Prevention July 28, 2023



11 Best Root Touch-Ups for Maintaining Your Hair Color at Home, According to Hairstylists


From sprays to powders, reach for these stylist-approved picks in between hair appointments.

If your grays are peeking through at the top of your head right now, it may be prime time to touch up your roots. But what if you don’t have the time for a hair salon appointment right now? Luckily, you can turn to the best root-touch up products for quickly and easily concealing your gray hair or grown-out roots right at home.

“Root touch-ups are a spray or a powder that you spray on your gray roots to hide them...if you can’t get to the salon or if you are trying to stretch out time in between touch ups,” explains Jenna Spino, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “They come in different colors to match your hair color.” These products wash out when you shampoo, meaning that they hide your roots temporarily and don’t permanently color your hair, notes Spino.

Meet the Experts: Jenna Spino, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, and Laurabeth Cabbott, hairstylist and owner of Artistry By LB.


Still, root touch-ups are an easy, affordable way to hide your roots until your next hair appointment—whether you’re looking to cover up grays or need to hide your grown-out roots after previously dying your hair. But, with so many different hair products out there, it can be hard to know which root touch-up product is right for you. That’s why we’ve narrowed down all the best ones recommended by pro hairstylists—and top-rated by reviewers—right here, including the best sprays, powders, and even sticks for every hair color and type.

Our top picks

Ready for easy, convenient, and affordable coverage of your grays? Ahead, check out the best root touch-up products you can use at home.


Oribe Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray


  • Quick-drying formula
  • Refreshes hair
  • Blends in seamlessly to your natural shade
  • Comes in 6 different shades


  • Pricey for the amount of product

A pick recommended by Spino, the Oribe Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray not only instantly conceals grays and roots, but it also absorbs dirt and oil from your hair. “It absorbs oils to refresh your hair similar to a dry shampoo,” Spino says. Available in five different shades, the quick-drying formula is also loved by reviewers.

“I’ve used several different products from different companies, and this is the first one that gives a natural airbrush spray. The others I’ve tried come out of the gate (or can) way too strong and leave a distinct line from the spray most of the time. Oribe’s spray blends in very nicely,” writes one reviewer. “Also, when I rinse my hair with just water, the color does not come out—it only starts to come out when I shampoo. That is very reassuring to know if I get caught in rain or mist, the color won’t run down my face!”


L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray



  • Affordable
  • Quick-drying
  • Comes in 8 different shades


  • Some reviewers say it leaves hair feeling tacky

Spino recommends this pick from L’Oréal if you’re looking for an affordable option. “This can be bought at any drugstore and is a great not-expensive option,” she says, noting that it also comes in a wide range of different shades. “It is quick-drying and will not dry you out,” she adds. It boasts over 41,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and it’s also a favorite of Drew Barrymore—in fact, the star once raved that the product “changed her life.” “It literally takes my strip of gray and completely transforms it perfectly into my color,” she said.


Toppik Hair Building Fibers



  • Helps make hair look thicker and fuller
  • Water-, sweat-, and wind-resistant
  • Available in 9 different shades


  • Application can be messy

Do you have thinning hair in addition to gray or grown-out roots? This top-rated pick is made of natural, colored keratin fibers that blend undetectably into your strands to help make hair look thicker and fuller. Available in nine shades, it’s great for covering up bald spots or thinning areas of your hair. It’s water-, sweat-, and wind-resistant, but also washes off easily with shampoo.

“I'm so self conscious about my thinning/balding head...I have tried everything and spent countless dollars. This is the only thing that has worked,” raves one Amazon customer. “It changed my life. It doesn’t sweat off, rub off, or look clumpy...I pour sweat at work, and it never runs down my face; you don’t know it’s there. But it covers bald spots and thin spots and my extra large part in my hair.”


