"Whenever a client comes in and they want this great color, the first thing I say to them is, 'Are you going to be able to maintain this?'" Clairol color expert Shirley Gordon tells Refinery29. "Plus, are you going to be able to do what you need to do to make sure your hair stays on your head?" Translation: Even if you have the time and money, hair health is just as important to consider.
Luckily, there are a few ways that you can hit the salon for a color refresh without committing to return every eight weeks. Keep scrolling to pick up a few tips.
Ask For: Shading or Rooting
Getting highlights? You're probably already well aware that your roots are normally what requires the constant upkeep. To combat that, simply ask for rooting with a darker toner. "It gets rid of any harsh lines of demarcation so that as your hair grows out, the colors just blend softly together," hairstylist Garrett Markenson tells us.
Basically, this means your colorist lightens your hair, then darkens your roots with a semi-permanent gloss or toner, to create a shadow. This will wash out over the course of a few weeks, allowing your color to grow out without feeling like you need to hit the salon right away, since the lines are more blurred. In fact, it can help you go weeks longer.
Ask For: A Color Gloss
We've already talked about the joys of getting shiny with a simple gloss, but it can do way more. If you don't want to commit to a hue, glossing is the way to go. A gloss will wash out on its own, allowing you to try a richer or more-vibrant shade — without roots in a few weeks. (One thing to note: Since this is adding color, not lightening with bleach, you can only go darker or brighter.) If you gloss, those results typically last six weeks, which gives you enough time to figure out your next move.
But that's not all. A gloss can also tone old highlights to a shade that's either bolder or darker, allowing you to even the overall color of your hair in one fell swoop. That means you can transition your old highlights out beautifully, with less damage.
Ask For: Bayalaged Sombré
If you don't want to mess around with rooting, but want to go lighter, we have just the thing for you. Bayalaged (that means hand painted highlights) sombré (that's a subtle ombré, FYI) allows your colorist to focus the bleach or color throughout the ends of hair only, rather than up top where grow out is more visible. “If a client hates coming in on a regular basis, it’s more likely that balayage is going to work for her,” colorist Jack Howard told us.
Have this look done in a shade that's only a few notches from your natural color and you, quite literally, won't ever have to hit the salon again — if that's what you're after. Why? It will grow out just like hair lightened in the sun. Tip: That doesn't mean the tone will hold up as well as the grow out. Depending on how the hair is colored you may need to gloss your ends every few months.
Which do you prefer? Tell us in the comments below!