From the garden to your mirror, overgrown roots are usually not a great look. They create an unkempt appearance and a gradient most of us would rather not see on ourselves. If your roots are showing more than you’d like and it’s time to dye them, a trip to the salon is almost always your best bet. But there are still times when we need a quick touch-up at home. If you find yourself in just such a scenario, we have a few specific steps that can help you pull it off like a pro.
Step 1: Know your color and get professional opinions if you can. If your professional uses a specific color, you cannot pick up a box of dye from the drugstore shelf and expect it to be a perfect match. Many factors influence color, including your own hair tones. Consider talking to your colorist or another professional to help you guide your hair color decision.
Step 2: Know your hair. One big problem with at-home dye-jobs is that clients find themselves bleaching hair roots and inflicting a lot of unnecessary damage. If your hair is dry or coarse, for example, it’s important to find a moisturizing formula that won’t further dry it out when you treat your roots.
Step 3: Prepare the work station. When dyeing hair roots, you need space, towels and lots of things to protect your skin and work area. Applying petroleum jelly to your hairline, cheeks and ears can help keep the dye off your face. Gloves can protect your hands, and ear plugs are also an option for keeping dye out of your ears. A plastic cape is also a great resource if you have it. If not, use an old shirt you don’t mind staining.
Step 4: Mix dye and prep your hair. Gather combs, clips, brushes and dyeing products. Mix your color and prepare to apply it. It should be smooth with no lumps.
Step 5: Apply! Starting at the nape of the neck, brush the color only on the spots that have grown in, being very careful not to overlap on the other sections. It is important not to overlap on the other parts of your hair, as this will create “bands” of varied color — a telltale sign of a DIY root touchup (and a common reason for corrective salon appointments!). Once you’ve applied it all, set your timer and wait.
Step 6: Rinse, rinse, rinse some more. After you’ve successfully dyed your roots, now it’s time to remove the excess dye. While keeping your gloves on, wash your hair until the water runs clear. This may take more than one wash.
Step 7: Condition. Once you’re fully rinsed, condition your hair with a color-safe mask or conditioner like Pai-Shau’s Replenishing Cream Conditioner. To avoid any potential chemical reactions, do not add more products to your hair after you condition. Depending on the color you dye your roots, you may want to use a similarly colored towel and pillowcase to avoid any rubbing off on your sheets and linens.
Dyeing your roots is a big deal, and you should approach it as such. But, with the right care and a few key steps of preparation, you can do your own touch-up like a pro when you need to.