The Hair Dye Techniques Perfect For Those Who Love A Low-Maintenance Look

It goes without saying that little can significantly zhuzh up your look and personalize your style like a hair dye. For those whose hair is lacking volume or luster, a color treatment can "emphasize texture" and "bring back your hair's shine" to your underwhelming tresses, Clairol color consultant Luis Pacheco tells Elle Canada. Sadly, the so-called permanent hair dye is only "permanent" nominally and will eventually fade or take on a new, less vibrant shade over time. Under most circumstances and if properly cared for, a permanent hair dye can last for as long as six to eight weeks, Garnier points out. Once the roots grow, you'll need touch-ups to gloss over your grown-out roots and maintain a full-color look. If beauty is your duty, be ready for a never-ending cycle of costly and time-consuming touch-ups at hair salons every two months.

If regular salon treatments aren't your cup of tea, there are ways to switch up your hair colors without spending too much money on touch-ups. Approved by hair stylists, these low-maintenance hair colors can prolong the interval between touch-up appointments and help you save more dollars spent on visits to hairdressers.

Balayage and ombré demand less upkeep

For a hairsplitting refresh in your tresses, balayage, which typically takes two to four hours to complete, is a wonderful option that requires minimal upkeep, says colorist Richy Kandasamy (via Real Simple). "Your colorist works away from the roots so you can keep your natural color," he says. With balayage, the color is applied selectively and sweepingly over the top layer of the hair strands rather than all over the mane to make the regrowth less obvious. The strands are painted to appear as if they've been organically brightened in the sun, think outdoorsy gal's undone hair with a sunkissed-glow effect and live-in dimension. A well-done balayage is when there are minimal to zero harsh separating lines between the natural grow-out and the painted strands.

For less maintenance, keep your base shade as close to your natural color as possible. If all you expect from a balayage is an extra touch of warmth and texture, you won't need more than two visits per year to your hairdresser, colorist Jordan Heidenwith tells Byrdie. Ombré, a horizontally applied hair color (versus vertically applied balayage), also makes your touch-ups few and far between and is an equally low-maintenance option. In this color method, your look goes from being darker at the roots to seamlessly blending into mild lightness through the middle, then excessively light at the ends. Compared to balayage, ombré offers a more gradual yet drastic finish.

Babylights and demi-permanent colors keep the grow-out soft

For an equally natural blend of colors as balayage, you can't go wrong with babylights. Contrary to traditional foil highlights, babylights are applied to a smaller section of strands at a time to achieve a naturally lightened look. Like balayage, babylights give your mane a more subtle and less bold finish than ombré. The fineness of babylights makes the grow-out look softer without any harsh demarcation line and hence necessitates fewer touch-ups.

Another way to experiment with as many hair hues as possible without too much commitment to a single one is to try a demi-permanent hair dye. The difference between a permanent hair dye and a demi-permanent alternative is that the latter boasts a no-commitment formula while giving your hair equally lustrous and vibrant effects. Demi-permanent hair colors can temporarily change or cover your natural hair color and usually lasts up to two weeks, per Madison Reed. These colors, which don't contain any lifting agent like ammonia or shaft-penetrating formulas like their permanent alternatives, come in the form of hair glosses or color-depositing conditioners. 

Demi-permanent color treatment gives your hair damage-free dimensional coloring which can be easily washed away. Great for gray blending and hair color enhancing, this type of dye can last up to 24 shampoo washes before fading completely, per Clairol Professional. If you want to add texture and individuality to your hair while going longer between salon visits, these hair dye techniques are worth the payoff.