Your Best Hair Day

When your hair looks great, it’s an instant confidence-booster. It doesn’t happen every day, of course—but when it does, you might find yourself walking a little taller, smiling a little more or feeling inspired to make special plans, like a night out with your spouse. Conversely, a bad hair day—whether due to undesirable weather, a styling snafu, a night of tossing and turning on your pillow, or other scenario—can be pretty frustrating and, oftentimes, make you want to throw on a baseball cap and give up.

While a weekly (even monthly) visit to the salon may help hair “behave” more often, that trip is unrealistic for most. So, when your tresses are in trouble, consider the following advice. We can’t promise a perfect ‘do 24/7, but these suggestions should help improve the relationship you have with your hair from morning to night.

If you’re dealing with flatness…
A number of scenarios can lead to your strands looking limper than you’d like. Some may be obvious—wearing a hat, trying a new (and heavy) styling product. Others may not be as clear—using too much shampoo or conditioner (residue may remain even after rinsing), not getting enough “lift” at your roots when you dried your hair. Before going the ponytail route, tease your hair at its base with a small boar bristle brush, then smooth over the top with a fine-tooth comb. This method can add a lot of volume instantly, and is a great technique even if you do decide to wear your hair in an updo. Dry shampoos and powders will also add lift at your roots. Or try using Velcro rollers: Roll up, spray with hairspray and wait a few minutes before removing them.

Bonus tip: If flatness is a regular hair woe for you, try blow drying your hair with your head upside down, which helps “train” your strands to stand up at the root.

If you’ve got flyaways or frizz…
No matter how good your locks look when you leave the house, there never seems a way to escape the hair havoc caused by a humid or rainy day. To reverse inevitable wayward strands and frizz, keep a silicone-based serum—which coats and controls hair, and acts as a humidity repellant—at the ready. Rub a few drops between your hands and smooth it over the middle and bottom sections of your hair, avoiding the roots if your hair isn’t particularly thick or textured (to prevent flatness). If your hair is curly and you’ve applied a styling gel or mousse, you might try reactivating the product by wetting your hands and “scrunching” your curls. Finally, using an anti-frizz hairspray can help tame tresses and lock in your style to prevent further frizz from developing later on in the day.

Bonus tip: Opt for an ionic hairdryer. This type of blower compress the hair’s cuticle, which helps block frizz-inducing moisture.

If you can’t calm your curls…
Taming unruly ringlets and waves can be a tall task. If your spiraled strands are not cooperating when you wake up in the morning or after a windy walk midday, try wrapping them around a two-inch curling iron or wand to regain their shape. Or apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner to “coat” them with extra moisture (you can also apply it after you shower, helping curls lay calmly as hair dries). To really get ahead of tendril trouble, use a deep conditioning treatment every two weeks.

Bonus tip: Try not to touch your hair too much as it dries, which disperses the curls and causes the same frizz-inducing friction as a brush.

If your roots are oily…
Even if you’ve just washed your hair, oily roots can make your locks appear dirty and feel less-than-fresh. What’s more, they can create styling dilemmas, making strands too slippery to stay in an updo or too wet-looking to leave down. A quick solve: applying dry shampoo, which is a powder-like product that you spray directly onto roots to absorb oil on contact.

Bonus tip: No dry shampoo on hand? You can always use a bit of powder or cornstarch to absorb the oil. A little goes a long way—an important reminder to those with darker hair, which can look white if you use too much.

If your strands are especially dry…
Brittle, parched locks can be tough to work with and are prone to breakage. Quench dryness by stashing a small bottle of hair oil in your handbag or desk drawer so you can add some moisture to your hair at any time during the day. Additionally, consider a heat protectant spray for when you dry or style your hair with heat tools like a blowdryer, flat iron or curling wand, to prevent further moisture loss.

Bonus tip: A 10-minute hydrating hair mask in the shower can help smooth dryness and make locks easier to style. Look for masks with moisturizing ingredients, such as argan and coconut oils.

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