In general, highlights are touched up as quickly as every three months.
That’s the reasonable time you should wait for the hair to rest and recover from the chemical process involved in bleaching. That way, also, you don’t damage the hair fiber.
However, other issues should be considered to lengthen or shorten the waiting time between highlights to prevent the hair from damaging.
- One of the key questions about touching up your highlights without damaging your hair is to know what highlights you have. Are they high-contrast or natural highlights? You may have to wait for two or three months.
- Also, some treatments can help extend the duration of your highlights: I’m referring to gloss and other repair treatments.
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The “root touch-up” technique (dyeing your highlights only in those areas) is an excellent way to alternate with traditional highlights and, thus, prevent bleaching from damaging all of your hair.
So, if you want to know how often to touch up your highlights without damaging your hair, you’re in the right place. Throughout this article, we’ll see highlights types and how often you should touch them up without damaging your hair.
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Highlights: there are many kinds
I know you are most interested to know how often to touch up your highlights without damaging your hair. However, first, we must evaluate the highlights you want.
- Highlights can be wide or thinner.
- They can turn your mane blonde or keep it natural.
- The highlights can be done with foil or cap, and will need different re-touch times accordingly.
- At the same time, the damage generated by the highlights won’t only depend on the colorist’s performance but also on your hair type, its health and the color of the highlights you choose.
- Those situations will determine the damage that can be generated in the hair and the time you should wait to touch up your highlights.
Let’s see an example.
Imagine your friend has super-wide, blonde highlights. Then, you have another friend with thinner, more natural highlights. The touch-up time for each will be different because the one who wears her hair too blonde will notice that the “root effect” appears faster than the one with natural shades.Root growth is noticeable much faster when highlights have a contrasting tone with the natural base of the hair.
Something similar happens with the potential damage caused by touching up your highlights. The girl with super blonde highlights has probably more damaged hair than the one who only lifted a few tones.
If you have very blonde highlights that contrast with your natural hair base, you’ll probably want to touch them up more frequently.
I get many clients who come to my salon.
After a month, they want to touch up their highlights because the dark growth is starting to show. No way!
I don’t allow it, at least not in my salon.
Touching up highlights that were done a month ago would cause too much damage to the hair. Even if the colorist is careful, it’s almost impossible to avoid bleaching hair that was already bleached a month before.
I always tell my clients that it’s better to wait a little longer to touch up their highlights. Alternatively, do a repair treatment or hair gloss to extend the touch-up time.
The repair treatment will help the hair to strengthen and prepare for the next bleaching and touch-up. The hair gloss will tone and restore shine without damaging the hair.
So, to make it super clear: if you have contrasting highlights – more than four tones of difference with the natural hair color – you should wait for three months or more to avoid damaging the hair.
Natural highlights mean up to three tones different from the natural base. In that case, the touch-up time can be shortened as long as the hair allows it.
You need to trust your colorist. They take care of your hair and knows how to stop when necessary.
There are good and bad colorists. The latter bleach your hair just to make a profit, no matter what. So, if you don’t have a colorist you trust, be even more careful.
If you want to touch up your natural highlights before three months, evaluate your hair.
To know if you have any degree of damage, you should look at four characteristics of your hair:
- it should not be porous
- it should be easy to manage
If your hair meets these four requirements, go for it!
Okay, you can touch up your natural highlights after two months at the earliest without damaging your hair.
However, if your hair doesn’t meet these four requirements, you’ll have to wait for three months, as I indicated at the beginning. Otherwise, you’ll seriously damage your hair.
Ideas for touching up highlights and avoiding damage
You already know that as a rule, highlights should be touched up every three months to avoid damaging your hair.
Don’t forget that touching up involves bleaching your hair. This is why you should take care of your hair. Even if you do the three-month touch-up, your hair will need extra care.
So, I want to give you some alternatives to discuss with your stylist to avoid damaging your hair when doing highlights.
- When you need a highlighting touch-up after three months, you can ask your stylist to only touch up the roots and not bleach your hair all over again. It’s a good way to keep your hair healthy.
- Also, many salons have a service called “root touch-up.” They only touch up the hair parting and the areas around it. t’s a great way to avoid total hair damage.
- The root touch-up technique is a great option to alternate with traditional highlights.
Discuss it with your stylist and choose the best option together – your style will look amazing with those highlights!