Clairol Root Touch-Up Permanent Hair Color Creme



  • Coverage lasts up to three weeks
  • Easy to use
  • Comes in over 20 shades


  • Application can get messy

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to covering up your gray roots in between salon visits (rather than a temporary product that washes out with just one shampoo), reach for this root touch-up kit from Clairol, which gives you coverage that lasts up to three weeks. It’s easy to use: Just apply the cream to your roots with the included applicator brush, and leave it on for 10 minutes.

“This product is so easy to use. The box comes with instructions and everything you need, including gloves! The brush applicator makes it easy to work the color creme into your roots and around your temples,” writes one Amazon shopper. “All my roots come out looking beautiful, black, and so shiny after I wash and dry my hair...This is the first at-home hair coloring product that has worked for me.”


R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray



  • Lightweight
  • Contains nourishing ingredients
  • Hydrates and adds shine to hair
  • Comes in 6 different shades


  • Some reviewers say the colors run too dark

“I love the R&Co root sprays—they are lightweight but full coverage,” says Laurabeth Cabbott, hairstylist and owner of Artistry By LB. In addition to concealing grays and grown-out roots in between hair appointments, this spray also promotes overall hair health. The formula contains nourishing ingredients like biotin, pearl extract, and mica, all of which help to strengthen and hydrate strands to leave hair looking shiny and healthy.

Reviewers love how it adds shine to their strands without leaving behind chalky residue. “Finally, a root touch-up spray that looks natural, washes out easily, and doesn’t leave my hair feeling nasty,” writes one Amazon shopper.


Color Wow Root Cover Up



  • Dual-ended applicator brush for precise application
  • Non-sticky formula
  • Comes in 8 different shades


  • Some reviewers say it rubs off easily

If you’re looking for a reliable root touch-up that comes in powder form, this pick from Color Wow has you covered (literally!). “Color Wow root cover-up is a powder comes in many colors,” says Spino, noting that the water-resistant formula is “never sticky or waxy.” It comes with a handy dual-ended applicator brush that makes it easy for precise application along your roots. “This can be used to cover up areas where you are finer to make [hair] appear fuller,” Spino notes. “Some people feel they have more control with the brush.” Did we mention it has over 10,000 five-star ratings on Amazon?


dpHUE Root Touch-Up Stick



  • Comes with a dual-ended applicator brush
  • Easy application
  • Long-lasting


  • Pricey for the amount of product
  • Only comes in 4 shades

This root touch-up stick from dpHUE has a personal stamp of approval from makeup artist Bobbi Brown. “I cannot live without this,” Brown once said about the stick in a TikTok, adding that it’s “really great at-home hair coloring.” The dual-ended stick has a color applicator on one side and a blending brush on the other, making it easy to apply and blend the color to your hair. Reviewers say it blends well, lasts long, and is easy to use. “I like the sponge tip for blending it as needed,” writes one Amazon customer.


Clairol Root Touch-Up Temporary Concealing Powder



  • Lightweight and non-greasy
  • Easy to apply
  • Can also be used on brows
  • Affordable


  • Some reviewers say it doesn’t last long

For an affordable root touch-up powder that you can find at drugstores, reach for this popular pick from Clairol. Available in five different shades, the formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and blends seamlessly with your natural hair to cover up your grays and refresh your root line. It can also be used to define your eyebrows. Over 12,000 Amazon users give it a perfect rating, with one reviewer writing: “I’ve used many hair powders over the years but this one is my favorite. Easy to apply. Opaque but not heavy or greasy.”


Bumble and Bumble Bb. Color Stick



  • Super easy to use
  • Great for using on specific areas
  • Stays put and doesn’t transfer


  • Only comes in two shades (brown and black)

Thanks to its twist-up crayon form with a pointed, precise tip you can apply directly on specific strands, this color stick from Bumble and Bumble is especially great for targeted touch-ups. Reviewers say it looks natural, stays put, and is super easy to use—with one shopper swearing it’s the “best and easiest way to touch up gray hair in between color treatments.” Another reviewer writes, “This is the best coloring product that I have found for my roots in between professional coloring. I have curly hair, and I love that I can control exactly where the product goes unlike other forms of coloring.”


Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray



  • Great for blonde and lighter shades
  • Blends seamlessly for a natural look
  • Affordable


  • Some reviewers say application can be messy

This root touch-up spray comes in five different shades ranging from dark brown to blonde, but it’s especially loved by those with lighter hair for covering up grays while blending seamlessly into their natural shade. Even one of our favorite blondes, Christie Brinkley, once said she “literally lives” on this spray (in the dark blonde and blonde shades) in between hair appointments.

One Amazon reviewer also calls it their “holy grail” and says it “works magic,” writing: “The other ones always leave my hair with the weird greasy or gunky feeling...but this one goes on and looks natural, and it matches perfectly with my blonde hair. It has been hard to find a spray that will cover great in a blonde but this stuff does a perfect job...I’m buying this one forever.”


Madison Reed Root Touch Up + Brow Filler



  • Great for on-the-go touch-ups
  • Can also be used on brows
  • Comes in a wide range of dark shades


  • Pricey for the amount of product

This root touch-up powder comes in a wide range of dark shades, making it a great pick for darker hair types. With hair-nourishing ingredients like keratin, argan oil, and ginsend root extract, the formula blends naturally to cover up roots and even fill in brows. Not to mention, it also comes in a compact, portable size that’s perfect for on-the-go touch-ups.

“I have so much control over coverage and no more messy stains on my face from missing the target spot with other products. Once applied, the product stays on all day until I wash it off,” writes an Amazon reviewer. “It’s easy to throw in a purse or bag for days you find that stray gray when on the go!”

How to choose the best root touch-ups

Choose your preferred form. According to Spino, root touch-ups typically come in spray or powder form. Additionally, some products also come in a stick or crayon. “The powder form comes like an eye shadow palette, and you use a brush to apply to the area you are hiding,” Spino explains, while you can apply the spray form directly to the area you are trying to cover. A spray product may be ideal if you’re looking for more coverage, notes Cabbott. On the other hand, a powder, stick, or crayon may work better if you’re looking to cover up specific areas. Ultimately, Spino says it just comes down to your preference. “Whichever is easier for you to use is fine,” she says.

Find the right shade. “Root touch-ups come in many different shades from black to blonde,” says Spino. “Pick the shade closest to your color.” This will help make the applied color look as natural as possible on your hair. If you’re having trouble finding the shade that matches your hair color, Spino recommends asking your stylist.

Benefits of root touch-ups

Root touch-up products are a great way to temporarily hide your grays or grown-out roots “if you can’t get to the salon or if you are trying to stretch out time in between [professional] touch-ups,” says Spino. They can quickly and easily cover up your grays right in the comfort of your home; plus, some products even come in a portable, travel-friendly form that you can use while you’re out and about for quick, on-the-go touch-ups. Not to mention, at-home root touch-up products are a more affordable option than regularly getting professional touch-ups at the hair salon.

How do you conceal gray roots?

To cover up gray roots in your hair, Cabbott suggests using either a spray concealer, which she notes “will give more coverage,” if that’s what you’re aiming for, or a powdered substance using a makeup-like brush. If you’re using a spray, Spino recommends applying it directly in the area you want to cover. “After styling your hair, you should spray on the roots where you can see your gray coming in, usually on the part or along your hair line,” she says.

How often should you touch up your roots?

Cabbott recommends seeing your stylist for a professional root touch-up every four weeks. “Depending on how different your hair color is from your natural or how much gray you have, you should touch up your roots at the salon every four to six weeks,” agrees Spino. “Those who color their hair close to their natural [shade] and don’t have much gray may be able to go eight weeks,” she continues, noting that the more grays you have, the sooner you’ll need to color.

How we chose the best root touch-ups

We consulted Jenna Spino, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, and Laurabeth Cabbott, hairstylist and owner of Artistry By LB. Additionally, we combed through hundreds of online ratings, reviews, and product specs to find the best root touch-up products you can use at home.

Why trust us

For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Prevention also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.