What is a shadow root?
When you think of getting highlights, you probably imagine adding lighter, brighter pieces to give your hue more oomph. But a new trend growing in popularity on Instagram proves that achieving incredible dimension isn't just about the lighter strands. Creating natural-looking shadows in the hair with a technique called shadow toning is a stunning way to give your color depth while making the transition from your natural shade much more seamless.
Shadow hair is a new hair colour trend that helps mimic the ombré of virgin hair. This works really well for someone who likes the idea of highlighted hair but hates the idea of being in the salon every four to six weeks. You can go as long as four months without retouching your roots with this trend.
So, how does it work?
I use shadow toning along with babylights and balayage to give a soft, organic root. At the shampoo bowl, a customized formula of demi- permanent colour is applied at the root area, leaving out the hairline to maintain brightness. I let this develop for 5 to 10 minutes and apply a toner to the mid-lengths and ends, which has been formulated to meet the client's blonde needs.
We generally to choose a toner that's the same shade as your natural hair or, my personal favorite is to go a half-shade deeper than the natural hair colour. That's left to process until the desired color is achieved and then it's rinsed out. This gives a grown-out, more natural vibe to the highlights.
The #shadowroot hashtag brings up mostly shades of blonde, however, the shadow-hair look can work on any color. It's a really good way of lifting a darker base lighter and keeping it looking natural. The babylights in foil create maximum lift on darker hair, and the shadow tone ensures it looks natural and can be formulated to complement all skin tones. Shadow tone teamed with some face-framing babylights is my go-to technique for a natural beach-blonde look. You can still have the lightness that everyone wants higher up but without the maintenance that faces you with a traditional highlight. Its exciting how low-maintenance shadow hair can be. The regrowth is natural and ultra soft with no harsh lines.
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Christine White is a stylist, educator and the owner of Chroma Salon in Sarnia, ON.