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How to Avoid Hot Roots

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You've lightened your hair with an at-home coloring kit and expect great results. But when you rinse the hair color out, you notice that the hair closest to your scalp is a noticeable shade or two lighter than the rest! What happened?

Hot Roots

What happened is a common mistake amateur colorists make and there's even a name for it: hot roots. It occurs when hair color is applied at the same time all over the head without taking into account your own body heat. That's right, the heat from your scalp causes the dye closest to it to work more quickly than the rest.

To avoid hot roots in the future, you have two options:

  • First, when applying color at home, begin 1/2 inch from your scalp and apply it all the way to the ends. After 20 minutes or so, apply color to the 1/2 inch closest to your scalp. Leave it on for the recommended time period, making sure to include the first 20 minutes as part of the total time.
  • Second, you can consult with a professional stylist who has a good deal of experience with coloring. All stylists are not created equal in this regard. If you don't know any top-notch colorists, ask around. If you see someone with a great hairstyle and color, ask her who she goes to. Get recommendations. Just don't put your head in the hands of someone who doesn't know color inside and out if you want spectacular results. For the best results, going to a professional is highly recommended, especially if your hair is chemically straightened, damaged and/or previously colored.
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