Ask the Experts: What is Shadow Hair Colour? October 24, 2018 16:06
What is Shadow Hair?
Introducing this low maintenance highlighting technique, Shadow hair, also known as shadow-toning and shadow roots, is the latest hair colour trend that we’re totally loving.
This technique is ideal for those who love the idea of highlights but want a more natural-looking option.
Known in the industry for her extensive background in training and education, as well as being a Master Stylist at Morgan & Morgan Hair Collective since 2001, Jennifer Morgan @jennifer.morgan.hair is the go-to girl with any colouring conundrum and her passion and skill set are enviable in the hairdressing community.
So in this blog we ask her to give you everything you need to know about shadow hair—from how to get this hot summer look, to how to maintain it, to the best hairstyles for your newly coloured locks.
WHAT IS SHADOW HAIR?
The shadow hair highlighting technique involves creating natural looking highlights, or utilising the foils you had a while back and then with a toner or glaze that is close to the colour of your roots, applying it to the mid-lengths of your hair to create a natural blend.
Think of it almost like an eyeliner with a smudger at the end, it takes out the deliberate look of the highlight at the root. Now, keep in mind this only works when going lighter, but it's not limited to blonds — even caramel or mocha highlights benefit from a good shadow effect.
It's incredibly simple: After the hair is lightened and the colour is washed out, a deeper glaze or toner is applied with a brush, section by section, to just the roots. Then a lighter glaze is blended into the mid lengths and ends as needed
This highlighting technique will not only allow your highlights to appear more natural but it also allows you to go a little longer between touch-ups.
This technique is often combined with two other popular highlighting techniques: balayage and babylights.
You will see a soft contrast and a lived-in feel. A root shadow can be the refresh that dull and faded hair colour is looking for.
DOES SHADOW HAIR HAVE TO INVOLVE CHANGING MY NATURAL HAIR COLOUR?
No! You can choose to colour your roots and have your shadow-toning done with a colour other than your natural hue.
HOW TO CARE FOR SHADOW HAIR
Creating a hair care routine that caters to your coloir-treated hair is the best way to maintain your colour. Try using a sulfate-free line, like the Blonde Me Bond Reinforcing shampoo, conditioner and mask
HOW TO STYLE SHADOW HAIR
Not sure how to wear your newly highlighted ‘do? Below, find three hairstyle ideas that pair perfectly with shadow hair.
SHADOW HAIR HAIRSTYLE #1: LOOSE WAVES
Waves are undoubtedly one of the best ways to style shadow hair, as they’ll help emphasise the dimension of your shadows and highlights. If you have enough hair (and the skills) to braid, you don’t need to pick up a single heat tool to get the look! Work a small amount of a curl enhancing product (like OSiS Curl Honey or BC Moisture Kick Curl Complete) throughout towel-dried hair, braid it, then unravel your braid once its dry. Your mane will be left with natural-looking, loose waves. It’s almost too easy! Otherwise your trusting curling wand will do the trick
SHADOW HAIR HAIRSTYLE #2: THE FISHTAIL BRAID
A fishtail braid is not only a super cute (and impressive) braid hairstyle, it will also showcase the different shades that make up this highlighted hair
SHADOW HAIR HAIRSTYLE #3: SLEEK AND STRAIGHT
Equally as stunning as wavy or curled locks, super sleek, straight hair will highlight (pun intended) the intricacy of the shadow hair highlighting technique and show off how beautifully it blends with your natural hair colour.
Before letting your straightener near your strands, be sure to use a heat protectant. Try the OSiS Flatliner for protection and a sleek look that lasts.