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3 Tricks to Make Your Hair Color Last Longer

by Martha Adams

There's something about a fresh color job that can make everything seem right in the world. That glossy finish and vibrant color can make a visit to the salon more cathartic than therapy. Take Sienna Miller's recently debuted red locks (above) for example, to see how easy it is to look—and feel—like a new person after a visit to your colorist.

The reality is that visiting the salon, or even making an appointment with a box of dye, the minute regrowth starts to sprout isn't always feasible. (We're talking those weeks when you actually have to chose between sleep and the gym.) The next best option is making your roots at least seem to disappear. In the meantime, you have these easy solutions—ranked from shortest to longest lasting—to ensure your color will always look seamless.

With the dry shampoo boom keeping hairstyles going for an extra day (or more!), it's no surprise that tinted dry shampoos and powders —like Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder ($36) and Rita Hazan Root Concealer ($25)—are now available in a range of colors. To use, shake the can well and hold it at least 10 inches away from your scalp when applying. "You can point the powder sprays to mask precise, specific areas,"says Charles Baker Strahan, Herbal Essences celebrity stylist who works with Christina Applegate and Kathy Griffin. Just one quick disclaimer: As the spritz is temporary, it can come off if you scratch your head or use a hair accessory, so handle with care.

In a pinch, hair mascara like Gray Disappear ($20) works to coat incoming hair much like the makeup does your eyelashes—and it's especially good for darker hues. The best way to use it? Backcomb hair at the roots to add volume, then pull your hair back into a bun or fishtail braid. "Then you can go in and get the hair you want to hide around the edges with mascara," instructs Baker Strahan. The fuller style masks gray or light hair more seamlessly than having a part, which can be very definitive and more severe.

If you've got ten minutes to spare, your first line of defense against roots should be an at-home color solution specifically made for new growth such as Clairol Root Touch Up ($7) that can last up to three weeks. Like regular DIY hair color, these versions can be found in the beauty aisles at your local drugstore. The key to these kits is that they pair permanent color with a precision brush so it's easy to target errant hairs when applying the formula. Not sure which box to choose? "If you have a good colorist they'll tell you what you need to look for," says Baker Strahan. Ask for buzzwords to look for on the box like "medium" and "light" as well as if you need to consider warm or cool tones in your hair.

Photo Credit: Getty

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