8 Best Root Touch-Ups You Need To Know About In 2024.

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Which is this year’s best root touch-up to keep your hair color looking fresh in between colorings?

Every now and then in our lives, let’s say…every 4-6 weeks, we find ourselves staring at an inch of unsightly growth in the mirror that doesn’t match the rest of our beautifully colored hair. 

Life is busy and there isn’t always the time to sit in a salon for three hours while our hair, and our confidence, is restored back to its best. 

We need something that will help hide those unsightlys while keeping your hair healthy between colors.

If only there was an easy way to touch-up your roots and give yourself more time in between salon trips. Readers, there sure is!

Behold the root cover up! Aka root touch-ups. And we’re here with the best ones you need to keep your color looking fresh.

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TOP PICK!

COLOR WOW Root Cover Up.

Best for: Easy use and value for money.

No mess, no gunk, no trying to aim the spray exactly where you need it like some of the other best touch-ups on the list – these guys have cornered the market in easy-to-apply essentials.

It’s kind of like applying an eye shadow to your hair but the effects are brilliant and it stays on until you wash it off.  And there’s no sticky residue. This is handy little compact is without question the winner for us.

Pros

  • Easy to apply.
  • Stays on until hair is washed.
  • Long-lasting; a single product can last for a year.
  • Can be used for eyebrows as well.
  • Matches hair color accurately.
  • Leaves no unpleasant residue.
  • It’s transfer-resistant.
  • The brush allows for precise application.
  • A little product goes a long way.
  • Available in a range of colors.
  • Comes in a handy case for on-the-go touch-ups.
  • Provides good value for money.

Cons

  • Initially, it might seem expensive.
  • Requires a careful aim for precise application.
  • Might need retouching throughout the day.

What is a root touch up?

These little marvels are handy sprays, mascaras, pens, powders and dyes that deposit a touch-up of color on your roots to match the rest of your hair color.

A touch of their magic will fool the world into thinking you’ve just had your color done. Perfect!

We love them because they mean you can go longer in between salon visits and hair dyeing sessions, they’re inexpensive and unseemly grey hairs can be banished with a quick dab or root touch-up spray.

Of course, they’re more like make-up in texture than like dye, so will rinse away with water. Or rain! So they’re only a temporary solution. But most are small enough to take with you anywhere to touch up on the go.

To make it last longer, you can use a good dry shampoo for colored hair to lengthen the time in between shampoos.

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Which is the best root touch-up to hide my roots?

Here are the top of the horrid-hair-hiding bunch.

We’ll be honest, in general, we found all of these work better on darker dyed hair colors than blondes and highlighted hair (there are a couple that do the job well, however) but as always, you’ll have to try some out to see what works best for you. 

Good luck!

The Best Root Touch Ups at a glance.

ProductLooks likeBest forRatingBuy now
L'Oreal Magic Retouch

Good coverage for darker hair colours.
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Clairol Root Touch up Permanent Colour

PERMANENT dye - it’s a quick fix if you’re desperate.
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Color WOW Root Cover Up

The brush allows for precision and a little goes a long way so you don’t need a lot.
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Keratherapy Gray Root Concealer Spray.

Saving the pennies as well as your looks.
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Touchback Pro Root Touch Up

Easy application.
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Garnier Express Retouch

Smaller areas.
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Sevich Hair Line Powder

Lighter hair colours.
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Boyd's Brush it Away Hair Mascara

Using on your eyebrows too!
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#1.L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Black, Brown, Dark Iced Brown, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Light Golden Brown, Red, Dark Blonde, Medium Blonde, Light Blonde.

  • Magic retouch conceals greys in just a quick, easy to use spray.
  • Hits the spot when, where and how you need it.
  • The science? Pinpoint micro-diffusers targets greys and rich pigments give long-lasting, blended coverage.
  • Peroxide-free and free from sulfates and parabens
  • Three seconds to flawless hair color.

Reviewers say:

“Having never tried a root touch-up product like this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have grey roots that seem to go from nothing to an inch long overnight! I was worried that the color wouldn’t match so I tested it before leaving the house and it was great – It lasted until I washed my hair.”

“It’s quick, simple, and easy to use but probably best for darker hairs like black or brown. I have red hair and unfortunately, the red one of these made my hair look orange! However, the coverage was good so I’m not giving up – I may experiment with a light brown? I’ll report back!”

