Articles > Uncategorized > SOS! Shadow Roots Making Blondes Look Dull
Last updated: September 15, 2022

SOS! Shadow Roots Making Blondes Look Dull

Want natural-looking depth without sacrificing a bright blonde? The secret: Build contrast and add darkness for the blonde to pop against—aka a soft shadow root that DOESN’T look like grown out roots. Joico Artist Mai Hernandez (@maimaihair) shares her secrets to melt harsh lines to paint blended shadow roots on any blonde client.


Try These 4 Techniques For A Seamless Shadow Root


But first, don’t skip this step:

For blended, lived-in looks, it’s crucial to prep the hair to eliminate any potential of uneven lifting or toning mishaps. Mai uses Joico Defy Damage Pro Series 1 Bond-Protecting Spray to protect her client’s starting Level 5 hair to avoid any banding or splotchy color processing.


1. Use Triangular Sections For Graduated Depth

Use this approach to create natural-looking depth: Consider where the sun would naturally hit the hair—and where it wouldn’t. Underneath the hair and the back of the head are the darkest, so this is where Mai paints with her shadow formula first. Leaving the front for last ensures that her client will be left with a brighter front hairline. 



2. Do This With Your Brush To Avoid Harsh Lines

Mai’s trick to avoiding harsh lines? With a loose wrist, she flicks out her brush at the end of each stroke. Instead of dragging her brush down the root and stopping abruptly, she does a light-handed sweeping motion with her brush.



Pro Tip: Apply your shadow root on wet hair to avoid lines of demarcation and ensure softer, blended results.


Want healthy blondes? You need Blonde Life!  


3. Comb Through Each Section To Ensure Blending

Once a section is saturated at the roots, Mai takes her wide-tooth comb and drags it from the roots to ends a few times. She assures us that we shouldn’t be afraid to do this, as it will create the perfect waterfall blend. After she finishes her complete application, she uses a brush to blend everything together.



Pro Tip: Leave out the money piece when brushing to keep this area bright. 


4. Blend Out Painted Sections With Your Fingers

You have free tools at your fingertips—literally! After applying the formulas, Mai slides the hair in between her index finger and middle finger to buff out the area where the two formulas meet. 


Swipe to see Mai’s beautiful blend! 

close formula


Try Mai’s Formula: 

  • Formula A (shadow root): Joico Blonde Life Demi-Gloss 15g 5N + 15g 6NA + Joico Blonde Life 5-Volume Crème Developer


  • Formula B (midlengths to ends): Joico Blonde Life Demi-Gloss 15g 8N + 15g 10N + 10g 10V + Joico Blonde Life Crème 5-Volume Crème Developer


Get a FREE sample of Blonde Life!

More from