There's a popular meme making the rounds on Instagram that says, "Feels like we're 3-4 weeks away from learning everyone's real hair color." Sure, compared to everything else going on as we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, visible roots are pretty low on the list of priorities. But when you're trying to maintain a sense of calm and normalcy in a world that seems to change by the minute, it's just one more thing that can make you feel upended.
Luckily, if you're not ready to start coloring your hair at home, there are plenty of options that hide growing roots in a pinch. We've rounded up the best root touch-up products out there — from crayons and sprays to powders and markers — ahead. They're perfect for beginners, and will hold you over until you're in the salon chair again. Not one is over $35, so, if you are able to, consider allocating the money you saved to pre-book an appointment or buy a gift card from your colorist — we know they'd appreciate it.
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Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch Up
Everyone's hair color grows out at a different rate — a rate that might not line up with your colorist's availability. If you're in the camp whose roots are visible at four weeks on the dot, you'll want this root-covering crayon in your arsenal. Made to focus on coloring in the roots at your temple (and eyebrows!), this easy-to-use, creamy formula is full-coverage and virtually indetectable.
Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch Up Stick, $, available at DermStore
Garnier Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer
This root-concealing marker is infused with temporary hair color that literally stamps out grays instantly. Consider it a bonus that the formula soaks up excess oil on your scalp (like a dry shampoo would) and leaves behind a glossy-but-natural shine.
Garnier Garnier Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer, $, available at Target
L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Precision Root Concealer
Think: YSL Touche Éclat, but for your roots. This precision brush sweeps a lightweight, ammonia-free pigment (available in black, dark brown, and medium brown) through the pieces that need it most. Bonus: It's only $11.
L'Oreal Paris L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Precision Temporary Gray Hair, $, available at CVS
Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray
Root touch-up products aren't just good at hiding grown-out highlights — they're also useful for creating the illusion of thicker hair. Ask any celebrity hairstylist and they'll tell you that most of their A-list clients — including stars like Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian — use root-concealing powders and sprays to color in their hairline. Oribe's root concealer is perfect to do exactly that.
Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray, $, available at DermStore
Color Wow Root Cover Up
If you know how to use eyeshadow, then you can certainly use this root powder. Compared to some of the other root concealers out there, this powder is fit for beginners thanks to its buildable formula. Count this compact as another go-to for faking thickness near the hairline.
Color Wow Root Cover Up, $, available at DermStore
Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray Temporary Gray Coverage
Graying roots are arguably the fussiest of all. If you're in the business of hiding your silvery strands, try Rita Hazan's root-covering spray. Similar to Oribe's, it covers hair in a tinted spray-to-powder formula that temporarily stains each strand. With the can's concentrated nozzle, you'll be able to direct the pigment right at the root without covering what you don't need to.
Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray Temporary Gray Coverage, $, available at Sephora
DpHue Root Touch-up Kit
Looking for something a bit more permanent than a rinse-out spray? This at-home kit offers salon-quality tools — like a mixing bowl, brush, and color-activating developer — so you can hide roots like a pro. However, this is not made for beginners. If you've never dyed your own hair before, we suggest sticking to a compact powder instead of messing with real hair dye.
dpHUE Root Touch-up Kit, $, available at Sephora
Madison Reed Root Reboot
Madison Reed's demi-permanent dye is fit for anyone who wants to cover a robust amount of grays, but can't get to the salon for a touch-up. The cushion applicator ensures your root reboot is as precise and full coverage as possible — without spraying temporary dye all over your walls.
Madison Reed Root Reboot, $, available at Sephora
Everpro Gray Away Quick Stick Root Touch Up
If your idea of a root touch up is quick and fuss-free, then keep one of these color pens from Everpro in your makeup bag. A few easy swipes of the dye stick instantly adds color to wispy areas along your part and hairline, and there's no math to it. Just open your selfie cam, apply color where you need it, blend with your fingers if necessary, and you're on your way.
EVERPRO Everpro Gray Away Quick Stick Root Touch Up, $, available at Target
R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray
Not only will this spray have your back between color appointments, but it also has tapioca starch and biotin to add fullness to your roots, for color and volume that won't leave you hanging minutes later.
R+Co BRIGHT SHADOWS Root Touch-Up Spray, $, available at DermStore
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