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6 Tips for Hiding Your Gray Roots (Without Going to the Salon)

Looking to touch up your roots at home? Hairstylists say all you might need is a pot of coffee.

If you haven't chosen to embrace your gray hair, you probably mask the silver strands by dying your hair or getting it highlighted. And while this in itself isn't too difficult, the time between salon trips can get a little dicey if your roots start coming in. Luckily, this doesn't have to mean yet another expensive salon appointment. There are several simple fixes to help you hide your gray roots all from the comfort of your own home. Read on to hear from hairstylists about their best root cover-up tips.

READ THIS NEXT: How to Go Lighter to Cover Your Grays, According to Stylists.

Cover them with coffee.

Coffee Mug and Loose Beans

Coffee helps with a lot of things—energy, the ability to concentrate, and as a solution to gray roots poking through.

"Sometimes coffee grounds can stain gray hair just enough to help them blend into the rest of the hair," says Madison Dufour, a cosmetologist, barber, and founder of The Exquisite Find blog. She does note, however, that it's not a long-term solution and may not work if you have lighter hair. All you have to do is apply two to four cups of cooled coffee, mixed with some grounds, to wet hair and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it out.

And root concealer isn't the only hair benefit from coffee. According to a 2007 German study published in the Internal Journal of Dermatology, drinking coffee can help stimulate hair growth in men and women.

Touch them up with a temporary root concealer.

Rear view of woman dyeing hair in front of mirror at home

One of the most obvious ways to cover up gray roots is to touch them up with a bit of temporary root concealer that matches the color of the rest of your hair. As the name suggests, it's not a long-lasting fix, but it's one of the easiest ways to hide gray hairs without stepping into the salon.

"There are multiple different root cover-ups on the market to choose from," says Gabrielle White, a master hairstylist and the artistic director at Dash Stylists. "They have powders, spray, and color sticks. Depending on which you choose, the application will be slightly different but all are simple and can be done quickly."

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Secrets for Growing Out Gray Hair, According to Stylists.

Use henna on your hair.

henna dyeing gray hair on a woman's head
AxOst / Shutterstock

Just as henna is able to dye skin with elegant (and impermanent) tattoos, it can also temporarily stain gray roots.

Although it effectively covers gray hairs, there are some downsides to henna. "If any kind of chemical product (such as developer, highlights, or other chemical color) is applied to hair that has henna on it, it will have a bad chemical reaction, sometimes turning other colors," Dufour says. Be sure to consult with your stylist before going this route.

Try a new part.

Woman with long brown hair using a comb to part her hair
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

If your gray roots are starting to become obvious in the part of your hair, switching it up with a zigzag part might help conceal them.

"A fun zigzag part can conceal while also adding lift to the hair," says Michelle Jacoby, the owner of Sundance Salon & Spa in South Glastonbury, Conn. "It's easy, and the extra fluff gives you a natural body in your hair." Just take a comb wherever you want your part to begin, and move it in a zigzag motion to the back of your head.

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Put your hair in a bun.

A smiling blonde woman with her hair in a high bun wearing a button-down denim shirt.
PeopleImages / iStock

Instead of wearing your hair down where your roots are clearly visible, try putting it into a sleek bun without a part, which is not only stylish but helps to hide up those pesky grays.

"Apply a hair gel or pomade, then pull your hair into a high ponytail and wrap the ponytail around its base to form a bun, securing it with hair pins," White says. "With your hair pulled back it will make those new gray roots a lot less noticeable until you can find another solution."

Wear a hat.


The oldest trick in the book when it comes to hiding anything having to do with hair is to put on a hat. Large headbands are another fun option. "Choose whatever color or style fits your mood or is most comfortable for you that day," says White.

Erin Yarnall
Erin Yarnall is a freelance reporter from the Chicago area. Read more
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