The Hot Roots Trend: 'Bad' Hair Turned Good?

Published 03rd Oct 2023 by Morgan Willmott

The intentional Hot Roots trend, famously worn by Billie Eilish circa 2019, certainly makes a statement and is probably one for more adventurous clients. We asked the experts to reveal what you need to know if you get requests for this unique style…

What is the Hot Roots Trend?

Turning the concept of unwanted hot roots on its head, the trend portrays an intentional contrast between the roots and the mid to lower lengths of the hair, often with bright and vibrant colours. “Hot Roots are essentially a reverse ombre,” Tim Scott-Wright, Schwarzkopf Professional Ambassador, summarises. “To achieve the look, you want a pale yellow, lightened root to start. Then, add the colour and create the ombre effects on the mid lengths to the ends using a freehand technique similar to a balayage.” It’s important that your clients know the maintenance required for the style, and how often they will need to return to your salon for regular top-ups. Tim Scott-Wright says: “This is not a low maintenance look by any means. A strict home care regime is also crucial for colour longevity.”

Which Hot Roots colour combinations look best? For a more neutral take on the look, Sara Mann, colour educator and owner of Sara Mann Hair Salon, states: “I am going to try a monochrome version of this, although this would look stunning in any colour palette.” Meanwhile, Tim Scott-Wright suggests embracing the spooky and cosy seasons: “I love reds, oranges and yellows on darker hair. This combination is perfect as we transition into Autumn.” 

Interested in how to boost your colour services throughout Autumn? Click here.

Should we Adapt ‘Bad’ Hair into ‘Good’ Trends?

Trends are distinguished by their everchanging nature - they are bound to draw inspiration from a host of different contexts to maintain their fast pace. So, why shouldn’t hairdressers and clients be influenced by stereotypically perceived ‘bad’ hair and make it a ‘good’ trend? Testing this theory out on creative colour makes sense as your options are limitless, and boundaries are minimal, with colour. “You have the opportunity to break the rules and create unique, beautiful looks when thinking out of the box,” Sara Mann describes. “The vivid clientele tends to be the more adventurous individuals who want to be trend setters.” So, the Hot Roots trend may be well-received after all.

As long as clients’ hair health is protected, there should be as much freedom and creativity as possible. Loretta Marie, owner of Loretta Marie Hair, points out: “The Hot Roots trend give dark-haired clients a chance to try out some creative colour without having to fight through layers and layers of warm, permanent hair colour.” Plus, this is a great transitional style for clients who want to embrace their colour grow out.

But are there any other ‘bad turned good’ trends? Sara Mann gives the example that many colourists don’t use black block panels, despite how they make other vivid colours really pop. She comments: “Colourists avoid taking hair that dark because of how difficult it is to remove later on. However, black is no more stubborn to remove from the hair than blue, green or even red. We shouldn’t avoid it!” 

Loretta Marie adds that the raw bleach colour trend is one she is starting to embrace. “Letting that golden blonde shine through just like it’s 1999 and the only toner we know is a 10.8,” she says. “It’s super cool and edgy.”

It's likely that the younger generation, well known for their desire to be unique and creative, will be eager to wear the Hot Roots trend. So, find out how you can appeal to your Gen Z and Millennal colour clients here.

Morgan Willmott

Morgan Willmott

Published 03rd Oct 2023

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