Anyone who maintains their hair color with frequent trips to the salon or DIY dyeing knows how much work and effort you must put into touch-ups.
Once your roots start peeking out, it’s time to book another appointment and have them fixed.
It’s the way of life if you have colored hair and the price you pay for keeping the color you want.
But what if you start getting sick of that life and want to go back to low-maintenance, hassle-free hair upkeep?
Some people who have sported colored locks for years conclude that they miss their natural color and want to transition back to it.
The fact that consistently coloring your hair with dyes damages your precious locks can also change your mind about color maintenance.
And so, even if you used to love your bottle blonde or pastel purple tresses, you might be flirting with the idea of dyeing your hair so that they can blend in with your roots again and have an even, uniform color.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to dye hair evenly with roots and what tools you might want to use in the process.
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In What Situations Might You Dye Your Hair To Match The Roots?
The most common reason for wanting to dye your hair back to be even with your roots is transitioning back to natural hair.
Coloring hair is a chemical process, and if you do it again and again to maintain your shade, it can bring irreversible damage to your strands.
So many people who love coloring their hair wake up one day and realize this, so they consider quitting and coloring their hair back to the shade of their natural roots.
Some people opt for an alternative.
They’ll grow out their hair until it’s long enough so that they can chop off the colored, damaged parts and have completely natural hair again.
But others get impatient and can’t wait that long.
And I don’t blame them – it’s super awkward having two hair colors at once!
You might relate to this, hence why you’ve clicked on this article.
Your hair goal at first might have been to make your hair blonder and blonder, or a fun fashion color like firetruck red.
But changing your mind is okay.
Plus, going back to your natural color gives your hair a chance at being healthier and shinier.
Dyeing your hair to match your roots is pretty much just the reverse of root touchups.
The goal is to color your hair as close to the roots as possible so that they’ll match, and you’ll never have to do retouches again.
Pick A Shade That’s As Close To Your Roots As Possible
The key to dyeing your hair to match your roots successfully is choosing a dye with a shade as close to your roots as possible.
So, when selecting your hair dye, go for a brand that has a wide range of colors to choose from, not just your typical blonde, brunette, or jet black.
And make sure the tone is as close as possible to your roots, too.
You might have the same shade, but a difference in tone will still create a disconnect between your roots and the rest of your locks.
But make sure you adjust your color selection to how your hair behaves.
For example, if your hair naturally has a lot of warmth (aka if your colored hair gets brassy very easily and changes in tone fast), go for a dye that’s a little ashier in tone than your roots.
Once that color fades a bit or has some warmth peeking through, it will still look seamless against your roots.
There are a few other nuances about coloring your hair depending on whether you’re going dark or light.
It’s easy for light hair that you want to darken up to match your brunette roots – you simply apply the dye and darken your hair.
But for dark hair that needs to be lightened, it’s a bit different.
You have to be prepared to bleach your hair, including your roots, to get an even color.
It gives you a better shot at a successful coloring job vs if you bleach and color everything but your roots.
But more on that later.
Think Of Using A Protein Filler For More Even Results
The problem with coloring already damaged hair is that you run the risk of ending up with uneven and patchy color.
The cause of this splotchy result? High porosity.
This gives your hair a harder time retaining moisture, leaving it dry, brittle, and straw-like in texture.
When you try to dye high porosity hair, there’s a chance that it might not hold onto the color well.
Since the pores are wide open, pigments from the dye can easily be washed out.
That’s why it’s important to use a protein filler when dyeing already bleached and colored hair.
Much like a protein treatment or deep conditioner, a protein filler penetrates your hair fibers and fills in the little gaps and holes in your hair cuticle.
That way, it aids in the even distribution of dye.
It’s an extra step in an already tricky process, but it makes a huge difference in the result of your color.
Protein fillers come in different tones and colors.
They come in many shades – from purple to blue to yellow – to counter-balance brassiness and discolored hair.
But for basic coloring, you just need to find a neutral, clear-colored one to fill in your porous strands.
Prepping For The Dyeing Process
You can’t just jump into the dyeing process without doing your due diligence to prepare for it accordingly.
You’ll have to gather the right materials and tools beforehand, as well as things that can protect you and your room from unnecessary spills and messes (like a cape, old t-shirt, newspaper for the floor, and more).
One of the most important things you have to prepare is the hair dye.
