There are a limited number of activities you can do indoors, and watching your roots grow in—on Zoom, in the mirror, and during FaceTime happy hours—is a distracting way to pass the time. But if the thought of DIY dying your hair to combat the problem feels even more terrifying than having to spend the next few weeks staring as the top half of your head returns to its natural color, we’ve got you covered. Literally.
In lieu of reaching for the boxed blonde, it’s a good time to lay off of the chemicals and let your hair do its thing. But instead of having to stare at the growth all day long, there are plenty of styles that can help you cover it up so that you can fake your professional dye job for at least a few weeks longer until you can get into the salon for a touchup. Here, stylists share the best hairstyles to cover up roots (and, bonus, greasy hair)… all of which you can do at home now that you officially have the time to learn how to properly French braid.
Hairstyles to cover up roots:
1. Embrace volume
“One of the best ways to distract from dark roots is by sporting a lot of volume,” says says Garnier Celebrity Hairstylist Millie Morales. If you’re using hot tools, curl your hair away from your face, which will help conceal the crown of your head. Or, if you’re throwing your hair into a ponytail or bun, loosen the area around your face by sticking a pencil or your fingers between your hair and scalp to add a little oomph. Products like dry shampoo and hairspray can also aid in pumping things up on top.
2. Get braiding
There are a zillion different braids out there worth testing out, and all of them will do their part to cover up your roots (plus, they hold better when your hair is dirty). One thing to keep in mind? “French braids will only work if you make them very loose so that the roots are not highly visible,” Morales. “Make sure not to start close to your scalp, so it shows less.” For some styles worth testing out on your own, try one of these tutorials.
3. Try a creative part
“Nothing calls attention to roots like a straight part at the center of your head,” says Morales. She suggests using your imagination and playing with the shape of your part by way of a middle split or a zigzag that will cover your roos. To make it look more modern (and less like you’re in a Limited Too ad from the ’90s), use product to create volume. “I also love to add a little bit of dry shampoo to the crown, like Garnier Invisible Dry Shampoo, to create instant texture and volume.”
4. Cover them with a headband
When the universe blessed us by bringing headbands back into our lives as one of the most popular hair trends of the year, it’s as if it knew we were all going to be sitting at home for months on end with no access to our colorists. “Headbands are perfect for hiding a few gray hairs,” says Morales. “It’s a simple and quick hairstyle you can use anytime, and will make you look and feel cute, fresh, and young.” Check out some of our favorite under-$25 options here.
5. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
Because who will be looking at your roots when you’re distracting them with cute accessories? One of your best bets, according to Morales, is a simple scarf. “Most people don’t realize how many unique looks they can create with a single piece of fabric,” she says. You can also pin your hair back with a glitzy clip or pop on a baseball cap and call it a day.
6. Throw it into a messy bun
If a more complicated style just isn’t happening, a tried-and-true messy topknot is a no-fuss way to mask those roots. “A sleek hair look will not hide and cover grey hairs,” says Morales. Keep it high and loose, and your roots (and your dirty scalp) will be truly invisible.
If you truly can’t stare at your roots for another minute (and these hairstyles to cover up roots just aren’t doing it for you), here’s what stylists want you to know before you try to color them at home. Plus, how to deal with split ends when going to the salon for a haircut isn’t an option.