How to touch up roots on highlighted hair at home safely and naturally?

I had my hair highlighted blonde in a salon 5 months ago. Now my new hair is growing and it reveals my black hair, my original hair color. It looks really frustrating so I want to retouch the roots in accordance with my colored hair. But I don’t want to throw my money on hair salon at all. How to touch up roots on highlighted hair at home safely and evenly?

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how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Highlighted hair

Thanks for telling us your problem. We will show you the way to retouch your highlighted hair at home. Besides, you can make use of some tips and tricks in this post to have a natural hair color. Let take a look.

What you need?

You need some tools for retouch process. Remember to prepare things below:

– 2 bowls to mix the chemicals. It would be great if they are different in color;

– 2 brushes to smear the mixture onto your hair;

– Gloves to protect your hands;

– Clamps to fix your hair sections;

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Hair dye kit you need

– Foil to reduce the contact of hair parts;

– A tail comb to split your hair into small parts.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Tail comb

How to touch up roots on highlighted hair at home?

Step 1: divide your hair into sections

You can separate your hair in different ways, let choose one that you can work it easiest. We would recommend you to divide it into four sections: one at the top, two in sides and one at the bottom. You can see how it will be in the picture below.

Step 2: start retouching

Let begin with the bottom first, then the top and two sides. When touch your roots up, the color of your previous highlighted hair and the new colored hair will be different. It absolutely cannot be the same. Therefore, you have to color up your roots and your mid-length hair to make the transition natural. It is up on the length of your hair to identify how long the mid-lengths need retouching.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Black roots regrow

In these parts, you will use developer ((Rose, A. (2018, March 20). DIY Hair: What Is Developer and How Do You Use It? Retrieved from in different volumes: 20 volumes for your roots and 10 volumes for mid-lengths.

Use the tail comb to separate a very small part of hair, apply the mixture of hair dye and developer to your hair.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Split highlighted hair by using tail comb

This task sounds so easy but you need do it fast so that the chemicals won’t hurt your scalp and your hair. Besides, you just highlighted your hair before and now you don’t want to color up all of your hair. Therefore, you have to use the tail comb to separate the highlighted hair and your original hair. It is really hard and time-consuming to do that if you are not a professional colorist.

Remember to use foil to reduce contact of your newly colored hair and your original hair. To keep the foil stay on your hair better without falling out, you have to fold it. Look at the picture below.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
How to fold foil

Keep on repeating these tasks above until all your hair roots and mid-lengths painted. Then, apply chemicals to your head lines and ear lines as well to make sure they won’t reveal your natural hair color. Don’t be afraid if you cannot smear the chemical to all of your highlighted hair. It cannot be perfect even when you have a professional colorist do it.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Finishing touch-up process

Step 3: Check and finish

You can leave the hair dye in your hair 45 minutes at most. If it is overtime, the chemicals will hurt your scalp and your hair as well. However, depend on how light you want your hair to be, the time can be different. So check your hair color every 10 minutes or shorter time until it reaches your expected color.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Remember to check hair color

Finish your retouch process by rinsing your hair. You should choose shampoo for hair dye to wash the deposit in your hair. If your hair turns a little bit orange or brassy yellow, don’t panic. You need to fix it by using toner ((Rose, A. (2016, January 14). DIY Hair: What Is Toner, and How Does It Work? Retrieved from It is not difficult at all. Apply hair toner to your hair, wait 1-5 minutes until it is your desired hair color. Then rinse it again.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Hair toner makes sense in fixing your color

Tips for you

Tip 1: Choose the right hair color. You should use the previous hair dye formula to match the roots and the rest of your hair. The level of hair shade is really important in determining how light your hair roots is.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Hair shade level chart

Tip 2: Wash your hair before dyeing. As far as you know, your natural oil in hair can protect your hair and scalp from chemicals of hair dye. However, if it is too oily, it will be hard for your hair absorb the dye. On contrary, dryness, dandruff and dirt cause difficulty to dyeing process as well. Therefore, you should wash your hair about 24 hours before dyeing.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Wash your hair 24 hours before dyeing

Tip 3: You should apply Vaseline to your head lines and ear lines so that the hair dye will not stick to your skin or be washed away easier.

how to touch up roots on highlighted hair
Use Vaseline to avoid hair dye sticking in your skin

Other notes to have beautiful dyed hair

6 tips for you to help keep long-lasting, durable hair dyes for a long time.

