Read This Before Dying Your Roots at Home

Hair colorist Guy Tang has some advice you need to know.

dying roots at home
We know that in the grand scheme of current events, worrying about our hair color is fairly inconsequential. Still, our roots are slowly creeping further and further into existence, and with a visit to the salon pretty much impossible for the foreseeable future, the time has come to look into other options. And no, that does not mean reaching for a box dye, no matter how tempting it may be. Luckily, hair colorist Guy Tang was happy to share his solutions for keeping your hair looking fresh (and disguising any unwanted growth) in the age of self-isolation. Check out his advice below.

Why is reaching for box dye not the solution for people who are worried about roots or maintaining their color?

“Over time you will start to see a line of demarcation showing where the box dye was applied over your salon color. The pigments are quite different and will transition and fade very differently. Also, when applying box dye to your hair, you should know that removing that dye in the salon will cost you two to three times more than your normal visit due to the fact that your stylist will have to perform a full color correction. That includes stripping your hair of these pigments in order to get your hair back to a place where you can achieve your previous tone. In some cases, it may take multiple salon visits to get you back to the tone you had prior to applying box color.”

Are there any over-the-counter products that can help minimize roots or soften a line?

“There really isn’t much that will disguise pesky grey hair outside of hair color. I would advise wearing your hair up and finding a colored dry shampoo that you can spray along your hairline that blends well with your hair color. This way you are just temporarily concealing your roots, and you aren’t penetrating or staining the hair cuticle.”

Are there any so-called “natural” solutions that might work, like using lemon juice for highlights?

“Anything natural will just take your hair to a brassy tone and alter the pigment that you already have on your hair. I do not advise lemon juice and sunshine. This will actually make your hair color fade more quickly and expose those roots faster.”

Do you have any styling recommendations that can help disguise an overdue color session?

“I love braids . There are so many fun ways to do braids . You can do a crown braid that can be pulled apart and made more lived-in. This will disguise the roots and make them look more intentional.”

What can people do to ensure that the color they already have stays bright and brilliant until they can come into the salon?

“I tell my models and clients to shampoo less. Find day-two and -three hairstyles that will elongate the time between shampoos. Braids are a great day-three style. Dry shampoo is going to become your best friend during a time like this.

“When showering and not washing your hair, I advise using a shower cap. This will keep your hair away from warm water and steam. Both open your hair cuticle, resulting in color fade. When you do have to shampoo, shampoo with cool water. Also, ensure you are using a color-safe, sulfate-free shampoo. You want something gentle on your hair cuticle so that it does not disrupt or rinse out the pigments.”

Any other words of advice for people who are anxious about maintaining their color during this time?

“It is tempting to sit and play with your hair all day. I am guilty of it, too! The best things you can do is to minimize shampoos, and don’t touch your hair! Minimize the oils your hair is exposed to. Our hands carry a lot of oils that easily get transferred to your hair, resulting in the need to shampoo it sooner. The less you shampoo, the longer your hair color will last.”

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