Somewhere between buying your first pair of Spanx and opening a 401(k), you became one of those women who dye their hair. And you look great.

The problem? The upkeep. It’s time consuming. It’s expensive. And it’s embarrassing when those little, wiry grays start poking through. Here, three ways to help stretch the time in between touch-ups.

1. Stop washing your hair so much. Yes, the old lather-rinse-repeat routine gets rid of dirt and grime. Too bad it also strips the color itself and your hair of essential oils (which keep your mane glossy). The longer you can go in between shampoos, the better. (Dry shampoo is a girl’s best friend.) And when you do wash and dry, for the love of God use a product designed for color-treated hair.

2. Don’t fear the touch-up kit. We know: Putting makeup on your hair is weird. But hear us out. Touch-up kits and roots pencils actually work wonders–provided they match your color and are applied properly. (We like Color Wow Root Cover Up, which goes on like eye shadow and is remarkably durable over the course of the day.) At the very least, they’ll buy you time until you can get an appointment with your colorist.

3. Part your hair differently or try a braid. When all else fails, draw attention away from your roots by parting your hair in a slightly messy zigzag pattern or braiding it, which will help the grays subtly blend into the rest of your tresses.

Source: PureWow

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