The 12 Best Root Touch-Ups of 2022, According to Celebrity Hairstylists

The L'Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray is a step above the rest.

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best root concealers on a colored pattern background

Amazon / Style Edit

Sometimes we don't have the time or the extra cash to go to a salon and touch up our roots as often as we'd like. That's where handy temporary root touch-up products come in. There are a ton of root concealing products out there that come in a wide range of colors, and choosing one really comes down to which formula you prefer (a powder, spray, stick, or sponge), and your hair color. But since at-home coloring can be intimidating — and you don't want to cause more problems for your hair by grabbing the wrong shade or making the root situation even worse — we’re here to help narrow down the pool of potential products. To do so, we worked with industry experts to uncover the best root touch-ups the market has to offer.

Due to its stellar customer reviews, accolades from celebrity hairstylists, and its accessible price point, the L'Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray is the overall winner of the category. It easily covers grays, won't leave any sticky residue behind, and is sold in 10 colors. 

Of course, there are plenty of other products to choose from, too. Whether you want to camouflage your roots or conceal your grays, the root touch-up products below have you covered — literally.

Best Overall: L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Concealer Spray

L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray

Amazon

What We Love: This spray has a wide shade range that provides natural coverage. 

What We Don’t Love: It will stain your hands and/or clothes if you're not super careful.

According to celebrity hairstylist Marissa Marino, L'Oreal Paris Root Cover Up ticks off all the boxes for a good root touch-up product. “It provides a lot of coverage for those resistant gray hairs and looks natural,” she says. What’s more, it’s sold in 10 shades to cover a variety of hair colors, is easy to use, suitable for all hair types, and comes in at a pretty decent price point — you really can't ask for more. The application takes seconds, and once applied, it will maintain vibrancy until your next wash day. That said, what makes the product so long-lasting is also what will stain your hands or clothes if you're not careful. With that in mind, we recommend putting an old towel over your shoulders while you spray.

Price at time of publish: $10

Shades: 10 | Formulation: Spray | Size: 2 oz

Best Spray: Style Edit Root Touch Up Spray

Style Edit Root Touch Up Spray

Amazon

What We Love: It’s sold in eight colors and has a wide spray range, so it only takes a spritz or two to adequately conceal root growth. 

What We Don’t Love: It will stain clothes if you’re not careful.

Spray root concealers are key for more expansive coverage, says celebrity hairstylist Derek Yuen. “Sprays can be built up for more opaque coverage, too.” When selecting the best spray root concealer, we paid special attention to natural-looking coverage and a buildable formula that caters to all hair colors — and Style Edit Root Touch Up Spray delivers. It’s sold in eight shades ranging from blonde and brown to red and black, and it has an ultra-fine nozzle so you can easily control the spray. “I especially love it for blondes,” Marino says. “It comes in very light blonde colors that still appear shiny and doesn’t dull the color.”

Price at time of publish: $28

Shades: 8 | Formulation: Spray | Size: 2 oz

Best Powder: Color Wow Root Cover Up Powder

Color Wow Root Cover Up Powder

Ulta Beauty

What We Love: The powder clings to roots even if you sweat or have oily hair. 

What We Don’t Love: The brush is small, so it can be time-consuming to apply to large areas of growth.

Color Wow Root Cover Up is a favorite for many stylists, including celebrity hairstylist Kiley Fitzgerald, who works with Cara Delevigne, Addison Rae, and Bella Hadid. “This comes in so many colors and covers grays so naturally,” she says. She especially loves the powder for its full coverage effect that manages to look and feel weightless. 

Meanwhile, Marino, who is also a fan of the powder, says that the included applicator brush is a dream. “It gives you a lot of control and precision as to where the product is placed,” she says. Though, it’s worth noting that the brush is small, so if you have a larger area you want to cover up you should give yourself some extra time to get the job done. 

