Creating the Perfect Smudge Root (Or Is It Root Smudge?)

by Maggie Mulhern | May 6, 2019
How to create the perfect root smudge by Sophia Avera.
How to create the perfect root smudge by Sophia Avera.

Root smudge? Smudge root? Root shadow? Shadow root? No matter what you call it, it is one of the hottest trends happening today. It is fun, fresh and most importantly, FORGIVING. 

Sophia Avera (@ssophiacolor) of Muse Salon and Spa, Atlanta, Georgia, is a color expert, and top national balayage educator for L’Oréal Professionnel. One of the key questions she gets at her seminars is “how do you create a root smudge without losing the highlights?”

MODERN met with Avera as she was teaching a class at the SalonCentric Education Loft in St. Petersburg, Florida and asked her to tell us more and actually demonstrate.

Here Avera shares her top ten tips on perfecting the color design: 

  1. Consultation is key. Learn more about your client’s routine and how she wears her hair. (“A root smudge creates softness, and is good no matter how she wears her hair – that’s why it’s trending. It’s great for braids, top knots and half up/half down styles.”)
  2. Make sure the hair is dry to the touch and detangled before applying the root smudge.
  3. The color selected should be one level lighter than the client’s natural (“It will bridge the gap between the highlight and the base.”)
  4. In the front, the smudge should drop just about ¼ inch while in the back the drag can be up to one inch.
  5. Apply color in ½ inch sections. (“Smaller sections will add too much time and larger sections may result in spotting.”)
  6. Always use demi-perm color (“For fast processing and no lift.”)
  7. Application time should be less than one minute. Process no longer than five minutes. (“Work fast!”)
  8. Remind client she should not shampoo for 48 hours.
  9. Make sure she leaves with a color saving shampoo (Avera prefers Vitamino Shampoo by L’Oréal Professionnel.)
  10. Client should return every four to six weeks for a fresh smudge and glaze.

And for the demonstration, check out this video to see Avera in action (and yes, she is fast!):

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