Stop us if this sounds familiar: You get up without hitting the snooze button a dozen times, get some breakfast going, think it’s going to be a great day, and then oof. One look in the mirror tells you otherwise. All’s not lost though: We consulted top stylists to get these simple fixes for whatever type of bad hair has you down, all of which take less than 3 minutes to execute.
When your hair is greasy or frizzy
A little oiliness can actually be a plus for slicked-back styles, and frizzy, unkempt lengths can add texture and volume when gathered into a pony. Plus, the style also puts the emphasis on your bone structure, rather than your hair, and can look sophisticated without being a time suck. “Some of the easiest formal styles start with a ponytail,” says Pam Kelly, stylist and national educator for Fantastic Sams based in Detroit, Michigan. “It’s easy to make them look intricate and fancy.”
Step 1: Secure hair into a ponytail at desired height on your head. For a low style, secure hair at the nape and for a high style secure hair closer to your crown. Smooth hair strands so the style is neat, or leave a few wisps out for a more casual, romantic look.
Step 2: Kick it up a notch by separating eight little sections of the ponytail, twisting and securing each to your head with a bobby pin for a twisted chignon effect.
When certain sections of your hair are rumpled and crumpled
Try: Sexy waves
“Waves are fun, simple, and quick,” says Westchester, New York-based hair stylist Maria Licari. “Plus, the added spring of the shape makes hair look thicker and more voluminous.”
Step 1: Clip up the top section of hair (from the front of your head to the crown).
Step 2: Spray the bottom layer with a flexible hold hairspray like Matrix Vavoom Shape Maker Medium-Hold Shaping Spray ($16, ulta.com) and curl large sections with a 1½ ” curling iron.
Step 3: Drop the top layer, create a middle part, and spritz with hairspray again. Then curl small sections away from your face to create soft, sexy waves.
When your chic, short crop just looks messy
Try: A dramatic side-sweep
Short hair can be easy to take care of, but it’s a little tougher to change up for special occasions. “Most short styles don’t have enough length for an updo, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go glam,” says Amy Abramite, hair stylist and creative director of Maxine salon in Chicago, Illinois.
Step 1: Create a side part that starts above the highest point of the eyebrow and runs diagonally back toward the crown. The side-sweeping fringe will add drama and draw attention to your eyes.
Step 2: To finish the look, add a touch of pomade or wax to smooth down the layers for a clean, polished style. “Don’t overload on product or you’ll get helmet head,” Abramite says. “You should still be able to run your fingers through your hair.”
When your hair has zero volume
Try: A modern front-flip
The shortcut to a little thickness-mimicking bounce? This face-framing look, which involves creating a toned-down Farah Fawcett-style flip in the front, says Nick Arrojo, hair stylist and owner of Arrojo Studio in New York City.
Step 1: Take a curling iron to one-inch sections in the front and on the sides (a 1″ wand should work for most lengths), curling the hair outward and back. These subtle “kicks” add a bounce and movement for a flowy, romantic effect.
Step 2: Mist your whole head with a flexible hold hairspray to keep the curl from wimping out early.
When your curls just won’t cooperate
Try: A face-flattering bun
Curly hair is forgiving, which makes experimenting with hair tools quick and easy. Danilo, a bioastal Pantene celebrity stylist and global ambassador, recommends using the Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin ($4, target.com) to create a soft, easy updo in minutes. Here’s how:
Step 1: Secure hair into a ponytail at the crown of your head. The placement is consistently flattering on every face shape, Danilo explains.
Step 2: Twist hair around the base of the ponytail to create a messy bun.
Step 3: Twist the Spin Pin into your bun to secure it, then spritz with hairspray to make the look last.