Price at time of publish: $35

Shades: 8 | Formulation: Powder | Size: 0.07 oz

Best Stick: Bumble and Bumble Bb. Color Stick

Bumble and bumble Bb. Color Stick

Sephora

What We Love: The crayon format is super easy to use. 

What We Don’t Love: It's only available in two colors.

Using this stick feels like the adult version of coloring. It works just like a crayon, shading in gray strands or root regrowth. The velvety formula glides onto hair (even longer strands far from roots), and the color is water-resistant until you shampoo. In that way, it’s arguably one of the easiest — and most fun — ways to touch up your roots. “I use this pencil for minimal and/or stubborn grays,” Yuen admits, noting that it looks most natural when used to color individual strands as opposed to large sections of hair. Our one strife with the product is that it only comes in two colors (brown and black), and we wish there was more color variety so more people could use it. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Shades: 2 | Formulation: Cream Stick | Size: 0.12 oz

Best Sponge: Garnier Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer

Garnier Hair Color Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: It’s much less messy to apply than other options on this list since it has a precise powder sponge applicator. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s only sold in four colors.

If you love the weightless coverage of powder but the precise application of a pencil, it’s time to check out Garnier Hair Color Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer. The sponge-tipped product precisely dispenses powder for targeted coverage each and every time. Still, since it mimics a pencil, Yuen says it’s best for coloring in a few strands that need coverage — especially since it’s easy to carry on the go — should you need to touch up while out and about. Lighter blondes and redheads won’t be able to use this, though, as the shade range is very minimal. 

Price at time of publish: $9

Shades: 4 | Formulation: Powder Sponge | Size: 0.34 oz

Best for Blondes: dpHUE Hair Lightening Blonding Brush

dpHUE Hair Lightening Blonding Brush

Sephora

What We Love: The brush design lets you easily target the application area. 

What We Don’t Love: If you have notable grow-out, it may take a bit to fully cover — and it requires heat exposure to activate. 

Covering dark root growth on an overall blonde mane can be a challenge since so many root concealers aren’t fully opaque. That said, if your goal is to try to get your roots to blend more effortlessly with the rest of your hair, the dpHUE Hair Lightening Blonding Brush is a good choice, as it’s formulated with heat-activated hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice to safely brighten strands. Unlike the sun-triggered sprays of yesteryear, this brush is formulated with purple pigments to counteract any unwanted brassiness. Just remember that in order to see results, you’ll need to blow dry your hair or step outside to let the sun do its job.

Price at time of publish: $28

Shades: 1 | Formulation: Cream | Size: 0.65 oz

Best for Brunettes: Madison Reed The Great Cover Up Root Touch Up + Brow Filler

Madison Reed The Great Cover Up Root Touch Up + Brow Filler

Ulta Beauty

What We Love: It comes with a second brush that can be used to fill in brows. 

What We Don’t Love: You have to use quite a bit of powder if you have significant growth.

Though the Madison Reed Root Touch Up Powder is more expensive than other options on this list, the amazing benefits make it worth the money. “It’s a deeply pigmented powder (think of it like an eyeshadow), that you can use to blend out the grays that poke through in between color services,” says celebrity hairstylist Sami Knight. “Because it’s so pigmented, you get a really seamless opaque look that’s really undetectable.” 

In short: You get natural-looking color that doesn't rub off. You also get two brushes for application — one for hair and the other for your eyebrows. And those with blonde hair get a palette with two colors to create more depth and dimension. All in all, it's one of the best multi-tasking root-touch-up products out there. It works best covering small amounts of root growth, so if you have significant grow out, you may want to try something else.

Price at time of publish: $32

Shades: 6 | Formulation: Powder | Size: 0.13 oz

Best for Redheads: Style Edit Drop Red Gorgeous Root Touch Up Powder

Style Edit Drop Red Gorgeous Root Touch Up Powder

Style Edit

What We Love: It’s designed specifically for redheads and it has a sponge applicator to help the product go on more neatly.

What We Don’t Love: It’s not very much product for the price.

