When it comes to hair…there’s usually a right way of doing something, and then there’s the real-life way of doing something. We wouldn’t call them shortcuts, because some of them aren’t. They’re more like tried and true strategies for scoring your best hair ever in the most efficient, most ‘a-ha’ ways possible. These hairstyle hacks will transform the way you do your ‘do. (A couple may just blow your mind as well.)
Our Top 20 Hair Hacks
1. Insert bobby pins wavy side down. In the game of keep-in-place, sides matter. The crimped side grabs and secures hair. The flat side keeps strands taut and flat.
2. Keep a travel spray bottle on hand. Tackle bedhead bangs (or flattened roots) with a quick mist of water, then blow dry as normal. No need to rewash. The water will give tresses—and day-old styling product—new life. It’s the ultimate lazy girl hair hack.
3. Spritz bobby pins with hairspray before sliding them into your style. The hairspray makes them a little sticky, helping them hold onto your mane as it dries. The result? Non-slip grip.
4. Tame flyaways with hairspray and a small, dense brush. Lightly mist a toothbrush or a kabuki makeup brush with flexible hold hairspray, then sweep over strays to target and smooth them into place without weighing others down.
5. Prevent side-swept bangs from falling into your face by teasing the roots. Use a rattail comb to backcomb the roots of your bangs in the direction you want them to fall. Lightly smooth the hair that rests on top for a polished finish. Another perk: it gives the illusion of volume for bangs that look full, not stringy.
6. Add cool-girl texture to bangs with a scrunch of volumizing spray. Work it in with your fingertips while blow drying to set the tousled, undone-hair-don’t-care effect.
7. Quick curl hair by starting with a high (and we mean HIGH) ponytail. Then separate your mane into manageable chunks and twirl around an iron. Take out the hair tie, and shake out your glorious waves.
8. Get mermaid hair in three simple steps. Spritz strands with a texturing spray, then separate hair into two chunks. Twist each section—twirled away from your face—into a long rope. Blow dry until dry.
9. Braid your way to waves. If you’re a flat iron junkie but want some bounce and body, try styling hair into multiple braids. Run a flat iron over them to set the bends with heat.
10. Control static with a dryer sheet. Glide it from roots to ends, or stick it over your brush for a quick fix.
11. Flip your head upside down while blow drying to boost volume. By literally making your hair stand on end while targeting wet roots, you’ll get sky-high lift.
12. Set your style with cool air. After you’ve finished blow drying, use the cool air setting to make strands chill in place and add shine.
13. Massage roots with mousse to revive flat, dirty hair. We’ve all heard of using dry shampoo, but mousse? You got it. Rub it in, then blow dry to revive volume that’ll camouflage limp, unwashed hair.
14. Don’t overthink a straight part—just do it. Speed is your friend when it comes to creating an arrow-straight part. Zip the comb from front to back quickly. Go too slow and your line will look shaky.
15. Squeeze in a hair workout. Blow drying can take up to 20 minutes, depending on the length, thickness, and texture of your hair. Make the most of that time by slipping on some wrist weights to muscle up while handling your brush and dyer. You’ll feel it.
16. For the most natural-looking curls, leave the last ½ inch of hair unwrapped from the curling iron. It’ll result in a fresher, looser, more modern style that’s still feminine and flowy.
17. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle post shower. Stay away from the paddle brush (which can cause breakage and split ends), and instead, enlist a wide-tooth comb to gently work out knots. For the path of least resistance, start at your ends and move up to your roots.
18. Apply hairspray with your hands. Spraying it directly from the can could 1.) waste product) and 2.) lead to over-spraying, leaving your style too stiff. Spritz it directly into the palms of your hands, then smooth them over your hair to get just the right amount of hold.
19. Brush out knots and loose strands pre-shower to save your drain. It’ll reduce what goes down and what gets stuck in your drain. Plus, your conditioner can then concentrate on nourishing, instead of detangling.
20. Manipulate a strong-willed part with water and heat. If you want to change up your normal part but have a hard time convincing it to stay put, wet it down in its natural position (hack #2 comes in handy). Use a rattail comb to create the new part, wet it down again, then hit it with heat to lock it in place.