“I think this product covers well. It does come off a bit on your fingers and made me worry about if it rains. As it’s a spray, it’s quite powerful when it comes out so took me a while to get the knack of applying on just on my parting and not my forehead too! You really only need it along your parting. Worked well for me.”

Our experience:

We love this range for the variety of colors, it’s won awards for being one of the best touch-ups and regularly tops the charts. It’s powdery almost like a dry shampoo and does take a few goes to get the spray technique right! 

If your regrowth is not too bad, you could try L’Oreal Magic Retouch Black Precision Instant Grey Concealer Brush which is easier to apply as you can be more precise.

But Magic Touch spray is best for more coverage. We agree with the review above that it’s best for darker colors. Once you get the hang of applying it, it sticks until your next shampoo so a great root touch-up solution.

Best for: Good coverage for darker hair colors.

#2.Clairol Root Touch-Up Permanent Hair Color Creme.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Loads! From Ultra Light Ash Blonde to Intense Red, Black and three shades of everything in between.

  • Fights grey hair and restores color.
  • Best to blend with leading salon colors.
  • Long-lasting effects that hold fast.
  • Works even on stubborn greys.
  • Precision brush for neat and easy application.

Reviewers say:

“I’ve only been dying my hair for the last two years, and this is the second time I’ve used this product to touch up roots in-between coloring. I was using touch-up sprays but wanted something more permanent so I tried this in blonde.

I was a bit nervous! It was just before I was going away so I didn’t want to get it wrong but I didn’t have the time to go to the salon. It went on easily and the results were fab. Will definitely use again.”

“Great product! Easy to use. The little brush comes in very handy to apply it like a professional. The only drawback is the smell but that’s to be expected as it works like a dye.”

Our experience:

This is a permanent touch-up so BE CAREFUL. You may end up making stripes in your hair around your parting if the color doesn’t match up with your normal dye.

It’s not a daily touch-up that will hide new growth, it’s a quick fix if you’re desperate and don’t have time to hit the salon.

That said, once it’s on, it stays there until you dye your hair again. This is a root touch-up kit that you use like a dye with gloves and everything. Use with caution.

Best for: Permanent root touch-up for gray hair

#3.COLOR WOW Root Cover Up.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Black, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Dark Blonder, Light Blonde, Platinum, Red.

  • It’s not sticky or waxy like mascaras and crayons.
  • Looks completely natural.
  • Water resistant!
  • Makes hair look thicker and color more vibrant.
  • Covers even dark hair without chemicals like peroxide.
  • Absorbs excess oil at your scalp

Reviewers say:

“I’ve been using the medium brown cover-up product which is so easy to apply, it’s brilliant. It stays on perfectly until hair is washed. When I first bought it, I bought it as a treat for myself as I thought it was rather expensive for what it was. But it lasts for AGES and works so well that I’ll always buy it now.”

“I find it’s good for my eyebrows too! Seems to last well. This is my second one – the other one lasted a year!”

“This matches my hair color to a tee! Perfect for in-between color appts and leaves no yucky residue like other sprays and mascaras I have tried in the past. So glad I found Color Wow.”

Our experience:

No mess, no gunk, no trying to aim the spray exactly where you need it like some of the other touch-ups on the list – these guys have cornered the market in easy-to-apply essentials.

It’s kind of like applying an eye shadow to your hair but the effects are brilliant. It’s transfer-resistant and it stays on until you wash it off. 

The brush has an angled tip to allow for a precise application and a little goes a long way so you don’t need a lot. It comes in a range of great colors (the red is to die for) and in a case that’s handy for your handbag if you need to retouch throughout the day.

Definitely worth the money for hiding hair sins and one of the best touch-ups there is.

Best for: Easy use and value for money

#4.Keratherapy Gray Root Concealer Spray.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Light Blonde, Dark Blonde, Black.

  • A quick-drying mist that blends to give a natural look.
  • Covers hair regrowth and any greys in seconds.
  • Extends the time needed between coloring your hair.
  • Gives an all-day flawless finish. 
  • Quick to use and easy to wash out.

Reviewers say:

“I discovered this a few weeks ago and I love it. It covers my brittle, dry hair without making my hair sticky or looking ‘powdered’. Will purchase again.”

“I bought this when looking for a cheap concealer to hide my roots and buy me time in between going to the hairdresser or dying my hair myself. I was really impressed with the price & quality. Great value for money!”

Our experience:

At the budget end of the scale, this is the best one of the bunch.

