Main content

Stylists Say: What Is Gloss Smudging?

photos of gloss smudging technique

Hair color trends are always changing. While chunky foil highlights with visible dark roots were all the rage in the ‘90s, low-maintenance natural-looking strands are what it’s all about in 2019. 

Recently, gloss smudging, a hair coloring technique meant to seamlessly mask the line between your salon color and your roots, has been making its rounds in salons—and the results are absolutely stunning! Looking to learn more about gloss smudging? Whether you have dark brown hair or ash blonde strands, here’s everything you need to know. 

What is gloss smudging? 

If you’ve opted for a full head of highlights before, you might be familiar with the harsh, noticeable line that separates your root color from your salon color. The gloss smudging technique is meant to eliminate any lines or streaks to give your strands the most natural-looking and long-lasting color possible. 

First, your colorist will apply hand-painted or foil highlights throughout your hair. Once the color is thoroughly rinsed out, here’s where the gloss smudging technique comes in. Your colorist will apply a toner or color gloss like Redken Shades EQ section by section to just your roots using a brush. The result? A soft, blended finish that “smudges” the line where your root and salon color meet. 

Whether you’re opting for a full head of blonde highlights or balayage to subtly lighten your dark brown hair, gloss smudging works for any lightened hair color. 

How do you maintain gloss smudged hair? 

As much as we love color-treated hair, maintaining a salon hue takes serious time commitment and often comes with a heavy price tag. Luckily, a gloss smudge can help you stretch the time between your next touch-up appointment. While a salon gloss will only last about a month or so, a gloss smudging application will help your roots grow in seamlessly without any harsh lines—even after the effects of the gloss have faded! 

After any color service, your at-home care routine is essential for maintaining your hue. Be sure to invest in a salon-quality shampoo and conditioner like the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free system. This system for color-treated hair includes Redken’s exclusive RTC Protein Complex to treat hair from the root, to the core, to the tip. 

If your colorist used bleach to achieve your hue, your strands might need a bit of TLC to feel strong and moisturized. Opt for a hair mask like Redken Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask for Color-Treated Hair. This two-in-one hair mask that is both a treatment and care extender designed specifically for the color care of your color-treated hair.

Now that you know all about the gloss smudging technique, you’re ready to try it out at your next salon appointment. 

Interested in trying gloss smudging? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device