"Banding" Is the Biggest Hair-Color Correction to Come Out of Shelter in Place, Pros Say

As salon closures swept the country for three-plus months to stop the spread of COVID-19, people got . . . creative with their beauty upkeep — especially when it came to hair color. Boxed hair dye and root touch-up kits began flying off virtual shelves, much to the dismay of pro stylists everywhere. Now, as customers slowly start trickling into salons yet again, colorists are seeing a common denominator in requests.

"Quarantine brought out the at-home hairstylist in a lot of us," Michelle Cleveland, founder of New Jersey-based salon Hair Addict, told POPSUGAR. "The number one DIY hair color we have had to correct has been a basic root touch-up. While this may have seemed like an easy task to do at home, and it served its purpose during the time spent away from your salon, it came with a price."

It's not just the fixing of a bad root touch-up, however, but a very specific kind: "This past month that we have been reopen, the biggest color correction we are fixing is what we call in the industry 'banding.' This is when you accidentally apply the hair color on to your regrowth, or the root area, and inadvertently overlap it onto previously colored hair. This creates a dark band that can definitely be seen by the naked eye and requires a bit of color removal to get back on track."

(And here you were thinking your stylist was just trying to scare you with those DIY-hair-dye horror stories.)

Getty | Ming Yeung

"Most were easy corrections — typically, a professional hairstylist will gently foil the banded area or, in some cases, use a color reducer to attempt to budge some of the depth without the use of bleach — but they were expensive," she said. (Cleveland added that her hair salon had to order three times the normal amount of hair color, lightener, and developer to address the regrowth and corrections.)

"The more product and time a stylist uses to correct a situation, the more expensive the ticket is at checkout. We try to always remind our guests that an $8 box of drugstore hair color can cost upward of $400+ when corrected at the salon. In the end, it's just not worth it."