When I’m making millions one day, daily blowouts are going to be my first indulgence. It may seem a little frivolous, but the truth is that unless I spend hours taming my super kinky, curly hair, bad hair days are inevitable. I’m talking about days where I’m tempted to show my hair who’s boss by shaving it off and then hiding in my closet until my fairy godmother magically appears to save the day.
I’m not alone in this. A survey from Dove found that two-thirds of women avoid social activities, even doctors appointments and job interviews, when they’re not happy with their looks, including their hair. Another survey found that the average woman spends about 26 years, or 3 days per week, of her life suffering from “bad hair day syndrome.” It gets even worse. A poll conducted by ShopSmart found that women who woke up with what they considered bad hair were in a bad mood for about an hour and 15 minutes. Some even claimed that their bad mood was to blame for a breakup.
It works the other way around too. The ShopSmart poll also reported that 56 percent of women said that they were nicer to others when they felt that their hair looked good. I myself am a firm believer in the magic of a great blowout and their ability to make me feel as happy as a fairytale princess.
So what is it exactly that causes these devastating days? Here are some possibilities:
-Over-cleansing: “Your scalp produces its own natural conditioner—oil,” says celebrity hairstylist Amber Kerns. “When you constantly strip your hair by washing it too much it has the opposite effect. Your scalp consistently produces more and more oil to compensate, causing our dreaded enemy—greasy, limp, dull hair!”
-Over-styling: Overusing heat styling tools like flat irons, blow-dryers, hot rollers and curling irons can damage your hair and make it more difficult to manage. If you can’t give up your heat styling tools, be sure to use a thermal protectant like René Furterer LISSEA Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray ($30).
-Past-due haircuts: Neglecting your hairstylist not only hurts their feelings, but it can also result in split ends and ratty looking hair that just doesn’t look good no matter how you style it. Avoid this by getting a fresh cut every six to eight weeks.
-Your plumbing: I know you’re thinking, “What does my plumbing have to do with my hair?” The answer is, a lot. A study from The International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that copper lurking in water pipes can cause bad hair days. Copper breaks your hair down faster leaving you with split ends and lack of shine and makes it even more vulnerable to heat styling, brushing and cleansing, says study leader Dr. Jennifer Marsh.
The good news is that there are ways that we can tame that naughty bad-hair-day beast. A good place to start is with a dry shampoo. “It always gives hair a little fresh pick-me-up,” says Kerns. “Whether it’s used on clean hair or slightly dirty hair, dry shampoo gives all hair types and textures a little extra swing in its step.”
If your hair needs a little extra help, like mine always does, think of a bad hair day as an opportunity to try out different styles—like these hairstyles. “Bad hair days are an excellent time to experiment because your hair doesn’t have to be perfect. Every hair doesn’t have to be in place to be hip and on-trend,” says Kerns.
When I’m having a bad hair day I usually attempt a new braided hairstyle—my latest favorite is the crown braid. But you really don’t have to get too crazy to fool everyone into thinking you’ve never suffered a bad hair day in your life. There are tons of quick and easy styles to try. When in doubt, one of the easiest and quickest styles is a simple ponytail, says celebrity hairstylist Craig Gangi. Also, never forget the beauty of a simple French braid. You can even create a sexy high bun in less than two minutes.
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