How to darken your roots for a balayage? Which dye should you choose?

dark roots and light ends

You want to darken your hair’s roots to get a balayage?


Balayage is a technique that transitions in color from root to end.

The roots are generally dark, and the ends lighter.


On dark brown hair or black hair, the only way to get that effect is to bleach the ends of your hair.

But what happens with blonde hair?


With blonde hair, since the ends are light, you’ll have to darken the roots to get the balayage effect.

  • So, for example, if your current hair color is medium blonde (7), you can darken your roots to dark brown (3 or 4).
  • If your current hair color is light blonde (8), then you can darken your roots to brown (5).
  • And lastly, if your current hair color is very light blonde (9), you can color your roots with a dye that’s 6 or 7.


 The difference between your roots and your ends should be two shades at a minimum. 


Now you know how much to darken your hair’s roots so your balayage can look exactly how you dreamed it would.

But if you thought that was it, no ma’am.

Now I’ll tell you step-by-step with every gritty detail how to darken your hair’s roots for your balayage.


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How to choose the right shade of dye to darken your roots for a balayage and what other materials you’ll need


First and foremost, you need dye.

What shade should you choose for your hair?


Remember what we said before.

The idea of a balayage is to get a gradual transition from dark to light.

 Between your root’s color and your ends’ color, there needs to be a difference of at least two shades and a maximum of 4. 


They also shouldn’t be opposite shades.

For example, very light blonde (9) on the ends with black roots (1) would look very bad since it wouldn’t be possible to achieve the transitive effect that makes the shades mix. You’d go from black to blonde, and your hair would look like a striped flag.


Let’s look at a few examples:

  • If your hair is medium blonde 7, you can apply a 3 or 4 shade.
  • If your hair is a light blonde 8, you can apply a 5 or 6 shade.
  • If your hair is extra light blonde of either 9 or 10, you can apply a six or 7.


That’s it, and now you know what color dye you’ll need for your roots.

What other materials do you need?


 I recommend that you buy a color kit that comes with everything included. 

But, if you buy everything separately, you’ll need several things.

  • Dye
  • 20 volume peroxide
  • Bowl
  • Gloves
  • Dye brush


But, really, the fastest and cheapest way to get it all is with a color kit.

Now that you have all the materials you need, we can get started with the color.


How to darken your hair’s roots, step-by-step

Once you have all the materials, you can start the process.

 But lookout, it’s not as easy as many people think it is. If you don’t have experience dyeing hair, I’d ask you to please go to a professional salon. 


Doing a balayage is a lot different from dyeing your whole head of hair or doing a few simple highlights.

To get the characteristic fade-in, you have to divide your hair in a unique way. If you don’t, your hair might end up looking like a flag.

And if you don’t believe me, look up “bad balayage” or something similar in Google, and you’ll see what I mean.

That said, let’s look at this step by step.


Step 1

Divide your hair into four parts, from forehead to neck and from ear to ear.

Always start with the back part if you don’t want to go to a salon, as a friend, cousin, neighbor, etc. for help.


Step 2

You should cover your roots well with the dye; remember that a balayage leaves 2-3 inches of roots visible.

I also recommend that every 2 inches or so, you do a small brush of dye until you reach halfway down your hair.

That way, the colors will mix, and there won’t be a line.


  • Don’t overfill the brush, or else you’ll risk staining the rest of your hair with the dye, and you’ll look like a dalmatian.
  • Be super careful with the hairline and bangs, since this is part of your hair that is most visible.


Step 3

Once you’ve applied the dye, let it sit for 30-40 minutes at most.

For example, Revlon recommends leaving its dye in for 35 minutes and Garnier 40.

 That’s why it’s important to read the instructions on the dye that you choose. 


Step 4

Rinse the dye out with a lot of lukewarm water. If you want, you can use your regular shampoo, or you can do it without, as you prefer

Once the water runs clear, you have two choices.

You can use the after-color cream that comes with your color kit or use a conditioner.


Step 5

Dry your hair with a hairdryer and apply an anti-frizz serum.


Now you have your roots darkened, now you need to go to the salon and choose the color you like most for your balayage.

Remember that this process is to darken your roots, NOT TO DO THE BALAYAGE.

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