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Quick Fixes for Bad Hair Days

As women, there are two certainties we discover early on: The grocery store line next to you always moves faster, and the girl next door always has better hair. The first certainty has been proven incorrect many times in actual scientific experiments. The second, well, you’ll just have to take on faith that it’s not always true.

Some days we step out of the shower, look in the mirror and feel like we can take on the world. Other days we may feel like jumping back into bed and pulling the covers over our head. Most days, though, we glance in the mirror, see what we have to work with, do our best and head out the door with a smile and good intentions. Whether you wake up tomorrow morning with that “not sure whether to jump back into bed” feeling, or the “do the best with what I’ve got” attitude, here are some tips to get your hair in order and get you feeling like if you can at least control your hair, you might have a shot at controlling the rest of the day, too!

Frizzy Hair

“I recommend air drying the hair about 80 percent, then sectioning it, and blowing dry each section using a boar’s hair brush,” says Ruben Torres, Master Hair Designer at Salvatore Minardi Salon in Madison, NJ. “When completely dry, use about a dime size of pomade. Rub it in your hand as if it were hand lotion, then rake it through your hair from root to ends to create a beautiful sleek look without it weighing down the hair.”

Sarah Potempa, who has styled the hair of Julianne Moore and Patrick Dempsey, among other A-list celebrities, loves using heat and pressure to chase away the frizzies. “When styling frizzy hair, the goal is to get the cuticle layer of the hairs to lay in the same direction. Simply spray hairspray onto your brush before styling or use a small half-round flat iron at the root to smooth the hairs.  Another simple trick is to smooth the frizz out of the hair by running the top of a closed curling iron over the section.”

Dull Hair

Beth Minardi, stylist at Mark Garrison Salon and creator/owner of Minardi Luxury Color Care, suggests using her special concoction that revs up shine and brings out natural highlights: “Into a small bowl, mix  two capfuls of shampoo, 1/4 cup of warm water and 1/2 teaspoonful of baking soda. Whisk together with a fork to form a sudsy foam.  Apply to dry hair and massage.  SLOWLY add water and work into frothy suds.  Massage for thirty seconds.  Then, rinse THOROUGHLY.  Use a lightweight finishing rinse.  Then comb and style as desired.”

Flat Hair

Wash hair with a lightweight shampoo and follow with a light conditioner. Towel-dry hair, then apply a volumizing foam from the roots to the tips of your hair. For a natural look, set your hairdryer on high heat, low speed and dry hair completely, plumping it with your fingers. For a finished look, Carmine Minardi, of the upcoming Carmine Minardi NYC salon, offers this regimen: “Use a boar bristle round brush and start blow drying from the bottom up to the top. In problem areas, re-apply the foam just to that area of hair that has been blown dry, then immediately begin re-blowing just that area for additional lift.”

If you’re looking for maximum volume, use as many large hot rollers as you can, suggests Carmine. “Get as many rollers as you can into the hair. The more rollers, the longer it will last.” When rolling, direct the hair away from the face. “After rollers have been in the hair five minutes or longer, use a cool blow dryer on the rollers to lock the wave into the hair. Lastly do not brush. Using only fingers, place your head upside down and then run your fingers through the hair. This will give you full hair with direction and height.”

Unruly Hair

Potempa offers an easy trick to tame unruly curls: “loosely wrap them around a closed iron (the same size as your natural curls) in a spiral motion. This will bring the curl together and still look natural.  If you don’t have time to curl, find a product that will evenly distribute throughout, like a spray gel, to make the curls unite.”

Oily Hair

Potempa recommends working with your hair’s natural properties rather than against them to achieve an easy, lasting look. “When styling your hair, focus on using the natural oils to your advantage. Apply a gel to the roots and blow dry with a round brush to add volume.  This will work to balance out the oily feeling in the roots.”


Use a dandruff shampoo like Head and Shoulders every day, followed by a dandruff conditioner. “You should use it every day if you’re trying to get rid of dandruff,” explains Ryan Trygstad, celebrity stylist. For maintenance, as itchiness, flakiness, and redness subsides, you can use it three to four times a week, interspersed with a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Trygstad stresses the importance of pairing the shampoo with conditioner. “With a system like Head and Shoulders, you have to use the shampoo and conditioner together. Otherwise the zinc is being deposited with the shampoo, but 70 percent of it is being washed away by a cosmetic conditioner.” Unlike with most conditioners, where you rub conditioner only on the ends of the hair, with a dandruff-control system, you rub the conditioner directly into the scalp as well. It should take about a week to see the flakes disappear. Until then, carry a lint brush and avoid dark clothes.