There aren’t an extensive array of colors but it’s quick to use and lasts. It’s a spray that goes on lightly compared to others that can go everywhere.

Smells good too. This is the best one if you want to save the pennies as well as your looks.

Best for: Saving money as well as looks

#5.TouchBack PRO Root Touch Up.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Ash Blonde, Light Auburn, Dark Auburn, Dark Brown, Golden Blonde, Medium Brown, Rich Black.

  • This bonds to your hair and blends seamlessly with permanent hair color. 
  • Grey hairs vanish in an instant.
  • Won’t flake or rub off, even when brushed (unlike powders, mascaras, crayons and sprays).

Reviewers say:

“This temporary marker pen to color in your roots is a brilliant idea. Does it work? Kinda. It looks like a felt tip marker but I found it a little watery to apply. I tried black and it blended really well with my natural dark color. Best of all, it’s easy to use. However, I wish the color didn’t come off so easily, I have to carry it with me for touch-ups throughout the day.”

“Awesome idea! I find spray touch-ups so hard to control. I always end up spraying my clothes and the wall behind me! This product is like a big marker which you apply exactly where it’s needed. Whenever I spot my greys peeking out, I whip it out and I’m ready to go!”

“Perfect to carry with me so I can use it whenever I feel the need. Black works great for me, easy to put on and stays on too. Will buy it again for sure.”

Our experience:

What an ingenious idea! A big, fat Sharpie to color our stubbornest roots.

We found it does come away easier than others but for the innovative design, we love it and don’t mind reapplying every morning.

The lighter colors are a little chalky looking but the browns/blacks held good overall coverage. We love the color pallet with the auburn shades. 

Best for: Easy application

#6. Garnier Express Retouch.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Black, Blonde, Brown, Dark Brown, Light Blonde.

  • Touch-up that allows you to cover your roots on the go, anytime and anywhere.
  • Big claims of 100% coverage for grey hairs. 
  • A water-resistant formula so it stays on in the rain, but washes out with shampoo.
  • It has a cushion applicator that’s inspired by the world of make-up so that you apply it precisely and easily. 
  • Use it to cover both your grey hairs on your parting and your temple area as well as the occasional niggling stray strand that gets on your nerves.

Reviewers say:

“This is my best-loved of all root touch-ups and the favourite one I have ever used. It took me a few goes to get the application right and I did find it a bit sticky. However, the finish is fantastic. I went for a color lighter than my natural shade and it was just right. All I would change is the size of the applicator which was a bit too big.”

“Sound product. Worked really well for me and covered my grey regrowth. I use this for a week or so before I need to see the hairdresser. Washes out fine.”

Our experience:

Not a vast range of colors here and we would stick to the darker ones for the best results.

It was easy to apply and looked good but you wouldn’t use it to cover a vast area – it was a little tricky to wash off.

Make sure all traces of it have gone before you visit the hairdresser otherwise your dye won’t stick.

Best for: Covering smaller areas

#7.Sevich Hair Line Powder.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Light Brown, Dark Brown, Black, Grey (!), Light Coffee, Medium Brown, Light Blonde, Brown.

  • This uses a powder puff to hide those pesky and unsightly hairs.
  • The color is firm but it will leave your hair feeling fluffy.
  • It’s sweat proof and easy to clean off again. 
  • Safe, Paraben, sulfate & peroxide free.

Reviewers say:

“Works well, would use again. Nice size to take with you wherever you go!”

“It takes a bit of skill to master putting on. You’re effectively dusting your hair with powder and the puff is a bit cumbersome. But once I got the hang of it, I liked the way it made my hair look. Would I buy it again? I’m not sure, it’s a bit small so I think it’ll run out too quick.”

Our experience:

We felt a bit odd powdering our hair like we would our noses, but the results were rather pleasing.

This is one where the lighter colors actually worked really well, probably because you end up putting on a lot of product.

It stayed put overnight as well so we didn’t have to use much again in the morning. It’s a lot of dabbing but if you’re patient and want a really good coverage, this is a good buy.

Oh, it’s also worth a mention that it has a Gray version. If your hair is dyed silver this would be an awesome top-up.

Best for: Best blonde root touch up.

#8. Boyd’s Brush It Away – Hair Mascara and Root Touch Up.

Features & ingredients:

Available in colors: Auburn, Light Brown, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Black, Blonde. 

