With much of your social life on hold, your colorist may be topping the list of people you’d like to see right about now. Online life invites coworkers to peer into your home while you put your best face forward (even if you’re wearing PJs from the waist down). What do you do when your roots begin to show?
No need to scramble for box color and do it yourself; you simply need to get creative. Your best bet? “Clever camouflage,” says colorist and stylist Jennifer Covington-Bowers. Here are some tips to keep you looking fresh.
STEER CLEAR OF BOX COLOR.
Chemicals can get complicated and you don’t want to sour the chemistry you’ve developed with your colorist, whose work depends on predictable results. Residue from rogue color can influence the process, and if you don’t come clean about your own experiments outside the salon, you won’t get the results you expect either.
GIVE RED HAIR AND BLONDE HAIR SHADES SOME EXTRA LOVE.
Red – the most difficult color to achieve – is also the most fragile and the first to fade. Treat it with extra TLC, especially when washing to keep it vibrant. This means using warm, not hot water for washing and using cool water for rinsing. The same goes for blondes too if you’re seeing those rich golds fade to pale platinum. Finally, stay moisturized; parched hair is more porous and prone to fading. Dark roots? Read on.
KEEP THE COLOR YOU’VE GOT.
Semi-permanent hair color can last for up to 12 washes if you take care of it correctly. Proper color maintenance means using sulfate-free shampoo with each wash. Since you’ve landed here at Hairstory, we’d be remiss if we didn’t introduce New Wash, the “colorist’s soulmate,” and color-safe option. If you’re already a user, don’t stop now! If you’re not, this is a great time to start, because sulfate-free washing is your best friend to preserve color as long as possible – and conditions while you cleanse.
SPRAY ROOTS AWAY.
Unfortunately, nothing can stop hair from simply growing. When your true colors start showing, use ordinary mascara to blend gray, and any of your eyeshadow palettes might do a number of tricks. Or try a root touch-up kit, suggests Jennifer. Her favorite, L’Oréal Magic Root Cover Up is available in several shades, and, “it’s foolproof because it washes out.”
PLAY A DIFFERENT PART.
If your gray pattern allows, and some areas are less salty than others, place your part here instead of where you usually part. This can also help create volume; hair grows in a spiral outward from the crown and downward, which creates a suede-like grain. Hair lays flatter when styled with the grain and tends to perk up when going against it. Alternatively, Jennifer suggests trying a “zig-zag part,” which can be less severe and more distracting.
TRY THE VOLUME TRICK.
Creating volume when you style helps fill in spaces at the roots and draws the eye away from them. “This is a great time to play with curl and fabulously full looks,” says Jennifer, who also suggests trying a halo braid to cover your hairline. Use a volumizing root spray with your blow-dry such as Lift – the name says it all – or add some dry shampoo to really puff things up. Try Powder, which can also help soak up any oiliness.
WRAP IT UP.
Another solution is right there in your closet. Reach for the silks and tie a slim scarf around your hairline – both disguising and adding a dash of glamor in a dour time. Have some fun with those accessories you never quite get around to wearing, even if there’s nowhere to wear them but your next Zoom meeting.
TOP IT OFF.
Last but not least, try the tried-and-true topknot to cover roots everywhere but the hairline. This most utilitarian of hairstyles also has an illustrious history, so challenge yourself to take what you do without much thought and make it chic. Add the scarf and you’re good to go – or, stay, rather.