selfie of model gigi hadid with blonde bronde hair with darker hair shadowing at her roots

Why hair shadowing deserves all the love

It's Gigi-approved...

Have the urge to go darker? The no-fuss way to experiment with darker hair, hair shadowing is the celeb-approved colouring technique that’s cutting the time we spend in the salon chair in half. The low-maintenance process involves darkening just the roots and front sections of the hair to give an overall darker appearance, without having to touch the ends.

Great for the time-poor and those wanting to cut down on damage, if you’re wanting to trial a darker hue or just want to add more depth and dimension to your colour, it boasts a multitude of benefits. Read on to get the lowdown on the whole process.

Hair shadowing: The low-maintenance way to go darker

selfie of model gigi hadid with blonde bronde hair with darker hair shadowing at her roots
Rumour has it Gigi uses hair shadowing to darken her blonde. Credit:

What is hair shadowing?

The idea behind hair shadowing is that you don’t need to re-colour your whole head of hair to achieve a darker hue. Your stylist concentrates the new colour at the roots, along with a few face-framing strands to cleverly give the appearance of an all-over makeover, even though you’re not actually touching the ends. Clever, huh?

As part of the process, your colourist gives your mane a ‘root’ effect, usually done freehand with a brush (rather than the foils used in highlights), with the help of a gloss or glazing treatment, to work in natural-looking, darker hues to your tresses. The colour is pulled through the mid-lengths to give a grown out, natural ombre look, like Gigi‘s beachy bronde, above. Credit: @gigihadid

smiling woman with bronde hair shadowing looking over her shoulder
Blending the colour mid-way down the hair creates a seamless effect. Credit:

Who should get it?

It’s tradition to go lighter in the summer and darker in the winter, so if you’re currently very light you can use hair shadowing to transition to a darker blonde for a new season style. The great thing about shadowing is that it’s essentially reversible, as you can always go lighter again just by adding a few highlightsCredit: @theyoungamericansalon

back shot of a woman with shoulder length wavy blonde hair with darker blonde/light brown shadow roots
Blending your roots into your natural base colour means less obvious regrowth. Credit:

Ash blonde tones are huge right now but if you’ve tried it yourself then you’ll know that it’s extremely hard to maintain, requiring regular toners, root touch-ups and purple shampoos.

Root shadowing can actually help to make it easier to pull off colours like this by softening the transition from your natural colour into these bright icy white shades so the contrast isn’t so harsh. This way, when you do start to get regrowth it’ll blend more naturally into your hair and you can space out salon trips more. Credit: @hairby_madeleine

woman with shoulder length wavy brunette hair with shadow roots and lighter blonde ends
Hair shadowing is often applied alongside a gloss, for an ultra shiny finish. Credit:

Decided you want to go brunette? Whether you’re a natural brunette or you’re wanting to try out dark hair for the first time, hair shadowing is a good way to gradually start the process of going darker, giving you time to adjust to life with darker hair before going dark all over. Commitment issues? Not anymore! Credit: @nettie.salonkiin

Aftercare tips

It’s the low maintenance nature of shadowing that’s made it so popular, but don’t forget to use a wash and care duo that’s been designed to help keep your colour vibrant. To protect it we recommend using the Dove Colour Care Shampoo and Conditioner, which have been formulated for use with dyed tresses, specifically.

The Vibrant Colour Lock technology cleanses the hair without stripping the colour, so your locks stay looking salon fresh.



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