Author Topic: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)  (Read 3262 times)

englishteacheralex

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DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« on: August 31, 2019, 07:46:48 PM »
I'm almost 40, female, and have been going grey since I was 25. I'm still not ready to embrace it, so I've been dying my hair for fifteen years or so. I keep it to my original natural color and my go-to box dye is Revlon ColorSilk in Light Ash Brown, which goes on sale periodically at Target for $3-$4.

I do this about once every three months or so, and I've always liked the results. Here's my process:

1. I like working on 3rd day hair--somebody told me dirty hair takes color better.
2. I brush my hair all out--it's naturally curly so this is something I almost never do.
3. I part it down the middle, throw down a big line of the coloring potion, and then use a medium sized makeup brush to paint it all in to the left and right of the part.
4. Then I take a wide toothed comb and brush the potion down both sides of the part so that it kinda goes into all the hair around it naturally.
5. I work through my entire crown, parting, dying, painting, combing, parting, dying, painting, combing--the grey is pretty intense at the front of my hair and nonexistent at the back, which I totally ignore during this process because the box dye color is a great match to the natural back of my hair.
6. Swab the hairline with a makeup removing cloth to nab any stray potion that got on my skin, go and sit for 45 minutes, and then rinse out and deep condition.

Always looks a little weird (kinda too dark, but nothing embarrassing) for the first three days and then calms down after a wash or two and looks great for six weeks until the grey starts coming back and I have to do it over again.

So I'm posting this partly as a guide for others (I asked my hairstylist how to DIY color my hair five years ago, and she's the one who gave me this routine) and also in case any more advanced hair-care folks want to weigh in.

AND I'm also posting this because as much as I'm happy with the whole process (especially the bargain price compared to a salon!), the one thing I HATE is that for two days after I do this, my scalp is so, so, so itchy and I don't know if it's the cheap-ass dye I use (which in every other way is totally satisfactory) or if I just have a sensitive scalp, but man I wish I knew a hack to make it stop. I tried Sweet N Low and it didn't help at all. 

rockstache

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 04:22:48 AM »
I could have written every word of your post except for the color itself. Following to see what anyone says about the itchy (flaky for me) scalp.

englishteacheralex

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 10:30:33 AM »
Right on! Here's the thing...touching up my roots costs $4 and about 1.5 hours of my time. Having it done professionally costs $50-$100. I can't think of very many other DIY projects that have that big a swing between cost of me doing it and cost of a professional.

Why is this? Why is DIY hair color so much cheaper than profo?

What am I missing? The lady who cuts my hair is really, really good at her job. She's a silently efficient Japanese lady, charges me $70 for the cut, and kicks ass. I get my hair cut about twice a year and it's important to me that it grows out nicely and looks good. Japanese lady compliments my color every single time and marvels at the natural highlights. It is highly likely she's just being nice, but it always makes me wonder even more...

What is it about profo root coloring that is so great that it's worth ten to fifteen times what I pay for my little box of color from Target?

kei te pai

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 02:00:02 PM »
I think its probably he time involved for the hairdresser.

BlueHouse

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2019, 10:20:06 AM »
I've been dying my own for years too, but you leave it on for 45 minutes?  I've only ever left mine on for 25.  Never had the sensitive scalp, and I'm really bad about letting the dye get on my scalp and skin.  After I'm done with the part, paint, etc, I massage my hair like shampoo so I know the dye gets all over my scalp.

I recently stopped using L'oreal and started using eSalon.  It's about $30 every 8 weeks, so it's much more expensive than L'oreal, but the color seems to last longer.  The eSalon is noticeably stronger smelling and feeling to me.  Sometimes I feel like I'm inhaling poison while I'm applying it. 

englishteacheralex

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2019, 02:45:54 PM »
Update! As long as this thread has been boosted to the top...

About a month ago my hair stylist said my hair is falling out and thinning. She said a ton of it fell out while she was washing it, which I have noticed, too. I have a years-long problem with insomnia that could be the culprit, but she said bottom-of-the-barrel color could also play a role.

So I upgraded to the $10 box from Clairol. I'm planning on dying it this weekend. Maybe I'll also leave it on for less time.

Fire2025

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2019, 06:43:01 PM »
I color my own hair and have done it for about 28 years.  I use sally's beauty supply products but I also leave the color in my hair for 35 - 45 minutes.  If scrape my scalp with the comb while I apply the color I will end up itchy and tender, but if I'm careful no issues. 

When we were buying our house I was stressed and lost a lot of hair.  But now that things are back to normal, hair is back to normal.

