Lockdown isn’t a time anyone likes to dwell upon, but there was the odd moment of levity while we were all confined to quarters. Like, for instance, the now-viral video of Eva Longoria desperately covering up her two-inch grey regrowth with L’Oréal’s Magic Retouch root concealer. Yup, even Hollywood superstars had to forego their usual professional beauty fixes.

Of course hair salons have long since reopened, but now we’re facing a whole new set of struggles to get in the chair. Namely, the cost of living crisis. Getting an appointment is the easy part; affording the appointment is another.

And if you’re somebody like me who’s holding severe greys at bay, you’ll know how costly the cycle of regrowth can be. Eva’s temporary fix works a treat for the first month, but then the band of grey becomes impossible to disguise. Paying salon prices every four weeks to keep on top of the situation just isn’t realistic when your gas bill has tripled overnight.

Eva used the temporary Magic Retouch in lockdown and now there's a permanent version too

With that in mind, the arrival of a new, permanent sister to Magic Retouch couldn’t have been better timed. Permanent Root Concealer costs under a tenner (£9.99 here in 5 shades) and promises to erase greys after ten minutes of developing time.

With five weeks' worth of regrowth creating a horrid parting tidemark on my barnet, I couldn’t wait to test it out. (After doing a proper patch test first, of course.)

I’ve used other root dyes (Clairol’s Root Touch-Up, £6.49 here, is a long term favourite of mine), but Magic Retouch is a little different. The dye and developer are mixed together in a bottle and then you click on your choice of attachment: either a tiny nozzle or a unique brush-style applicator.

Lynne was impressed by the result on her roots

I tried the latter which was pretty simple to stroke along the parting; certainly easier than I’ve made it look in the video where I’m looking into a camera screen instead of a mirror and can’t really see where I’m going. The formula is also impressively non-splattery, which was a bonus when I realised, far too late, that I was wearing a light-coloured pair of cargo trousers. Oops. Thankfully, they survived unscathed.

The instructions are to leave the dye on for 10 minutes, although L’Oréal does advise going for 15 if you have “stubborn greys”. (Pretty sure I more than qualify for that, since I’d estimate that I’m more than 70 percent grey at the parting these days.)

There's virtually no hairline staining after using this product

Having used the product three or four times now, I would say I definitely benefit from the extra “cooking” time, just to get the best coverage. The dye result is slightly less opaque than the Clairol alternative so you do risk minor show-through if you’re impatient and wash it off too quickly.

However on the plus side that means you get far less staining around the forehead and temples, and you won’t be scrubbing away at a tell-tale purple/grey hairline halo for the next few days.

Overall, I’m really impressed and I’ve stocked up whenever I spot a “buy one, get one half price” deal. Now I just need to speed up my shower regime so washing it off doesn’t rack up the energy bills…


By Editor