How Often Should You Touch Up Your Roots?

There's a reason behind that magic 6-to-8 week period.

Walking out of the salon rocking your sassy new color is one of the best feelings in the world, amirite? And, if you can replicate a blowout at home, you get to hold on to that feeling twice as long! That is until your hair grows out and it’s time to touch up roots a few weeks later. But, when exactly is the right time to touch up roots? We’d say about every 6-8 weeks. Although obviously the level of regrowth we’re comfortable with varies from person to person, there is actually a lot more that goes into touch-ups than you may think. Read on to learn exactly when you should touch up roots, whether you’re covering gray roots or just avoiding breaking your base down the line:

1. Notice how long it takes your hair to grow.

touch up roots dark roots
Keeping up with your color is more important than you think. Photo credit: Arianna Sharfman

In general, it’s accepted that hair grows about half an inch per month. Also, you’ve probably heard your stylist say to have your touchups done every six to eight weeks. That means if your hair grows at the average speed, in six to eight weeks your hair will be about one inch longer. Regardless of how quick it takes your hair to grow when there’s almost an inch of root showing, it’s time.

2. Why it’s important to touch up roots every 6-8 weeks.

touch up roots bleach blonde
Make sure you get your roots touched up every 6-8 weeks. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

So what is the big deal with six to eight weeks? It may sound totally arbitrary, we know, but it’s actually more scientific than you may think. If you have bleached hair or permanently dyed hair, it is important to head back to the salon to touch up roots before your hair grows out one full inch. This is because your roots develop faster than the rest of your hair. It’s all thanks to the heat on your head. But that doesn’t reach much farther, so if you let your roots grow out a few inches, you may open up your hair to some inconsistencies in color even with a fresh batch of color.

3. What kind of dye you’re using matters.

 touch up roots blonde salon
Depending on the type of dye you use, you might not require a touch up as often.

Going to the salon to touch up roots depends a lot on how your hair is colored. Are you a bleached platinum blonde? Do you have an all-over darker color? What type of dye being used makes a difference in how long it stays in hair and how it will look as it grows out. If you tend to go for semi-permanent hair dye, you may need to visit the salon more often as your dye washes out more quickly. The good thing about this is that you have an easier time switching out to a new color. There’s always a bright side!

4. Highlights vs. balayage makes a difference.

touch up roots highlight touchups
Highlights don’t need touchups as often.

If you have highlights on your natural hair color, that will affect when you need to go in to touch up roots as well. Since balayage hair highlights tend to not go all the way to the roots, you don’t really need to touch up unless you want a brighter color. If you have regular highlights that start tighter on the scalp, stick to that six-to-eight week general guideline.

5. Maintain color vibrancy at home with the right hair care products.

touch up roots LBP color shampoo
Perfect for color-treated hair!

One way to spend less time in the salon chair is treating your hair with love. Color can fade away all too quickly if you are rough on your hair or use products that strip color from your strands. When your hair gets that all-too-familiar dullness a few months after a color job, try a leave-in conditioner. We love The Good Stuff Color Protect Milk as it works for all colors and gives you soft and shiny hair.

You should also make sure you’re washing your hair with color-safe products. These typically have a lower-sulfate formulation to get your hair clean, leaving your color intact and making you look fabulous for longer! Love Beauty and Planet Blooming Color and MuruMuru Butter and Rose Shampoo and Conditioner are a great duo for when you want to suds up daily or every other day.

6. Use a root concealer in between touch-ups.

If you can’t get to your colorist as often as you’d like or need to conceal any sight of root growth, try a root concealer. TRESemmé Root Touch-Up Spray comes in a few different colors to help you cover your roots while you wait to get them retouched. This product is a holy grail concealer. It won’t budge until your next shower and the color looks vibrant and salon-fresh.

If root spray feels a little too heavy of a pigment for your needs, you can also try a colored dry shampoo, like Dove Care Between Washes Brunette Dry Shampoo.

While everyone’s growth patterns are different, these rules of thumb are a good marker for how often touch-ups on your roots are needed. Following these guidelines is the best way to keep your coloring look fresh and vibrant, with no glaringly different roots in between.

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