For any woman over 50, gray hair is something we deal with practically on a daily basis — whether struggling to keep the silver strands covered or preparing to fully embrace them. At some point, most of us have grabbed a root spray to mask our graying roots — it’s a fast, inexpensive way to add color between trips to the salon.
“Some women come into the salon every three weeks for root touch-ups,” says Stefan Bianchi, head stylist at Bellezza Mondo Salon in New York City. “But when it’s impossible to get to the salon, or you simply want to stretch out visits, root touch-up sprays are a really nice option.”
So when this genius TikTok hack for using the spray showed up on our feeds, we were intrigued! What’s most surprising? In the video from @SalonPinkk (that has over 4 million views) the colorist applies a darker shade of Mikshake SOS Root Spray (Buy from MiklshakeHair.com, $27) — not to mask the grays but to create roots on an all-gray head of hair and help the client’s hair appear fuller!
“This inch or so of darker roots at the base of the hair adds dimension,” says Bianchi. “Plus it’s not just the color that creates the illusion — root spray also adds volume to the hair since the product has a bit of texture that gives the hair body, making it appear thicker.”
To recreate this effect yourself, spray root touch-up (in the color of your choice) in light, gentle bursts around the roots, taking care not to go more than 2″ past the roots, then use a brush or fingers to blend the color seamlessly into the hairline and the rest of hair.
Other genius uses for root spray
“While root spray is primarily known for covering grays, these days it’s also being used ingeniously even if you don’t have roots to color,” says Bianchi.
In fact, a quick scroll through beauty TikToks and you’ll discover tons of influencers putting these sprays to use in surprising ways from masking an ever-widening part or noticeable sparse spots as well as helping to make hair appear thicker and fill in your eyebrows!
Use root spray to mask thinning hair
“Root spray is a great way to fill in sparse spots for an instant confidence boost,” says Bianchi. “Whether it’s thinning hair or a widening part, a spritz of spray can help disguise these areas, so hair looks fuller.”
To fill in thinner spots, TikTok user @courtni..thompson spritzes AGEbeautiful Root Touch-Up Hair Color Spray (Buy from Amazon.com, $11.50) along her hairline and to camouflage thin patches on her scalp.
To cover up bald patches, TikToker @Truthfully1031 sings the praises of Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray (Buy from Amazon.com, $34) to cover up thinning at the crown of her head in seconds. What she loves most? How the root spray doesn’t weigh her hair down and instead feels just like a dry shampoo.
Use root spray to create thicker-looking eyebrows
“You don’t have to limit root spray to just the hair on your head,” says Bianchi. “It can be an effective tool for filling in brows, especially for those who have sparse eyebrows or are in between tinting sessions.”
TikToker @Maximeyescosmetic does just that by spritzing a root spray on an eyeshadow brush, then placing an eyebrow stencil over her brows to use as a guide before applying the color. She finishes by blending out the color with a spoolie brush to evenly distribute the color.
How to use root touch up spray to cover grays
TikTok also offers a treasure trove of how-tos when it comes to using the spray to actually cover your grays. If you’ve ever used the sprays you know how messy they can get — from spraying it on parts of your hair that don’t need it to getting the color all over your bathroom walls, floor or mirror as you spray. Thankfully, viral videos abound on mess-free ways to use root spray.
Tap the color on with a makeup brush
TikTok user @TheKerrieSmart enlists her makeup brush stash when applying waterproof REF Root Concealer (Buy from Amazon.com, $22) to cover her grays. First, she grabs a makeup brush and places a paper towel behind it before spraying the brush with root concealer. Then, she gently uses a tapping motion to add the spray directly onto her roots to blend in the color. This prevents the spray from getting all over your scalp and keeps the part line visible.
No brush on hand? Use a cotton swab
Grab a cotton swab and steal this trick from TikToker @RachelValentineHair: Place the cotton swab over your part before you spray on a cover-up spray, like L’Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up (Buy from Amazon.com, $9.83)—as she says, “That way your scalp stays clean, but your roots get covered!” So easy!
Lorraine Sullivan has always been curious, and once she realized being a journalist meant she could ask all the questions she wanted AND get answers, she was hooked! As a freelance writer she loves contributing to FIRST for Women magazine, regularly writing features about beauty and fashion fixes, ways to save cash while shopping and tips on how to take the best care of furry pals. After 21 years in New York City, she currently lives in the Heartland, in a house with her three children, spoiled cat Zuzu, and a big backyard where she’s always hanging up birdhouses and trying to cultivate the perfect pollinator garden. She also loves traveling with her family—they’ve visited places like Mexico, China, Australia and plenty of other places in between.Follow her adventures at https://www.instagram.com/rainbowdops
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