Like eyebrow pencils, red root concealers are few and far between. Thankfully, Style Edit Drop Red Gorgeous Root Touch Up Powder exists. “It blends really nicely with most reds and has a very nifty sponge applicator that covers in one swipe,” Knight says, noting that she highly recommends it. It’s sold in three red shades (dark, medium, and light), and is available in packs of one, two, three, and five jars. Considering you don’t get a ton of powder in each jar, you may want to opt for a bundle. 

Price at time of publish: $36

Shades: 3 | Formulation: Powder | Size: 0.13 oz

Best for Thin Hair: Toppik Hair Building Fibers

Toppik Hair Building Fibers

Amazon

What We Love: In addition to concealing roots, it makes hair look thicker. 

What We Don’t Love: The bottle is small.

When covering root growth on thin hair, it’s wise to find products that work to make hair look thicker overall. That’s what the Toppik Hair Building Fibers do, Knight says. “Toppik has been around for many years — it’s finely ground [colored] hair fibers that you shake into your hair, just like a salt shaker,” she says. “I apply a spritz of hairspray before the Toppik fibers to make them stick, then just shake in enough to cover.” To ensure they stay put, she says to finish with another spritz of hairspray. 

In addition to applying Toppik Fibers to the roots, Marino suggests using them on any areas of patchiness. “I love this for filling in hairlines and also for anyone experiencing thinning hair,” she says. “It conceals roots and makes hair appear thicker and fuller.”

In addition to the fibers, celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble recommends the Toppiks Color Hair Thickener, which is sold in four colors. “It’s great because it fills in areas and gives the appearance of fuller, thicker hair while being a root touch up between colorings,” she says. Plus, it can be used on its own or with the fibers. 

Price at time of publish: $45

Shades: 8 | Formulation: Powder | Size: 0.11 oz

Best for Significant Hair Growth: R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray

4.7
R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray

Dermstore

What We Love: The slight sheen looks more natural in the hair than a matte spray. 

What We Don’t Love: It'd be nice to see more shades of red to accommodate a wider variety of redheads. 

If you've had problems finding the right root touch-up product for your exact hair color, Knight says that the R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch Up Spray is one to try. “This coverup in a can has broader coverage than the powder palettes and is better suited for larger areas, so if your roots are really grown out, or if you're more than 50 percent gray hair, I’d go for this super pigmented, easy to use spray,” she says. 

Logistically, it's made with multidimensional pigment to blend color seamlessly, and it has nourishing and hair-strengthening ingredients like pearl extract and biotin to make hair really shine. Plus, it’s sold in seven shades ranging from light blonde to black.  

Price at time of publish: $26

Shades: 7 | Formulation: Spray | Size: 1.5 oz

Best Budget: Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch Up Spray

Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch Up Spray

Amazon

What We Love: The spray helps thin hair look fuller by covering the scalp and the hair. 

What We Don’t Love: Be sure to not touch it until it dries because it can rub off on your hands.

Celebrity colorist and founder of Rita Hazan, Rita Hazan, says that the brand’s Root Concealer Touch Up Spray is made with neutral tones so that it can match any hair color — especially blonde. No wonder her clients Beyoncé and Jessica Simpson have used it! The buildable color disperses evenly to provide full coverage in seconds, which Kimble applauds. “It’s a great spray to cover your grays and extend salon color,” she says. Just be sure not to touch it until fully dry or you run the risk of staining your hands. 

Price at time of publish: $12

Shades: 5 | Formulation: Spray | Size: 2 oz

Best Splurge: Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray

Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray

Sephora

What We Love: The spray allows you to quickly cover all your hair. 

What We Don’t Love: This product is strongly scented. 

Looking to invest in your root concealer? Fitzgerald suggests the Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray. It uses microfine powders within a spray format to quickly and easily touch up roots. It also contains rice starch to absorb dirt and oil and Oribe's special complex that protects hair against environmental aggressors. It's suitable for all hair types and gives you believable-looking coverage. What’s more, depending on who you ask, it smells great — but that also means that some people are put off by the scent. 

