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How to Avoid Colour Banding

Colour banding, also known as the halo effect, is far from angelic.

It describes the darker colour band that can appear when new colour is applied over new regrowth, and extended to layer over previously coloured hair.

Colour banding can appear as a thinner band where new colour has layered over just the top band of a previous colour application. It can also leave a wider, longer band if, for example, new colour has over-lapped older colour by a couple of inches.

The darker, duller colour result which is seen in colour banding is due to colour build-up. Colour which has been layered on top of older colour will leave a darker and duller colour outcome.

Your roots may have a brighter, more vibrant colour while your lengths may be darker and duller due to colour build-up.

How does this happen?

Colour banding occurs when colour is layered in a full-length application on top of previously coloured hair. The result is hair which may appear to have two different tones or depths, with a visible band around the previous regrowth line.

Our Top Tips to Avoid Colour Banding:


Follow the instructions! After an initial full-length colour application, you don’t need to leave the colour on your lengths for as long as your roots. Our instructions have a shorter processing time on the lengths, to avoid building up the colour.

Keep your root touch-ups on a consistent, regular schedule to avoid colour banding. Get your Colour Kits shipped when you know you need to touch-up your regrowth, and keep your colouring intervals consistent.

Colour Perfection:

If your hair is porous and over-absorbs colour, or if you want to reduce any additional processes on your lengths, then you can completely avoid adding permanent colour to your lengths and just touch-up your roots only.

Your regrowth will need permanent colour to permanently lift or deposit colour and to cover any unwanted greys.

Our Colour Perfection approach segments the hair into different sections, and uses a different developer to achieve a different colour result in your roots as compared to your lengths. You use a gentle, deposit-only developer in your lengths, to boost colour and shine while preserving the health and condition of the hair.

Blend either a 20 vol or 27 vol developer to achieve permanent colour coverage over your roots. Our 20 vol developer is the standard strength of developer used to achieve permanent colour coverage. If you have colour-resistant greys, select our 27 vol developer which is specifically developer to cover stubborn greys.

Apply permanent colour only to your roots, which will avoid any colour build-up or layering on your lengths. Boost the colour and tone in your lengths with semi-permanent colour applications only. Semi-permanent colour uses our 5 vol developer, which will deposit colour and tone and boost shine, without drying or damaging your hair lengths.

Our Colour Perfection approach – perfect coverage at your roots, perfectly healthy, refreshed colour in your lengths, and brilliant shine and condition throughout. This approach also means you are much less likely to have colour banding, as you apply permanent colour to each section of the hair once only.

Colour Placement

Salon accessories help you avoid colour banding.

If you are doing a root touch-up application only, look carefully at your hairline and apply the colour just in your regrowth to avoid colour banding problems.

Use your tint brush to apply the colour right up to the line between new growth and previously coloured hair. Apply the colour exactly where you need it to avoid colour banding and to achieve a seamless, one-colour result.

Processing Times

Follow the processing times exactly for your touch-up application.

The key is to avoid layering colour over parts of your hair that have been previously coloured.

Apply new colour only on your new growth for the full, longer processing time. Follow the instructions in your colour pack to add colour for less time on your lengths, to boost the colour throughout.

If you have had issues with colour banding before, or if you want personalised colour advice on how best to apply your colour specific to your hairs texture and goals, ask our colourists. We will provide personalised colour advice to help you achieve the best possible colour results at home.

This was not hard at all. It’s easier to colour with the right gear and the brush/clips helped me colour my roots-only touch-up. Colour is soft, natural looking, exactly what I wanted and my hair feels great!

Lainey M.

The kit is great and really helpful. The consistency of the product is perfect , nice and thick so it doesn’t drip. The brush application was easy and effective. I really liked the barrier oil. Hair feels great and 100% better than what I had been using. Definitely happy to have found The Shade.


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