DIY Hair Tips & Tricks Tutorials Uncategorized

Recession Root Session and other hair dye secrets

I am naturally a blonde…and by blonde I mean: mousey-ash-dirtydishwater color hair.
Needless to say I have to touch up my roots on the reg.
If I don’t, I start to look like I am balding. Which…as it turns out, is not a great look for me.
The problem is, I have neither the time nor the money to go to the salon every 3 weeks.
So out of necessity I have “mastered” the art of doing my own roots.
Out of a box.

It takes about 25 minutes, costs about 7 bucks and keeps me root free for the 4-6 mo. in between salon visits.
If you are overwhelmed by this idea, I think watching this video will ease your fears.

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  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I love your reasoning behind which box you buy! You are the best! I also love the Vaseline tip! Thank you so much for doing this! I needed it!

  • Reply
    Angelica Marquis
    March 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    You rock. Thanks for posting this . . .I was at my wit’s end with root growth on my lighter brown hair (which I have always dyed a darker black/brown). Thank you, thank you!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I had to laugh at your comment about looking like you are going bald when your roots come in. I have white blonde hair but I dye my hair black. I missed spots on the back of my head with my last dye job and it looked like I was balding!!! Thank goodness for root touchups.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2012 at 2:58 am

    What is your suggestion for lighter hair with darker roots? Still a box dye root touch up?
    Thanks! Love your tutorials

  • Reply
    March 3, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Question….what do you do with the green pack of oil? I’ve used Nutrisse several times and the directions have you add it to the cot and developer. You used yours in the shower?

  • Reply
    March 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Great post! I HATE spending $$ to get my roots and usually opt for the cheapest hair dye. Lucky for me, I dye the same as my natural color to hide stray grays. Happy you posted this. It’s so easy to DIY and SO worth saving the money.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Massimino
    March 4, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Thank you! I have a similar color hair and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you posting this. Consider my roots done tomorrow!
    I love your blog!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Massimino
    March 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I’m hoping that you get to read my comment today, (03.04.12) as there is a sale in CVS this week for this hair dye for $5.99 and also if you buy today’s Sunday newspaper, there is a coupon for $3 off in the red plum circular, (making the hair dye $2.99!).
    Figured that you could stock up as this is such a great price!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you sooo much for the tip! Sadly I live in a strange strange place that doesn’t have a CSV!

  • Reply
    McCall Modersitzki
    March 4, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I am a blonde and would love to not spend the money at a salon too… any tips for at home dye jobs for blondes?

    • Reply
      March 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      now that is a bit more tricky! I never did my own when I was blonde!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 3:42 am

    How did you do your make-up in this video? could you do a tutorial on it PLEASE 😉

    • Reply
      March 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      TOtally love this makeup so yes I WILL share!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I too am a natural blonde… your balding comment made me giggle. I am too a baldy every two weeks! thank goodness for color right?

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Ive been getting blonde highlights for years and decided to go dark brown right before Christmas. I really like it, but I feel like the brown fades and my hair gets light again so quickly. My hair is naturally probably a light, mousey brown. What do you do/use so that your color doesn’t fade in the 4 (!) months between your professional dye jobs?? I would love to be able to stretch my color out that long. Thanks, love your blog!

    • Reply
      March 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      If you’re going more than 4 shades darker from lightened hair, you have to add the pigment back into your hair, or else fading can happen..Your stylist should have put a color in before applying the brown color, usually a red…Not washing your hair everyday, and using a color protect shampoo and conditioner could also help the color last longer. Hope this helps!!
      a random hair stylist 🙂

