To Pull Through Or Not To Pull Through: That Is the Question
by Susannah Murdock July 01, 2020
Image by Madison Reed
Here in the world of hair color, the one question we hear over and over also just so happens to be a very important question: to pull through, or not to pull through? That is, when you are coloring your own hair, should you color ALL of your hair, or JUST your roots?
TL;DR No, in general, you should NOT pull the color through to your ends when coloring your hair. Read on for the specifics of why, why not, and when...
“Pulling through” is a phrase used when you apply permanent color to your roots, and pull that color down through your mid-lengths and ends of your hair. For most people who have never colored their own hair themselves, it seems logical to color all of your hair. However, unless your hair has never been colored before, you should not pull permanent color through to the ends of your hair. This is because the mid-lengths and ends of your hair are more porous. They have been exposed to more sun and environmental stressors, not to mention heat styling, etc. This means that the hair shaft along your mid-lengths and ends is more open to receiving color, which unfortunately also means the color builds up. The mid-to-ends of your hair will look darker and duller than your roots—not often the intention. This is perhaps why at-home hair color sometimes gets a bad rap. People don’t understand that coloring your entire head of hair each time you color is not how you should be coloring your hair. It’s not what colorists do in salons, and it’s not what you should do at home.
If you are looking to simply touch up your roots, then you truly only need to do just that. Apply the color to your roots and new outgrowth.
If you need to touch up your roots but also want to refresh the rest of your hair, you need to use the permanent color only on your roots (without pulling through!), and a semi-permanent gloss on your mid-lengths and ends.
So when should you pull through? Only if you have never colored your hair before, or if you are drastically changing the color of your hair. When in doubt, you can always contact one of our professional colorists on our Color Crew who can tell you exactly what to do, from choosing the right shade for the result you want, to where to apply it and for how long. (Or even for just a last minute pep talk, because the truth is—you got this!)
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