Sometimes the stars align and you have a good hair day without having to do much at all, but most of the time good hair takes some maintenance. Fortunately, you can keep that maintenance relatively minimal with these hairstyling hacks. Streamline your hair routine with the 30 tips below.
1. Tame frizz with a toothbrush and hairspray.
Using hairspray to control frizz is a delicate balancing act: use too little and it doesn’t make much difference, but spray too generously and you’ll end up with unpleasantly stiff hair. In order to make sure you have just the right amount to tame frizz, spray an old toothbrush with hairspray and run it over those pesky flyaway strands. It’ll hold your hair in place without turning it into a helmet.
2. Braid wet hair for curls in the morning.
If you want to avoid using a hair dryer or curlers, try braiding your hair after your shower at night (either a series of small braids or one French braid, depending on your hair type and desired style) and leave the braids in while you sleep. In the morning, undo the braids, spritz the resulting waves with a little texturizing spray, and scrunch with your hands to get bouncy waves.
3. Volumize your hair with the two ponytail trick.
To make your hair look longer and fuller, pull the top half back and put it in a ponytail. Then gather the remaining hair into a lower ponytail. The top ponytail will hide the lower hair tie, making it look like you have one long, high ponytail.
4. Use a boar bristle brush for shine.
According to Charles Baker Strahan, the celebrity hair stylist for Herbal Essence, running a boar bristle brush through your hair while you blow dry will help move natural oil from your scalp to your ends. That means that you’re naturally taming your hair and giving it more shine.
5. Use dry shampoo before you go to bed.
If your hair needs a wash but you know you won’t have time to do that before work or school in the morning, apply dry shampoo before your head hits the pillow at night. The shampoo will work itself into your strands overnight, resulting in clean, healthy-looking hair in the morning.
6. Try hair extensions for temporary added length and color.
If you’ve got mid-length hair and want to add length and color for a special occasion, try clip-on hair extensions (ombre is a good color choice if you’re a brunette). They’re not ideal for long-term use, but they’re an inexpensive and convenient option if you want longer hair every so often.
7. When curling, start with the middle of your hair.
To get full, long-lasting waves using a curling iron, start from the middle instead of the end of your hair. This helps your hair stay wavy for longer.
8. Keep your bobby pins in place with hairspray.
If you have sleek, straight hair that bobby pins usually slide right through, spread out your bobby pins on a towel and spray them with either hairspray or dry shampoo. Carefully pick up the towel by the corners and shake it a bit in order to evenly distribute the hairspray or dry shampoo on your bobby pins, then style your hair and rest easy knowing the bobby pins won’t slip out.
9. Use aluminum foil to help curl straight hair.
For anyone whose hair has trouble holding a curl, try dividing your hair into segments, curling each segment around your finger, and folding it up into aluminum foil squares (the size of the squares will depend on the size of the waves you want). Heat each piece of foil for about 20–45 seconds, wait for the foil to cool, and remove. Use hairspray to hold hair in place if necessary, but in many cases, you’ll find that the curls hold all day.
10. Get your hair style to stay using cool air.
When you’re styling your hair, don’t just rely on warm air from your blow dryer. Set that blow dryer to cool and alternate between warm and cold air in order to best set your style.
11. Pat moisture out of wet hair with a towel.
When you get out of the shower, gently pat your hair with your towel to get out extra moisture. Don’t rub your hair with the towel—this leads to frizz.
12. Leave the last half inch of hair unwrapped when curling.
If you’re curling straight hair, leave the last half inch of hair out of your curling iron to get a more natural-looking, modern look.
13. Create the illusion of bangs.
You can create the look of bangs without the permanency of cutting your hair simply by splaying your ponytail on top of your head (watch this video tutorial to learn how).
14. Get volume overnight.
Wash your hair the night before you want to get a voluminous look, add a little volumizing gel, and twist it up into a bun on top of your head before you go to bed (wear a beanie over your hair if you’re worried about frizziness). The next morning, blow dry your hair while still in the bun for a couple minutes, then let your now-bouncy hair down.
15. Use the ponytail trick for quick curls.
If you want curls but don’t have a lot of time, put your hair into a ponytail and curl it by dividing your hair into just two or three sections and wrapping them around your curling iron. When you’re done, just let your hair out of the ponytail.
16. Prop your ponytail up with bobby pins.
If you really want to make your ponytail pop, just place two bobby pins so that they start above and go through your hair tie, pointing towards the nape of your neck.
17. Another trick to getting a fuller ponytail: Use a butterfly clip.
Just place a medium-sized butterfly clip underneath your ponytail and over your hair tie in order to instantly get a fuller look.
18. Create the perfect twisty bun.
Create a twisted bun quickly by simply dividing your hair into two low pigtails, braiding those pigtails, then wrapping those braids together and securing them with bobby pins at the back of your head.
19. Keep your hair out of your face with a partial braid.
Take a small section of hair starting at your forehead, braid it, and tuck it behind your ear. Bonus: If you haven’t shampooed your hair in a couple days, it’ll be even easier to get the braid to hold without a bobby pin.
20. Create a bobby pin triangle.
If you’re partially pulling your hair back with bobby pins, choose pins that contrast with your hair color and pin them into a triangle to give yourself an instant hair ornament.
21. Flat iron your braids to get curls.
If you don’t have time to intricately curl straight hair, separate your hair into six or so braids and then heat the braids with a flat iron. Undo the braids, and you’ll now have curly hair.
22. Use your hands to apply hairspray.
Instead of just spraying around your head with reckless abandon, spray a bit of hairspray on your hands and run them through your hair to fight flyaways without getting an overly stiff look.
23. Boost your roots.
If you have thin, straight hair, give yourself more volume by flipping your hair upside down and blow drying from the roots while wet.
24. Get bangs out of the way with a French braid.
Growing out your bangs? French braid them to get them out of your face.
25. Use the half-up hairstyle for any hair type.
Whether your hair is straight or curly, thick or thin, you can get a quick elegant look by pulling the front part back for a half-up hairstyle.
26. Make creaseless hair ties.
Make your own creaseless hair ties so that you can wear your hair up during the workday, then take it down without having any awkward hair tie lines.
27. Curl with a headband.
Get curls without using heat by wrapping long, wet hair in a headband overnight, then simply taking down in the morning.
28. Or curl with socks!
No curling iron? No problem. You can wrap your hair up in socks to get the same wavy look.
29. Create the illusion of a bob.
If you have long hair that you don’t want to part with, you can still create a faux bob by doing a low, loose braid at the nape of your neck and securing the braid at the back of your neck (if you have straight hair, you may need to loosely curl the rest of your hair to make this look work).
30. Know your brushes.
Last but not least, understand the purpose of different brushes. Large round brushes are for straightening, small round brushes are for adding curl and volume, and paddle brushes are for smoothing.
Featured photo credit: Rachel A.K. via flickr.com