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In a perfect world, roots wouldn’t show in between salon visits or at-home hair color sessions, and hair would grow in a way that blends seamlessly with your previous dye job. Unfortunately, real-life roots tend to grow in looking less than perfect. Whether your roots are sprouting up darker, lighter, or grayer, if you’re not ready to transition to your natural color and you can’t get to the salon or make time for a full DIY, reach for a root touch-up product instead.
Root touch-ups are a cost-effective way to help seamlessly blend your roots into the rest of your hair. “These products, formulated as sprays, pastes or powders are applied directly to roots and act as hair color extenders,” says Danusia Wnek, a chemist in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab. Temporary root touch-ups “can be applied in a moment’s notice, and are often compact enough for a purse or bag.” There are also permanent root touch-up products that consist of hair dye created to be applied specifically to roots, which takes less time.
When the GH Beauty Lab tests root touch-up products, our analysts seek out formulas that cover roots quickly and easily, plus blend flawlessly with the rest of testers’ hair without looking cakey, ashy or unnatural. The best root touch-ups should be able to last all day without flaking off or transferring onto your hands or clothing. Temporary root cover-ups should last until your next wash, and come out easily with shampoo. Read on for more details on the GH Beauty Lab’s top picks for the best root touch-up products for all hair colors, from blonde to brunette, black to red, plus best-sellers online shoppers can’t stop raving about.