Don't rush off to the beauty salon every time your natural hair color rears its ugly head. You can extend the life of your hair color by coloring your own dark roots between dye jobs. Follow these tips on how to touch up dark roots and you'll save yourself money and an unnecessary trip to the salon.
Set up your work area. Before you can touch up your dark roots, you need to do a bit of preparation. First of all, put on some old clothes that can manage to get stained. (Most people have an old t-shirt that they save just for dyeing hair). Then grab a pair of disposable gloves. These are a must since hair dye will also stain your hands (an obvious clue that you've been touching up your own dark roots!)
Split your hair into sections. Now that you're ready, divide your hair into 4 main sections, two on each side separated at the ear. Secure each section with a pin or an elastic. And to avoid dyeing your skin as well, add some petroleum jelly to your entire hairline.
Prepare your color. Read the direction on your hair color box and mix your hair dye accordingly. Make sure that the color you are using to touch up your dark roots is going to match the existing color on the rest of your hair.
Start touching up your dark roots. Working with one section of hair at a time, apply the hair color evenly along the base and roots of your hair, extending all the way to wear your dark roots end. It's okay if some of the color overlaps, since you don't want a definite line between the two color jobs. Try not to massage the root touch up color into your scalp either. It's not necessary, and will only leave you with a dark-stained scalp.
Once you've applied the hair dye to the necessary areas, use the applicator tip of the dye bottle and grab small, 1-inch sections of your hair. Do this methodically, flipping hair over and applying color to all parts of your dark roots. Continue to do this until all of the dark roots in a section have been touched up with dye.
Re-secure that section of hair with a clip, and repeat the process for the other 3 sections of hair.
Wait for the color to set. Once you have touched up all of your dark roots, set a timer for the recommended amount of time (usually 5-20 minutes). If you've got things to do during this time, cover your hair in a plastic bag and go about your business until the timer goes off.
Comb the dye through your dark roots. When the timer goes off, use a comb to draw the color from the roots upward. This ensures that your touch ups won't be obvious. Leave the dye on for a few more minutes after you do this, just to make sure you've got complete coverage of your dark roots.
Rinse your hair. After you've waited the necessary amount of time, you can rinse you hair. Use lukewarm water in the shower (you don't want to bathe in your hair dye, do you?). Continue to massage and rinse your hair until the water going down the drain is clear.
Use the conditioner provided. After rinsing the root touch up out of your hair, follow your dye job with a conditioning treatment. Follow the instructions provided with the hair dye. Once you've done this, your dark root touch up is complete, and you can style your hair as you normally would.