How to Avoid the Halo Effect & Hot Roots

Apply your own hair color like a pro! Avoid hot roots, the halo effect, and uneven color with hair color tips from our in-house colorists.

Between internet image searches and the cautionary color tales you heard that time at the salon, it can be a little nerve-wracking to color your hair at home. We get it. And we can help! Luckily, our in-house colorists have a few pro tips to leave you with seamless, natural-looking hair color—and not a hot root or unholy halo in sight. Read on:

Better tools, better color

First things first: stock up before you start. Whether you're touching up your roots or doing a complete color overhaul, using a Color Tint Brush and Coloring Bowl will allow for an easier, more precise application—and a happier you!

Consider your color strategy

For a one-color look, it may be tempting to apply to your whole head every time. Resist! While this approach might work the first time, subsequent applications could result in “hot roots,” or bright roots with progressively darker ends. This is because new growth will be a different color than the rest of your hair, and needs to be treated differently than your ends. Depending on your color goals, you could either do a roots-only application, or use two different color bottles—one that matches your roots, and another that matches your ends.

Need a second opinion? Our color care team can help!

Roots-only means exactly that

Overlapping onto previously colored hair can leave you with a dark ring of color that wraps around your head like a halo (a.k.a. banding). To successfully maintain a seamless, one-color look with this method, make sure to carefully apply the color only to your regrowth.

Pro tip: If you need an all-over boost, you can refresh your ends by massaging any leftover color through the rest of your hair right before you rinse your roots.

Timing matters

New growth needs a different amount of processing time than your ends; processing them for the same amount of time may lead to progressively darker or duller ends with a dry or brittle texture. Pay attention to the recommended amount of processing time. Digital Timer anyone?

These ground rules are a great starting point to get you to your seamless-color goals. New to eSalon and want to learn more about at-home hair color? Fill out your Color Profile today.

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