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These low-maintenance hair color ideas can help you extend your time between salon appointments and avoid harsh lines of regrowth.

16 Low-Maintenance Hair Color Ideas for a Seamless Grow-Out

These low-maintenance hair color ideas can help you extend your time between salon appointments and avoid harsh lines of regrowth.
16 Low-Maintenance Hair Color Ideas for a Seamless Grow-Out

If you’re on TikTok-swapping terms with your hair colorist, you likely spend a lot of time in the salon. But as nice as getting pampered during monthly touch-ups can be, such frequent visits aren’t always possible. If you’ve reached a point where you need to scale back to save some time or funds, you’ll need a low-maintenance hair color that goes the extra mile between appointments, giving you a hassle-free grow-out. From low-maintenance highlights to expert tricks for camouflaging grays, we have all the inspiration you need ahead.

What is the most low-maintenance hair color?

The most low-maintenance hair color is less of a shade and more of a technique: Any color that blends seamlessly with your natural hue or is applied from the mid-lengths to ends of your hair can be considered low-maintenance. Keeping artificial color away from the root area helps ensure a softer grow-out by preventing a harsh line of demarcation between your dyed and natural hair. Balayage, babylights, root smudging, and ombré are just a few strategic coloring methods stylists use to add oomph to the hair without necessitating tedious upkeep.

Good hair day by @tabethacarns

Which hair color is the most high maintenance?

Some colors are still harder to maintain than others—even if you opt for a low-maintenance balayage or a head of laidback highlights. Red dyes, for instance, often present a challenge because they tend to fade with every wash. Fantasy hues can also be more susceptible to premature fading because the dyes are typically semi-permanent. This means they sit on top of the hair shaft without actually penetrating it with long-lasting color. If you want a low-key haircare routine, you may want to put these colors on the back burner until you can commit to preserving their vibrancy.

In addition, any single-process color (hair that’s all one shade) will result in an obvious line of regrowth when your natural roots come in. More specifically, colors on opposite ends of the hair color spectrum are especially tricky: All-over bleach and tones (like white blonde) require significant care to keep hair bright, whereas jet black is prone to fading yet—ironically—difficult to completely remove.

While the colors we’ve mentioned can be demanding, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rule them out for your next salon transformation. Instead, talk to your colorist about what’s possible. (We always recommend consulting a licensed hairdresser to determine what colors will mesh well with your existing hue.) The right coloring technique can help you dip your toes into just about any color without frequent trips to the salon.

Once you have your new color, your at-home care routine will be essential for maintaining your chosen shade. Check out our guide on L’Oréal’s Best Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair to arm yourself with the right in-shower formulas.

16 Low-Maintenance Hair Color Ideas to Try Now

Keep scrolling for low-maintenance hair color inspo—we’re sharing our favorite ways to upgrade your mane that don’t require fussy upkeep.

Good hair day by @savannahjo_hairstylist

Root Smudge

A popular way to indulge in low-maintenance hair color is by smudging (or shadowing) your roots. Whether you opt for a single-process cherry cola or an icy blonde, shadow roots will make the grow-out phase look fashionably intentional.

First, your colorist will apply your chosen color or highlights throughout your hair. Once your color is thoroughly processed and rinsed out, they will go over your root area with a gloss or toner similar to your natural hue. This “smudges” the line where your root and artificial color meet, preventing a telltale line of regrowth.

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Pink Dip Dye

Take your blonde base to whimsical new heights with pink dip dye. Since only the ends of your hair are dipped into semi-permanent color, you get the freedom to experiment with punchy pinks without the obligation associated with maintaining permanent color.

Good hair day by @mob_hair

Steel Blue

Silvery blue is surprisingly wearable as far as fashion colors are concerned. On one hand, you’ll stand out in a sea of brunettes and blondes. On the other, it’s a more muted shade if you’re still easing into your fantasy hair era. We love how a faded blue and overgrown root gives off a punk rock vibe that looks even cooler as time passes.

Good hair day by @_iconsalon

Linen Blonde

Not too cool and not too warm, linen blonde is a low-maintenance hair color that’s just right. A neutral palette of beige and taupe creates an understated blonde hue that requires less upkeep. This shade is also much easier to achieve than brighter blondes since you need less bleach to lift the hair, keeping damage at arm’s length.