VancouverSaver

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2019, 07:17:56 PM »
I'm about to start dying my own hair and grey roots too, so this thread is so helpful! It's going to save me so much money! Does anyone have a good YouTube video of someone doing the technique talked about here?

Also, before I quit my very expensive salon, I actually managed to get my colour formula from my hair stylist, although I'm not sure what it means and what the best match would be in box dye etc?

The formula is equal parts 5n and 5.62. Toned with 5rv. What does it mean? How does it correspond?

Also, I'm wondering where to buy good hair dye in Vancouver or online in Canada. All tips appreciated.

englishteacheralex

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2019, 11:37:59 AM »
Hey VancouverSaver--I don't have any answers to your questions but maybe somebody who has some formal experience with hair might weigh in. I've actually never Youtubed a tutorial for dying my roots--the technique is so simple and foolproof I could do it just based on my own hair stylist's instructions.

I just dyed my roots on Sunday with a different brand. I think it was Clairol Nice n Easy? It came with a little application brush and it cost $10 instead of my usual $3 box. I am pleased to report that the color is the same but the formula only took 15 minutes instead of the 45 recommended by the other brand, and my scalp is much, much, MUCH less itchy this time. So it's definitely worth it to pay a little more.

I notice that at Ulta there is a whole section of much more high-end coloring products and am wondering if those are worthwhile. It depends on what you compare the price to...when compared with my $10 box, it's a luxury, but when compared to the $85 that my stylist would charge, even a $30 box of product is a bargain. I only dye my hair every three months or so, so perhaps the luxury product wouldn't be that big a deal. I'm considering it because my stylist said my hair is thinning and she recommended using less harsh dye products as one small help. She wasn't trying to sell me anything and I've known her five years, so maybe it's worth a shot.

TVRodriguez

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 01:44:37 PM »
I've been dying my grey hairs for a few years now, and I MUCH prefer going to my hair stylist for the color over doing it at home.  When I do it at home, I'm just messy about it, impatient (can't seem to sit still and not touch stuff), and nearly always make a mess.  Most importantly, I can't wear my glasses with the dye in, and so I'm blind the whole time.  When I go to the salon, somehow it is easier to just sit there.  At home, I can't sit still for the time it takes.  Last time, I had my husband help me b/c I wanted to make sure that I only dyed the roots and not too much other hair but I didn't want to miss any and (as I mentioned) I'm blind during this whole shebang, and he even said, "wow, this is a process, huh."  I used one of the Garnier products ($6 on Amazon, I think).  I find it much easier to home-dye all of the hair at once, but I don't like to do that b/c it over processes it and then it gets really dry.

TVRodriguez

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2019, 10:21:09 AM »
I wanted to add that I think it's great when people can manage to do their own haircare including coloring.  I honestly wish I were better able to do it myself.  I've cut my own hair myself with good results, actually, much better results than the coloring! 

I didn't mean to sound dismissive in my response yesterday.  For me, who only colors 3-4 times per year, if I can do it myself once or twice, then I've cut my cost by enough that I am happy to pay for it twice a year.  If I wanted to color every 4-6 weeks, then the savings would be more substantial.

When I used to color my hair for fun (not for greys), and I would do the whole head, it was easier because I didn't have to see anything to apply it correctly.  But I found that when I did that, no matter what type of hair color I used, I could never stop the colored ends from lightening too much with the sun over time, so I'd end up with a reddish tint to the bottom half of my hair, which created a two-tone look with my natural color as it came in, which I hated.  The colorist I go to fixed that for me and her dye never does that to my hair.  I suppose I've not asked her what she uses because I imagine she'd be a little offended that I'd want to do it myself.

I've cut my boys' hair on occasion, but I usually take them to the barber, who does a better job faster than I.  Especially when they were younger, they would not sit still for me but would do it for the barber, and it was worth it to get the chore done quickly and with fewer tears (of mine).  DH cuts his own hair and always has in the 20 years that I've known him.

rockstache

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2019, 10:46:12 AM »

I didn't mean to sound dismissive in my response yesterday.  For me, who only colors 3-4 times per year, if I can do it myself once or twice, then I've cut my cost by enough that I am happy to pay for it twice a year.  If I wanted to color every 4-6 weeks, then the savings would be more substantial.

I didn't think you sounded dismissive. It seems like you're right, and it wouldn't be much of a savings for you. In my experience, the salon people are the messy ones! I've had multiple shirts ruined, and one even got dye on my coat because he didn't rinse it properly and there was still dye in my hair when I put my coat on!! I felt like I was paying a lot (and tried several different salons), so I don't know why I haven't had any luck. I probably color 5-6 times per year, but I haven't found a salon here that does it for less than $60 (I have a lot of hair. It's usually double that), so that adds up. 

