Home Hair I Dyed My Hair And My Roots Are Too Light – What To Do

I Dyed My Hair And My Roots Are Too Light – What To Do

by Gabbi

Hair coloring can take stylists years to master. Hairstylists even train to become color specialists to ensure you can achieve a gorgeous hue without ruining the hair’s integrity. Dyeing your hair at home or alone could pose multiple challenges.

It’s difficult to expect a specific outcome when dyeing your hair at home, and it may not go according to plan. There is a high chance your color won’t turn out even or vivid. Some individuals have experienced their roots lightening after dyeing their hair.

Lighter roots that appear after dyeing your hair can signify something has gone wrong during the color process. Coloring hair involves mixing various creams, solutions, and chemicals to achieve your desired look.

Color corrections are a lengthy and expensive service at a salon and often fix dye jobs gone wrong. Because coloring the hair can be challenging, fixing any hair dye mishaps can take a toll on your strands if it’s not cared for properly.

So, what should you do if you dyed your hair and your roots are too light? Roots that are too light can be fixed by using a toner, recoloring your hair, consulting your hairdresser, and more. There are also several ways to avoid roots that are too light in the future.

This scenario is often referred to as hot roots. This can occur for multiple reasons due to the roots’ temperature or a change in your hair color formula. We’ll explain how they happen and how to prevent and fix them below.

What Are Hot Roots?

“Hot roots” is a term used by professional hairdressers and color specialists. It refers to an unwanted band or halo effect at the roots after a coloring session. Hot roots can appear extremely warm, red, or orange, which explains why they’re hot.

Hot roots may also appear lighter at the scalp, depending on your starting hair color and your desired finish. Also, hot roots can occur no matter your hair color, but they can look especially warm and bright on blonde strands.

Our hair follicles can indicate how they will react to color, and the scalp’s temperature can also lead to hot roots. Thankfully, hot roots can be easily prevented during your next color service.

Cosmo Dad on YouTube describes this phenomenon in more detail!

Why Do Hot Roots Appear? 

Multiple factors can trigger hot roots. It can be challenging to understand what has gone wrong during a dye job, especially if it’s done at home with little color knowledge. You’ll need to understand the chemicals you’re working with and hair theory.

Seeking advice or help from a hairstylist can help diminish anxiety because hot roots can be fixed with a color correction. Color corrections can be challenging to perform at home, but it’s not impossible. 

Hot roots can appear due to your scalp’s temperature or not coloring matching your strands. Always proceed with caution when dyeing your hair.

Applying Lightener All Over

Lighteners or bleach are potent tools that need to be applied with care. Dyeing your hair lighter may pose more risk of hot roots appearing. It can be challenging to lift hair multiple levels, and darker colors can experience warm and uneven tones.

Applying bleach can heavily impact if you get hot roots. Using lightener all over the strands, especially at the roots first, can cause some concern. It can also be a significant risk if your hair is already previously colored.

Previously colored hair and virgin hair will react differently to bleach. Also, applying lightener all over can create hot roots because the scalp emits heat and can bump up the lifting process.

Scalp Temperature

Surprisingly enough, your scalp is warm and can emit heat. Do you ever wonder why a hairstylist will color the mid-shaft to ends first? 

This is because the scalp can emit heat and speed up the processing time of most color services, which can sometimes lead to hot roots.

Saving the roots for last ensures you achieve an even dye job. Also, initially avoiding the roots can save your scalp’s health. Applying bleach or color directly to the scalp for a long time can cause burns or irritation at the follicles.

So, it’s crucial to consider your scalp temperature before starting your color service. 

Mismatched Color

Another common reason why hot roots can appear is incorrect color matching. Most hair stylists will write down a specific hair color formula they’ve used on their clients so they can always mix that exact hue for every color appointment.

Color matching can be tricky, so it’s crucial to triple-check that you’re using the same hair color as your previous session. The wrong shade can heavily impact the outcome of your hair, and you may notice uneven tones around your roots.

It’s also beneficial to take into consideration the various tones in your hair. For example, your ends may be lighter than your roots which can affect what hue you apply. 

How Can You Prevent Hot Roots?

You don’t need to be a complete hair expert to avoid hot roots. You can prevent hot roots by adding a few helpful tips to your color process. Also, conducting thorough research or a test strand will never hurt before you commit.

One of the most beneficial things you can do to avoid hot roots is by applying color to the midshaft and ends first. Also, sticking to the same color or brand will ensure consistency with each hair-dyeing session you perform at home.

These tips and a few more can ensure you have a safe and even color application.

Start With The Strands

Apply your dye mixture to the midshaft and the ends first. We’ve mentioned how important it is to consider your scalp’s temperature. While most at-home tutorials show you to slap on color to your head and drag it down, it may not be beneficial.

The scalp emits heat, speeding up the coloring process and helping the cuticle absorb the color. However, the midshaft and ends don’t have this additional heat source and need more time to process than the scalp.

So, avoiding the roots first ensures your strands have adequate time to process. Then, you can apply the dye mixture to the roots and reveal an even color application. 

Use The Same Color

Write down your color or hair dye recipes just like the hair professionals! Leaving the guesswork out of coloring will make each session a breeze. Also, you know you’ll achieve the same outcome and hue as your previous hair dye service. 

Sticking to the same color can help minimize the chances of hot roots appearing. Also, conduct a test strand if you ever plan on switching up your hair color formula to see how the strands and roots will react to your new dye. 

