5 Tips for Shadow Root Success

photo courtesy of @sheismeaganlee

Dark roots are a painful part of the natural grow out process, so why not embrace them? Shadow roots have taken over our social feeds lately, and with good reason. A shadow root makes hair color appear more natural, while also allowing the color to grow out seamlessly.

Truth be told, most clients prefer low-maintenance locks, and incorporating a shadow root is a great way to keep your less-frequent clientele satisfied. Fear not, adding a shadow root can actually increase your ticket price, so low-maintenance doesn't necessarily mean less money. 

Like other techniques, the shadow root takes time to master. We talked with a few of the best blenders in the business to learn their secrets to shadow root success. Here, they share their top tips. 

Make it natural. Because the goal is to create the look of natural depth, Max Gourgues (@maxgourgues) suggests keeping the root color as close to the natural color as possible—only two or three tones of difference. 

Move the root. Erik Gutierrez (@hairerik) says it's crucial to keep the root moving rather than letting it sit. To do so, be sure to constantly comb through as you're applying color. 

Use a cool neutralizer. If you're looking to neutralize warmth, using a cool-level tone neutralizer is key. Ami Leigh (@createbdbyami) says this step is crucial for giving the root a deeper shadow effect, rather than a brassy hot root. 

Paint the hairline last.  This way, you'll have control over how soft or deep you want the hairline to be, Ivan Hernandez (@justhairobsession) says. 

Comb it out. You don't need to apply as much color as you think. Meagan Lee (@sheismeaganlee) suggests only painting an inch and then using a comb to diffuse the color naturally. 

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