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Save $400 a Year Coloring Your Own Roots

Updated on October 25, 2012

The average women spends $120 on hair color and cut every six weeks, with some paying upwards of $200! That works out to at least $960 per year on hair alone. What if these appointments could be stretched out to once every 10 weeks by just touching up the roots at home? This could save about $400 or more per year.

In recent years some of the hair color companies have realized this need, and developed root touch up kits. The problem with these is they sell for roughly the same price as a whole color kit! Why not create your own kit, by using a full hair color set? You can get 3 touch ups per package, which could work out to about $2.00 a use!

The factors affecting the need to recolor are fading, and hair growth exposing the roots. On average, hair grows ½ inch per month, give or take.

There are a few strategies that can be put in place to make root touch up a success.

1. You need a hair cut that can last about 10 weeks between cutting. A very short style probably won’t work. You can be open with your hair stylist and get some suggestions for a look that still has some shape as it grows out.

2. You need to know roughly the current color that they are using on your hair. Usually it is 1 or 2 shades lighter than you may think. For instance if you have dark brown hair, than medium or even light brown may be the color.

3. Go to the store, and look at the hair color selection. For touch up, the brand or quality is less important. Look at the products on sale, then select the color you desire. Of course if you usually color your hair at home, you may want to choose your regular product. You should be able to find one for $6.00 or less.

4. Once home, get a plastic container and something to apply the color with. A paint brush, toothbrush, or a brush that came in a touch up kit works well. Otherwise, a disposable plastic glove, or even a dish glove would do.

5. Dress in old clothes in roughly the same color as the hair dye. Ideally a camisole or bathing suit that can be removed without lifting over the head. A pair of old shorts or pants for bottoms.

6. Make sure the hair is clean and dry. Brush well.

7. Open the hair color box. There should be 3 items. Put the conditioner in the shower.

8. Carefully unscrew the lid on the bottle of cream developer and pour 1/3 into the plastic container. Be sure not to twist off the little top, or you will not have an airtight seal for next time.

9. Puncture to top of the tube of color gel, and squeeze 1/3 into the plastic container as well.

10. Stir well to combine. Use your applicator to apply from the container

11. Begin along the forehead fringe, and the main part on the top of the head. Next get the fringe along the neckline. Then, starting at the part, lift the hair in small sections and recreate the part every half inch or so to get all of the roots.

12. When finished, wash the container and brush well. Put the developer and color gel containers back in the box. Store with the container and brush.

13. Quickly scan the floor and sink/counter area and clean any drips now before they stain.

14. Leave the hair color on for the recommended time, then wash out in the shower.

15. Finish with the conditioner.

16. Be sure to only use color safe shampoo to make it last until your next hair appointment.

Get a plastic container, brush, and the developer and color ready.
Get a plastic container, brush, and the developer and color ready.
Mix 1/3 each of developer and color in container.
Mix 1/3 each of developer and color in container.
Mix well.
Mix well.
Start applying at fringe, then the main part.
Start applying at fringe, then the main part.

When and Where Do We Turn Gray?

There has been some research on the aspect of graying hair. In one study, 1002 subjects ranging in age from 21 to 90 were surveyed. The purpose of the study was to determine what age graying tends to start in men and women, what part of the head grays first, and are there any health concerns with people with premature gray hair?

It found that the average age people gray is 40. Men start to gray around the ears and towards the neckline. Women usually tend to gray along the forehead first. Regardless of age of onset, the extent of gray hair rapidly increased once subjects reached the 5th decade. Thankfully, no adverse health risks could be found in early onset grayness.

Myth Debunked!

There had been some information circulating on the Internet that hair dye could lead to a 2-3 times increase in the incidence of bladder cancer. The University of Texas did a case control study in 2006 with 712 people, and with a 95% confidence interval determined that there was no relationship between hair color and bladder cancer. They looked at duration of use, frequency of use, age of onset of coloring and total lifetime use. So color away!


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