Haven’t been to the salon in months and want to save your hair color with an at-home touch-up? Read over our tips and tricks, and then grab one of these kits.
Even as salons slowly start opening again, many people are hesitant to go to one—after all, the pandemic is far from over. If you have concerns about going back to your hairstylist but are desperate to fix your roots, invest in a root touch-up kit you can use at home.
If you get your hair colored by a stylist regularly, you’ve probably spent the last few months watching it fade as the roots grow out. Fortunately, fixing this, even just temporarily, is really easy to do on your own.
Whether you’ve no idea what you’re doing or are a bit more experienced, there’s a touch-up product for everyone.
What You Need to Know About Root Touch-Up Products
When looking for the perfect product for you, you have to consider a few things. First, do you want a temporary quick fix, or are you willing to do more work for something more permanent? Do you need to cover your natural color, or are you just trying to hide a few gray hairs?
Here are a few things you should know before purchasing any of the items on our list:
- Sprays, powders, and pencils are easy, but very temporary: If you want something super simple with immediate results, opt for a spray, powder, or pencil touch-up product. Just keep in mind these will either wash out when you next shampoo or even fade before then, depending on how long you go between washes.
- For more precise application, opt for a powder or pencil: If you’re looking to fill in specific areas, or don’t have a lot of ground to cover, you might want to get a powder or pencil. They allow a lot more control than sprays.
- Permanent options are more of a process to apply: While still easy enough for a beginner to apply, these do require more work than any of the options above. It can also take up to an hour to see the results.
Best Drugstore: L’Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up
L’Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up is proof you don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality product that really works—at least temporarily. It couldn’t be easier to use: just spritz it on your roots until it covers everything. It doesn’t leave behind any weird sticky residue, and, as long as you choose the right shade (it comes in a variety of them), it should immediately blend with your natural color.
This spray is temporary and will wash out with your next shampoo, so if you’re looking for a long-term option, this isn’t it. But it’s great to have on hand if you just want to cover up those roots before your weekly grocery run.
L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray Dark Brown 2 oz.
L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up is very easy to use and works as a quick fix.
Best Powder: Color Wow Root Cover Up
Think of Color Wow Root Cover Up as hair makeup. It resembles eye shadow or eyebrow powder and works similarly. You dip a little brush in the powder, and then brush it on your roots to quickly and easily cover them. A pressed powder like this allows for a much more precise application than a spray. It also has a double-ended brush that’s thin on one end for smaller areas, and wider on the other for larger areas.
The other great thing about Color Wow is it’s travel-friendly—just throw it in your bag and touch up your roots on the go without making a mess. The powder is never chalky or dusty looking, either; it’s actually surprisingly natural looking. Just be sure to gently press it into your hair after you brush it on.
When you’re not using it to cover your roots, you can use it to fill any gaps and make your hair look thicker and fuller. It’s a versatile option, but again, keep in mind it’s temporary and will wash out with your next shampoo.
Color Wow Root Cover Up, Medium Brown - Instantly cover greys + touch up highlights, create thicker looking hairlines, water resistant, sweat resistant - No mess multi award winning root touch up
Color Wow Root Cover Up is a pressed powder for a temporary and precise fix.
Best Spray: R&Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray
Some root touch-up sprays can look chalky, fake, or odd—especially if they start to fade throughout the day. You won’t have to deal with that with R&Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray. This stuff is super lightweight and provides amazing coverage. It will expertly hide your roots without any stickiness or transfer. It also comes in a variety of color options, so you should be able to find one that works for you.
The thing that really makes it stand out, though, is it’s actually good for your hair. In addition to hiding your roots, it will make your color look super shiny, thanks to the pearl extract. This ingredient adds a nice boost of moisture and mica, which reflects light for a natural-looking shine. Biotin also helps strengthen and thicken your hair, while stimulating growth, and the tapioca starch absorbs oil so the color lasts longer.
Oh, and like any other R&Co product, this one smells incredible! It’s temporary, though, so it will wash out with your next shampoo.
R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray - Dark Blonde, 1.5 Ounce (Pack of 1)
R&Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray covers roots and makes your hair healthier.
Most Professional: dpHue Root Touch-Up Kit
If you prefer a more permanent solution, opt for dpHue’s Root Touch-Up Kit. This kit offers a more permanent solution s. You’ll get everything you need here: the hair color, a disposable mixing bowl, gloves, a processing cap, and applicator brush, plus some shampoo and conditioner samples. It’s also available in a wide variety of shades.
You apply the permanent color to your roots, leave it on for 45 minutes, and then shampoo your hair. Once your hair is dry, you should notice an obvious difference. If you chose the right shade and followed the directions, you should be happy with the results.
You can also feel good about the ingredients because this color has low ammonia, and is sulfate- and paraben-free. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.
Best Pencil: Rita Hazan Root Concealer Stick
For the most precise temporary application, try the Rita Hazan Root Concealer Stick. The unique cream formula delivers a natural-looking color that blends easily with your hair to cover roots or fill in other areas. You can also use it on your eyebrows. To apply it, you basically color just as you would with a crayon.
If your roots are large and wide, though, this probably isn’t the best option—it might take a while to cover them all. This option is ideal for anyone looking to touch up smaller growth. Still, it has its advantages, like the fact that it’s easy to use on the go!
Rita Hazan Temple +Eyebrow Edition Root Concealer Stick, Light Brown
Use this creamy Rita Hazan Root Concealer to quickly cover up new growth.
Best Long-Lasting: Clairol Root Touch-Up
Another permanent option is the Clairol Root Touch-Up Kit—a longtime favorite due to its low price point and high quality. It’s also extremely easy to use, and it really does last. If you want something to keep you going until the salon is safe again, this is it!
The kit comes with a brush for foolproof application. Use it to get the cream into your roots, and then let it sit for just 10 minutes before washing it out. If you choose the right shade and follow the directions, it should cover those pesky roots and blend naturally with your hair. The results should also last up to 10 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair. With a large shade range, you’re sure to find one that suits you.
Clairol Root Touch-Up by Nice'n Easy Permanent Hair Dye, 4 Dark Brown Hair Color, (Pack of 2)
Clairol Root Touch-Up is a more permanent option that's very easy to use.
Best for Gray: Garnier Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer
If you dye your hair to conceal gray, and they’ve started peeking through during the pandemic, opt for the Garnier Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer. This temporary root concealer is kind of a mix between a pencil and a powder. You use the soft cushion applicator for precise coverage and immediate results.
It’s made with anti-transfer technology to ensure you won’t make a mess with it. This also makes it perfect to use on the go. It’s water-resistant, so don’t stress if it rains after you apply it. However, it will still wash out after one shampoo
Garnier Hair Color Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer, Instant Gray Coverage, Brown, 1 Count
Hide any hint of gray with Garnier Express Retouch Gray Concealer.
Best for Platinums: Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray
Despite the impressive shade ranges of all the above products, it can still be really hard to find a root touch-up kit for platinum hair That white-blonde color can be really tricky to match. If you’re dealing with platinum strand problems, try the Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray.
The one linked here is the perfect shade for platinum, but it comes in others, as well. It will easily cover any new growth—just spray it on and let it work its magic. The formula is a UV absorber, too, so it prevents your existing color from fading.
It also doubles as a dry shampoo, as it absorbs excess oil around your roots. Feel free to use this for quick touch-ups between salon visits, as dark roots tend to be far more noticeable on blondes. It will extend the time between salon visits and minimize damage to your hair.
Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray, Platinum Blonde
Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray is a great shade for platinum root touch-ups.