The Best Root Touch-Ups

Close-up of hair dresser applying chemical hair color dye onto hair roots in salon.

Buying Guide for Root Touch-Ups

Hairdresser applying a color tint to the brown hair of a female client using a brush applicator.

Why buy a root touch-up product?

Whether you have a few grays or a lot, a good root touch-up product can help you camouflage and blend your grays into the rest of your hair. Depending on the product type, they can be incredibly easy to use and can even be matched appropriately to the rest of your hair color for an undetectable finish.

What should you look for when shopping for a root touch-up product?

  • Application Method: Root touch-up products come in a variety of formulations. Traditional dye, mascara wands, touch-up sticks, and even sprays are the most common. Depending on your goals and how long you want the color to last, some options are better than others. For example, traditional liquid or gel dye which must be applied with a brush tends to last the longest because the dye must be washed out. While the application method can be more tedious, the longer results are worthwhile. Meanwhile, options like mascara and stick applicators are great for quickly camouflaging errant grays at the last minute.
  • Duration: If you need a temporary fix until you head to your stylist’s chair, then an option that can be quickly washed out might be preferable. Meanwhile, someone who manages at-home haircare may find that a longer-lasting solution is better.
  • Color Accuracy: Even though you’re covering your grays, that doesn’t mean you want to use an obvious color that screams, “I’m hiding my grays.” While color formulations can vary widely, it’s possible to find root touch-up products designed to blend seamlessly with your hair’s natural color.

Can you use root touch-up products more than once?

Similar to the application method and duration, you’ll want to decide whether you want a root touch-up solution intended for single-use or one that can be applied several times. Sticks and mascara applications are usually intended for multiple quick uses. Meanwhile, traditional dye applications usually can’t be used more than once as the dye can oxidize and break down over time.

Our Picks for the Best Root Touch-Ups

Pros: Not everyone is comfortable with at-home dye jobs. You’ll appreciate the easy application method with the Style Edit alternative if this sounds familiar. Designed as a powder that you can easily place using the included puff, this is a beginner-friendly solution for covering your grays. A bonus is that this product can also be used as a fill-in solution for thin hair. Choose from 10 colors.

Cons: While ideal for a short-term solution, this isn’t practical for someone who doesn’t want to have to touch their hair up every day. The product is designed to wash out easily, making it a temporary solution for a long-term problem.

Bottom Line: If you’re between salon appointments or despise the at-home dye experience, this powder fill-in and coverage solution is easy to use and offers quality results. Better still, if you are someone who keeps up with salon appointments, this product rinses out easily.


Pros: Ease of use is critical, especially if you’re shopping for a product that will have you finished and out the door in no time. L’Oreal’s spray-on formula makes for an alluring solution for those that are short on time. You’ll get a choice of 10 shades that are all water-resistant, quick-drying, and ammonia- and peroxide-free.

Cons: Only having ten shades means that, ultimately, some people will be left with hues that aren’t quite a match for their hair’s natural cover. There may be color transfer long after the product has dried.

Bottom Line: If you’re focused on a product that’s easy to use but can still wash out after a good shampoo, L’Oreal’s entry is a solid choice.


Pros: For those that feel like traditional powder or spray root touch-up products are imprecise, they’ll appreciate this mascara wand-style applicator that allows for more accurate applications. This dual-sided solution from Mineral Fusion is designed to give you the control you need, whether targeting roots or gray strands.

Cons: Although this pick offers better precision, the color range is more limited. You’ll only have four color options, which may not be enough for many people.

Bottom Line: The more-targeted application method will appeal to those concerned about making mistakes or experiencing excessive color transfer.


Pros: If you’re tired of brands that only offer a handful of color options, you’ll love that Clairol’s Root Touch Up is available in 30 different shades (although we know the one featured here only shows three). With that wide a range, it’s easier to find a color that matches. This is a permanent fix for gray roots, complete with a dye kit and root-tinting brush.

Cons: Those who dislike at-home dye applications will want to think twice as this product requires a traditional dye method. Meanwhile, keep in mind that this is a permanent color solution, so you won’t be able to rinse out the color if it’s not a match or you’re ready for a trip to the salon.

Bottom Line: If you need to cover grays completely and don’t have a salon visit on the horizon, then this permanent solution is ideal.


Pros: Sometimes you discover grays when you’re not home, and you don’t have all the time in the world to touch up those errant hairs. The EverPro touch-up stick is compact and easy to use, even if you’re using a mirror in your car’s windshield visor. You’ll get a sponge-tip applicator for a flawless finish and a formula that washes out.

Cons: While this is a great temporary solution for covering grays, the limited shade range is one of the biggest issues you’ll face. Also, the amount you get when compared with the price might make this a questionable purchase.

Bottom Line: For quick gray coverups when you’re on the go, this is a great choice that won’t sideline you with a tedious process.

Final Thoughts

While it’s great to embrace your grays, you don’t have to if you’re not ready just yet. A good root touch-up product should fit your lifestyle but still be easy to use. More importantly, it should offer a shade range that works with your hair’s natural color to prevent any apparent signs that you’re covering your grays.

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