What To Ask For At The Salon If You Want A Natural Looking Blonde

No need to book in refresh after six weeks. High maintenance upkeep is a thing of the past.

All bottle blondes know that there is no better feeling than a fresh colour. After putting up with regrowth for what feels like a lifetime, you leave the salon feeling like you just walked straight off the set of a hair care commercial, minus the wind machine. Our issue? In what feels like the blink of an eye, the colour is dull and our regrowth is back with a vengeance. 

Enter: root melts. A technique that embraces your natural colour at the top of your head and fades it into a fresh blonde or a warm brunette, whatever your preference may be.

In layman’s terms: no more regrowth.

To help explain this new holy grail technique, we’ve called upon Annelise Hine, Head Stylist at Hair & Harlow and Barney Martin of Barney Martin Salon, for their expert advice. 

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What Are The Benefits Of Root Melts?

Not to be confused with ombre or balayage, a root melt takes a less-is-more approach to colour. Otherwise known as ‘lived-in colour’, the aim is to create natural dimension and movement, without the regrowth. 

“The benefit of this technique is lower maintenance up-keep as any regrowth becomes less obvious. It’s also a good way to transition to a darker colour,” says Martin. 

Hine agrees, adding: “They are effortless, but still striking. Our clients can benefit from these ‘root melts’ by embracing their natural colour and working with it rather than against it.”

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Where Should Your Roots End And Colour Begin?

You know you better than anyone. Meaning, you know your hair and what looks good on you – personal preference is everything. Hine explains: “Some girls love to see a deeper colour around the eyes and brows, in which case a ‘longer’ root melt should be applied. For girls who love to be super blonde, a small smudge at the root to soften the blonde is perfect!”

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What Techniques Are Used To Achieve The ‘Lived-In’, Effortless Colour?

According to Martin, there is more than one way to get the look.

Numero uno? Applying the colour to wet hair at the basin. Mostly used when touching up highlights or lowlights, the wet hair method is ideal for adding subtle dimension to the hair, whilst seamlessly blending the roots.

The second method – where the colour is applied to dry hair in the areas that require the most smudge – requires a little more elbow grease. A fine tooth comb is a necessary tool to pull the colour evenly through the strands. The payoff, though? Totally worth it. 

Be it wet or dry, one thing is for sure: it won’t take anywhere near as long as a regular colour. 

How Much Can You Expect To Pay?

The question you’ve all been waiting for: how does it compare to the cost of a regular colour?

“For the initial colour service, clients are looking to pay anywhere between $350 to $500 depending on hair length, their desired result and how thick their hair is,” says Hine.

However, opting for the smudge treatment will mean colouring your hair only two or three times a year. 

“After a colour service we will normally see our guests within eight to 10 weeks for an in-salon Olaplex treatment and toner… We find so many girls come back to us not needing another colour, but just a toner.”

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What At-Home Maintenance Is Required?

It’s all well and good to only colour your hair three times per year. But will it look nice after three months? Luckily for you (and us), only a small amount of upkeep is required between appointments.

“We always recommend Evo Fabuloso Toning Conditioner to our clients to maintain their colour at home. Toning your hair weekly as soon as you’ve been at the salon will help the colour last longer rather than trying to fight the brass when it does return,” says Hine. “Our guests also live and breathe Olaplex Step Number 3.”

Martin also recommends putting in a little extra effort at home, to ensure the longevity of the colour. “We are huge fans of Wellaplex, which is a three step system. Best of all, the third part is a take home weekly treatment that clients do at their leisure, which works continuously to promote hair health and integrity.”

Who Can We Look To For Root Smudge Inspo?

You’re visual learners, we get it. Allow us to take you through some of our favourite root melt inspo. Whether it’s our blonde bombshells Jennifer Anniston or Margot Robbie, or our brunette babes Rebecca Judd and Caroline de Maigret, one thing is for sure, they all have that effortless, lived-in hair down pat!


Have further questions about root melts? Leave us a comment below.


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