How to Get Rid of Hot Roots at Home

Hot roots have nothing to do with how great your hair looks or the temperature. It’s a term colorists use. Unfortunately, it’s not a term you want to hear when it comes to your hair. They occur when the roots of your hair are ‘warmer’ than the rest. The color shades of the hair don’t match.

They come from coloring, bleaching, and highlights. They can often appear red or orange, depending on your hair color. People with blonde hair will experience more orange-colored roots. People with red hair could experience a lighter shade. If you have brown hair, you could see a reddish color.

A little contrast might not seem like a big deal. But, roots are supposed to be darker than the rest of your hair. When they are lighter or have a different tint to them, it’s noticeable. Whether you have hot roots after bleaching or coloring your hair, you’ll likely want to fix them.

Not only can they draw negative attention to the top of your head, but they can make you look like you have ashy ends. It doesn’t matter if you have a professional treatment or dye your hair at home. Hot roots can happen to anyone when treatment is done incorrectly.

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Do Hot Roots Go Away?

When your roots change color due to a chemical process, it can take time for that discoloration to go away. You may think your only option is to wait it out. It’s true that your color balance should be restored over time. But, while you’re waiting, you could have to deal with the embarrassment.

This guide will focus on the main causes of this problem. Once you know what might have caused the problem in the first place, you’ll be better prepared to treat them. You don’t necessarily have to go to a salon to get rid of the problem. You can treat hot roots at home. Finding the right treatment can leave your hair looking healthy and beautiful.

What Do They Look Like?

They can look slightly different on everyone. It much depends on your hair color and the color you were trying to get. In general, though, hot roots will be a lighter shade than the rest of your hair. They are called ‘hot’ because they often look warmer. They may have a blonde or reddish tint to them.

The biggest problem with the appearance is that it’s so unnatural. No matter what color you want to dye your hair, you probably want it to be as even as possible. Having roots that are a different color from the rest of your hair can look unprofessional and sloppy. Sometimes, it can give the roots a rust-colored look.

The biggest problem is that it can be challenging to even them out. Once you’ve bleached your hair and your roots are a different color, it takes a few different techniques to get them to be an even color. They can appear ashy as well as lighter in nature. If you bleach your hair and then dye it, it doesn’t necessarily fix the problem. Your roots will still likely be a lighter shade than the rest of your hair.

Can Anyone Get Them?

Yes, anyone can experience this problem. But, they are most common with redheads or blondes. Hot roots are typically described as having a ‘brassy’ look. In some cases, they may even look orange or rusty. That can be harder to see on people with dark hair. But, it can still happen. They just may be a slightly different shade for brunettes.

It’s important to note that they can occur either from home dyeing or processing from a salon. If you go to a salon that doesn’t treat your hair exactly right, you could get brassy roots just as easily.

What Causes Hot Roots?

There are three main reasons people get hot roots:

  • Coloring hair that was already colored before can cause problems. When you try to color your hair a lighter color, the hair dye can respond differently to different areas of your hair. The roots near your scalp are hotter than the ends. So, it responds quicker to the dye. It can make your roots look lighter than the rest of your hair. This can be the case whether you’re coloring your whole head or getting highlights.
  • If you’re trying to lighten your hair all over for the first time, your roots may not respond as well as you’d like. Again, this is because the roots will likely lighten faster than the rest of your hair. It can create an uneven look. If you have ‘virgin hair,’ it’s recommended that you see a stylist. Your first time dyeing your hair may not come out as well with a home boxed kit.
  • If you’re coloring your hair for the first time, hot roots are more common. Hot roots after bleaching aren’t uncommon because they will take the chemical’s power to the extreme. Because of this, hot roots won’t take color easily. It’s not enough to just dye your hair again. You have to even out the tone of the roots with the rest of your hair to make the contrast less noticeable.

This isn’t to say you should avoid coloring your hair completely. You can use a few tips to avoid getting hot roots in the first place. In most cases, they are preventable. It just takes a few different techniques and tips. Let’s take a look at some ways to prevent them from happening.

How to Avoid Hot Roots

In most cases, hot roots can be avoided. In fact, it’s easier to avoid them than it is to fix them. The best way to avoid the issue in the first place is to have an experienced stylist color your hair. While hot roots can be treated at home, coloring your hair at home with strong chemicals isn’t always the best option.

Everything from the length of time the color is in your hair to the heat from your scalp can make a difference in how it affects your roots. If you’re not completely confident in your coloring abilities, leave it to a professional.

These tips can help you prevent hot roots:

  • If you have color-treated hair, choose a dye that is slightly darker than the rest of it. Use that dye on your roots during the last five minutes of your coloring process. It should balance out your roots with the ends and mid-strands of your hair.
  • Start coloring your hair from the ends up. It’s often easier to start from the roots and work your way down. But, the ends take longer for the color to fully penetrate. The next time you color your hair, start at the ends and work your way up to the roots. You can even mix a fresh batch of color to add to the roots during the last few minutes.
  • Condition your hair right after you dye it. A color-safe conditioner will keep your hair from being over-processed. This will help to prevent your roots from turning orange. Conditioning after bleaching will also help to protect your hair. Bleach and dye can dry out your follicles and damage your hair if not taken care of.
  • Always make sure to protect your hair from the sun. The sun’s UV rays have lightening properties, and the roots are often the first to show it. Not only can it lighten the actual color, but the sun’s rays can make your roots look brassy. Try to cover your head with a hat or scarf if you know you’ll be in the sun for a long time.

