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Root Touch Up Sprays: How To Use Them, Plus Our Favorite One

photo of woman getting roots done at salon

PSA: Coloring your own hair can go wrong… *really* wrong (don’t believe me, read this). And, if like me you’ve reached that moment in the month when you’d typically be sitting down for your regular 3-week appointment, chances are good those grown out roots and grays are conjuring up your inner kitchen beautician and tempting you to take matters into your own hands. But don’t.

Sure, quarantine has given us more time to organize our drawers, finally read that book on our nightstand, and learn a few new skills—macramé, anyone? But, on the long list of new things to try during your newfound downtime, don’t let coloring your hair at home make the cut.

There’s a better way. A MUCH better, a much easier, and a much more fool-proof way to conceal grays and grown out roots during this exceptionally long stretch between appointments: professional-quality root touch up spray, like Hair Touch up from L’Oreal Professionnel.

DJ McGinley, L’Oreal Professionnel stylist and brand ambassador, shared exactly how this product works, how to use it, and how to find the best shade for your grown out roots, below!

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What is a root touch up spray?

While there are a number of root touch up products you can choose from (from powders to pastes) our pick for best application is a spray. These aerosol formulas contain a temporary hair color that helps to quickly cover up visible roots and gray hairs, much like makeup works to cover up any discoloration or blemishes on your skin.

L’Oreal Professionnel Hair Touch Up is a professional-quality formula that comes in 7 shades that seamlessly blend roots in up to 41 different hair colors!

How do I find the right shade of root touch up for me?

Each shade of Hair Touch Up can match up to six different shades of hair.

When it comes to choosing a color, McGinley recommends opting for one shade lighter than you think you need—particularly for fine or thin hair. Medium or coarse hair types should choose exactly their shade.

“I just find that finer hair really absorbs it a little bit darker or, under certain lights, you can see on fine hair how that color settled on the scalp and [clients] don’t like that,” McGinley says.

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Dark Brown/Black: Ideal for true black to darkest brown hair color in warm and cool tones.

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Brown: Ideal for dark brown hair colors.

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Warm Brown: Ideal for medium brown hair with warm, caramel tones.

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Light Brown: Ideal for lighter shades of brown hair with cooler tones.

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Blonde/Dark Blonde: Ideal for dark and to true blonde hair color with cool and warm tones

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Light Warm Blonde: Ideal for light shades of blonde hair with warm, golden tones.

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Auburn: Ideal for shades of red hair.

Not sure which shade is yours? Ask your stylist! Check out your salon or colorists Facebook or Instagram page and send them a message–they will know your hair color by heart and will be able to help you determine which Hair Touch Up spray is best for you.

How do you use root touch up spray?

Using root touch up spray is easy, especially thanks to the precision spray applicator on Hair Touch Up. "You just spray in the hair dry and it’s really simple,” McGinley shares. “My clients love it because it goes on dry. Just pre-section the hair where they want to see the color and they just spray it in."

Whereas coloring your own hair can take up to an hour when all is said and done, root touch up spray works in seconds! Making it a quick solve for visible roots during those never-ending video conference calls.

Start by creating fine, thin sections of hair near your headline with the aim of coating them in such a way that the product can cover your roots in every direction. Give your visible roots or gray hairs a light coat of the spray, holding the can 4 to 6 inches from hair. It’s that easy!

Armed with this root touch up knowledge, you have the freedom to hide your visible roots or even create an entirely new color look. With this product, it’s all about versatility. That’s particularly true because the formula comes in a range of colors from Dark Brown to Auburn and Light Warm Blonde. The seven shades have you covered, no matter your shade.

How long does L’Oreal root touch up spray last?

L’Oreal Professionnel Hair Touch Up spray lasts until your next shampoo, so you won’t have to retouch your root touch up each and every day…giving you more downtime to organize, read, and learn new skills that won’t cost a fortune to color correct.

Who should use root touch up spray?

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Unlike dyes or in-salon services, root touch up spray is a reasonably low-stakes product. It washes out right away, which means there’s little risk of messing up the application and regretting the whole thing. If you’re seeing unsightly regrowth or are worried your grays are showing, a root touch up spray is probably a good fit for your lifestyle.

But, covering up roots isn’t the only way you can use Hair Touch up. McGinley says there are several different ways to put root touch up spray to work in your life. In the salon, she uses it as a tool to show women what a shadowed hair color might look like. Since Hair Touch Up comes in seven different colors, she has the flexibility to create an approximation of the client’s prospective hair color.

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“Before I highlight [my blonde clients], I’ll take a light brown and I just spray it in sections on the hair,” McGinley says. “I give them 2 to 3-inch section of color and then they get to see a darker shadowed regrowth. The ends we just leave blonde.”

It’s not just in the salon that a root touch up spray can help you visualize a new color, either. McGinley says plenty of clients end up picking up a bottle of Hair Touch Up for home use. On days when they’d like to make fresh platinum more punk rock, they have the freedom to create a temporary visible root.

“I’ve been using [Hair Touch Up] as my staple in the salon so that [my clients] have options and they’re not committed to the shadowed regrowth,” the stylist adds. “They can have a shadowed or rooted look one day and then the next day they just wash it out and they can have their balayage back.”

It isn’t just women experimenting with new hair colors who should try Hair Touch Up, either. McGinley also recommends the product to women with colored hair who like to wear clip-in hair extensions. If you purchased a set of pricey honey blonde tracks shortly after getting your hair colored and are experiencing buyer’s regret now that you’re working with an ombre, turn to a short-term fix.

“I just recommend taking the spray and spraying about 3 inches of the extensions, putting in the clip-in extensions, and then [my clients] get the shadowed regrowth,” McGinley says. “They can just wash it out of the extensions—it comes right out, so they don’t have to buy all of these extensions.”

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