We’ve already talked about choosing a shade that’s the closest to the color of your roots, but there are other factors to consider too, like how healthy the dye will be for your strands.
I recommend going for a semi-permanent or demi-permanent dye.
These are less damaging than permanent color which tends to break down more of the bonds in your hair, leaving it dry and weak.
Using gentler alternatives will give you a leg up if your main goal as you dye your hair to match the roots is to make your hair healthy again.
The only con is that if you use a semi-permanent or demi-permanent color, you’ll have to retouch every two or so months.
Recommended Semi-Permanent Dye
The Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is a great option if you don’t want to damage your hair further with permanent color.
It’s made with 80% naturally-derived ingredients, including coconut oil and aloe vera to keep your hair soft and moisturized as you dye it.
This vegan, paraben-free, and ammonia-free formula is available in 38 different shades.
This increases the chances of you picking out a correct match for your roots.
If you don’t want to have to deal with retouches, you can also go for permanent color.
This requires you to prepare a no-lift developer if you’re going darker, or a 20 or 30 one if you’re going lighter.
You’ll also need your trusty bleaching powder for the latter.
How To Dye Hair Evenly With Roots
Ready to get your hands dirty?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can finally match your hair with the natural shade of your roots again:
Leave Your Hair Unwashed (If Not Using Filler)
If you’re not planning on using a protein filler for the procedure, leave your hair unwashed.
The natural oils and dirt in your locks will help protect them from unnecessary chemical damage.
But if you do plan on using a protein filler, wash your hair with shampoo and no conditioner.
Apply Protein Filler
While your hair is damp, apply your protein filler to your hair.
To do this, transfer the filler solution in an empty spray bottle and spritz it all over your hair.
You can also pour the solution directly into your hands and scrunch it into your hair, focusing on the ends which are more porous than the roots.
Make sure your hair is completely saturated in the filler solution so that all the gaps and pores in your hair fibers are filled in properly.
Leave it on your hair for 20 minutes and don’t rinse it out.
Mix Bleach And Developer
If you’re going lighter, start bleaching your hair.
Mix your developer and bleach as instructed in the packaging (the common ratio is one part bleach to two parts developer)
Apply it to your hair with a soft applicator brush.
Get as close to the roots as you can without actually touching the roots.
Keep an eye on it while it processes so that you can wash the bleach out as soon as the shade matches that of your roots.
You can also choose to bleach all your hair, including the roots, just to make sure that the end shade will be 100% even.
Note though that this is a bit risky because you won’t have visibility of the natural shade of your roots.
Now, it’s time to dye your hair.
Separate your hair into sections to make it easier.
Let the top half of your mane with a clip and start with the bottom sections first.
Apply the dye with a brush (using your hands and fingers might cause an uneven distribution of color).
Once you’re done with a lock of hair, wrap it in foil.
Leave the dye in your hair for about half an hour, or however long as instructed in the packaging of your dye.
Rinse Your Hair
Hop into the shower and rinse your hair with cold water.
Warm water isn’t recommended for this, as it can open the cuticles by force and give the color a chance to seep out.
Cold water will do the opposite, sealing in the pigments from your dye into your strands.
Check Your Hair Color
Once you jump out of the shower, check your hair color.
If you think your roots and the lengths of your hair are the same shade but not quite the same tone, apply a gloss or toner all over your hair, including the roots.
This will help blend the color together better.
Style hair as desired and flaunt your newly colored tresses that finally match your natural regrowth!
Deciding to dye all your hair back to the color of your roots so they can match won’t be a walk in the park.
There are a lot of things you need to work on, from prepping to perfecting the actual DIY dyeing process.
Plus, you might have to go through a grieving process, since you’re changing up your hair shade.
It’s never going to be as simple as picking a dye the same shade as your roots and just coloring your hair with it.
You have to worry about damaging your hair, or uneven color, and even ending up with different tones in your roots and the rest of your hair.
I hope the tips I’ve listed above will be of help if you’ve been wondering how to dye hair evenly with roots.
Use a protein filler if you have super porous hair so you don’t deal with patchiness.
Opt for the healthier alternative when choosing dyes.
Watch out for how you use bleach.
In short, be careful with how you handle your hair as you color it to be even with your roots.
Take these instructions to heart, and you’ll be back with evenly colored hair that doesn’t need inconvenient root touch-ups in no time.
If you are not sure about doing this at home, please please please go to a professional hairstylist who will ensure you get your desired results.