As you can see, it’s not all that difficult to avoid hot roots in the first place. By using the tips above, you can prevent the burnt orange look from taking over your roots. But, what can you do if you already have hot roots?

Roots of my hair won't take color

How to Fix Hot Roots at Home

You don’t need to go to an expensive salon to reverse the problem. You can fix hot roots at home all by yourself.

Cover Up

If the damage is done and you need a quick fix, you can cover hot roots up. This is not a permanent fix, and will only help you until shampooed out. You simply apply it to dry hair with a small brush. 


Use the following tips when coloring your roots:

  • Choose a cool-toned gloss, not a warm one. It doesn’t matter what color your hair is. A cool-tone is necessary for cutting down on the orange brass color.
  • While you can apply the gloss to just your roots, it’s easier to dye all your hair during this process. It will likely make things more even. It will also be easier to control the whole process.
  • Be sure to use a gloss and not a glaze. Glazes are not as permanent as glosses, and you’ll want something that will last.
  • Some people see success in dyeing their roots twice. It can take a good eye and a knowledge of how your hair responds to dye to get this right. But, if you’re able to dye your roots twice and get the color you want, it’s a quick and easy fix. Keep in mind that sometimes, hot roots might not hold color as well. The double-dyeing process also helps with this.

If you’re uncomfortable with dyeing your roots at home, you can go to a hair stylist. Most of the time, experience counts for a lot. A stylist with a lot of experience will be able to determine the right ‘heat zone’ for your hair. This will ensure they are using the right kind of cooling gloss. When the right color is found, it’s easier to fix the brassiness at the roots.

Purple Shampoo

If you’ve never heard of a blue or purple toning shampoo, it may be time to invest in such a product. These colors work to balance out hot roots because they are at the opposite end of the color wheel. As you might expect, they offer a ‘cool’ tone. It offsets the ‘hot’ look that can happen from bleaching your roots.

Keep in mind that a toning shampoo will affect all your hair, not just your roots. But, you can use it just like you would any other shampoo. While using hot water to wash your hair isn’t always the best option, you should at least make sure the water is warm when using this shampoo. It will help the hair shaft to open up. This will allow the shampoo to penetrate the hair shaft more. Just be sure to follow it up with a moisturizing conditioner.

For stronger results, you can even let it sit in your hair for a few minutes while you’re in the shower. Some toning shampoos can even be left in for an hour or two. Determine what works best for you, and pay attention to the ingredients.

When you’re finished using the shampoo each time, rinse with cold water. The cold water will help to close up your hair shaft. This will lock in the color and ensure your roots get back to their ‘normal’ color faster.

Will My Hair Be Damaged?

Having hot roots or a brassy color at your scalp doesn’t necessarily mean your hair is in trouble. At least, it doesn’t mean your roots are any worse off than the rest of your hair. An important thing to keep in mind is that dyeing and bleaching your hair can indeed be damaging.

If you have darker hair naturally, you’ll likely have to bleach it for another color to show up. The bleaching process is intense. It can strip your hair of vital nutrients. For some people, it can even irritate their scalp.

Hair dye itself is similar. It contains chemicals and preservatives. While occasional dyeing may not do much harm, repeated processing can cause damage. When your hair is stripped of its nutrients, it can become brittle, dry, and frizzy. Again, your scalp could also be affected.

To avoid brassy roots and keep your hair healthy, avoid bleaching and dyeing frequently. You can talk to your stylist about your concerns, and they may be able to offer some salon-quality alternatives. There are also safe dyeing alternatives you can use at home.

color of hair doesn't match

How to Dye Hair at Home Safely

If you want to avoid hot roots and keep your hair healthy, look for chemical-free alternatives. There are natural hair dyes available over-the-counter. Be sure to do a patch test to determine how these dyes will work on your hair.

In some cases, you still may need to color your roots twice so you can achieve the same color throughout your hair. But, if you want a boxed dye you can use at home, understanding the ingredients is important.

Some people want to avoid chemicals and preservatives completely. In those cases, you can look for a natural dye alternative.

Some safe options include:

While these may not offer permanent dyeing solutions, they can alter your color just enough to make a noticeable difference. There are also semi-permanent or temporary dyes that don’t have the same harsh chemicals. The best part about temporary dyes? You can switch them out frequently, so you’ll never get bored with the same color!


Hot roots are simply a result of bleaching or dyeing your hair. If you get them, it doesn’t mean your roots are any more damaged than the rest of your hair. But, it is not always safe to assume that your roots will look exactly like the rest of your hair after dyeing them.

To avoid hot roots, follow some of the helpful tips in this guide. Again, it’s easier to prevent them than it is to treat them. If you already have them, though, not all hope is lost. You can treat them safely at home. By doing so, you can even out your hair to be one consistent color.

Hot roots can be embarrassing and can draw negative attention to your dye job. By following the suggestions, you can have healthier-looking hair, even after dyeing. If you’re uncomfortable trying the tips at home, make sure your stylist knows your concerns. They will be able to take the right steps to color your hair correctly.

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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