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Gray hair can look extremely chic, but if you’d rather stick with blonde, the good news is, you can do your own root touchups at home. First up: You’ll need one of the best blonde hair colors to cover gray, which comprise permanent and semi permanent dyes, temporary powders, and easy-to-use sprays. Which one you choose will depend on how permanent of a solution you’re looking for, and your skill (or lack thereof) when it comes to DIY-ing your color at home. Covering gray hair on your own — though possible — can be tricky, so to find out more, Elite Daily spoke with Cassie Siskovic, hair stylist and National Artistic Director of Alfaparf Milano USA, who shares her insights below.
“[Covering gray hair is] challenging with clients who have different amounts of gray on different parts of their head,” Siskovic explains. “Common example: a client who is 80 to 100% gray at the hairline, and only about 50% through the rest of their hair. Make sure you apply to the gray-est area first so it can process the longest,” she says. Some gray is “very resistant“ to color, adds Siskovic. “Gray hair can often have a very compact cuticle layer (the outermost layer of the hair) which can cause challenges when trying to change the color. If you can find a color that lifts the cuticle safely while depositing the correct type of pigment, you’re golden, literally.”
When in doubt, get guidance from a professional — they’ll be able to advise you on techniques and help you pick the right shade. But if you’re looking for a quick, at-home solution, start with any of these coloring kits and root touch-up products below.
1. The Best Permanent Blonde Color For Gray Hair
Designed for people with at least 70% gray hair, L'Oréal’s Age Perfect By Excellence color is a great, DIY option for all-over use. The color works on dye-resistant gray hair to create a rich, layered shade, rather than a flat, one-dimensional color, which is sometimes the issue with at-home hair dyes (versus in-salon processes).
L'Oréal’s kit contains a dual-sided brush, with a longer side for root-to-tip application and a shorter side to apply the cream to your temples. It also comes with a tube of post-color conditioning treatment made with hydrolzed wheat protein, panthenol, glycerin, and collagen for keeping dyed hair moisturized, shiny, and strong.
- Available blonde shades: 13
2. The Best Semi-Permanent Blonde Color For Gray Hair
For a lower-commitment choice for your entire head, try WELLA Color Charm Demi Permanent Hair Color. It provides all-over coverage and a glossy shine, which the brand says should last up to 24 washes (though that will vary depending on your hair type). Once you choose your ideal shade, make sure to add a bottle of Wella’s activator to your cart, too — you’ll need to mix it with your color to successfully dye your hair.
- Available blonde shades: 7
3. The Best Permanent Blonde Color For Gray Roots
If you only want to touch up your roots, Clairol’s Root Touch-Up is an excellent, easy-to-use color that provides 100% gray coverage. This permanent dye takes just 10 minutes to work (or 15 if you have particularly hard-to-dye hair), and your purchase gets you two boxes, each with one application’s worth. The brand estimates your color should last at least three weeks each time you use it; to extend the length, be sure to use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo for color-treated hair.
- Available blonde shades: 9
4. The Most User-Friendly Blonde Color For Gray Roots
Revlon Root Erase is similar to the Clairol product above, except each container provides up to three uses (and three pairs of gloves are included), making it an amazing value. Another plus is that the color takes zero effort to blend. It’s all in one bottle, so when you pump it out, the dye and developer are dispersed in the right ratio — no guesswork required. You just blend the two creams with the included brush, apply to your roots, let sit for a mere five minutes, and you’re ready to go. The only downside is that there are just a few blonde shades to choose from.
Note that Amazon reviewers report that this color runs on the darker side, so if you’re deciding between two shades, you may want to go with the lighter of the two.
- Available blonde shades: 3
5. The Best Blonde Root Cover-Up Powder
Pigmented powders are handy for fast, risk-free coverage on your roots, temples, and other small areas, and can also be useful if you’ve got patches of thinner hair and want more coverage. With a dual-sided brush that makes application a breeze, Color Wow’s best-selling Root Cover Up powder is absolutely impossible to mess up. It goes on very light and natural, but it’s easy to build up for more intensity, and it comes in a slim, mirrored compact complete with a brush, so it’s easy to use on the go. This powder washes out with shampoo, but it won’t run in the rain, so you don’t have to worry about it smudging onto your skin during the day.
- Available blonde shades: 3
6. The Best Blonde Root Cover-Up Spray
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of spraying this root cover-up onto your head — it’s far less messy than you might expect, and it’s the fastest and easiest non-permanent way to conceal unwanted grays along your part and temples. This no-risk cover-up will wash out with your next shampoo, and it feels refreshingly lightweight, so it won’t leave your hair feeling sticky or cakey.
- Available blonde shades: 5
Cassie Siskovic, Hair Stylist & National Artistic Director of Alfaparf Milano USA