Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
As anyone who dyes their hair will tell you, there’s nothing quite as annoying as the pesky re-growth that starts to pop up a few weeks post-coloring. No matter whether it’s tell-tale grays showing on your brunette base, or dark hairs popping up on your platinum hue, roots are the first sign that it’s time to book your next salon visit. But, what to do until then?
Sure, you could rock your roots with pride or keep a hat on—or you can reach for a temporary root touch-up. These convenient products do exactly that; cover your roots with color that lasts until your next shampoo. There are tinted sprays that are just as easy to use as dry shampoo, natural-looking powders that blend in seamlessly, and solid sticks that make precise application a breeze. Best of all, the color they deliver will stay put, yet still wash out with plain ol’ shampoo, so there’s none of the stress—or likelihood for potentially disastrous results—that comes with DIY hair color.
Here, the best root touch-up products for concealing roots until you can get to the salon.
Best Overall: L’Oréal Magic Root Cover Up
This spray is a Team Byrdie fan favorite; it’s even the root touch-up of choice for Byrdie VP and General Manager Leah Wyar. Ideal for all hair types and textures, the formula is lightweight yet still covers those pesky roots completely and effectively—without leaving behind any kind of sticky residue or smudged color. It also comes in a wide array of nine shades, with various blonde and brunette options, plus red and black. And did we mention that it's super affordable? Because it is.
Best Powder: Color Wow Root Cover Up
This powder adheres perfectly to hair—no dusty fall-out—yet never feels greasy or sticky. Plus, the dual-sided brush (one end has rounded, shorter bristles, the other, a longer, square shape) makes precise application super easy, no matter whether you’re using it on your temples, part, or hairline. It’s easily buildable, too, so you can achieve just the right amount of color coverage.
Best Spray: R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray
A quick spritz of this guy instantly camos grays, re-growth, you name it. It comes in seven different shades, all of which are super multi-dimensional. Translation: They actually look like real hair color, not spray paint. The spray is also infused with mica to keep the color shiny, as well as strengthening biotin and pearl extract, too. We also appreciate the targeted applicator, which keeps the color where you want it and minimizes the messy factor. And we’d be remiss to not mention the scent, a sophisticated blend of bergamot, fig, and cedarwood.
Best Stick: Everpro Gray Away Quick Stick
To use on smaller areas like your temples or for targeted spots on your hairline, a solid stick is choice. This particular formula is wax-free so it glides on super smoothly and quickly dries down to a powdery finish. An angled tip makes precise application easy, while the other end houses a sponge tip to help blend in the color so that it’s totally undetectable.
Best for Platinum Blondes: Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray
While grays may not necessarily be especially visible on a platinum base, tell-tale dark roots very much are. And whereas many root products out there don’t come in a super light, platinum shade, this spritz does. It’s ideal for covering up re-growth, which also has the added benefit of helping you stretch out bleaching sessions—and subsequently minimizing damage to your hair. This particular formula touts a UV absorber as well, helping to keep existing color from fading. It pulls double duty as a dry shampoo, too, with rice starch to sop up excess oil.
Best for Redheads: Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray
Of all the hair colors, red is the most prone to fading; blame larger-sized dye molecules that slip out of the hair shaft more easily. To not only hide roots but also make the color appear more vibrant, this spray is choice. Most importantly, it blends in well with a variety of red tones, from auburn to ginger to strawberry. The nozzle tip makes for precise and even application, and the formula is also waterproof and transfer-proof, ideal when you’re looking for long-lasting results.
Best for Brunettes: Madison Reed Root Touch-Up
Not all brown hair is created equal. Enter the beauty of this product, which comes in three different brown shades, as well as a dual-toned brown/red combo. Finding your perfect brunette match has never been easier. The brush-on powder uses micro-milled pigments that deliver coverage that’s both complete yet totally natural-looking. Not to mention that it also sets right away and is both waterproof and sweatproof.
Best for Grays: Garnier Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer
Hide any and all of those sneaky silver strands with this guy. It delivers 100% gray coverage and touts an anti-transfer technology to ensure it stays where you put it on (AKA doesn’t rub off on your skin or clothes). Also nice: The cushion-tipped applicator is ideal for using around your temples or on the part, the spots where grays usually first crop up.
Best Splurge: dpHue Color Touch-Up Spray
As a general rule of thumb, most root touch-ups come in three to five shades, your standard variations on brown and blond, maybe a red and black thrown in there. That’s why this earns big props for offering an extensive array of 10 different colors. It’s pricier than the others in this round-up, yes, but well worth it if you can’t seem to find a color that’s right for you. Other noteworthy attributes include two spray settings—one for precise application and one for more diffuse color, the latter of which is also great if you have highlights and need more subtle coverage.
Best Budget: John Frieda Root Blur Color Blending Concealer
This pick is both ultra-affordable and has the unique attribute of offering two different shades in each portable compact. Whether you use them separately on different areas of your hair or blend them together to create your perfect shade, the pressed powder covers roots flawlessly. Plus, the included angled brush makes application super smooth.
Best Drugstore: Clairol Semi Permanent Root Touch-Up Color Blending Gel
Slightly different than the rest of our picks, this touch-up is technically semi-permanent hair color that lasts up to 10 washes. You do have to rinse it off after applying, but still, if you need a longer-lasting solution (think while you’re on vacation) and/or don’t want to deal with reapplying daily, this is a great alternative. And don’t worry, it’s still super easy to use, thanks to a built-in brush that evenly disperses the gel color.
Best On-the-Go: Avon X The Face Shop Root Touch-Up
By definition, any of these touch-up products are great for when you’re on-the-go, but this pick is especially choice to stash in your purse for last-minute hair emergencies. One, it’s super teeny-tiny (even TSA-friendly). Two, it has a built-in mirror. Plus, the spongey, puff-like applicator makes for a super natural end result. FYI, a little bit goes a long way.