Price at time of publish: $34

Shades: 6 | Formulation: Spray | Size: 1.8 oz

What to Keep in Mind

Color and Type

When selecting a color for root touch-up, the first thing to do is categorize your shade. Are you mostly a brunette, a blonde, a redhead? Look at the base of your color, rather than the highlights. Then find the brands that have the most options for you. The next step is to look at the undertone, are you a cool blonde or more golden? Once you find a good color match, you might also consider application. If you're just targeting a few stray grays, a powder (like Color Wow Root Cover Up) or crayon (like Bumble and bumble Bb. Color Stick) may be right for you. If you have major root growth and are trying to stretch your salon visit, then you opt for a spray, like our best overall winner L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray.

Coverage

We know that if you want to hide different colored roots or grays, the inclination is to spray a lot. Hold up: the biggest tip Hazan has to offer is to not overdo it with the spray, powder, or crayon. She says a little goes a long way with root touch-up products, so use whichever product you go for sparingly. The goal is to make the color look as natural as possible.

Your Questions, Answered

How can you conceal dark roots?

Concealing grown-out roots of any color can seem challenging, but darker roots tend to be the trickiest to blend. The reason? If you have a blonde balayage, for example, using a blonde root concealer may not be enough to adequately conceal the growth. With that in mind, Knight says that you’ll need something that has enough pigment to paint out the dark underneath.  As such, rather than opting for a sheer formula, it’s best to consider one that’s full coverage or that actually takes time to process.

“The best I’ve used is L'Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Concealer Spray,” Knight admits. “It’s specifically formulated for blondes with dark roots, so you’ll have your roots brighter in seconds, without the bleach.” To achieve a full coverage application — with the Magic Root Cover Up or any root concealer spray — she says to spray the formula into the cap and use a small makeup brush to paint it on. “Picasso your way to perfect highlights!”

How do you conceal gray roots?

Gray roots, being lighter, are often simple to conceal. “Covering gray roots is easy these days — there are so many products that will help you out in between color services,” Knight says. “If your grays are particularly stubborn, then use a highly pigmented, opaque touch-up powder or spray.” 

Personally, Knight suggests using a powder with a brush (like Madison Reed Root Touch Up Powder) to precisely apply the product to small sections of root growth, while she recommends sprays for more grow-out. When using a spray, Marino says to hold the nozzle about two inches away from the roots. “I like to brush through it after, or use my hands to spread the product around so that it doesn’t end up too sticky,” she adds.

Of course, unconventional solutions exist, as well. “A sneaky tip no one will tell you at the salon is that covering single grays here and there is often most easily done with a Sharpie,” Knight shares. “I have brown and black sharpies in my kit, and if I spot a single gray hair that’s bothering me, I just color it in — it works every time!”

How do root concealers work?

Root concealers are rather straightforward — they’re designed to temporarily camouflage grown-out roots. According to Marino, the most effective root concealers deposit a darker color over the hair. “If you are looking to lighten your roots, unfortunately, they won’t work as well,” she admits. “Think of it as painting a black wall red — the color wouldn’t show up the same as if it was painted on a white wall. Hence why root concealers really work best on gray/white hair.”

Colors aside, Knight says that powder root concealers work best for short roots or a few grays, while spray root concealers are ideal for larger sections of growth or heavier gray density. Still, she says that the best root concealers, and how to apply them, really are subjective. “Try all the options, one will be the best for you,” she says.

Why Shop With Us

Rebecca Norris is a full-time freelance writer. She writes for a variety of publications, covering everything from beauty and wellness to style and celebrity news. To determine the best root concealers, Norris spoke with a handful of celebrity hairstylists and colorists, including Rita Hazan, Sami Knight, Kim Kimble, Marissa Marino, Derek Yuen, and Kiley Fitzgerald to determine which products work best for each hair color and type. 

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