Apply Color Evenly 

Investing in the proper coloring tools will simplify the color application. A color brush/bowl or a color applicator bottle will ensure you can achieve even full coverage after every dye job. Uneven application can affect the scalp and roots.

This is incredibly significant for those who are going lighter or bleaching their hair. Bleach is prone to leaving orange tones and unwanted bands. An even color application will ensure your roots lift simultaneously and get the same hue.

An uneven application can result in hot roots or patches of warmth that won’t look flattering. 

Lighten Only A Few Levels

It can be intimidating to lighten your strands at home. Bleach is potent and can severely damage the hair and scalp if misused. Also, bleach can leave unwanted orange, bright, or warm tones on the scalp after processing.

You can safely color your hair at home by only lightening a few levels. Going one or two shades lighter than your current color won’t be as drastic as going platinum. You’ll also have less of a chance for hot roots to appear.

Stick To The Same Brand 

An underrated tip is to stick to the same brand of hair products. For example, buy developer, color, and bleach from the same brand. Mixing different brands can be a recipe for disaster because it’s unknown how these formulas will react together.

Not every hair care brand uses the same developer, color, or bleach ingredients. So sticking to the same brand ensures all your products are compatible with one another. Also, there will be less chance of mishaps or hot roots occurring.

How To Fix Hot Roots

What can you do when you’re already struggling with hot roots? Hot roots can often catch us by surprise even when we believe we’ve taken all the necessary precautions. So, how can you fix this hot mess hair mishap? 

Thankfully, there is no need to panic just yet. However, if you don’t feel comfortable fixing your hot roots at home, it will be wise to seek professional help from a color specialist. They’ll be able to treat your hot roots without ruining your hair’s integrity.

You can incorporate a few tips at home to try and remedy hot roots. You can test out these tips on a small section of hair to ensure you can solve this hair concern. 


You may benefit from using a toner (like this one from Wella) if you’re blonde or planning to dye your hair lighter. Toners are beautiful tools that can help eliminate any unwanted hues with your strands. Also, applying one to hot roots may be able to neutralize any warmth.

Toners are often used on blonde hair to keep the strands cool or neutral. Some popular toner colors include blue and purple. Purple can help if the roots are brighter yellow, and blue can be beneficial if there are more orange undertones. 

A toner can temporarily diffuse the drastic effect of hot roots until you decide on a more permanent solution. 


Recoloring your hair may be a viable option if your hair is in good standing. However, depending on your hair’s characteristics and the hot roots, you may need to wait before going in with another color application. 

Over-coloring can lead to more damage.

Try performing a test strand to gauge how well your new color will look for those who’ve decided to recolor their hair. It will also keep your hair’s integrity intact. Finally, ensure you choose the correct color to match the root to the ends.

Opt For A Darker Root

The roots are naturally darker than the ends. So, if you have hot roots, it can look quite drastic and unnatural. It can be beneficial to keep the roots slightly darker than your overall color to achieve a natural and cohesive look.

Also, you can create a lived-in, barely-there color that looks like your hair naturally has dimension. A darker root will pose less risk if you’re worried about hot roots appearing. You can create a gradient or blend between the root and midshaft. 

Use Low Volume Developer

Another tip that can help if you plan to recolor your hair is using a low-volume developer. Developers are cream and oxidant that aid in developing hair dye. One of its primary components is hydrogen peroxide.

A developer helps lift or lighten your hair so your new color can penetrate the cuticle. Popular developers include 10, 20, 30, and 40 vol. The number indicates the amount of lift you’ll have. So, 10 vol will lift your hair one level. 

Opting for a low-level developer like 10 or 20 will help minimize the chance of hot roots appearing again.

Do The Scalp Last

Finally, always color the scalp last. The scalp requires less time to develop than the strands. Applying color to the scalp will result in hot roots because of the fast processing time, which explains why the roots will be warmer, brighter, or lighter.

Starting with the midshaft and ends will drastically reduce the chance of hot roots appearing. Also, creating clean sections and applying color evenly will ensure the hair develops all at once. 

How Long Should You Wait To Fix Hot Roots?

How long you wait to fix your hot roots depends on multiple factors. First, your hair must be healthy enough to withstand another color or lightening application. If the strands are too fragile, it can cause them to break or snap.

Also, what color service will you be performing? For example, a bleach service may take weeks or months to recover from fully. However, you may only need to wait a few weeks if you plan on going darker.

Finally, if you plan on fixing hot roots with a toner, you may apply it a day or two after your initial color to eliminate unwanted tones. 

Consult A Color Specialist 

Consult a hair professional or color specialist if at any point you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by fixing your hot roots. Dyeing your hair can be a serious process, and not everyone will have the tools or knowledge to fix it at home. 

A hairstylist can analyze your hair and see what is needed to color correct it without further damaging its integrity. They can also safely help you reach your hair goals.


Hot roots aren’t as scary as they sound. They often occur due to a rouge color service or our scalp’s temperature. Therefore, apply dye first to the midshaft and ensure that you’ve correctly matched your hair color.

Hot roots can be prevented by using the same hair brand, color matching, and applying color to the scalp last. You can fix hot roots by toning or recoloring if your hair is in good standing.

You can always perform a test strand or seek help from a hairstylist if you feel unsure during this color journey. This will ensure your hair’s safety and integrity. A stylist can also tailor an at-home hair care routine to fit your hair’s characteristics. 

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