Hairdressing How-Tos

Roots Where? The Best Ways to Soften Your Client’s Regrowth

by chloe / last updated June 13, 2022

soften client's regrowth

Dramatic transformations often require a lot of maintenance, but there are a handful of ways to soften your client’s harsh regrowth.

Your client wants to be blonde all over and you deliver, but what happens when they want to throw in the towel and wander down a more natural route…(or root)? You style them out…

“Taking a client from a block regrowth or a block colour in general can often be quite the task, as achieving the natural look they require sometimes demands more time and technique than planned, dependant on the condition of the hair, the colour and the overall goal,” says Dan Spiller, JOICO colour ambassador for the UK, Europe and Ireland.

So we spoke to a few experts to find out the best ways…

Teasy lights

“As we head into the summer months clients are always looking for something that is more natural and sun kissed. They may also be growing out their darker, more blocked colour they had through the winter month.

A technique such as teasy lights and slices will diffuse that block colour. These really allow you to work into the solid regrowth and place the slices where you need it. This is a quick and simple way to achieve a more lived-in, natural result,” advises Robert Kirby, owner of Robert Kirby London.

teasy lights soften regrowth

Brian Leo McCallum, owner of ROAR Hair and Beauty

What are teasy lights?

Teasy lights are a merry combination of balayage and traditional foil highlights. Rather than hand-painting, this technique requires you to tease the hair where you’d like the highlights to be placed, before the lightener is applied.

This creates a soft, blended transition between your roots and highlights. Teasy lights are low-maintenance, create endless dimension and embody that sun kissed look your clients will be after this summer.

Root smudge

“I would usually use a colour similar to the client’s natural hair colour to paint on a natural root and blend this with balayage or highlights depending on the type of finish they would like. If they want a low maintenance look, the best service would be balayage. Both services will blend in nicely with the painted on root colour and get rid of the dreaded block-root growth.

Increase ‘inbetweener’ appointments: To avoid the regrowth getting so harsh, client’s should try to break up their full head highlight appointments with services like half head highlights or parting highlights, which will keep their hair colour looking great at all times whilst causing less damage to their hair,” explains Dylan Brittain, artistic director at Rainbow Room International.

root smudge

Dylan Brittain, artistic director at Rainbow Room International

What is a root smudge?

Applying a colour formula close to the client’s roots, and then “smudging” it into the shaft of the hair.

Using a translucent colour line that has no ability to lift is the best option. It’ll fade seamlessly and wil therefore be easier to life through at the next appointment.

Alternatively, a shadow root will also diminish the lines of demarcation. The key difference is that the levels between the natural and lightened area are often quite different, the shadow root will customise an in-between colour to blend the two.


“I love to use a diffusion technique where I apply the regrowth colour and while it is developing, I blend and diffuse either silk lift ammonia free lightener or Topchic blonding cream by Goldwell. Using foil “diffusing” the join of the two colours to create a seamless effect.

Then, most importantly I tone the lightened areas no more than two levels lighter than the original background colour. It gives the guest the perfect amount of lightness without having to go down the colour correction route,” guides Brian Leo McCallum, owner of ROAR Hair and Beauty.

“This type of transformation can seem very daunting to any colourist, especially when a client is opting to venture down a much more natural path. Whenever this challenge comes around it really depends on the goals of the client and the look which they are hoping to achieve,” says Andrew Smith, owner of Andrew Smith Salons. But these are just a few great ways to soften your client’s harsh regrowth!

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