Coloring New Growth Frequently

Woman who is applying hair color
Photo: Valua Vitaly/Shutterstock
Q: Is it safe to color your hair every 2 to 3 weeks, just at the roots, to cover the gray coming in?
My hair grows very quickly, and I seem to notice new growths of gray in 2 to 3 weeks, but the rest of the hair color is just fine. Does this frequent coloring damage new growth or your scalp?

A: The answer to this question depends largely on a few factors that must be taken into account:
 A. The formula of the color you use.
 B. The sensitivity of your scalp.
 C. The level of care used to target only the areas of new growth.
If you are using a deposit only color to cover the gray in your hair, then the level of peroxide in the formula will be low and the formula is generally very gentle to the hair. In these cases, you can feel free to re-apply as often as needed to cover the new growth.
However, if your hair color lightens the natural color of your pigmented hair as well as covering your gray, you may need to exercise caution in applying the color too frequently as these lifting colors are much harder on the hair.
You also need to make sure that you pay attention to the response of your scalp and surrounding skin to the frequent application of hair coloring chemicals. People can develop sensitivities to chemicals to which they are frequently exposed, so you want to pay close attention to prevent potential - and very painful - problems.
Finally, particularly when you are dealing with lifting-action hair color formulas, it is important to be very careful to target only the portions of the hair that are new growth. Failure to prevent overlapping the hair color formula onto already lightened/tinted hair can create lines of demarcation, as well as potentially damaging the hair at the point at which the color overlaps causing weak areas.
Whenever you feel the need to use any chemical service to maintain your look, the best gauge of what is enough or too much is your body/hair's response. Be on the lookout for signs of stress, porosity, and damage. Furthermore, use a good conditioning care routine to protect the hair, since you know in advance you will be experiencing more than the normal stresses on a regular schedule.
See also:
Hair color application
Hair color allergies
Will coloring damage my hair?
Would it be best to re-bleach my entire head or should I re-bleach only the roots?