ETA, when your stylist suggests using "less harsh dye," does she give you a name brand?

moneypitfeeder

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 03:55:48 PM »
I'd defiantly recommend going to Sally's (or another that sells to certified pros) and getting the separate dye, plus developer and mixing at home. It's cheaper than most "kits" and the product is better. Wella makes good demi-permanent  dyes and they claim that they cover grey well (I've only used it on non-grey). But the demi isn't as harsh as the permanent dyes are.

englishteacheralex

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2020, 05:28:06 PM »
Oh hello! The brand that my stylist recommended...can't remember. Ok, just checked--she told me to take a picture of the box on my phone. It's Wella. I've never been to Sally's and I was trying to figure out how color/developer work online. There are a lot of blogs that make it sound very technical and difficult to DIY without

So last time I dyed it was mid December, and I tried a demi-permanent dye that time because I read that they are less harsh, won't make my scalp itch, and fade away subtly instead of having an obvious line of demarcation.

I am pleased to report that I've liked it a lot! It's still there now after ~6 weeks but definitely fading a bit. I feel my gray is a lot less obvious, though. The color is fading but the gray isn't as stark as when the permanent color grows out. My scalp wasn't itchy at all and the process took a lot less time, so those were plusses as well. I have fairly curly hair and only wash it two to three times/week. Also I use products that don't have sulfates or silicone, so I think the color has been lasting pretty well for me. 

I actually think I may be sold on demi-permanent from here on out. I mean, it's not like it looks professional, I don't think...my roots are a little brassy for the first week or so. But after a wash or two I think it looked pretty natural and it definitely covers my gray. I'm a fan. 

TVRodriguez

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2020, 06:03:16 PM »
I am curious about the professional hair supply places, but I don't know how to pick a color there, so I might stick with my Garnier for now.

Glad to hear that your product is working well for you, @englishteacheralex .  Reporting back myself . . .

DH colored my hair again in December with the same Garnier product (from Amazon it was ~$5-6).  He did the roots again, but there were a lot of them b/c I hadn't colored in months.  Still, it was easier this time around.  A month later, it still looks pretty good.  Definitely not as good as the professional hair stylist, but I was happy to keep the extra cash in my pocket again.  And DH cut it again for me and did a great job.  So that's good.

Frankies Girl

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2020, 06:03:37 PM »
I love Wella dyes. I used those for the last few years before I stopped dying my hair completely.

I wanted to point out the hair thinning/loss isn't likely to be the type of hair dye you're using unless you were leaving it on for days causing serious damage, or were seeing more fragile hair/breaking and straw-like texture... it's more likely hormones than anything else. Women will start seeing a a drop off in estrogen/other female dominant hormones in their 30s and a decline over the next decade due to age. It's the reason you start having breakouts and seeing the lovely increase in hairs (chin hairs? mustache? Leg hair and other bits going native wayyyyy sooner than usual? WTF?) as the estrogen lessens and testosterone starts battling it out.

You could look into taking biotin as a supplement for hair/nails/skin. It was recommended to me by several doctors/nutritionists to help improve or at least slow hair loss and improves overall quality of what you have. I did see a difference myself and it's available over the counter for not too much.

englishteacheralex

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2020, 06:17:06 PM »
I love Wella dyes. I used those for the last few years before I stopped dying my hair completely.

I wanted to point out the hair thinning/loss isn't likely to be the type of hair dye you're using unless you were leaving it on for days causing serious damage, or were seeing more fragile hair/breaking and straw-like texture... it's more likely hormones than anything else. Women will start seeing a a drop off in estrogen/other female dominant hormones in their 30s and a decline over the next decade due to age. It's the reason you start having breakouts and seeing the lovely increase in hairs (chin hairs? mustache? Leg hair and other bits going native wayyyyy sooner than usual? WTF?) as the estrogen lessens and testosterone starts battling it out.

You could look into taking biotin as a supplement for hair/nails/skin. It was recommended to me by several doctors/nutritionists to help improve or at least slow hair loss and improves overall quality of what you have. I did see a difference myself and it's available over the counter for not too much.

Biotin, eh? Maybe I'll make a dermatologist appt. I need to do my annual skin scan, could just add the thinning hair to the list. But wait is biotin available OTC? Off to Amazon...

moneypitfeeder

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2020, 08:06:09 AM »
I am curious about the professional hair supply places, but I don't know how to pick a color there

They have color swatches there for all the product lines, normally they hang on the shelf with the dyes, but sometimes you have to ask the clerk if there is a swatch book (those seem to wander around or be kept in the back room). They are really easy to mix, for Wella Color Charm (demi-permanent), the instructions are on the box (mix 1 part color to 2 parts activating lotion). I think they all have the instructions on them. You  can either mix in a bowl and apply with a coloring brush or get a squirt bottle like the kits and rinse and reuse.

