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Touch-up root hair color review

Some products cover gray roots better than others

Published: March 2014
Illustration: Marta Antelo

Professional hair coloring can be pricey, and some women put it off as long as possible. For those days before the next coloring, there are plenty of temporary concealers that are claimed to hide gray roots, then wash out in the shower.

In a small test, we had at least five panelists try eight of those products, picking the color that most closely matched their dyed hair, applying it to their roots, and scoring color matching, gray coverage, and ease of use. Panelists’ gray-­coverage scores matched scores our experts gave based on before-and-after photos.

Thinking about dying your hair at home? Check our hair dye buying guide to find out how to get the best results.

Bottom line. Results will vary for individuals, but panelists said all products were easy to use and at least good at covering roots. Oscar Blandi and Gray Away covered gray slightly better than others; and Oscar Blandi was slightly better than the rest at matching the desired color. Some panelists also praised Roux ’Tween Time. Most products covered well all day; TouchBack Pro was least likely to last.

Safety note

If touch-up sprays are used too close to the scalp and for more than 10 seconds or so, our tests showed, they can cause cold burn, a type of skin damage. Apply them in 2- or 3-second bursts, with the nozzle at least 3 inches from the skin, or as packaging directs. Use far from flames.


What we tested (in alphabetical order)

Product

Type

Price

Weight

Colors

Alterna Stylist 2 Minute Root Touch-Up

Brush

$24

1.0 oz.

4

Claudia Stevens Cover That Gray

Lipstick

6

0.15

3

Gray Away Root Concealer

Spray

10

1.5

3

Irene Gari Cover Your Gray 2-in-1

Brush

6

0.5

4

Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore Root Touch-up    

Brush

23

0.16

4

Rita Hazan Root Concealer      

Spray

25

2.0

5

Roux ’Tween Time         

Lipstick

8

0.33

5

TouchBack Pro by ColorMetrics Similar: Touch Back Quix ($15 for 0.13 ounces)    

Marker

30

0.27

8

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the May 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.


   

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