How to Wear a Shadow Root on Blonde Hair

Shadow roots offer an effortless yet stylish way to wear blonde hair, perfect for those seeking less maintenance than ombre or balayage. It requires less frequent touchups with this approach. Stylists achieve this look by shading the root area with a darker shade that blends seamlessly into blonde strands. Watch three of our stylists demonstrate this technique!


Even those with naturally black hair can rock this stylish yet low-maintenance color trend! Ensure your roots have been dyed a shade lighter before adding darker tones with dye (if you are naturally blonde, simply use clear gloss to keep up the look). Shadow root doesn’t create the stark contrasts seen with ombre or balayage; its dye is spread evenly to fade into your heart rather than creating an obvious line at your scalp. As such, touchups are required less frequently compared to traditional highlights. Are you curious to give this technique a go? Continue scrolling for 29 shadow root ideas that’ll have you reaching out to your colorist ASAP.


Shadow roots offer an alternative to dramatic ombre, offering stylists greater versatility in styling a look tailored to each client. Stylists can experiment with color to achieve an effect tailored perfectly for their clients. No matter the color scheme you desire – whether soft and neutral gradient or a vibrant pop of vibrant color – shadow roots provide subtle yet effective contrast and make pre-existing highlights and natural hair tone appear more vibrant. They can also work well with layered cuts for extra texture and visual thickness. Popular among trend-setting blondes like Lucy Hale, Hailey Baldwin, and Margot Robbie, the smudged transition from roots to tips is a popular style choice among clients who appreciate its ease and low maintenance needs. This technique works great with virtually any shade and is an excellent option for those who dislike full root coverage’s monthly touchup requirement; plus, it offers more natural-looking faded styles without growing out due to ombre.

Rainbow Roots

If you’re bored of ombre or balayage but need more time to be ready to commit to all-over hair color, try this gorgeous technique that leaves your roots dark – root shadowing (also called root stretching). Root shadowing allows endless color possibilities from natural darker sources to rainbow hues! Consider opting for a platinum shade that blends in seamlessly with your natural root tone or warm brown hue, or go bolder by opting for silvery or platinum blonde roots, which morph into light ash or frosty blonde tones. Brunettes should opt for a rich cinnamon hue that blends in seamlessly with their natural or bronde shade, or reserve your darker roots to wear pastel shades ranging from cotton candy pink to velvety lavender – great ways to celebrate summer without the ongoing maintenance required with bleaching each time your haircut appointment comes around! Remember to bring some photos so your stylist knows exactly what look you’re going for!


If your client prefers something less dramatic than complete shadow root coloring, consider offering more subdued variations such as dark blonde toners or glazes as color-depositing shampoos to avoid brassy locks between salon appointments. An appealing, beachy look can be achieved with a warm medium brown base, blonde highlights, and subtle shadow root melt. This combination is an excellent option for brunettes who wish to add depth without going completely blonde. Samantha of Samantha’s Beauty Confessions used a variety of Schwarzkopf Professional permanent color formulas to achieve the light, ashy tones in this balayage, including Blondor on roots and mid-lengths and lighter shade on ends; then used actual beautiful honest tone softener as part of her formula to soften it and soften its shimmery effect; finally used her toner/glaze on damp hair to prevent breakage and create a seamless result that she loved the look! She adores its development!