  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I totally get where you’re coming from about not having any volume in your hair when your roots are growing out! I love this video, along with all of your other ones. Whenever I follow one of your videos my look always turns out wonderful 🙂 THANKS FOR THE GREAT TIPS!!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Thank you for clarifying that you should never use the box color for your whole head! As a hairdresser, I really appreciate that, because box color is soooo much more harsh, and the end result often surprises people (not in a good way!). I’ve fixed many a box color, in the salon & it is such a pain! Also, be careful doing this if you know you eventually want to go back to blond, professional color can be removed a bit more easily than box color & you’ll end up with stripes of orangey/gag color (the parts that got the box!) that your stylist will have to fix. I am all for stretching dollars though, so if dark hair is totally your thing, do this!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    If you are only doing your new growth every two weeks (and not your whole head) and want to save even more money…
    Go to Sallys beauty supply and buy a color mixing bottle, usually only a couple bucks, and only mix half of each the color and developer in the new bottle. Keep the original bottles sealed and you will get two applications out of one box of color!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Late to the convo, but really like SueMarie’s point. To share something similar: Have a few patches of grey (too much to pluck, too little to see a professional, yet) and since my hair is v.dark brown the regrowth sprouts out of no where! So I’ve taken to keeping a “color 911” kit under the sink at all times 🙂 ….. my new fave is Garnier Olia color. Its creme and developer measure just about the same. So I can now easily measure 1:1 parts in a disposable cup, mix w/ an inch wide paint brush, and apply only to roots (squeezing color from bottle didnt allow enough control, i was saturating all my hair and making the ends too dark). My hair grows fast enough to need this every month and a half, however each box allows me to portion out 6 or so treatments, if unmixed in original bottle/tube they keep potent. For me that’s about 2 boxes or $20 a year. And my stylist cant tell i put anything in it. I did this with other brands too – Preference, Clairol, etc – but the measuring isn’t quite 1:1 for most and for me Olia’s coverage doesn’t budge, was sooooo thrilled about that (zero affiliation w/ any beauty brand btw) ….

      Happy hair to all – and THANK YOU CARA for this amazing site!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I’m blonde and want to go dark. I love your color. I don’t know what to tell my hairdresser though. No one wants me to go dark. Hairdressers say no. I went dark once (but the color was nasty) and that didn’t go well. I like your color but figured it was natural. Now that I know it’s not….please share so I can tell my hairdresser.

    • Reply
      October 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      I feel the same way – I love her haircolor, and want it too! I have light/medium brown hair that looks like it can’t decide which color it likes best, which is fine in the summer, but in the fall I want to go darker! Last time I tried it though, my face looked so washed out people thought I was sick. Wonder how to go with a darker color and not look dead?

  • Reply
    October 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I have natural medium brown hair with ombre caramel highlights and want more ombre contrast and my hair is VERY long. I almost want to dye my roots darker for more of drastic ombre. Is there any comments/recommendations on how I should go about this before I take any drastic measures? haha 🙂 or even tips on how to clearly tell a stylist what I want?

  • Reply
    December 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I’m curious, what made you change your hair color to brown/black instead of going a light blonde? Is darker hair easier to manage or do you just like it better? I USED to have light blonde hair but growing older and having kids has darkened it to a medium blonde. I have played around with the idea of going brunette, but thought it would look wierd on me. How do you determine what would look good going from light hair to dark? Do you go the same color as eyebrows (mine are roughly a shade darker than the rest of my hair)?

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Love all your videos. Can you please suggest which brand of hair color to go with if I want to start coloring my hair at home.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Cara!!! Now that your hair is a little lighter brown, what color Garnier Nutrisse do you use?! Or do you not dye your own roots anymore? 🙂

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Can you explain what you do/how you use the oil packet afterwards? I thought it went in the hair color mix…at least that’s what the instructions say to do…? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Meg P
    December 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Ughhh!! Not box dye!!! It’s so evil!! 🙁

  • Reply
    Vicki Takacs
    October 31, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I use an old button up shirt to wear when I touch up roots as what a pain getting a tee shirt off over dyed hair would be! (Have you ever read a more grammatically awkward sentence than that one)? Anyway I can totally relate to the light hair growing in and making you look bald as mine is gray and I have been dying it light copper for years. I use any root touch up kit in light auburn and do it about every 2 weeks, only mixing up enough in a little plastic tray to cover the top, sides, and bottom in the back. This really stretches out one box to 3 or 4 uses. I wanted to know if anyone knew why these only take 10 minutes vs 30 to 45 on regular hair dyes. Is the developer stronger than 20%? I’ve used 20 volume when it came out uneven and it seemed to work the exact same. The reason ends come out so much darker is because they grab so much more dye quicker being older and dryer. Even mixing what is left in an applicator with 2 times more shampoo and applying it for just 5 minutes can make it come out darker, extreme Egads! And I use Salon dye like Koleston or Chromatics, not box dye all over.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Hi, I am the same in the hair department! Long mousy blonde hair that I dye black. I wanted to know, do you dye your brows? I haven’t had the guts to do it, mine are invisible anyway so I just use makeup!

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