Doing A Root Touch Up Successfully To Match The Color Of Your Hair



Disclaimer: There are many different options to coloring hair depending upon what someone wants to achieve. This tip is intended only for those who want to do a root touch up and get it to come out uniform in color to the rest of your hair. This is a important tip so heed it well.

Ever wonder how it is that your cosmetologist trots off into the backroom somewhere and comes back with the perfect blend for your hair color but you can't achieve the same goal buying a color that matches you hair and applying it to your roots?

The trick is adding a few drops of darker color into your formula. When you think about coloring your hair there is a lot more involved than simply picking up a shade that matches yours and applying it. You have to think in terms of dilution. What do I mean by that? The way I like to explain it to people is think about the color black and what would happen if you pour white paint into would eventually start to turn to grey. Same thing applies to red, most of us know that if we keep adding enough white it will eventually turn pink. So when we add hair coloring to white hair it dilutes it just the same as it would the paint. That's why you often end up with a lighter shade at the roots then the rest of your hair.

The best and most cost effective way to color your own roots is to go to a beauty supply store. Buy the color that matches your hair then pick up a tube of black hair dye, a bottle of twenty volume creme developer, a bowl and a brush to apply it. If this is your first time out trying to color your own hair I would recommend going with using one ounce of hair color at first, if you need more you can mix more, if you need less than next time use less. Companies have different ratio's of developer to add to color, that is usually printed on the package somewhere and it will say 1:1 or 1:2, that means for every ounce of color add one ounce of developer or for every 1 ounce of color add two ounces of developer. I buy the one to two because it's more cost effective as you get twice as much color from one tube because you add more developer making twice as much color.

Now for me I use three fourth ounce of color because that's all it takes for me. I measure out three fourths color then measure out two three fourths of an ounce worth of developer and add it to the color.


You can buy these one ounce plastic containers at the beauty supply store or maybe you have one laying around from a cold medicine bottle you can use. Now this next part will be a bit tricky if this is your first time out coloring your own roots. When you first start out less is better more can be worse....meaning it's better to end up a bit lighter and know next time you need to add another drop or two then to put to much in and be way darker which would be hard to correct. It's a learning curve. If you end up a bit lighter than you want next time you do your roots extend that onto the part that was a bit lighter before and that should take care of your issue. I don't recommend shampoo caps and I will explain why later whether you know what that means right now or not. I am a medium light brown and I use four pea size drops of black to achieve the color I want. Be careful that they are only pea size, you may want to practice a couple drops until you master getting a pea size from your black tube to drop successfully. Now someone with lighter color hair like blonde may only want one pea size drop whereas someone who has medium brown hair may want to add five drops...maybe a sixth or seventh but that's for next time to determine because remember less is better the first time because more would be to hard to correct. Once you get your color, developer and pea size drop(s) in mix it very well, last thing you want is to not mix it well and end up with a black streak somewhere.


Then apply the color to the grey roots. Let it sit for at least forty five minutes. When forty five minutes is up rinse your hair really well. Then you are going to shampoo your hair twice rinsing well in between shampoo's. Then apply conditioner and let it sit at least five minutes or longer in your hair then rinse really well. After you color your hair if you can still smell the hair coloring then you did not rinse well enough. A well rinsed head will not reek of hair dye.

Okay back to the issue of a shampoo cap. A shampoo cap is when you mix your color and apply it to the roots then during the last ten minutes of letting the color sit in your hair you mix shampoo in the remaining color in the bowl and apply it all over your hair and rub it in really well. Many claim this gets rid of any line of demarcation but what I've often found is that it applies to much color onto the area of your hair that is already colored. Over time this constant application of color over color can build up and make hair appear heavy, drab or lackluster, lose bounce and vibrancy. As you can see I have no problem with a line of demarcation, the color comes out uniform to the rest of my hair color. (The lighter strands are just light reflecting off my hair as I took the picture outside for best light)


A couple of other helpful hints when coloring your hair. One is to buy a color that closest resembles your own. Pay close attention and do not buy anything that says it's an ash based color unless you have a ash based color already in your hair. What I do recommend though is looking to add a bit of golden. Like my color is a light golden brown...that's because grey hair lacks it's underlying base colors it use to have to make the color you once was so adding some of that back in helps achieve a more solid color closer to what your color was before. If you had a natural ash color to your hair then you may like to add a ash base back into it. It's all personal choice but we are not always going to go with what we were before our hair went grey as like with myself I use to be a dark brown but dark brown shows grey faster so I chose to go with a light brown.

Now the big question everyone always ask, even in cos to get hair dye off your skin. I don't know how well this will work for others, there were teachers with different opinions but one seemed to be onto something more so than the others and it's always worked rather well for me. She said it takes an acid to get rid of an alkaline. Hair color is alkaline, most shampoos and conditioners are acid based....though there are a few shampoo's out there that have a alkaline base the vast majority are acidic to help restore ph level back to the hair. Water is also alkaline so just rinsing isn't going to get it off so when shampooing your hair make sure you rub around your hair line with the shampoo just as you would with your scalp. Same with the conditioner, rub it into your skin and let it sit five minutes as I instructed above. This usually works well for me removing any color from the forehead.

Now one final hint for those who accidentally get color on their bathroom or kitchen counter top and it sets in. Take a paper towel, or I've even used toilet paper and place it over the stain, pour some bleach onto the paper towel and let it sit for a couple hours, it has never failed to remove the stain.

Remember what I said above, this is for people who have grey hair and want to do a root touch up. There are many ways to deal with grey hair and not everyone is as grey as others but I will hopefully do more articles on how to deal with hair with varying levels of grey.