I have highlights and my roots are showing, what can I do? Choose one of these 2 options

  • If you have highlights and your roots are showing, you have two options: one has longer-lasting effects, and the other is temporary.
  • If you want to cover your roots so that your highlights continue to look flawless and you are interested in a long-lasting solution, the best is to touch-up your roots. You can do it at the salon or at home. Today I’ll show you how to do it.
  • If you don’t have the time or budget to go to the salon, you can use a temporary hair dye in spray to cover your roots.


dark roots blonde highlights

Today Martina came to the salon. She’s a client who always comes in for a haircut. She surprised me because she asked me to do some highlights instead of trimming the ends.

To tell you the truth, I was quite surprised. I had been suggesting highlights to Martina for months. Do you know why?


Martina has blonde hair, but she is starting to grow some gray hair.

Then, the highlights would disguise those first gray hairs. However, Martina didn’t want to know anything about highlights though I always assured her that they were low-maintenance. Also, she’d only have them done every three months to prevent hair damage.


If you have highlights, you know that touch-up is done from the roots by bleaching new hair sections.

Marina was hesitant about the roots that would show in those two months. The difference in color between the highlights and the roots would be noticeable.


However, something finally convinced her. It was the solution I suggested to her to disguise the roots while waiting to renew her highlights.

The solutions were simple: a root touch-up or the application of a temporary hair dye.

Do you want to know which one Martina chose?


Stay with me because I’ll tell you:

  • How to use a hair dye to disguise growth on highlighted hair.
  • How to choose the shade of hair dye so that the root touch-up matches the highlights.
  • How to touch up roots on highlighted hair step by step.
  • A temporary solution to touch up roots on highlighted hair.


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How to use a hair dye to disguise the growth on highlighted hair

with paintbrush

The highlights technique is one of the most requested ones in beauty salons. It solves several problems. For example, it hides gray hair, as in Martina’s case.

However, highlights are also wonderful to go from dark hair to blonde gradually. Also, to illuminate the face hiding imperfections.

Nevertheless, everything has a “but.” What happens when the roots start to show?


The highlights are renewed every 3 months. It means that when you return to the salon, the technique will be applied from start to finish. Still, roots are a different matter.

Hair grows at a rate of one and a half centimeters per month. It can vary from person to person according to their diet, hormonal issues, and even genetics.


Therefore, you should go to the salon every 3 to 5 weeks for a highlights root touch-up. In other words, your colorist will only apply hair dye to the growth of 2 or 3 centimeters. Generally, we use the same color of the highlights to match them.

So, if your roots are showing, but it’s not yet time to renew the highlights, you can do a root touch-up.

My advice?


 The best thing is to go to the salon because your colorist will know what shade to apply to avoid ruining your highlights. 

However, if you don’t have the money or time, but you have some coloring experience, you can do the root touch-up yourself in the comfort of your own home.

There’s just one thing you need to pay close attention to.


How to choose the shade of hair color to match the roots with the highlights

When it comes to choosing the hair color, you have two options.


  • To choose the same color as your highlights.

In this case, you should look for the lightest highlights in your hair and choose that same color.


  • To choose the same color as the rest of your hair.

Here the secret is to look for highlights that are not bleached. Then, choose that same color to dye the roots.

Have you made your choice?


Then, it’s time for application.


How to touch up the roots on highlighted hair step-by-step

more precisely

In addition to the hair dye kit, you’ll need a tail comb to comb your hair dye to cover only the growth.

By combing the hair dye with the tail comb 2 or 3 centimeters, you’ll unify your roots with the highlights.

This technique is very similar to what we colorists do when we want to do the shadow roots coloring technique. It’s used to achieve natural shadows such as ombre or balayage.


 You only have to stretch out the hair dye at the root. Then, with the help of a tail comb, drag it through the hair about 2 or 3 centimeters. 


  • Comb your hair well and separate it into 4 sections, from forehead to nape and from ear to ear, holding them with clips.
  • Prepare the mixture using the elements included in the coloring kit.
  • Loosen some of the sections of hair. Apply the hair dye to your roots and  use the tail comb to stretch it out about 2 to 3 centimeters.  Repeat the procedure on each of the sections.
  • Don’t leave any section of the roots uncovered.
  • Once you are done with the application, leave the hair dye on for 40 minutes. After the exposure time, rinse with plenty of warm water until it runs clean and free of dye residue.


Do you have an event but no time to go to the hairdresser’s or to apply a hair dye?

Don’t despair! There’s also a solution.


Temporary solution for touching up the roots of highlighted hair

What is this temporary solution?


Simply apply a temporary hair dye or color spray on your roots. However, as I said, it’s temporary. It’ll only last until you wash your hair.

It’s easy to use and requires no preparation or prior coloring knowledge.


Simply,  apply the spray 15 cm away from dry, previously washed hair. Wait three minutes to dry completely. 

Some brands that have this product are L’Oréal and Clairol.



touch up roots in hair with highlights

It offers you a spray hair dye with resistant pigments and up to 6 different shades to cover your roots.



usar entre visitas al salon

You’ll have more than 5 shades to choose from. The manufacturer assures you that the pigments last until the next shampooing.


There are probably others, but these are two of the most popular ones. You can find them in any online or physical store.



Martina is more than happy with her highlights. When the roots are showing, she visits me at the salon for a root touch-up. However, she never lacks L’Oreal hairspray in her purse because, as she says, “Forewarned is forearmed.”

If you retouch your roots at home, remember not to touch your lengths to avoid ruining the highlighting technique. Also, remember to choose the right hair color shade.

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