Best Way to Grow Color Out of Hair

by Melissa King ; Updated July 18, 2017

Woman brushing her hair in a mirror.

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Dyeing your hair a new color is a fantastic way to change your look fast. But dyed strands can be a problem once you're ready to go back to basics. As your hair grows out, your roots will be a different color from the rest of your hair. If you're planning to grow the color out of your hair, applying a semi-permanent dye is the best way to achieve a more seamless transition.

Wash your hair daily with a sudsy clarifying shampoo. This helps fade the color from hair dye.

Allow your roots to grow out until you can see at least 1 inch of the original color.

Treat your hair with a deep-conditioning treatment daily for one week before dyeing. Stop shampooing a day or two before you plan to apply the dye.

Rub a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your hairline and neckline. This helps keep dye away from your skin.

Dampen the ends of your hair, then use a comb to divide the hair into four equal sections. Use large plastic clips to secure each section in place at the top of your head, making four separate ponytails.

Put on a pair of latex gloves, then squirt some semi-permanent hair dye into the palm of your hand. For best results, use a dye that's one shade lighter than your roots.

Rub the dye into the left two sections of your hair, avoiding the roots; only apply the dye to the parts of your hair that were dyed previously. Start at the front and work your way toward the back.

Let the dye sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it out with lukewarm water. Repeat the process on the right two sections of hair, again avoiding the roots.

Shampoo and condition as usual, then wait for your hair to dry. Use a hair dryer to speed up the process, if desired.

Check your results. If the color doesn't closely match your roots, apply another layer of dye to dyed hair only. Repeat this process until the dyed hair closely matches your roots.

Mix the remaining dye with a dollop of shampoo. Work the mixture through all of your hair, including roots, starting at the roots and moving down toward the ends. Rinse well immediately after shampooing. The semi-permanent dye will help match your root color with the rest of your hair, so your natural color will grow back in evenly.

Shampoo your hair daily. The semi-permanent dye should wash out after 10 shampoos.


  • If you'd rather not risk a mistake with hair dye, have a hairdresser or salon stylist do the job for you. If you do choose to dye your hair yourself, heed instructions and warnings on the product packaging.

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About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.