When you're trying to cover up grays, it can be hard to maintain your color without regular trips to the salon, especially if your hair grows back quickly. If you're looking to stretch out those pricey color treatments, you can always conceal your telltale roots at home.
DIY root touch-up kits and products that cover lingering gray hairs are all you need to get a bit more life out of that color job, and they won't cost you a fortune. Shop TODAY consulted top hairstylists to get their recommendations for affordable products that don't take a beauty degree to use.
Best root touch-up products, according to hair experts
Concealing gray hairs without over-applying product can be tricky. Gina Rivera, founder of By Gina and Phenix Salon Suites, says this powder applicator from Color Wow makes it easy: "You can either brush it on for a light touch up or press it on for a darker cover-up. It works especially well along the hairline if you want to pull your hair back."
Want results fast? This L'Oréal Paris root touch-up spray hides grays in a matter of seconds with the help of a lightweight formula that doesn't leave behind a nasty, sticky residue. It also features a micro-diffuser tip that easily targets stray grays and comes in a range of shades.
"This works amazing as a hair color concealer and is an easy spray-on color if you don’t feel up for doing the whole hair color process at home," hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy said.
When it comes to covering your grays, there are multiple products that will get the job done, depending on your personal preference. This paraben-free brush-on powder from Madison Reed is made of micro-milled pigments that cover up roots and last through rain and sweat. One palette lasts up to 60 uses!
"For temporary touch-up products, I recommend powder in a palette. This is my favorite and is easy to apply right in the roots," said hairstylist Ayumi Yamamoto.
Whether you're planning a fun night out or need to conceal your roots before a big job interview, this portable stick is the perfect quick fix when you can't make it to the salon. A gentle wax-free formula means you don't have to worry about nasty residue, and the angled tip lets you access those hard-to-reach areas with ease.
"For a quick root touch-up, I enjoy an easy-to-use stick form of application. When using these, think of filling in those test scores from school. Start off light then go back and fill in where needed," hairstylist Rheanne White said.
Don't want to attempt at-home coloring? This spray temporarily covers roots until your next shampoo. The sulfate-free, vegan formula includes pearl extract, an ingredient that helps moisturize hair and add shine, and biotin, a true powerhouse ingredient.
"Biotin can help add body and encourage hair growth," said Bianca Hillier, colorist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles. "This spray also comes in a wide range of colors, so there's something to suit everyone's needs."
If you're looking for something a bit longer-lasting, this gentle kit tackles your roots and hairline and offers salon-worthy results that won't fade after your next shampoo. Each kit has everything you need for two applications.
"It's a permanent root color that is great for those in-between salon visits and that you can do at home," hairstylist Laura Rugetti said.
Both guys and gals can use this multitasking color spray! The lightweight formula is full of pigments that work to match your color, dries quickly and comes off easily with shampoo.
"I like to recommend this spray to male clients with grays or thinning hair. It masks the grays for a more subtle, natural look and fills in any thin spots and makes hair look fuller," hairstylist César DeLeön Ramirêz said.
This paraben-free mask refreshes and tones colored hair. Coconut oil and shea butter smooth locks and add shine, while sunflower seed oil protects strands from color-fading UVA/UVB rays and maintains vibrancy.
"This is an amazing product to use in between salon visits and can help tone out unwanted brass or even add high shine," hairstylist Ashley Wahler noted.
Available in seven shades, this lightweight creamy mask refreshes hair color and nourishes strands with the help of avocado oil. The affordable treatment can be used every two weeks and works its magic in only five minutes.
"This mask is an easy way to refresh your color at home and is formulated with pigment to give color a boost," said Nikki Lee, co-owner of 901 Salon in West Hollywood.
When your roots start to show, you might be tempted to try at-home color kits, but Stephanie Brown, Master Colorist at IGK Soho in New York City, says temporary color is a much easier option: "Sprays and powders are great if you have a video conference or meeting. If you're tempted to do your own color, you also don’t want to choose the wrong color and then have to get your hair fixed."
This vegan touch-up spray from dpHUE dries quickly and blends easily at the roots. It will last until your next shampoo, and also has a wide range of color options.
Hairstylist Scott King also suggests using touch-up kits to avoid making any color gaffes at home. "It will cost you a lot to fix that color," he said.
If you want to cover those roots with ease, he suggests using a powder product like this customizable palette that lets you blend your perfect shade together.
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This article originally published on April 7, 2020.