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How To Do A Gray Hair Root Touch-Up At Home?

Learn how to do a quick and easy gray root touch up at home with Clairol!

root touch up
expert tips

If you have a full head of gray hair beneath your color-treated locks, you're probably familiar with that unwelcome feeling of having your gray roots start emerging in between hair coloring sessions.

Anyone with colored hair will get roots, but somehow gray roots or stray grays just seem that much trickier to handle and require more regular touch-ups to avoid them being visible. Of course, you can choose to embrace your gray, but there's also nothing wrong with coloring your gray hair - perhaps a red shade or darker color is just more you? We totally get it.  

The good news is you don't have to dye your hair constantly to keep your gray away. There are plenty of at-home root touch-up products for gray coverage in the Clairol portfolio, like a root concealer or color touch-up spray. They are ideal for quick fixes and for spreading out your color services.

Keep reading to discover all you need to know about gray hair root touch-ups at home. 

How long does it take for gray roots to grow?

Hair typically grows half an inch each month on average. Of course, every head of hair is different, so some people may find their strands grow slower than this, others faster. If your hair grows at the average rate or more, you'll probably find your natural colored roots are about an inch or so in length every 6-8 weeks. This means you’ll want to address your roots every 4 weeks before doing a full color every 6-8 weeks.

But don’t worry if you find yourself falling out of this cycle occasionally. A root touch-up spray or permanent gray hair concealer acts as the perfect in-between product for when a quick fix is needed. 

Are gray roots harder to cover than pigmented hair?

Gray hair is typically coarser than natural blonde, black, brown and red hair. It also produces less oil than pigmented hair and is usually drier as a result. Gray hair is harder to color for these reasons. Its coarser texture makes the cuticle layer more resistant and harder to penetrate. Nevertheless, it is possible for gray hair to be colored in the salon and at home. 

How can I touch up my gray roots at home?

It's super quick and easy to banish gray roots at home thanks to the Clairol Root Touch-Up range. With temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent options available, you can find a color and permanency that's right for you, whether that's a quick touch-up for a night out or a permanent solution in between all-over color top-ups. Our full range offers natural-looking coverage that's gentle on your hair. 

We've got you covered - literally. 

For a quick fix: Use a temporary color spray or root powder

Conceal or spray away your gray roots in seconds with a root spray or root concealer. They are the perfect products for when you need a quick coverage solution. The Clairol wide range of shades provides amazing coverage for gray hair - even those stubborn strands!

It includes: 

  • Root Touch-Up Temporary Refreshing Spray. With its quick-drying lightweight formula, simply spray your roots from a six-inch distance and go. The water-resistant formula will keep your roots intact until your next shampoo.
  • Root Touch-Up Color Refreshing Spray 2 in 1. For a hit of volume and gray root coverage, opt for our temporary hair color+volume root touch-up spray with Colorfill technology. 
  • Temporary Root Touch-Up Concealing Powder. Instantly cover gray roots (and shape your brows at the same time) with our multi-use powder formula and precision applicator brush — included with every coloring compact. The brush design allows for easy coverage and expert precision. 

You'll find black, blonde and a variety of brunette options within these ranges to match your exact hair color. 

For a long-lasting result: Use a permanent root color touch-up

If you're looking for a more permanent result that lasts until you're ready for your next all-over color touch-up, opt for a permanent solution like Root Touch Up by Nice'n Easy — the #1 Root Touch Up*. Available in a range of colors, it takes up to 10 minutes to achieve root perfection and 100% gray coverage! 

You can also try Natural Instincts Permanent Root Touch-Up. It offers 100% gray coverage with no ammonia or animal-derived ingredients.

How to use Clairol Root Touch-Up by Nice‘n Easy color

Once you've done your color matching, follow this simple five-step process for freshly colored roots and even coverage application:

  1. Do a patch test 48 hours before coloring
  2. When you’re ready to color, mix the colorant (#1) and developer (#2) into the bowl included in your kit and mix with the provided brush.
  3. Apply the hair color to your roots starting at your hairline and part, making sure not to miss any spots.
  4. Set your timer for 10 minutes (15 for stubborn gray).
  5. Rinse with warm water until water runs clear and condition. Done and done!

How to select the right root touch-up color

Whether you're using a root touch-up product on your virgin hair or finding a root touch-up product to match your dyed hair color, you'll need to choose a color that's most suited to your existing shade. If you are already using a Clairol hair dye, it should be easy to find your perfect shade match by either choosing the same shade name or by referring to the list on the side of the carton.

If not, you can use the shade swatch and color description on the box to best match our root touch-up products to your natural color. Each red, brunette, black and blonde color group consists of multiple shades to give you your best color match. 

How to care for your colored roots and lengths 

If you're coloring your gray hair, it's crucial to consider your hair care routine in order to get the most out of your color. 

Since gray hair can be naturally drier than pigmented hair, it's important to use nourishing hair care products to compensate for your hair producing fewer oils than it used to. Conditioning products tailored towards dry hair types will help to smooth out strands. It's also best to avoid overusing styling products like dry shampoo, as these will absorb the oils in your hair, giving gray hair a drier appearance. 

When you're ready to top up your whole hair color, it's important to choose a dye that's kind to your tresses. Our Nice'n Easy permanent hair color has conditioners at every step of the process and comes in a variety of hair colors. Our Natural Instincts demi-permanent dye is irresistibly moisturizing with aloe and coconut oil and a Brilliant Shine Conditioner included with every color kit.

It's never been easier to keep your roots and all-over hair color shiny and beautifully bright!

Have you just spotted your first gray? If you're not quite ready to embrace your gray hairs, why not check out our tips on coloring your hair for the first time.

*Among leading retail permanent shades and pre-formulated salon color. *based on units sold.

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