We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Disguise Bad Roots

If you have visible roots, but no time to visit the salon, you can use a few tricks to get your roots to blend with your hair. Hair that is straight and smooth emphasises roots the most, often as a stripe of contrasting colour; thus, styling hair for lift or texture is one of the best ways to disguise roots. A little dark colour at the roots of a curly or volumized hairstyle just adds depth, rather than looking like grown-out colour. A favourite hair product of the 1990s, hair mascara is an even quicker way to retouch roots and give your colour a quick fix just before running out the door.

Loading ...
  1. Pull the brush out of the hair mascara tube with care, so that it doesn't get too clogged. Wipe it on a tissue or back into the side of the tube to get a clean brush coated with an even layer of product.

  2. Brush the mascara onto the root section using small even strokes. Apply it like this to blend the hair colour in rather than painting a thick layer of colour to mask the roots.

  3. Wait a few seconds for the product to dry, then check to see if any areas need a second coat. If any parts of the hair look painted, use you fingertips or a fine comb to even out the application.

  4. Wash and condition hair with lightweight products. If your regular conditioner is heavy, apply it only from the mid-lengths to the ends.

  5. Towel-dry hair and work a golf ball-sized amount of mousse through the lengths. Alternatively, you can use a volumizing spray just at the roots.

  6. Blow dry your hair in sections, wrapping each section around a radial brush. The round barrel of the brush will give extra lift to your hair while keeping it smooth. Curl the ends of the hair underneath as you brush so that it sits into a tidy, volumized style.

  7. Tip

    If your hair has a natural wave, blow dry it with the diffuser attachment on the hairdryer to give a boost to your curls. This creates a less formal style than blow-drying with a radial brush. If you are in a hurry, you can use curling tongs to create volume on dry hair. Curl several sections and then brush these through with a large paddle brush to create soft waves. You can even pin these up; just be careful that your pinning does not expose more roots. For a special occasion, set damp hair on large rollers before blow-drying out as normal. This gives your hair extra lift and bounce.


    Never attempt to use a semi-permanent colour to blend in roots on coloured hair. This will adhere differently to the dyed and natural parts of the hair shaft and could result in more permanent patches of uneven colour.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Hair mascara in a shade close to your hair colour
  • Hair dryer
  • Radial brush
  • Volumizing blow-dry product such as mousse or root-lift spray
  • Curling tongs (optional)

About the Author

Shefali Choudhury is a qualified make-up artist and nail technician, with more than 12 years experience of professional makeup in beauty, film and theater. She graduated in fine art from Central Saint Martins and has been writing professionally since 2007.

Loading ...