I’m a Beauty Editor and I Use This £7 Hair Dye to Hide My Greys

POPSUGAR Photography/Lauren Ezekiel

Image Source: Lauren Ezekiel

If there’s one thing you can say to a hair colourist that will set them into a frenzy, it’s “box dye”. From uneven to patchy, to understanding the difference between semi and permanent colour, the risk of doing a DIY colour job is high. However over the years there have been times when needs must. Whether it has been not wanting to spend a lot of money or the lack of time, I have found myself caught short and reaching for a box of Clairol Root Touch-up (£7) in times of desperation. This handy little kit has seen me through many grey-induced hair mares, and I have picked up quite a good technique for ensuring it doesn’t compromise my salon colour, overall hair quality or indeed the skin around my forehead.

I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks I have gathered over the years as well as how to pick the right shade for your hair. Read on if you’ve got greys you want to tackle for a tenner, and see the results of how I gave my hair line a salon-worthy finish at home.

About Clairol Root Touch-Up

  • At-home permanent hair root dye
  • Development takes 10 minutes
  • Promises 100 percent grey coverage
  • What Is the Clairol Root Touch-Up?

    This is a small kit designed to only target roots and the hairline. In the kit you will get a small plastic bowl for mixing, a root brush, the colour and the developer. It also comes with a pair of plastic gloves to prevent any colour transferring on to your fingers. Before you use the kit it is recommended to do a patch test, do not skip this step as hair dye allergic reaction is no joke. For the test, simply dab a tiny bit of product behind your ear and leave for 24 hours. It is permanent hair dye, which means it will not wash out, so it is important to pick your colour correctly. Unlike a regular box dye, this product is designed to only be used in a small targeted area so it is not appropriate for larger grey areas or overall colour changes.

    How to Use Clairol Root Touch-Up

    Mix up the colour in the little bowl and when it is completely combined, set aside and prepare your hair into small sections. I would advise wearing either an old t-shirt or wrapping an old towel around your shoulders in case there is any dripping or splatters from the dye. Personally I don’t have greys along my parting, so I tend to brush the majority of my hair back and tuck the ends into a ponytail, before sectioning the front. My particular problem area is along the front of my hair line with one patch on my right hand side. Because the greys are concentrated in this area I always tend to start here and then add the remains of the colour to the rest of the hair line. The box comes with a small application brush, however over the years I have preferred to use an old toothbrush as I feel I can really control the coverage and capture some of the pesky flyaways at the hairline. I work the colour into the hair with the toothbrush, covering as much as grey as I can see. The box recommends leaving for 10 minutes however as I have quite dark hair I tend to leave it for more like 15 to 20 minutes. If this is your first time using the kit I would suggest starting with 10 minutes and seeing how your hair takes to the colour.


    Image Source: Lauren Ezekiel

    Whenever I use box dye I always have cleansing wipes on hand, this is to remove any dye from the skin or the ears. The quicker you remove this colour the better, as it will start to stain the skin.

    How Long Should Clairol Root Touch-Up Last?

    According to the box it will last around three weeks, however as I’m not a heavy shampoo user – I tend to wash my hair once or twice a week – I find mine lasts more like four to six weeks. It is perfect for in between salon appointments, especially if like me you tend to go for highlights rather than an all over tint when you have professional colour application.

    What to Consider When Using Clairol’s Root Touch-Up

    One of the key things to consider is picking the shade, for years I would always reach for dark brown, thinking this was my natural root colour. Although it may be my natural hue, this is not the colour of my ends or the overall colour of my hair. By choosing a lighter shade it doesn’t leave a mask of colour around the front, it also takes much easier to my greys and helps any random stragglers or strands in areas I haven’t dyed to blend in a bit more. I go for a light brown/dark blonde (shade six).

    Although this is a great temporary fix it will unfortunately not replace a professional salon colour and should only be used in between appointments. It is also not a good idea to make any root colour changes yourself as these can often go wrong.

    My Clairol Root Touch-up Results

    Image Source: Lauren Ezekiel

    As it is such a small amount of colour there will be some pesky greys that escape the dye, however overall I am very happy with the coverages as the majority have been hidden and the colour blended perfectly with the highlights at the mid lengths and ends of my hair. It is surprising just how much of a confidence-boost it is once you hide greys and I could feel myself holding my head that little bit higher once they were hidden.

    Where Can You Buy Clairol Root Touch-up?

    Clairol Root Touch-up is available in 16 shades and is available from Savers, Sainsburys, and Superdrug.


    Lauren Ezekiel is an associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, where she writes about all things beauty and wellness. With a degree in journalism and 12 years’ experience as a beauty editor at a leading Sunday supplement, she is obsessed with skincare, hair and makeup, and is often found offering advice to innocent bystanders. Her work has been published in Grazia, OK, Health and Beauty, The Sun, ASDA, Dare and Metro.

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