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Best hairstyles when your roots are showing

Roots can be sexy when done on purpose, but unless you’re rocking the ombre look, there’s no need to flaunt the contrast. Quit cringing at the thought of grow-out, and send your roots to rehab with these five need-to-know hairstyles from the best in the business.

Woman with headscarf covering roots

An undefined part

“When we think of ‘bad’ roots, what we’re usually referring to is a distinct part in the middle of the hair that resembles a landing strip,” says celebrity stylist Dan Sharp of Danka Panka Salon in Brooklyn. “The best thing to do when your salon visit is a little overdue is to create a soft, zig-zag part using a rat tail comb.” Wiggle the pointy tip of the comb along your part (about 1/2 inch to 1 inch on either side of the part) to blur the line, says Dan. This style works best on slightly damp hair, so you’ll need to use a blow dryer afterwards to keep the undefined part in place. To achieve the same look, brush hair forward during a blowout so it won’t fall into your natural part, suggests Adrian De Berardinis of De Berardinis Hair Salon in New York City.

Volume curls

When roots are showing, use a curling iron or hot rollers to create lift and curl, recommends celebrity hairstylist Laara Raynier. “The more volume and fullness the hair has, the less noticeable roots will appear.” When setting hair, direct it off the face (if only for a few minutes), adds Beth Minardi, hair colorist and co-owner of Minardi Salon in New York City. “This encourages lift and keeps the offending scalp area unexposed.” It also helps conceal telltale roots!

Messy bedhead hair

No time for styling tools? Try a messy bedhead look, suggests David Barron, owner of Barron’s London Salon in Atlanta. Apply a texturizing powder to your roots and shake your hands through your hair. Let the hair fall and then add hair spray. Smooth as necessary. “Anything too perfectly styled will emphasize that you need to get your roots done,” says David.


Celebrity stylist Adrian De Berardinis loves bangs because they cover the face and obscure roots. “My clients often stretch out color appointments thanks to bangs because bangs help make grays less detectable.” You can either bring bangs forward for a straight-across look or sweep them sideways across your forehead, suggests hair stylist Stacia Lance Gambrell of Lotus Salon in New York City. Side-swept bangs help to hide regrowth at the front of the scalp, explains Stacia.

Headbands & scarves

“If all else fails, dig into your closet for a chic scarf or headband,” says Mindy Coffey, stylist and owner of salon644 in Columbus, Ohio. This style looks great with hair down or pulled back into a clean ponytail at the nape of your neck. Use your accessory to mask roots fashionably.

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