Coloured Roots Is The Bold New Hair Trend Taking Over – & It’s So Easy

Bunny tail blonde, whimsical pink, summer glaze... We're spoilt for choice when it comes to new and innovative colour combinations, as colourists have used lockdown as an opportunity to get creative (and we've had the chance to experiment at home). But there's another burgeoning hair trend on the horizon and it's as easy as it is Instagram-worthy. Enter: coloured roots.
In a move away from the Billie Eilish-inspired splurge of unmissable neon colour, this trend is concentrated to the top couple of centimetres at the roots, making it a touch more subtle, easily wearable and a great option for those who fancy a colour change but don't want to sit in the salon chair for hours on end.
"This hair trend is what we call the 'new punk'," says Giuseppe Stelitano, colour technician at Trevor Sorbie, Bristol. "Previously, if you wanted to be rebellious you had to shave your hair, or you'd rock a coloured mohawk, but the new Gen Z has found a way to show their individuality, and this is it." This trend simply consists of colouring your roots to create a shadow-like effect, says Giuseppe, and it's actually really easy to achieve. "If the hair has been pre-bleached, a simple root application is enough to achieve this result, but a consultation with a professional is always recommended to get the best out of your hair."
While the trend looks great with a short, bold haircut and a sharp parting, like this style created by colourist Queenie at 99 Percent Hair Studio, it can be subtle. "A pastel palette, like a blush pink or peach, can be really nice on blonde hair," says Giuseppe. "Actually, no deep parting is required for this specific style as the entire root can be coloured, giving you a multidimensional effect," much like this look by BLEACH London.
Pink, green and lilac colours are currently reigning supreme but Giuseppe predicts that red is the shade to watch when it comes to impactful flashes of colour, inspired by Chris Appleton's bold hue for Kim Kardashian and colourist Josh Wood for Kaia Gerber at Alexander McQueen. "It’s definitely a colour that requires a bit more maintenance but regular touch-ups with a semi-permanent gloss in salon will keep the hair colour vibrant," adds Giuseppe. When it comes to hair glosses, most salons use either Redken Shades EQ or OWAY. Just ask your colourist about their hair gloss options.
The trend isn't just for blondes, either. The contrast looks just as great on all brunette tones and red hair but Giuseppe advises booking a salon appointment to get your hair professionally lightened beforehand, rather than trying to bleach it at home, otherwise any vibrant colours you apply to your roots might not take as well. "If you really want to try and replicate this look at home, I would recommend a washable colour spray," adds Giuseppe. Try KMS Style Color Spray-On Color, £23, available in nine shades including denim and rose gold. "This way, you can play with the colour without risking hair damage."
While the colour is solely concentrated to the roots, maintenance is similar to all-over coloured hair. "Creating a colourful shadow on your hair requires a regular appointment with your chosen colour technician, as colour will slowly fade wash after wash," says Giuseppe. Your roots will also grow out, too.
It also pays to switch your regular shampoo for a colour-preserving version such as Living Proof Colour Care Shampoo, £24, which cleanses from root to tip without stripping, or Pureology Hydrate Colour Care Shampoo, £19.95, which mildly cleanses and doesn't chip away at colour vibrancy.

More from Beauty

R29 Original Series