Good hair day by @colorkult

High Contrast Ombré

Some high-contrast hair trends (think chunky, Y2K highlights) require constant touch-ups to keep them sharply defined at the root, but that’s not the case with ombré. The multi-tonal coloring technique melts your root color into an opposing shade, letting you forego monthly touch-ups while enjoying a dramatic color change.

We suggest moisturizing your lightened ends with a weekly hair mask to ward off split ends. We love Matrix’s Food For Soft Rich Hydrating Treatment Mask, which contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and avocado oil.

Good hair day by @hairbylivbayliss


A low-maintenance balayage can create natural-looking dimension, and you won’t need to spend every other Saturday in the salon. This hand-painted highlighting technique blends your natural root color into lightened ends, creating a soft gradation from root to tip. Since there won’t be a harsh contrast between your root color and your highlights, you can go anywhere from three to six months between salon visits.

Good hair day by @pati.rodrigz

Peekaboo Highlights

The partially hidden placement of peekaboo highlights makes for minimal (if any) touch-ups. To get the look, your colorist will apply chunky streaks of color to the underlayers of your hair so that it “peeks” out when your mane moves or you wear it up. Go wild with rainbow streaks, as seen here, or keep it subdued with a more natural tone.

Good hair day by @utopiarezosalon

Color Block Highlight

A color block highlight is when one chunky panel of hair is dyed in a bold shade. You can hold onto your base color while experimenting with any color under the sun, like this grungy gray. The look is intentionally asymmetrical, so there’s no need to retouch it once it starts growing out.

Good hair day by @sunniebrook


Babylights emulate the ultra-fine streaks that appear so effortlessly in childrens’ hair, giving strands depth and brightness. These low-maintenance highlights are so thin and delicately woven that you’ll hardly notice any contrast between them and your natural color.

Good hair day by @_hairbypaula

Face-Framing Highlights

Face-framing highlights don’t take up much real estate on your hair, but they pack big benefits, helping to brighten your overall look. Salon color newbies and anyone looking to lighten their hair without an all-over commitment are great candidates for a face frame.

Good hair day by @hairbyebonyvallender

Dark Chocolate Brunette

If you’re ready to return to your dark brown roots after years of coloring your hair, choose a deep brunette that’s as close to your natural shade as possible. A little bit of fade can work to your advantage here because it’ll reveal your underlying color and present as subtle highlights. Just be sure to invest in blue shampoo, like Matrix Brass Off Shampoo, to keep excess brass at bay.

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Beach Bum Brunette

Channel summer vibes year-round with beach bum brunette, a sunkissed look that’s basically like a vacation in a bottle. The golden pigments strike a shimmering balance of warm and cool, while a gradual transition between your root, base, and ends yields a particularly smooth grow-out.

Good hair day by @_domidoeshair

Ash Brown

We always recommend cool, ashy hues for brunettes seeking low-maintenance hair color to camouflage gray hair. That’s because gray and ash tones are in the same color family. This allows your grays to blend seamlessly into your final look instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

Good hair day by @andrewryanwalder

Herringbone Highlights

Another way to camouflage gray hair using low-maintenance hair color is via the herringbone highlight technique. Your stylist will place your foils diagonally from each other (so they form a herringbone pattern) instead of horizontally or vertically, creating a softer flow of color between your grays and base color. Expect to extend the time between touch-ups by at least two weeks with this service.

Good hair day by @capellibymegs

Blonde Lowlights

Platinum blonde is undeniably captivating, but the time and money you have to devote to aftercare can be taxing. Toning down your silvery blonde with warmer lowlights can help ease the burden of maintenance without making you feel like you’re abandoning your signature color.

Good hair day by @salvatorericcardi_official and @curlysway_official


As far as reds go, auburn is the lowest-maintenance of the bunch. Its brown base only subtly hints at fiery undertones, and there’s no need for a ton of TLC.

Next: The Best Hair Colors to Cover Gray Hair, According to a Pro

Header image credit: @tabethacarns

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