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The 9 Best Ways To Cover Those Grays Our Kids Keep Giving Us

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Woman applying oil onto hair on grey background, closeup. Baldness problem
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Whether you’re noticing an increase in grays due to aging, stress, kids, or stressful kids aging you, gray hair is a totally natural, inevitable part of life. There’s no shame in the gray game, but if you feel the urge to cover up those roots every now and then, the best ways to cover gray hair can help transform your strands without breaking the bank. These days, there are plenty of easy, quick, at-home solutions you can try that cost way less than going all-in at the salon.

Root touch-ups come in all different colors and forms, so you can choose between creams, liquids, powders, crayons, and more. And while they won’t permanently color your roots, or reverse the graying process, these touch-products can give you a quick fix to spruce up your color, extend time in between home or salon dye jobs, or just handle strays that pop up here and there.

Ahead you’ll find nine different products that can temporarily and effectively cover up your gray roots with minimal effort on your end. Most of them are quick to apply and portable, too, making them great on-the-go options when you only have a few minutes in between school drop-offs and pick-ups or the million other errands you already have on your list.

Because while it’s true that kids give you lots of things — love, laughter, macaroni art… and gray hairs — it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with ‘em. The gray hairs, that is.

01

A Creme To Tackle Even The Most Stubborn Gray Hairs

With 20 different colors, you’re bound to find a shade to cover up your grays (or try out a new hair color). The cream formula includes ceramide, keratin, and collagen to nourish and protect your while it colors, giving you a fresh, healthy-looking ‘do.

Helpful Review: “[...]The box says it's made for dark hair with 100% gray coverage, which I found intriguing. I tried it, I loved it! It's the perfect natural looking shade for me! The gray coverage is great, the color remains true and does not fade or turn brassy. The product is thick and not drippy or messy to use. There is a strong odor during the curing time.”

02

Some Root Touch-Up Powder For Those Quick Fixes

If you don’t have time for a full dye and just need a quick touch-up, this powder will color your roots with a simple swipe using the sponge applicator. The little circular sponge lets you sweep the binding powder from your roots on down. The compact container is travel-friendly and has a mirror inside, so you’re never far away from a hair refresh. Available in 10 colors and backed by more than 2,900 positive reviews on Amazon, this powder is worth trying for those time-crunched days (isn’t that every day?).

Helpful Review: “This product works much better than others I have tried. I have black hair that I color ash blond at home. This product not only covered my black roots but also my gray hairs. It takes 3 min and stays until next wash.”

03

This Best-Selling Formula For Spraying Your Grays Away

When a hair product has more than 49,000 ratings on Amazon, it’s definitely worth an “add to cart!” This spray, which is lightweight and covers up grays in a few seconds, is ammonia- and peroxide-free, suitable for all hair types, and is a great temporary solution in between shampoos. Plus, it won’t leave any sticky residue on your scalp or your fingers, although some reviewers recommend wearing gloves to avoid any discoloring. Choose from 10 colors.

Helpful Review: “I have been wanting to use this product for a long time and finally ordered it. It’s amazing! Just a short burst of spray and the white is gone! I was also wondering how it would feel after drying but lo! It felt as soft as my natural hair. A very convenient product. [...]”

04

This Wand That’s Like Mascara, But For Your Roots

This handy root cover-up tube is about the same size as a tube of mascara, making it compact enough to toss in a small bag or even a pocket. There are five colors ranging from medium brown to jet black, as well as two sets that pair the bristled brush with a cover-up stick. The bristled brush makes it easy to do small touch-ups on your roots, and the water-resistant formula has jojoba oil to moisturize. It simply washes out with shampoo when you’re done.

Helpful Review: “I love this stuff!!! I've tried similar products but this one takes the cake. It goes on smooth and easy and instantly covers my gray. I use it in between my colorings to lengthen the time between dye jobs. This product also gives a little hold, which I like.”

05

An Award-Winning Powder To Hide Grays (That’s Even Waterproof)

Waterproof, smudge-proof, and fade-resistant, this mineral powder will give you long-lasting color coverage on any pesky grays (you can even swim with it on). Press the powder wherever you want to hide some grays, and enjoy a good hair day. It’s available in eight colors, and it has earned its rightful spot in Allure’s Best of Beauty Hall of Fame.

Pro tip: reviewers say it doesn’t stick as well on super clean or wet hair.

Helpful Review: “I have been using this product for years so I don't need to go to the salon as often. [...] It's easy to use, doesn't come off on your clothes or your pillow. It stays in my hair until I wash my hair which is every other day. I would definitely recommend this and I have sent the link to friends more than once!”

06

A Brush To Provide Targeted Touch-Ups

You probably already carry a Tide pen to clean up stains on your or your kids' clothes (or likely both), so you might as well throw in a pen to clean up your roots too. This angled brush is designed for targeting temples and scattered grays, and blends and dries quickly, so you can get back to dealing with bigger messes. The formula is free of peroxide, ammonia, and synthetic dyes.

Helpful Review: “This works so well for flyaway grays! The tube is small and it requires a few clicks to get enough from the tube for good root coverage. I usually have 2 awkward weeks before my hair is professionally dyed and this is a great solution. [...]”

07

A Powder That Sticks To Your Roots Like A Magnet

You won’t have to worry about coloring your roots only to have them mismatch the rest of your hair. This powder self adjusts to blend with your tresses, according to the brand, and it has a unique binding formula to attach to each hair strand (like a magnet, per its name). Use the included sponge applicator to coat your roots for seamless coverage. Choose from two shades.

Helpful Review: “Grays disappear with one stroke of the sponge applicator and it stays all day. Using a light touch seems to work best and it does go away overnight, but I'm finding this product very handy and a lot more natural-looking than the aerosol sprays.”

08

An Easy-To-Use Hair Crayon That Looks So Natural

This lush color stick helps hide grays without running, bleeding, or hassle. It works almost like a crayon, so you can color and fill in where needed, and temporarily extend your dye jobs with ease. It won’t weigh your hair down, and you also don’t have to wait for anything to dry.

Helpful Review: “This product is a dream-come-true for touching up gray hair between color treatments. [...] It is more of a solid powder than a cream product, so it provides coverage without adhering to the hair in a way that interferes with the coloring process. I have not had any issues with durability or spreading to my clothes, and my hairdresser praises it. [...] It is a bit pricey, but the stick has lasted for well over a year and is of great quality. It truly looks natural and adds a bit of lift as an added bonus. It is weightless and does not add a feeling of the hair being "dirty." This may be one of the best beauty products I've ever purchased [...]”

09

Some Liquid Hair Color That Stays Put

This liquid root touch-up has no harsh chemicals, ammonia, or peroxide, so you can be comfortable putting it directly on your scalp. The liquid color comes in eight different shades and bonds to the hair so it won’t flake or rub off, and the soft wand applicator makes it easy to blend. There’s also an included comb to help you handle temples and the hairline, and each bottle delivers up to 40 applications.

Helpful Review: “This is the only product I’ve found that actually covers my abundant grayroots between salon appts - AND doesn’t feel sticky, look dull and heavy (like most sprays and other brush ones) or run in the rain! Great product even if a little pricey [...]”