There are several types of temporary and permanent root touch up hair coloring products, including permanent hair color cream and several wet and dry products that provide temporary hair color. Permanent hair dye can be applied to the roots with a brush or sponge and cannot be washed out. Temporary touch up products include a color pen, a thick stick and a liquid color. All of these products help keep hair looking its best between coloring treatments.
The most common method of touching up the roots is to use a thin brush or a small sponge applicator and apply permanent hair color cream only to the roots of the hair. These brushes and sponges usually are included in home coloring kits. The root coloring process is the same as when dying all of a person’s hair with a chemical-based hair dye, and manufacturer’s directions should be followed exactly.
A root touch up color pen is a hand-held applicator with hair dye in the tube and a brush-tipped or sponge-tipped end. It usually is filled with hair dye and can be brushed onto the roots of dry hair to conceal regrowth. This is typically only a temporary color that will last until the next shampoo. These pens also can be used to cover gray hair and to create highlights.
Similar to mascara, a touch up wand comes in a tube with a brush. The wand is used to brush color onto dry hair to coat the roots so that they will match the rest of the hair. This product should be applied onto any roots that are showing after hair is dried and styled. Typically, it is used along the temples and on each side of a part in the hair. This product can also typically be used as an eyebrow filler and on beards and mustaches.
The root touch up stick is similar to a thick crayon and will color gray hair and roots temporarily until the next shampoo. The stick is geared toward covering new regrowth that is close to the scalp. It should be applied to the scalp, at the part, around the temples and anywhere else that hair color needs to be touched up.
There also is a liquid hair color system similar to the stick and the wand, but which uses a small pot that holds the liquid dye and an applicator that has a long handle and a small brush tip. This temporary dye is brushed onto the roots of dry hair and is designed to withstand flaking.