Unfortunately, “hot roots” does not actually mean people think your roots look really, really good. On the contrary, hot roots is a term that colorists use when the roots of your hair are noticeably–and unintentionally–warmer than the rest of your color. The color is usually redder, and can appear orange. Bear in mind that roots are naturally a little darker than the rest of the hair, so hot roots appear unnatural...and unwanted.
How Do Hot Roots Happen?
Hot Roots can happen for one of two reasons:
- When you try to color previously-colored hair a lighter color.
The heat from your scalp can cause your roots to respond faster to hair color than the mid-lengths and ends, so that the natural hair closest to the scalp lightens while the already-colored hair doesn’t.
- When you try to lighten natural hair all over, or are using a Vivid color for the first time on virgin (uncolored) hair.
Again, the hair closest to the head lightens faster than the rest of your hair due to the heat coming off your scalp, so in some cases an all-over application of one color can cause hot roots.
How To Avoid Hot Roots
- Choose a hair color the same level or darker than your existing color-treated hair, and apply to the roots only until the last 5 minutes of processing time.
- Most people start coloring their hair by applying color to the top of their head first, but you actually want to apply the lighter color to the ends first, as the ends require a longer processing time. Then mix fresh color and apply to the roots only, gradually massaging the color all over from roots to ends, leaving it on for the entire processing time.
Although one of the most common problems, hot roots is also one of the easiest problems to avoid when using the tips above. With these tips, your roots may not be “hot,” but they will actually look really, really good.