Very few people go to the salon exactly when they’re supposed to for a root touch-up. That’s the issue with dyeing your hair: Your roots look good until suddenly they don’t. If you’ve put off scheduling a touch-up for too long or are looking for a few tips and tricks to stretch your dye job out a few extra weeks between visits, these are the best root touch-up products to try if your roots are in desperate need of some TLC.
As a serial at-home hair dyer, I’ve tried dozens of products, gone through the burning and itching stages of dyeing my roots, and been left, time and time again, with virtually unnoticeable results. So: Don’t be like me. This list of products (all under $40) to buy and try also includes sprays, crayons, powders, and markers — all safe enough for beginners — makes dyeing your hair at home much less daunting. Whether you want to try to add permanent color to your roots or just need a quick touch-up, there are a plethora of different kinds of options you can use, no matter how dire your situation.
Armed with these tools, it’s easy to take control of your roots. Though some of these solutions are longer-lasting than others, all will keep your roots looking fresh and vibrant.
For a super affordable, at-home root solution, check out the products below.
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If you’re feeling confident in your abilities, Revlon’s Root Erase ($13, Revlon) is a permanent formula created to match your roots to your dyed hair in five minutes. Available in 13 shades including black, auburn, and blonde, this touch-up won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award for Root Coverage/Hair Color in 2019. Not to mention, each kit can be used up to three times, so this one box will have you covered for months.
Garnier’s Express Retouch ($10, Garnier) comes in blonde, brown, dark brown, and black. It’s a semi-permanent dye, so if you’re nervous about committing, fear not. Over the course of a few weeks, this product will wash out with shampoo, but it’s more permanent than powders or sprays.
For even less commitment, L’Oréal Paris' Root Cover Up ($11, Ulta) is a quick-working spray. The product is light in your hair, so you won’t lose volume. It also promises not to smudge or leave a sticky residue once dry. This spray lasts between hair washes, so if you’re just looking for a quick touch-up, this is the perfect temporary solution.
L’Oréal Paris' Magic Root Rescue ($6, Target) only takes 10 minutes to permanently color your roots. With a black to light blonde color spectrum, this gel claims to condition roots and leaves hair healthy and glossy.
If you’re looking for a quick solution that doesn’t require you to cover your whole head in product, Color Wow’s Root Cover Up ($35, Color Wow) is a great option to fill in your hairline and part. The powder is so water-resistant you can even swim in it. The brush also allows a very precise application, so you can cover your roots exactly how and where you want. The website even includes tutorials to help you through the process.
The perfect travel size, TRESemme’s Root Touch-Up Temporary Hair Color Spray ($8, Target) dries in seconds and lasts until your next shampoo. It’s a great solution when you need to push off the salon for a few weeks. All you need is a quick spray, and you’re ready to go.
Clairol Semi Permanent Root Touch-Up Color Blending Gel ($10, Target) promises to keep roots looking fresh for more than 10 washes. Ammonia- and peroxide-free, this product keeps your hair safe from damage. You don’t even have to worry about mixing the dye together — it comes application-ready.
If your roots are patchy and you don’t want full coverage, try Clairol’s Temporary Root Touch-Up Concealing Powder ($10, Ulta). The water-resistant formula won’t run from sweat or rain. It’s easy to blend, and you can even use it to fill in your eyebrows.
For a very exact application, Bumble and Bumble’s Bb. Color Stick ($13, Ulta) goes on like lipstick to provide full color. You can use it on any texture and density of hair for touch-ups between washes, although it doesn’t work to color darker roots lighter.
With 10 different shades, you can find your hair match with dpHUE Color Touch-Up Spray ($28, Ulta). This vegan product has a dual-action nozzle with two settings so you can choose between a targeted application and a wider, more blended look.
Although your colorist may not recommend this if you want to fix your roots with permanent color, try dpHUE Root Touch-Up Kit ($30, Ulta). The kit comes with everything you need, including gloves, a disposable bowl, and an applicator brush. For color that won’t wash out or fade, this product is available in seven colors — although it doesn’t work for dramatic changes to your hair color.
For a deeply conditioning dye treatment, dpHUE’s Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment ($35, Ulta) is like a root touch-up and hair mask all in one. It’s perfect for darkening your hair without harsh peroxide or ammonia. With 11 different shades, you can have any shiny, full-color hair you want.
If your roots grow in quickly and you need a solution, Rita Hazan’s Root Concealer Touch Up Stick ($25, Rita Hazan) goes on smoothly to cover-up root growth. Because it’s cream-based, it’s easy to place the concealer exactly where you want it, and there’s no reason to worry about getting it on your clothes.
Touchback Pro Root Touch Up ($13, Bed Bath & Beyond) is an oversized marker that deposits color in just one swipe. The formula bonds to your hair, which helps it blend into any hair color. It even comes with a comb to ensure a streak-free look. Each marker has about 60 applications in it.