Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Color Wow vs Josh Wood – Battle of the Instant Root Touch-Ups

Instant root touch-ups I salute you! Grey hair is going to rock in 2015, by all accounts. Rihanna stunned with silver tresses at the Diamond Ball in December and metallic hair has featured again on recent catwalks.

But no matter how many beautiful celebs and models I see with silver and grey locks flowing behind them, it’s not a look I will ever aspire to. Grey hair is just not for me, full stop.  Spying a new streak of grey tells me that I’m losing my natural hair colour – that’s not something I want to be reminded of, particularly! 

My natural shade is very dark brown, with a hint of red. At some point I will start going lighter, no doubt. But for the moment, with sparse grey, I’m keeping to a salon colour that is as close a match for my natural one as is possible.

I visit my hairdresser every 8 or so weeks, doing a root touch-up in between. But conventional colouring at home is a pain – it’s messy and not especially easy to do. The arrival in recent years of the instant root touch-ups, though, has made things a whole lot easier - and cleaner!

Instant root touch-ups are applied to dry hair and designed to make covering up the odd tuft or two of grey a breeze.  Two of the most popular brands are Color Wow and Josh Wood. I’ve bought and used both. Now, let me get straight to the point: one I completely love; the other I absolutely loathe! I did say I was going to be direct!

Color Wow Root Cover Up - £28.50 for 3.1g/0.1oz

A dry mineral powder supplied in a single pan with a double ended brush and a mirror in lid.

-    Available in 6 shades, accommodating most hair colours (from platinum blonde to black)
-    A doddle to apply. Hold hair taut at the root, apply a small amount of powder to the brush, dab product on roots and work outwards along the line of hair re-growth
-    Easy to apply on the go with the mirror
-    Covers grey 100%
-    Blends seamlessly with my own hair colour (I’m using Dark Brown)  
-    Gives a matte finish (camouflaging the stand-out shininess of grey hair)
-    Powder stays put until the next shampoo
-    Palette lasts ages (I bought mine about 2 years ago, and it’s still going strong)

-    Comparatively expensive 
-    need to reapply after shampooing hair

Josh Wood Blending Wand - £12.50 for 28ml

A liquid root cover-up supplied in a tube with a large application brush at one end.

-    Available in 7 shades, accommodating most hair colours (from Light Blonde to Black)
-    Comparatively cheap

-    Boy this is messy. I found it difficult to get an even flow of product from the tube (sometimes it came out in a gush)
-    Impossible to apply without getting product on your scalp, leaving a very noticeable stain on the skin (as one dear friend kindly pointed out to me - argh!!)
-    I chose Dark Brown as it looked the closest match to my own hair. However, once applied it turned my grey a vibrant orange! I preferred the grey! Not good!
-    It’s a liquid and when dry it made the treated hair feel crispy
-    Impossible to apply on the go as too messy and no mirror
-    I didn’t test its longevity as I stopped using it the moment my friend pointed out the stains on my scalp – I can’t believe I thought no one would notice!

Final Words

No contest: Color Wow wins hands down! It may be more than twice the price of the Josh Wood but it’s worth every penny. Rarely have I disliked a product as much as this Josh Wood one.  If I was to give it another go (which I have no plans to), I would opt for the Black shade, which wasn’t available at the time I bought mine.

Color Wow Root Cover Up is available here and the Josh Wood Blending Wand at M&S here.



  1. This is so interesting. I haven't heard of this before and I will certainly keep a look out for it now.

  2. I need to try a root touch-up product to save me going to the hairdresser so often! I really like the look of the little brush on the Josh Wood one x
    Laura | A Life With Frills

  3. I don't get greys but I like my hair to be jet black and it is light brown at the top for some reason! I might try this :) x

    1. Ooh, never thought about that as an application. Let me know how you get on with it, if you buy. Tx

  4. I've never heard of these products before but they sound intriguing, will keep an eye out for them.

  5. That dry product sounds fab! I get to the salon monthly, but being able to touch up between visits would be great. T.

  6. Wow, that sounds so good! Honestly, for things like hair products, it's worth it to spend a little more for sure, if it means that they'll work better. I'm like you, gray hair isn't my thing either; it just seems so granny-like (on me).

  7. If only I knew I would get good results, I would put up with any mess. Most of the products fail on my hair, because they don't give me the shade that I want. I am using a hairdresser these days, but even they don't always achieve what I want. My last visit was a complete disappointment, I was left with some ginger coloured hair, which I have no problems in achieving at home by myself in half an hour, but after spending £131 and 3.15 hours at the salon I expected better results. I am desperate to find some product that I could use at home as not even salons get what I want..

    1. Oh crikey Min, £131! And not the result you wanted. Do you take a pic of the shade you're aiming for into the salon? I'm sure you probably do. There's a vast array of home colouring kits. The trouble is you don't know the result until you've tried and then if you don't like it you're stuck with it until it washes or grows out! I go to an Aveda salon and their colours are brilliant - plus they are natural, so are very kind to hair. Tx


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