Showing your roots used to be a no-no. Now stars are paying a fortune to have them painted on

Showing your roots used to be a no-no. Now stars are paying a fortune to have them painted on

Showing your roots used to be a no-no. Now stars are paying a fortune to have them painted – Celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward explains why

  • Actress Elizabeth Debicki showed off two inches of dark roots on the red carpet
  • Once considered a big no-no, showing your roots is a big trend this season
  • Celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward calls this “root staining” and aims to blend hair so regrowth is less defined

When Elizabeth Debicki took to the red carpet for the premiere of the new series The Crown earlier this month, women around the world had only one question: “Is that really her roots?”

The actress appeared to have let her hair grow out carelessly, showing a good two inches of dark roots under her blonde hairdo. And yet somehow she still looked good — the dark hair framed and defined her delicate face, while subtle highlights elsewhere lifted the look.

Once considered the ultimate no-no, showing off your roots is a big trend this season — one I’ve been asked about at the salon by celebrity clients I’m way too discreet to mention.

Actress Elizabeth Debicki showed off two inches of dark roots on the red carpet. Once considered a big no-no, showing your roots is a big trend this season

But before you cancel your next color appointment, there’s one more thing you need to know.

As effortless as Miss Debicki seems, the actress didn’t just think “to hell” and start growing out her tan. Hours of hard work went into making her dark roots look so natural.

The look is known as “shadow roots,” and — as with anything casual and undone by the rich and famous — it’s actually an illusion created by a professional colorist. The effect, of course, is the exact opposite: it screams ‘I’m not perfect’.

Margot Robbie: I'D Say She Just Let Her Roots Grow. But She'S Tense Enough To Make That Work For Her

MARGOT ROBBIE: I’d say she just let her roots grow. But she’s tense enough to make that work for her

Sienna Miller: If We Needed Proof That Shade Roots Don'T Suit Everyone, Sienna Delivers It Here

SIENNA MILLER: If we needed proof that shade roots aren’t for everyone, Sienna delivers it here

That is why shade roots are gaining immense popularity among models, celebrities and edgy fashionistas.

That said, this look is achievable for anyone – if you know a stylist talented in the art of balayage, a highlighting technique where hair appears multi-tonal and fades into the lengths and ends, giving it a naturally sun-kissed look. Then you can trust them to give you a mature color effect that looks natural and avoids that horrific landing strip of regrowth on top of the head.

Sarah Jessica Parker: She Should Have Had This Redone Two Or Three Weeks Ago, The Roots Are Way Too Long

SARAH JESSICA PARKER: She should have had this redone two or three weeks ago – the roots are way too long

Florence Pugh: With A Zigzag Parting Like Florence'S, You Can Free Up Time Between Visits To The Salon

FLORENCE PUGH: With a zigzag parting like Florence’s, you can free up time between visits to the salon

In my salon this technique is called ‘root smudging’. First, fine highlights are added to the ends and mid-lengths, leaving some natural roots visible. We then apply a semi-permanent toner to the root area — this gives a natural fade and gradually washes out to soften and smear the roots so you don’t end up with a harsh line.

The goal is to blend the hair so that the regrowth is less defined and softer. And it doesn’t matter what shade your hair is – light roots with dark hair can work just as well as dark roots and light hair.

Carey Mulligan: This Is So Well Done I'M Not Sure If It'S Root Spots Or Not. The Rest Of Her Hair Is So Well Colored That Her Roots Look Very Contrived

Charlize Theron: Hair Regrowth Looks Super Natural. Look Closely And You Can See That She Has A Few Little Highlights That Are Done Right To The Root

Left: CAREY MULLIGAN: This is so well done I’m not sure if it’s root spots or not. The rest of her hair is so well colored that her roots look very contrived. Right: CHARLIZE THERON: Her regrowth looks super natural. Look closely and you can see that she has a few little highlights that are done right to the root

But make no mistake, this is a manufactured style that requires a lot of technique and time. Highlights are applied with meticulous attention to detail — some up to the crown, others at varying distances from the scalp.

This careful blending is the only way an older client can achieve no shades of gray in the roots. And if you have a lot of gray or white, you have to wipe them out every few weeks, which would make it prohibitively expensive to maintain. This is not a look you can wear for a long time. That’s because it only really works if the root is limited to a maximum of five or ten centimeters. Any longer, and it will really seem like you just don’t care. And frankly, that’s not a look every woman should be aiming for.

Kim Kardashian: I Think Those Roots Are Painted On Because No Woman Kim'S Age With Hair That Dark Doesn'T Have At Least Some Gray

KIM KARDASHIAN: I think those roots are painted on because no woman Kim’s age with hair that’s dark doesn’t have at least some gray

Reese Witherspoon: This Is The Ultimate Inverted Balayage. I Would Encourage Any Woman Who Wants To Play With Visible Roots To Consider Something Like This

REESE WITHERSPOON: This is the ultimate inverted balayage. I would encourage any woman who wants to play with visible roots to consider something like this

Show More


The author of what' is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Related Articles

Back to top button