Avoid the sun

Like skin, hair has many layers of cells that are very vulnerable to pollution smog and ultraviolet rays. The sun is the main reason for the fast dyeing of the hair color and the hair becoming frayed.

After dyeing your hair, if you are forced to go out in the sun, cover your hair thoroughly with a wide-brimmed hat or neatly tied your hair and your hair up to avoid direct sunlight.

Limit the contact between hair and sunlight during the period from 10 am to 3 pm because at this time the radiation of UV rays to the ground is very strong.

Use shampoo and conditioner specifically for dyed hair

Dye-specific shampoos will have the right formula to protect the hair after dyeing with less fiber and split ends, keeping hair color longer.

In addition, it is necessary to take extra steps to blow your hair after shampooing, to make your hair smooth and shiny. If you are the type of person with oily skin, do not want to use conditioner because the hair is prone to stubbornness, you should only apply conditioner to the hair roots, avoid applying it directly to the scalp.

Shampoo properly

The rule that women must remember is not to wash their hair and scratch hard in the first 3 days of dyeing. This will help limit the allergies caused by the dye and keep the new color layer clinging to deeper hair cells, thereby helping to stabilize the hair color.

Note, do not wash your hair often. The farther between the washes, the longer the hair color will be. Use cool water or warm water to wash your hair, absolutely do not use hot water as it will damage the scalp.

While shampooing should not use a strong rinse on the hair, reduce the strength of the water jet by pouring it into a basin or using a shower filter.

Limit your hair to dehydration

All problems such as damaged hair, broken or split ends stem from hair being too dry. This process takes a long time to make the hair lose its vitality and does not retain the right color.

Only dry your hair when it is absolutely necessary because exposing your hair to high temperatures will make the dye easy to fade. When drying, keep the machine away from hair about 30-40 cm. Natural hair drying is recommended to be the best hair care method.

Do not straighten your hair and dye your hair at the same time

The process of stretching, curling or dyeing hair uses chemicals to change the original properties of the hair. If you do these beauty treatments on the same day, it will cause 2 times the damage to your hair. Therefore, these methods should be done at least 7-10 days apart.

The distance between the times of hair dyeing

Depending on the strength of the hair, you can decide the distance between the hair dye times, but usually it should be about 5-6 months and then re-dyed because the scalp and hair are also relatively healthy and stable.

On average, a month of hair is about 1-2 cm long and within 3-4 months it is easy to recognize the difference between dyed hair and real hair. At this point you can perform a hair-dye-only method to protect your scalp the best.

After reading this post, do you know how to touch up roots on highlighted hair at home safely and naturally? We hope that you can make it at home according to our guidelines. Please let us know if you have any question. You can follow our website to discover more tips and tricks in hair beauty. Thanks and best regard.

Hair Care Expert at Ivirgo Hair | + posts

I am Thomas Taw, the CEO of CITIZENSNIPS. I have experience in hair product development and chemical research, as well as sustainable resource engineering. In 2009, I co-created Sunsilk, one of the world's leading haircare brands. More recently, I was the CEO of SMOKINGPANDA LTD. I am a professional with a strong track record in delivering tangible results.

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One thought on “How to touch up roots on highlighted hair at home safely and naturally?

  1. Avatar of Tina
    Tina says:

    I have ash blonde highlights, rest of hair is medium brown, roots are grey. Bought L’Oréal medium brown hair dye, should I apply colour all over, then after lockdown get highlights done again or jyst appky to central parting where roots most visible?

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