What Are Hot Roots? (+ How to Avoid & Fix Them)


If you’ve ever indulged in a bit at-home hair coloration, you’ve seemingly run into scorching roots at one level or one other.

You know what I’m speaking about… like if you wash out your hair coloration, and your roots are a pleasant shade of super-bright brassy… whereas the remainder of your hair is that excellent tone.

…and you’ll’t even cover them with all of the glitter on this planet.

What Are Hot Roots? (+ How to Avoid & Fix Them) 1

These, my good friend, are known as “scorching roots,” and so they’re usually frowned upon within the hair business.

But you then combine in Billie Eilish and a world-wide lockdown, and also you’ve bought your self a brand new hair coloration pattern.

So what’s the deal? Are they scorching or not?

Let’s speak about what causes the undesirable look, easy methods to keep away from and/or repair it, and how one can get fashionable roots at house in case you wished to…

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"Hot roots" are an ultra common hair color mishap, but they're also completely avoidable. Here's what you gotta do to prevent them...

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What Are Hot Roots & Where Do They Come From?

Let’s begin by speaking about virgin hair… aka hair that has by no means been coloured. Never. Not even one tiny bit.

It reacts fully in a different way to paint than hair that has been beforehand coloured.

And as you in all probability concluded, your outgrowth consists of virgin hair. And it reacts fully in a different way to the dye than the beforehand coloured hair proper subsequent to it.

Are you maintaining? Good… as a result of right here’s one other factor we have to throw into the equation: your scalp emits physique warmth, which makes hair coloration course of sooner and lighter than the remainder of your hair.

Last however not least, if there’s a distinction between the outgrowth and the beforehand coloured hair (like blonde hair with darkish brown roots), you’ll have to make use of totally different coloration formulations on every part.

For instance, you’d should lighten the darkish roots with out lightening the blonde hair, and so on.

So as you may think about, all of that is the proper recipe for catastrophe.

What Causes Hot Roots?

Typically, when somebody colours their hair, it’s as a result of they’ve outgrowth they wish to cowl… which signifies that they’ll be beginning with two totally different base colours.

If the beforehand coloured hair is darker than the brand new goal coloration, you’ll should lighten it earlier than including the brand new coloration. In different phrases, you may’t lighten hair coloration with extra hair coloration… it needs to be lifted with bleach or coloration stripper (see The Golden Rule of Hair Color for more information on this phenomenon).

If you don’t elevate the beforehand coloured hair with bleach first, solely the roots will get lighter, when you simply add extra pigment to the beforehand coloured hair… which may really make it darker.

Let’s sum that each one up with an instance: Let’s say that you simply’re naturally soiled blonde, however dyed your hair medium brown. Then, let’s fake that one month later, you place a golden blonde coloration throughout your complete head. The roots would flip completely golden blonde, however the medium brown would keep brown.

On the opposite, in case you use a distinct stage, shade, or base coloration on the roots than the remainder of your hair, you’ll find yourself with two totally different shades.

For occasion, let’s say you have already got a stage 10 ultra-blonde in your hair, however you contact up your roots with a stage eight golden blonde. This will lead to two totally different colours.

Especially in case your hair is already lighter than your roots.

Last however not least, in case you apply a lighter coloration from scalp to ends, the physique warmth makes the colour elevate extra at your scalp, leading to a distinct stage.

To stop this from occurring, begin by making use of coloration 1″ away from the scalp. When the hair is halfway-through processing, apply the colour to the roots. But don’t fear about doing this when going darker… it solely must be performed when going lighter.

So many alternative situations, proper? Remember: for this reason hair colorists make the large bucks.

How to Prevent It From Happening

Of course, the very best recommendation I can provide you is at all times to get your hair performed by a skilled skilled. They’ll be capable of match the tone and stage of your roots to the tone and stage of the remainder of your hair.

BUT… in case you nonetheless wish to give it a go, right here’s what you’ll must do:

  • Like I beforehand talked about, if you’re going lighter on virgin hair, don’t apply coloration to the basis space till the remainder of the hair is 50% performed processing.
  • Likewise, you may at all times use a shade darker on the root space to stop it from going lighter than the remainder of your hair.
  • If you’ve gotten outgrowth and are going lighter throughout, you may lighten your roots and clean up the remainder of your hair with a “color-balancing” pre-treatment. This will trigger minimal injury whereas providing you with a clear slate to work on. If your beforehand coloured hair is tremendous darkish (like black or darkish brown), you could must bleach it first.
  • You could must formulate coloration or bleach in a different way for the outgrowth than the remainder of your hair. For occasion, it is likely to be sensible to make use of a lower-level developer on the outgrowth.
  • When touching up outgrowth with the identical coloration as the remainder of your hair, make certain to not overlap the colour onto the beforehand coloured hair. This may cause a halo or color-banding impact.
  • Also, when touching up regrowth, make certain to make use of the identical tone because the beforehand coloured hair.

Just do not forget that coloration isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” sort factor. Every formulation is totally different for every distinctive state of affairs.

How to Fix A Hair Color Mishap

So you ended up with a mishap… now what?

If your roots are tremendous brassy, you could must tone them down with a cooler coloration. Apply the toner to the road of demarcation and barely smudge it into the remainder of your hair.

You may additionally strive purple shampoo to counteract yellow undertones.

The different choice is to attend a day or two earlier than making use of a coloration that’s one shade darker to the basis space.

How To get Billie Eilish Hair

If you wish to give your self scorching roots purposely, make certain to make use of a smudging approach, like this one by Gal Biller. This helps mix the colour into the remainder of your hair.

If you need brilliant colours like Billie Eilish, you could must bleach out your root part first.


FAQ Icon
Do scorching roots go away?

You can tone them down or coloration over them, however they normally don’t go away on their very own. However, they could be much less noticeable as your hair grows out.

Why do I get scorching roots once I coloration my hair?

Several issues may trigger this phenomenon to occur. That being mentioned, the commonest purpose is that physique warmth from the scalp causes the hair to elevate extra in that part.

How do I stop scorching roots?

You can use a shade darker close to the scalp or formulate the colour in a different way for the hair close to the scalp. You can even wait to use coloration to the scalp space till the remainder of the hair has processed 50%.

What do scorching roots appear to be?

Since various things may cause this phenomenon to occur, totally different outcomes may happen. However, it normally seems like hair that’s lighter close to the scalp (usually with brassy tones).

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts Icon

Dying your hair is usually extra difficult than slapping on coloration and calling it a day. You should formulate the colour with love and have a plan of assault earlier than you begin.

While it’s at all times finest to have an expert aid you, it’s not not possible to provide you with the proper coloration formulation at house.

With the following pointers and a bit frequent sense, you’re certain to keep away from the dreaded scorching root dilemma.

Until subsequent time,


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