Dealing With a Bad Hair Day

Crystal Schwanke
Bad Hair Day

Who doesn't hate waking up to a bad hair day? Everyone occasionally wakes up to find that her hair just won't behave the way it should. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the challenge of misbehaving hair with styling or accessories (and they don't all involve a hat!).

Hairstyles Solutions

Unless you have a cropped, wash-and-wear style that is meant to do its own thing, you're going to have the occasional bad hair day (and you may even still have one or two with a crop!). You don't have to hide out, feel self-conscious all day, or wash your hair and start all over again. There are styles that look so good, people will never suspect they're a last resort after a few failed attempts to tame those tresses.

French Braid Hairstyle

French Braid

Braids are good for hiding almost any less than attractive hair situation. A French braid will hide frizz, flyaways, broken hair, and even color mishaps (sometimes).

  1. Complete a French braid from the top middle of your scalp all the way to the end.
  2. Secure the ends and leave the tail loose.
  3. If desired, tucking the tail up underneath the braid at the nape of the neck or swirl it into a low bun.

For a messy, casual, but totally chic look, you could run your thumb and forefinger up and down the length of the braid once it's secure to give it a more textured, Bohemian vibe without the time it takes to do a fishtail braid.

Front-Only French Braid

Front Only French Braid

If your bangs or front layers won't behave but the back is fine, or if you just have shorter hair, you can French braid the front like a headband.

  1. Section off the front and sides of your hair from ear to ear, about two inches back from the hairline.
  2. Put the rest of your hair in an elastic to keep it out of the way.
  3. Tilt your head sideways and begin French braiding as usual. The only difference is, you're going across the top of the head rather than along the back.
  4. Once you get to the end, use a clear elastic to secure the braid and then pin it above or behind your ear (or let it hang where it is).

You can also do this from your part rather than along the whole hairline.

Puffed-Up Ponytail

Not all ponytails are casual and athletic styles. If you need to look good for a dressier event but are limited on options, a puffed-up ponytail may work for you.

  1. Puffed-up ponytail Julianne Hough
    Take the top section of hair (as if you were pulling only the top and sides of your hair back into a barrette) and tease it underneath with a fine-toothed comb. Spray it with hairspray if desired.
  2. Let the hair fall, then smooth the top layer over to hide the teased section before gathering it back together.
  3. Twist that section, push it up and forward just a bit to puff up the front and give your style some height, then pin it into place.
  4. Pull the rest of your hair into a ponytail just below that, being sure to tuck in any tail leftover from the top section.
  5. Use a hair elastic that matches your hair color to hold your hair up, then push the ponytail up higher and get more "fluff" by taking the bottom section of the ponytail, splitting it into two sections, and pulling them apart. This moves the elastic closer to the head and gives you more volume.

Feel free to pin the elastic into place so it doesn't sag throughout the day.

The Bun

High, low, or to one side or the other, the bun is a lifesaver when it comes to long hair that won't behave.

  1. Bun hairstyle
    Pull your hair into a loose ponytail, positioning the rubber band at the spot where you want the center of the bun to be located.
  2. Twist the ponytail loosely from the rubber band to the end.
  3. Wind the twisted hair around the rubber band so that it lies flat on your head.
  4. Tuck the end of the ponytail under the bottom of the wound bun.
  5. Secure with bobby pins.

You can even apply a golf ball size dollop of mousse or a little anti-frizz cream before you put your hair up, in case you have to take your hair down later and would like at least a small chance that it'll look better by then. You should have have loose waves when you take it down, and hopefully they hair product will have tamed them.

Do the Twist

Bantu Knots

This hairstyle will look like you put more effort into it than you did. It also looks messy, so if your hair's a little disheveled and you can't tame it no matter what, this is a good way to work with it.

  1. Take small one to two-inch sections at a time and twist them toward the middle of the back of your head (close to the nape of the neck will work, too).
  2. Pin each twist in place.

Don't be afraid to layer the twisted sections on top of each other. No two twisted styles will be the same, so have fun. This is a good option for medium to long hair.

Quick, No-Fuss Options

If your hair isn't long enough for a lot of braids, ponytails, and other style fixes (or you just don't feel comfortable in those hairdos), don't worry. You still don't have to suffer through the days your hair insists on misbehaving with the unruly strands on display for all the world to see. There are additional fuss-free options that work for everyone, regardless of hair length.

Accessories and Wigs

  • Hats and head scarves: Keep a selection of different styles and colors of hats and head scarves on hand for hair problems that need to be remedied quickly. Though you may not always be able to turn to a hat or scarf for a fix, it's wise to keep that option open, and it will work for any hair length or texture.
  • Woman with purple headband
    Headbands: Smoothing back your hair with a headband can be a good option for any hair type or length. To look your best, remember that the shorter the hair, the thinner the headband should be.
  • Bobby pins and barrettes: Once you get past the shortest of short hairstyles, a few blingy bobby pins or small barrettes can work to dress up a style and keep the unmanageable pieces pulled back away from your face, out of the spotlight.
  • Wigs: If you're feeling really fancy and you're not afraid to branch away from the norm a bit, you can also choose a wig (or five). You can find some that look so much like your own hair on a good day that no one will know you're wearing one, or you can really shake things up and try on a new length, color, bangs, etc. Human hair wigs are the most natural looking (for obvious reasons), and you can care for them and style them just like your own hair.

Styling Tools and Products

  • Serum: A frizz-fighting styling serum can give you a little bit of relief from flyaways or frizziness. These are usually lightweight enough to be applied along the shaft of the hair at least from the ear down without making your hair so limp you feel (and look) like you should just wash it again anyway. There's nothing worse than solving one problem only to create another one.
  • Flat iron: Another quick fix for unruly waves, frizz, or strange cowlicks and indentions (perhaps from a previous ponytail or bun) is a quick run-through with a flat iron. Just don't forget to add a heat protectant first so you can keep split ends and dryness at bay.

No Worries

Bad hair days don't have to ruin anything, and no one has to know you woke up with disagreeable locks. Try some of the simple options here and you'll be ready to face the world in no time at all.

Dealing With a Bad Hair Day