The Timeless Hair Colour Trend That Will Never Give You Regrowth

Hair colour trends come and go seemingly at the speed of light, but the ones I often latch on to and refuse to let go of are those that are low-maintenance. Whether it’s a colour that’s close to my natural and requires little upkeep or a colouring technique that allows me to stretch the amount of time between colouring sessions by as little as a week, I will be on board.
It’s probably for this reason that graduated colouring techniques have been perpetually on-trend for much of the past decade. Bucking the dramatic dip-dyed trends of the noughties, a beautifully blended head of highlights has the ability to make anyone’s hair look polished — even if it’s been months between salon visits.
One timeless and low-maintenance trend that is always bubbling away in the background of every salon in Australia is the root melt. In fact, even if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably had one yourself if you regularly highlight your hair. At the very least, you’ve seen one, and heading into autumn, it's the perfect salon add-on service to take your hair from a bright summery shade to a more lived-in style with little effort (or commitment).

What Is A Root Melt?

Also referred to as a root gloss in-salon, a root melt creates depth at the roots of the hair to create a dark to light graduation from the roots to the mid-lengths. “It's like the perfect way to create a seamless blend,” explains Jake Lightfoot, a colour specialist at Salon HER in Sydney. ”So, if you're getting highlights and you want to diffuse foil lines, or you want to create more depth in the root area, we would use a root melt to do that.” 
“Depending on the amount of colour that is applied to the hair, it can diffuse any foil lines, or create a seamless balayage effect as well,” explains Lightfoot. “The further it’s brushed down the hair, the more blended [the colour] will look.” Lightfoot explains that it is either applied at the basin or in the chair, and only to the root area. 

Is A Root Melt The Same As A Root Tap?

It’s just one service that’s often added on to other all-over colour services, and is in the same family as a balayage and root tap. That said, a root melt is quite different from a root tap, with the latter having a more subtle effect. “A root tap is for someone who has had foils and likes to be fairly blonde from the root, and they just want to diffuse that little line where we can't meet the scalp with the foil,” explains Lightfoot. 
On the flip side, a root melt extends further down the hair, sometimes to as low as the mid-lengths and often has more than one shade applied as the colourist works down your lengths, to give a more seamless blend throughout the entire hair.

Who Is A Root Melt For?

Lightfoot explains that a root melt is a perfect companion to almost any in-salon colour service, saying that he applies this technique for roughly 95% of all clients who are receiving another colour service like highlights. 
Lightfoot explains that it also works for all colours, to an extent, with one clear limitation being for people who are hoping to cover any grey hairs. “It's not going to give you grey coverage,” he says, though explains that a root melt will sometimes be used in conjunction with a grey coverage service to deepen up the root for a more natural shadow.

How Long Does A Root Melt Last?

According to Lightfoot, a root melt or gloss should last around eight weeks, depending on your lifestyle. “If a client is in and out of salt water or in the sun a lot, it would probably only last roughly six weeks, but generally we say eight weeks,” he says. 
This longevity is also what makes a root melt a great way to easily refresh your colour. “[For] clients [who] had their foils done eight weeks ago and are starting to feel like they're getting a little bit of a [regrowth] line, we can go in and shadow it out just that little bit past that line, and extend their colour for another six weeks,” Lightfoot explains.

Can You Do A Root Melt At Home?

When you search “root melt” on TikTok, the prevailing question is how to DIY it at home. In fact, the question “How To Do A Root Melt At Home” has more than 500 million video views. Like all DIY hair jobs, Lightfoot suggests you only attempt it at your own risk. “I would never do a root melt at home,” he says. “I just think you can't see [what you’re doing] unless it's the front of your hair.” He jokes that you are most welcome to try, but just be warned that your blend probably won’t look perfect, and isn’t that the entire purpose of a root melt?
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