If you’ve ever dyed your hair to a lighter shade, you probably know that the biggest fear and the number one bogey of the hair coloring process are hot roots.
Don’t think you’re the only one who’s been fretting them – we all fear them, and admittedly, we’ve all been there. You bleach your hair and pray to gods you don’t end up with hot roots.
Well, no need to pray anymore! I’ve got the solution right here.
By following my tips and tricks, hot roots will become a thing of the past for you. Prepare to say goodbye to the nuisance that is hot roots and welcome the luminous, even, and blended hair color.
Without further ado, let’s get into this article to find out how to avoid hot roots.
What Are Hot Roots?
It’s not a happenstance you’re here so I’ll assume you’ve either experienced hot roots and you’re trying to get rid of them, or you’re ready to bleach your hair for the first time and you’re petrified you’ll get hot roots.
Whatever the case, you’re in the right place.
But before we get deeper into it, first, you need to know what exactly hot roots are. If you’ve never used bleach or high volume developer before, you probably don’t really know a lot about hot roots, and that’s totally fine.
After all, not all of us are professional hair colorists, so allow me to explain in simple terms.
So, what are hot roots?
They are for sure a dreaded sight for both blondes and hair colorists, and to the inexperienced folks, they are quite confusing since it’s not clear from the term what exactly it entails.
Hot roots are roots that are way brighter than the rest of your hair. They are often brassy and yellowy-orange, so it’s not a particularly flattering look.
How Do You Get Hot Roots?
How do hot roots even happen? Is the problem in the hair dye or is your coloring technique troublesome?
One thing’s sure – you’re a thousand times less likely to get hot roots when you get your hair dyed at a salon by a professional hair colorist cause most of the time they know what they’re doing.
If you think your colorist has no idea what he/she is doing, run like hell, because once you get hot roots, getting rid of them is a real drag (and you actually pay a fortune for them).
So, if you have a trustworthy colorist, don’t fret about hot roots. They most often occur when you decide to dye your own hair at home.
We’ve all experienced it – you get the sudden urge to dye your hair because you’re either bored or you’re in dire need of a change, and buying a $15 box of hair dye seems like the best idea ever.
Dyeing your own hair is fun and all, but you have to tread carefully. There are too many things that can go wrong, one of the worst being hot roots.
There are mainly two reasons why we get hot roots.
- You have already dyed your hair and it’s time for a retouch, but you use a lighter shade than before so your roots, a.k.a. virgin hair (your natural hair color) end up way lighter than the rest.
- Virgin hair processes way faster than dyed hair since hair dye developer has a higher impact on your natural hair than it does on already colored hair.
- There’s no layer of dye on your hair strands so there’s nothing to stop the developer from penetrating deep into your hair and lifting all the pigment.
- Perhaps you’re not aware of this, but your scalp is actually generating heat. Once you apply hair dye to your scalp and roots, the heat generated from the scalp accelerates the process as it reacts with the developer so your roots get processed a lot quicker than the rest of your hair.
How To Avoid Hot Roots?
There are a few things you can do to prevent ever getting hot roots in the first place. If you already got them, don’t worry, we’ll also cover the part on how to get rid of them.
But first, let’s see what you should do to avoid them altogether.
Tip #1 – Stay True To Your Color Scheme
- Once you dye your hair, you’ll realize that a lot of time and effort goes into keeping it fresh and evenly colored. Most people need to dye it at least once a month but if you’re using a high-maintenance color such as red, you probably need to dye it every two weeks.
- So, yeah, you need to retouch the roots every once in a while. And what that happens, you want to be really careful – make sure you always go with color either the same shade as previously or darker.
- As I already mentioned, suddenly switching to a lighter shade will only make your roots (your virgin hair) lighter and the rest of your hair will remain untouched, so the final result is hot roots.
- In case you want to go a few shades lighter, you need to use a certain coloring technique, which brings me to my next tip.
Tip #2 – Switch Up Your Coloring Technique
- If you decide it’s time for a change and you suddenly wish to have lighter hair than before, you need to be extremely cautious. Switching to a darker shade is a piece of cake, but actually making your hair lighter takes a lot more effort.
- The number one rule of hair dyeing (especially blonde and other light colors) is: never start at the roots.
- Instead, start applying the dye from the middle part of your hair and do the roots last.
- Furthermore, if you’re going to do it by yourself, you need to section the hair. Split your hair into small sections and do each separately. For the best results, start from the bottom and work your way up to the front of your head.
- Why do you need to leave the roots for the end?
- Because the heat generated from your scalp will speed up the dyeing process and you’ll get hot roots.
Tip #3 – Use All The Tools You Have
- Dyeing your own hair is tricky so you’ll need all the tool you have at your disposal. Hair combs, hair clippers and hair brushes are your best friends.
Tip #4 – Try Not To Bleach Wet Hair
- If you’re using bleach before hair color or toner, you have to be careful not to start applying it roots first.
- Again, the best thing to do is to leave the roots for the end since they process a lot faster.
- Also, try to avoid bleaching wet hair. Although it’s technically okay to bleach wet hair in some situations, if you’re worried about hot roots, don’t do it.
- What’s more, don’t apply bleach to freshly washed and dried hair. By washing your hair, you’re stripping it of natural protective oils that prevent damages from the bleach.
- So the ideal way to do it so to wait a few days and apply bleach to greasy hair, starting at the middle and doing the roots last.
Tip #5 – Watch The Clock
- Whether you use bleach or just regular hair color, you need to leave it on exactly according to the instructions.
- This is not a joke – we’re talking about putting chemicals on your scalp. So not only can you end up with hot roots, but leaving the dye to process for longer than indicated can actually do great damage to your hair and scalp.
- The matter is even more serious when it comes to bleach. If you’re not sure how long you can leave bleach in your hair, check out this helpful guide on bleaching your hair.
How To Get Rid Of Hot Roots?
If it’s too late for prevention and you already got hot roots, don’t despair. The solution to your problem lies in toners.
Steer clear of classic hair dye when fixing hot roots. Instead, use a toner to try to match the color of your roots to the rest of your hair. Toners are way more gentle than hair dye (semi-permanent and demi-permanent) so it won’t damage your hair and there’s significantly fewer chances of it making the problem worse (unlike hair dye).
The Bottom Line
Hot roots are not hot at all, believe me.
Not only do they make your hair look brassy and unhygienic, but they also take a lot of time and effort to fix.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent them from happening in the first place, and you know what they say – better safe than sorry.
In this case, this is 100% to the point!