Getting gorgeous color—from balayage blonde to bold red to honey brunette—comes with a price: frequent upkeep via expensive trips to the salon.

But, recently, we’ve noticed a trend started by celebrities (natch!) called “soft roots,” which is a basically a hair-color technique that helps blend the darker new growth with the rest of the lightened or colored hair. Stars who’ve recently exhibited soft-root grow-out include Lauren Conrad, supermodels Gigi Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, and actress Rachel McAdams. Their blonde-with-dark-roots look is definitely less jarring!

Soft roots on Rachel McAdams and Lauren Conrad.
Photos by PR Photos

“The soft-roots technique involves applying a base color (close in tone to your natural color), and after about 30 minutes, using a big-tooth comb to gently comb the base into the mid-lengths and ends to soften the line of demarcation,” says Amanda Perez, Education Program Manager for Keratin Complex®.

“Or alternatively, when applying the base color, turn the brush vertically and bring the color through to the mid-lengths and ends. This should not be brought down on every piece; just a few, using professional judgment,” she says.

This method reduces the harsh regrowth line, making it less obvious that a color refresh is needed and thus allowing more time between color services. “It’s a true time-saver in the salon that provides less stress on the hair,” says Amanda, who also notes that it’s ideal for blondes or redheads that require a lot of upkeep.

So, if you’re over your red or blonde hair with dark roots … ask your Keratin Complex stylist to give you soft roots!