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Right now, the centimeters of new growth that reveal your natural hair color may be the very last thing on your mind. If that’s you, I’m enviable of your moral fortitude and ability to shelve vanity in trying times. However, many of us opting to self-quarantine and eschew hair coloring services are wondering, how do I cover my roots at home? I know because I’m one of them.
Even though I’m working from home and no one, and I mean absolutely no one, is noticing/caring/even remotely clocking my overgrown roots, I see them. And in a world of chaos, the minutiae that you’re able to control can provide a sliver of comfort. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself with any *socially distant* manner in your wheelhouse, which is why I asked my longtime colorist, Stephanie Brown, for ways to conceal my roots with things I already own. Brown works with Kate McKinnon and a slew of other celebrities at the IGK Salon in Soho, NYC, and she replied with more than enough ideas.
Honestly, I’m impressed with her ingenuity, a surprising byproduct of a reality shakeup. Read on for her inventive ideas of how to disguise roots when you can’t (or won’t) get to the salon.
1. Opt for mascara on dark hair
If your hair is raven-hued, you’re in luck. Your mascara can lend the same similar glossy, dark tone to your roots as it does your lashes. “For darker hair mascara is a great option, it’s easy to apply and does a great job covering gray,” says Brown.
2. Brush brow gels on blonde or red hair
“Eyebrow gels (like Glossier Boy Brow) are ideal because they’re comparable to mascara, but come in many shades so blondes and redheads will have options,” says Brown. Sweep your brow gel around your hairline and wait a few seconds to see what it looks like as it dries down. At first application, the wet factor will make it look darker than it will after it dries.
3. Try eye makeup when you have time
That palette of everyday neutral shadows you just had to have? It doubles as an array of options for your best root coverage. “It takes a longer time to cover what you need, but eye shadow will also act a little like a dry shampoo,” says Brown.
4. Sprinkle baby powder on lighter hair
If your hair is very light or pale, you can reach for baby powder to absorb oil and disguise dark roots. The key: start off with just a sprinkle. “You want to start off with a little and add more, not the other way around,” suggests Brown.
5. DIY hair dye as a last resort
While she doesn’t recommend it, Brown says you can also dye your hair with all-natural ingredients. “You can’t predict exactly what color you will yield, so don’t do this if you’re very concerned about color matching,” says Brown. If you’re feeling adventurous, though, mix coffee grounds and conditioner and put it on your roots for about an hour. Redheads can also get in on the kitchen experiment fun. “For red hair, you can use beet juice and/or carrot juice mixed with coconut oil or olive oil,” says Brown. Leave the mixture on roots for 30 minutes to an hour, and voila. It might not be perfect, but it’s something.