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If you’re faithful to your favourite hairstylist, you know that your monthly hair appointments were one of the first things cut as the world shut down under quarantine. And thus, the quarantine roots were born.
While some have taken to doing dye jobs on their own, others have learned to embrace their natural hair colour or found creative ways of covering up their greys until salons opened up again.
“Natural hair is definitely having a moment right now,” Jaymi Smith, a hairstylist at Atelier Hair by Cavana Ridge in Orillia, Ont. says. “We’re stepping away from the ‘six-week appointment’ root to a move ‘lived-in’ result.”
Salons have opened back up, and Smith has been running into issues with at-home hair attempts.
“I'm all for people getting creative but it can be challenging when clients believe they've been maintaining their hair when in reality they've created a scenario where some serious colour correction work needs to be done,” she says.
But for those who are uncomfortable or unable to get back in touch with their fave stylist, there are options that don’t include permanently damaging your hair.
Braiding your hair
“I love a braid for hiding your roots,” Smith says. “Instead of braiding your hair completely off your face, leave your front fringe area out of the braid so the contrasting line isn't as visible.”
Changing up your hair part
Smith says that bidding adieu to bone-straight lines is the way to go. “If there are no straight lines, the eye is distracted,” she says. She recommends a zig-zag part to help conceal roots.
Tousle or curl your hair
Soft waves, a natural curl or tousled hair can help conceal roots, too. “Anything but a straight line going down the middle of your head,” she says.
The most important thing to remember is that your roots are never as “bad” as you think, she says. “There are so many more options out there that no one needs to be tied to an appointment every two to three weeks.”
If hair styling isn’t your cup of tea, there’s an entire beauty industry full of products for that. Shop some of our favourites below.
With more than 1,200 positive reviews on Amazon, it’s clear to see why the L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up Concealer is one of the most popular options for temporary grey coverage. The cover-up spray comes in a variety of shades, from blonde to true black and everything in between.
“Since COVID-19 have been unable to get blonde highlights. Been debating about doing my own highlights until I tried this product,” one shopper wrote. “I had mixed dark and lighter roots growing in. I sprayed this on as per directions and I think it looks great!”
The only downside, as some reviewers pointed out, is the somewhat tacky residue left behind. But there’s no denying this product is great in a pinch or for between colours.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $11
It may look like a mascara, but this one it’s for your eyes! With a few strokes of the brush, you can conceal those pesky greys and tame your baby hairs all at once. This product is especially great for your front hair line and temples, where most people go grey first.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $26
For more natural coverage, a powder might be your best bet. This fill-in powder by Colour Your Grey comes with two different shades, an applicator brush and a compact mirror for on-the-go filling in. It’s rain- and sweat-proof, so you don’t have to worry about it dripping off.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $12
Touch up your grey hairs on the go with this lipstick-like colour stick. This product is perfect to throw in your purse or clutch. One of the original Cover Your Gray products, this product is perfect for taking abroad and comes in eight different shades.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $18
SHOP IT: Amazon, $39
This colour market product is ideal for seamless colour transitions between getting your roots touched up. Unlike some sprays, powders or mascaras, this product promises not to flake or rub off. Better yet, it contains no harmful chemicals like ammonia, peroxide or airborne particles.
If you just have a few unruly greys, this more targeted L’Oreal product might be better for you. This product is powder and a brush in one and boasts more than 450 positive reviews on Amazon.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $12 (originally $14)
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.