How Often to Touch Up Roots

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This article is a guide on how often to touch up roots.

Changing your hair color is a great way to incorporate something new and fresh into your everyday style. One thing I learned and realized through years of hair coloring is that my hair color definitely affects how I look.

For years now, I’ve been wearing my hair in its natural black color due to staying at home most of the time. Recently, I find my mind wandering to the urge to color my hair. I’ve considered a lighter brown, a beautiful highlight, and even going blonde just to color it a blue or green hue.

Because I haven’t colored my hair in a while, I want to make sure I’m ready for it and I’ve got everything covered – including root touch ups.

If you’re like me and are wondering how often you should touch up the roots of your color-treated hair, I’ve got you covered right here!

How Often to Touch Up Roots: How Long Does Root Touch Up Last?

Generally, you should consider going in to touch up your roots every 4 to 6 weeks.

How often you should touch up your roots can vary per person, all considering how quickly your hair grows, your natural hair color, and the hair coloring technique used. The timeframe for a root touch up is different for full head dye jobs, highlights, balayage, or graying hair.

Some people also don’t mind the look of regrowth on their scalps while some don’t like any hints of their natural root color at all so they immediately come in for a touch up.

Why four to six weeks?

The recommended 4 to 6 weeks of root touch up is more than just for aesthetic purposes. There’s a deeper reason for this timeframe.

The scalp naturally gives off heat and the hair closest to it – aka your roots – is generally warmer than the rest of your hair. This means that the roots also develop hair color faster than the hair farthest from the scalp. This is the reason why in dyeing hair, the dye mixture is applied on the mid-lengths and ends first before applying on the roots.

This heat from the scalp doesn’t extend further than 2 centimeters past the roots. If you wait too long to get root touch ups and your roots grow past this 2 centimeters point, this is where issues arise.

The 2 centimeters of growth from your scalp will develop color faster while the remaining regrowth will develop slower. Different developing timeframes of your root regrowth would mean uneven color results.

If this happens, your stylist can of course do some damage control but it will be more expensive and overall time-consuming. If you want beautiful results that don’t take up much time, you might want to stick to the strict 4 to 6 weeks timeframe of root touch ups.

What about highlights, balayage, and ombre?

The timeframe in which you should come in to get your hair color retouched also depends on the hair coloring technique used in your hair. The timeframe would be different if you get a full-head platinum blonde dyeing job vs highlights, balayage, or ombre.

If you have highlights on hair, it’s generally recommended to go in for a root touch up every 6 to 8 weeks. The time to go in for a root touch up will also depend on the contrast between your highlights and your natural hair color.

Ombre hair color touch ups would depend on the technique used but generally, you can come in for a touch up every 6 to 8 weeks.

The beauty of balayage is it looks effortless and requires very little upkeep and maintenance. Balayage hairstyles can do with about 12 to 14 weeks of touch ups.

How to Keep Colored Hair and Roots Fresh Between Touch Ups

Though color touch ups are essential in keeping colored hair looking fresh, you can also turn to a few tips and tricks to keep your hair fresh-looking between touch up appointments.

Use specially-formulated products for color-treated hair

When you have color-treated hair, it’s important that you switch to a color-safe hair care line. Remember, not all shampoos and conditioners in the market are color-safe. Some products’ formulas can actually cause bleach and dye to fade faster.

It’s best to go for shampoos and conditioners free from sulfates as this ingredient can often be stripping to hair, both in color and luster. If you already have previously-colored hair, you might already have a favored line but if you don’t and you’re going from virgin hair to colored hair, make sure to do your research on the best ones out there.

Wash with cold water

When you use hot water for the skin, it opens up your pores. The same idea goes with hot water and hair. When you use hot water to wash your hair, the tendency is that it will cause hair follicles to open up and the hair color to fade faster.

To preserve your hair’s color, it’s best to wash your hair with cold water as it helps seal in and close the hair’s cuticles.

If you can, go longer between washes

When you have color-treated hair, overwashing and washing your hair too often can cause hair colors to fade faster. If you can and if your situation allows, try to go as long as you can between wash days. This is one of the best ways you can keep your hair color looking fresh before you have your roots touched and colored.

Condition and moisture

Hair dye and color often lead to dry hair. Make sure to give your hair the moisture and nourishment it needs after a dye job. Keeping your hair well-conditioned and moisturized from roots to ends is one effective way of keeping it looking fresh and beautiful.


Knowing when to come in for a root touch up is one very important part of keeping a colored hairstyle. When you decide to dye your hair, you should be thinking of touch up appointments to keep your hair looking fresh and beautiful.

How often you should schedule a root touch up would depend on how fast your hair grows, your natural hair color, and the coloring technique used on your hair.

Generally, you should come in for a root touch up appointment every 4 to 6 weeks. This allows your hair to be in an even color and look as beautiful and fresh as ever.

The timeframe for a root touch up varies for highlights, balayage, and ombre hair coloring techniques.

For highlights and ombre, touch ups every 6 to 8 weeks should suffice. Again, factors of your hair’s natural color and the technique and style used should also come into play. Balayage can take up to 12 to 14 weeks before the need for touch ups.

And that has been our guide on how often to touch up roots! Cheers to your beautiful colored hair!