"We're about three weeks away from finding out everyone's real hair color," reads the most relatable lockdown-inspired meme to populate your Instagram feed, ever. But what if that's not such a bad thing after all — and your untouched roots are, for all intents and purposes, the basis to a very cool and easy-to-maintain hair trend?
It's true. According to NYC-based colorist Stephanie Brown, the color you'll be seeing everywhere in the coming weeks is called "shadow roots," and it's the latest twist on the ever-popular ombré hair-color trend. Inspired by all this extended time at home (but in the best way), this look spotlights your natural grow-out on purpose and blends in with the rest of your lighter hair.
"This summer, hair color is all going to be about the grow-out," she said. "People aren't going to want to touch up their roots as often. Plus, shadow roots work on any highlighted look — brunette, red, blond, or even platinum without highlights — but make sure your stylist tones your roots after they have been highlighted close to your natural base for an easier grow-out. That makes everything blend together."
For the most natural-looking effect, tell your colorist you want the lighter color to start an inch from the roots. Or, if nothing else, don't be afraid to speak up if you want an easy maintenance style: "There are going to be a lot more conversations between colorists and clients about what will look best and what will grow out best on each individual," Brown said. "After lockdown, and not being able to see your stylist for a few months, people want to be able to have their color last longer so they don't have to come into the salon as much in case this happens again."
Feeling inspired? Just wait until you see a few of our favorite takes on the shadow-roots trend ahead. Try it yourself, and it'll be you who has the last laugh.