How to dye your roots darker than the rest of your hair (in only 4 steps)

lighter hair ends

Do you want to apply a darker dye to your roots than in the rest of your hair?


This isn’t so difficult to do, and you have two alternatives:

  • The first is that you can apply a darker shade of dye to your roots, a shade that’s within the color palette that you already have in your hair.
  • The second option is to apply a dye that contrasts with the rest of your hair color.
  • Whichever alternative you choose, you should always apply the dye to your roots with the help of a paintbrush or a comb, and you should do it in an imprecise way. If you want to know how to do it, don’t go anywhere, because I’ll explain step-by-step


 Having roots darker than the rest of your hair is one of the latest trends in coloring. 

Some stylists call it “shadow roots,” and it’s a low maintenance coloring technique in which a darker shade is applied directly to the roots, giving them a soft contrast with the rest of your hair.

Why is it so popular?


Because it’s an excellent way to refresh your look, giving your hair color new depth and dimension.

And because many women are even able to do it at home, given that it’s a simple application technique.


 But, as I was saying initially, it’s vital that you keep in mind the tone you are applying to your roots. This is an essential component so that the effect you’re looking for doesn’t seem like unintentional sloppiness. 

Do you know what will keep your appearance from looking sloppy?


The application technique.

So, if you’re thinking about having darker roots, stick around, because I’ll explain:

  • How to choose the correct tone so that your roots are darker than the rest of your hair
  • How to apply the dye step-by-step


If you pay attention to everything I’m going to tell you, you’ll be able to have a new modern, casual look.


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How to pick the shade for your roots


Before deciding on the tone, you should think about what you’re hoping to achieve with it.


  • Do you want a gentler transition between your darker roots and the rest of your hair?

Then you should choose a tone within the color palette that you already have in your hair. It could be one or two shades different.

For example, if you have light brown 6, you could apply a brown 4 to your roots.


If you still want to darken your roots more, you could choose a tone that’s two shades darker than your hair color.

For example, if your hair is a light blonde 8, you could pick a light brown 6; if your hair is an extra light blonde 9, you could go with a medium blonde 7, and if your hair is a medium blonde 7, you can darken your roots with a brown 5.

 It’s important that you carefully pick the tone for your roots and that you remember that you’ll need to touch it up as your hair grows. 


  • Are you looking for a contrast between your roots and the rest of your hair?

If you’re looking for something more extreme, you could go with a difference of more than 2 shades.

For example, if you have an extra light blonde 10, you could darken your roots with a dark brown dye or even black. Black roots will also look good with medium blonde 7 hair.


Some of my clients that have red hair have even applied a dark brown shade to their roots.

But you should know that if you go with this option, that is, a marked contrast between your roots and the rest of your hair, when the time arrives to go back to your lighter tone, you’ll have to go through several bleaching sessions to be able to remove the darker tones.


Now that you know how to pick a tone for darkening your roots, we can move on to the application.

Run to find your comb, that this time you won’t be using for detangling your hair.


How to apply dye to darken your roots step-by-step

different sizes and shapes

The technique for darkening roots is really simple because, basically, you don’t need to do it very precisely.

In fact, to have the darker tone in your roots and the lighter tone in the rest of your hair look well mixed, the idea is to be as imprecise as possible.


 If you apply a dark tone to your roots with a lot of effort and attention to detail, you run the risk of having a dividing line between the dark tone in your roots and the light tone in the rest of your hair. 

You should do this when you’re applying the dye to make some long streaks and others shorter, tracing an irregular line with the help of a paintbrush.


Once you’ve decided the shade for your roots, you should get all the materials.

  • Color kit
  • Dye paintbrush or tail comb
  • Plastic container


Now the moment of truth has arrived. We’ll start to dye your roots, to surprise your friends with this easy, modern change of look.


Step 1

Brush your hair and make sure there aren’t any knots, which can complicate the task when applying the dye.

 I advise that you brush your hair with a middle part, given that in this way, you’ll better be able to tell where your roots are while you’re applying the dye. 


Step 2

Prepare the mix using the materials that come with the color kit: the tube of dye and the developer.

After putting on the gloves, place the developer and the dye in a plastic container and mix well until it has a uniform consistency.


Step 3

With the help of the paintbrush, apply the color mix on your hairline in an irregular manner.

What do I mean by this?


Forget about drawing a straight, precise line; here, you’re looking for the opposite effect.

How do you get this “imprecise precision,” as I call it?


 Making streaks of different lengths, for example, in some roots making 2 centimeter streaks, and in others, 3 centimeter ones. You can also make longer streaks if you want. 

This irregularity will give you the effect of mixing the color of your roots with the rest of your hair.

You should only be careful regarding one detail: don’t forget to apply the dye in any part of your hairline, because instead of giving you the look you’re hoping for, you’ll lose it.


If you think that by using a paintbrush, you won’t achieve the imprecise style that this technique requires, you can use a tail comb, something that I recommend if you don’t have much experience dying roots.

In this case, you should apply the dye and then comb that section, dragging the dye in strands for three or five centimeters.

In this way, you’ll also achieve the mixed effect with the lighter color that you already have in your hair.

Once you’ve finished applying the dye, you should let it sit for forty minutes.


Step 4

After the exposure time has passed, you should rinse your hair with lots of lukewarm water until it runs clean without any traces of dye. You can also wash your hair with your normal shampoo, although personally, I don’t recommend it, given that shampoo tends to remove recently applied dye pigments.

The best thing to do is to let the color set for at least 48 hours, and then start washing your again with shampoo.


Now you know how to dye your roots so that they are darker than the rest of your hair.

So, what style will you choose? Gentle transition or complete contrast?

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