What Is The Root Stretch?

Go For The Stretch - Why "Root Stretch" Hair Colour Is Having A Serious Moment

Clickbait headlines proclaim 2023 as the year of the natural look. After years of high-maintenance balayages and babylights, we're told that expensive touch-ups and grown-out multi-tonal dye jobs are out - and embracing one's roots is in.

But simply leaving those pesky greys to their own devices can feel severe. This is where the nuanced, dimensional colour trend of "root stretch" comes in. Offering a subtle shadowed root area that gradually "stretches" into lighter ends, it's the best of both worlds - celebrating natural regrowth while still incorporating depth and lightness.

Root stretch

Why Opt For Root Stretch Over Other Colour Services?

Compared to an all-over single process dye, root stretch adds crucial dimension. The shadowy root area blends seamlessly into lighter mid-lengths and ends, creating the illusion of depth. This technique is also more low-maintenance than a traditional highlight or balayage service. As the root shadow grows out, it continues to complement the overall look instead of starkly contrasting against coloured ends.

Root stretch also triumphs over troublesome grow-out seasons. Traditional highlights and babylights often leave obvious regrowth bands. But this service utilises shadowing at the root instead of bleach. This will blend better with natural hair growth instead of leaving telltale lines of demarcation. No awkward grow-out stages here!

The Genius Of strategic Shadowing

The beauty of root stretch lies in strategic shadowing to create dimension. Unlike a standard single process dye, colourists paint the roots in a darker shadow that gradually lightens through mid-lengths, seamlessly diffusing into lighter ends. This gives incredible depth without a high-contrast look at the roots or banding.

Root stretch

The key is choosing the right level of shadow. As colourist Denise says:

“It needs to be dark enough to create noticeable dimension, light enough to avoid an obvious root line.”

This is why consulting an experienced colourist is crucial. In contrast to box dyes, they can expertly formulate shades and paint them precisely to stretch from shadowy depth into lightness.

Why Root Stretch Should Be Your Next Colour Service

Low-maintenance ❏ Subtle root shadow blends better with regrowth
❏ Avoids obvious root lines between touch-ups ❏ Less upkeep than traditional highlights/balayage

❏ Shadowed root area creates subtle depth ❏ Stretches into lighter mids and ends
❏ Looks multi-tonal while avoiding banding

Celebrates natural texture ❏ Utilises root regrowth as part of the style ❏ Healthier than continual bleaching at the roots
❏ Enhances waves, curls, coils

Expert Formulation For Seamless Colour "Stretching"

Achieving the perfect "stretch" of shadow into lightness is an art. That's why consulting a skilled colourist is a must for this service. Rather than box dye or at-home kits, professionals can carefully hand-paint colour in a gradual ombre.

Root stretch

"It's tailor-made through customised formulation and strategic placement of lights and darks." - Stylist Yeshi at Gusto

To stretch shadow into light convincingly, Yeshi notes the precision of shades is vital:

"Formulation needs to be nearly exact, with seamless transitions between shades."

Colourists will hand-mix customised toners, glazes, and gradients. These seamlessly transition shades from darker roots into lighter ends. This meticulous formulation creates natural-looking dimension that flat box dyes can rarely achieve.

How Does Root Stretch Compare To Popular Colour Services?

Root Stretch vs Highlights/Babylights

While highlights focus on lightness, root stretch utilises strategic shadowing at the roots. This creates depth and dimension while blending better with natural regrowth.

Root Stretch vs Single Process Colour

Unlike an all-over uniform dye, root stretch starts darker at the roots and stretches into lighter ends. This looks more dimensional.

Root Stretch vs Balayage

It's lower-maintenance than balayage, with soft colour stretching rather than stark highlighted pieces. The root area avoids obvious lines as it grows out.

Still Unsure If Root Stretch Is Right For You?

Book a consultation! Describe your hair goals to a colourist. They can assess your texture, complexion, and lifestyle to see if this dimensional stretch of shadow and lightness may be a suitable option to embrace your natural roots while still incorporating depth and dimension.

Ready to book your own "root stretch" service with the promise of low-maintenance dimension? Search for colourists in your area today. And prepare to love both your regrowth and your colourful new 'do this season!


To book, please call Gusto Hairdressing Salon in Soho on 020 7287 0015 Covent Garden Salon on 020 7836 9163, or Oxford Street Salon on 0207 486 5044. Book online for our Covent Garden Salon, or Oxford Street Salon.

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