Dramatic hair changes are having a moment with people in many states still under stay-at-home orders: We're seeing pink hair, mullet cuts, even buzz cuts. Those with professionally-dyed hair, however, are dealing with the inevitable phase of growing out their roots. Luckily, grown-out roots are trending, require minimal effort, and have an inherent cool factor — just ask Dua Lipa, who has no problem hiding hers. But if contrasting hair colors aren't exactly your thing, there are a few easy steps you can take at home to hide your roots while many salons across the country are still temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you try dyeing or lightening your hair yourself, it can be hard to get the color just right, not to mention damaging to your hair if done wrong, and pricey to fix if you make a mistake. We’ve asked a few hairstylists for their tips on how you can minimize the appearance of grown-out roots using what you might already have at home.
"Avoid sleek, straight, and center-parted styles," says Moroccanoil hairstylist Bryce Scarlett. "The center part brings the focus straight to the root." Instead, try a deep side part. Whether you choose to do a left or right part, doing so has another perk: it helps give you the appearance of fuller hair. To lessen the color contrast even more, part your hair in a zig-zag style (as opposed to a straight line) and be light with dry shampoo if you use it. "Too much can amplify the appearance of roots," he says.
"Textured hair — meaning wavy, curly, kinky, or coily — is great for covering those grown-out roots," says Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, hairstylist and owner of TSD Hair. "The texture adds volume, which means it expands the hair and will camouflage it well. A twist-out hairstyle will do the job." She recommends applying TSD Hair Flower Extract Conditioner evenly on damp hair and leaving it on to reduce frizz. We also love the Aphogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-in Conditioner for this.
Have straight hair? Turn to tools to get your volume fix. Hairstylist and Tigi Copyright brand ambassador Andrew Fitzsimons says, "If you typically wear your hair down, try adding in waves using a flatiron, like the Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener." To style, bend in alternating directions as you go down the section of hair to make it look more natural.
Putting your hair up in a textured bun can also disguise the look of roots. "Prep the hair with tons of texture spray before creating the style," says Fitzsimons. We like the two-time Best of Beauty-winning Garnier Fructis De- Constructed Texture Tease. (Check out some more of our favorites here.) "Once you have your bun set, use a rat-tail comb to loosen sections in the bun to give it added texture where you want."
A high ponytail is another less-than-five-minute hairstyle that can do the trick. To achieve, "smooth your hair out as much as possible with a blowout and flatiron [with a heat protection spray such as this one from Beauty Works] and pull your hair back into a tight ponytail," says Fitzsimons. "I would recommend not adding any part for this look — just use a paddle brush to direct the hair straight back. Finish with NatureLab. Tokyo Shine Oil Mist to give your hair a glass-like, high-fashion shine." Can't get your hands on his favorite? Try any one of these hairstylist- and editor-approved hair oils.
Hairstylist Justine Marjan adds another clever idea: "If it’s not grays you’re hiding, wearing a variation of braids can weave your hair colors together to camouflage the harsh line as your roots grow out. This is also a great solution to grow out a cut or hide bangs."
If you'd rather leave your hair the way it is and just cover up your roots temporarily, there are products just for that. "Color Wow Root Cover Up is one of the safest ways to cover those stubborn gray roots," says Sturdivant-Drew. It's also an ishonest Best of Beauty winner. "It’s great to use when you can’t get to the salon and easy to apply yourself at home." Dust the product onto your hair with the brush included in the kit, and it will last until you wash it out with shampoo. You can also use mascara on your roots and match the color to your hair, she notes. "Or try an edge control color gel — put it on a toothbrush and brush it on your hair."
"Fortunately, you can now find amazing temporary root touch-up sprays at the drugstore," says Marjan, who personally uses the TRESemmé Root Touch Up Spray to cover grays. If a spray isn’t accessible, Marjan says eye shadow will also work. “A heavily-pigmented eye shadow in a shade darker than your hair color can temporarily hide roots between appointments.”
Without much effort, you can literally hide your roots with a headband. Marjan recommends elastic ones worn à la Brigitte Bardot. Consider the width of the headband and its correlation to how much hair you prefer to cover. If you don’t have an elastic headband handy at home, you can still work with what you’ve got. Sturdivant-Drew says to use a piece of material from something you don’t mind cutting up — perhaps a sweater, shirt, or pants — and then just wrap it around your hair.
"A wig is a great way [to cover up roots] because all of your hair would be braided up and you would apply it on top of a wig cap," says Sturdivant-Drew. "So, nothing is visible except for the hairstyle you picked. One, it’s stylish, and, two, it’s easy to put on yourself — especially while quarantined at home."
- The 7 Best Root Touch-Up Kits to Try At Home, According to Colorists
- Why You Should Never Bleach Your Hair (and What to Do Instead)
- Color Wow’s Root Cover Up Is the $35 Secret to Skipping a Colorist Appointment
Now, see how hairstyling tools have evolved over the past 100 years:
Read more on: hair
Start your journey to healthy skin in 2 minutes