ashy grays to loud purples and greens! Using a root shadow or melt gives movement and dimension to these colors so they don’t feel flat or boring. The options are truly endless.
Maintaining root shadows and root melts are extremely easy and don’t require anything out of the ordinary. Simply make an appointment for a color touch up whenever your roots grow too long for your personal preference.
With that being said, if you have bright blonde or ashy tones in your hair, you may want to come into the salon every 6-8 weeks to touch up your toner to keep your locks bright!
If you’re unsure if root melts or root shadows are right for you (or if you can’t decide between the two), call your colorist or book time for a consultation. While these techniques don’t offer drastic changes that are hard to keep up with, you still want to make sure that the outcome is your desired result!
Hair by Natalia
Denver CO 80206