  • Instant coverage for grey hair that lasts until your next shampoo.
  • You apply it with a slim wand applicator color stick which makes it a clump-free and natural. 
  • Brill for last minute emergencies.
  • Easy use for men or women. 

Reviewers say:

“This product is easy to brush in and stays where you put it until it’s washed off. I love it I’ve been using it for years. I just wash it off with water as I don’t like to shampoo my color too much. It comes off a treat. I’m very happy with it.”

“The Boyd’s Brush It Away may be meant for touch-ups between hair colorings, but it works for eyebrows that have disappeared because they have turned grey (ok, white!). It’s a little thick when the product is brand new, but after a few applications, it goes on really well until it’s empty.”

“This product may have been designed to touch up hair color but Oh Boy Boyd’s now my eyebrows look amazing too! In all my years of wearing make up I have never found anything better. My brows are now blonde like my hair too. 

Thank you, Boyd’s!”

Our experience:

We couldn’t have a best root touch-ups list without featuring a hair mascara and this is one of our bestest.

Loads of reviewers said they used it for their eyebrows too so we tried it and well! A revelation! Now we don’t even need to dye our eyebrows either! 

But even if you don’t use it for that, this is still worth keeping handy. It can be heavy so don’t over-apply it or steer clear completely if you have really fine hair.

This is one that worked well for the darker Blonde Shades and there’s also a really nice Auburn for redder tones.  

We also love Boyd’s for keeping the guys included. Big up.

Best for: Using on your eyebrows too!


TOP PICK!

COLOR WOW Root Cover Up.

Best for: Easy use and value for money

No mess, no gunk, no trying to aim the spray exactly where you need it like some of the other root touch-ups on the list – these guys have cornered the market in easy-to-apply essentials.

It’s kind of like applying an eye shadow to your hair but the effects are brilliant and it stays on until you wash it off.  This is without question to the one for us.

Read more about what makes this so special in Color WOW Root Cover Up | Spotlight Review.

You can also read more about two of the most popular root cover-ups in L’Oreal Magic Touch vs Color Wow Root Cover Up | Head to Head.

How to choose the right root cover up for you?

Root cover-ups come in handy to mask your roots and blend them flawlessly with your existing hair color.

Picking up the right root cover-up doesn’t have to be challenging, here’s how to help you choose the right one that fits your hair type and color.

#1 Identify Your Hair Color Shade

Of course, the first thing to keep in mind while selecting your root cover-up is identifying the shade of your current hair color.

Different brands offer a variety of shades for natural hair colors, from light blonde to jet black.

Once you identify your hair color shade, you can select the best cover up that matches your natural hair color.

#2 Consider Your Hair Texture

Another thing to keep in mind is your hair texture.

Fine or thick hair texture will blend differently with root cover-ups; selecting the wrong type of product can make your hair look unnatural.

If you have dry and coarse hair, you can go for a creamy medium coverage root cover-up.

On the other hand, if you have oily and fine hair, a lightweight powder root cover-up can be a great choice.

#3 How do you want to apply it?

Root touch-up products come in different forms: sprays, brushes, and powders. Ask yourself; what works best for you?

Take into consideration the level of your hair staining and how easy it is to mix with your hair.

For instance, Powders are the best for semi-permanent and permanent stains while sprays and brushes work best for temporary colors.

#4 Look at the Ingredients

Ingredients are another important factor to consider when it comes to choosing hte right root cover up for you.

Some ingredients like ammonia and peroxide are harsh on hair and scalp. Instead, choose root cover ups with natural ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, and chamomile to nourish and protect your hair and scalp.

#5 Test it Out!

Before you buy your root cover-up product, test it out to see how it works with your hair. That’s what samples are for!

Apply it to a small, hidden part of your hair first to see if it blends with your hair properly.

If the color doesn’t match or the texture changes, it’s not the one for you.

Also, read the product reviews to see if any other factors like climate, hair type, or pigmentation could affect the color quality of the product.


Parting words.

There are so many different approaches to disguising roots, but the best one is not just about which technique you use.

It’s also about how often you need it and what your personal style is like. Whether you prefer a subtle or more dramatic look, there’s plenty of options for every hair type!

The right one for you is the one that matches your hair color, but if you’re looking for something a little more temporary and inexpensive, try using an eye shadow or concealer.

In this article, we’ve provided a few different ways to cover up your regrowth in between colorings. We hope these tips will help you maintain your beautiful hair and keep that fresh look for as long as possible. Good luck!

Author

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
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    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!