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-color/demi-permanent-hair-color/color-charm-demi-permanent-hair-color/WELLA10.html

Peony

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2020, 09:56:55 AM »
Following!

TVRodriguez

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2020, 12:32:25 PM »
I am curious about the professional hair supply places, but I don't know how to pick a color there

They have color swatches there for all the product lines, normally they hang on the shelf with the dyes, but sometimes you have to ask the clerk if there is a swatch book (those seem to wander around or be kept in the back room). They are really easy to mix, for Wella Color Charm (demi-permanent), the instructions are on the box (mix 1 part color to 2 parts activating lotion). I think they all have the instructions on them. You  can either mix in a bowl and apply with a coloring brush or get a squirt bottle like the kits and rinse and reuse.

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-color/demi-permanent-hair-color/color-charm-demi-permanent-hair-color/WELLA10.html

Hey, thanks for the explanation. I have to keep this in mind. There are a few professional supply places nearby, but I've never been in them.  Now I might be able to try.

moneypitfeeder

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2020, 04:45:41 PM »
@TVRodriguez , FYI some pro places don't sell to the public, Sally's does and you don't need a license. Other places, I'd call before you go just to be sure.

TVRodriguez

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2020, 08:53:30 AM »
@TVRodriguez , FYI some pro places don't sell to the public, Sally's does and you don't need a license. Other places, I'd call before you go just to be sure.

Good to know. Thanks

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2020, 09:39:00 AM »
I've always coloured my own hair and done root touch ups etc. Last few years, however, my hair is too willing to take up the dye and every shade of brown just ends up kind of a muddy black. The texture of the hair has changed, I assume because I'm mainly grey now but that's a guess because I haven't seen the natural colour in 20 odd years..... anyhoo..... I think I'm going to head back to the professionals for awhile, as expensive as that is.

Pigeon

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2020, 11:12:48 AM »
I touch up my roots myself, using Garnier Nutrisse.  My process is much simpler and faster than the OP's.  I mix up the concoction according to package directions and then just run the tip of the applicator around my scalp in a rough grid pattern, making sure I also get around the hairline, especially at my temples, where the gray gets most obvious first.  I then take a gloved hand and mush the haircolor around on my scalp with the tips of my fingers to make sure it's covered all over.  That takes a couple of minutes.  I wait about 25 minutes and then mush the haircolor all over to the ends of my hair, and that takes about a minute.  I wait ten minutes and then shower it off and condition according to the package directions.

The whole thing takes about 40 minutes plus the time to shower.

kiwi

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2020, 11:07:50 PM »

I've been coloring my hair myself for about 10 years now, after having it colored professionally for about 7 years. After a move, my hairdresser was a 30 minute drive away, so I decided to learn to do it myself.

Best decision ever. So much time saved! I have a lot of grays, so I was coloring about once a month, now transitioning to about once every 3 weeks.

I previously used Clairol Nice'n'Easy (about $7 a box). I switched about a year ago to Revlon ColorSilk, which is about $2.80 a box at Walmart. It's just as good - really, no functional difference at all. I think the only real difference is that it only includes a sample pack of conditioner, as opposed to a whole tube. I didn't even use the conditioner, though.

A few things that I do differently than most:

- I use an applicator comb. This is very important! Coloring your hair with this makes the process very easy and fast. Mine is this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Salon-Care-Root-Comb-Applicator/dp/B01ENDFXJW.
- I leave the dye on my hair only about 16 minutes (recommended is more like 30). It seems to work just as well, it colors the grays, but not as strongly. The new hair growth line is less pronounced. I've never had any problem with irritation.
- I use a mix of colors. I alternate semi-randomly between the medium and lighter browns, all shades. It seems to avoid that "dunked in a bottle of coloring" look that some people get.










Tuskalusa

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Re: DIY Touching Up Roots (of hair, obvi)
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2020, 11:43:56 PM »
I color my hair with Madison Reed. I have to leave the color on for about45 minutes, cuz of the gray that I REFUSE to acknowledge. I have serious skin issues and allergies. This is the only hair dye that doesn’t leave me itchy or completely sick due to allergies/athsma. (Other dyes, including the ones in the salon, make me super sick.). I get a lot of compliments on the color too. :)