Beauty time is definitely a ritual that we love to luxuriate in, but let’s be real, we’ll take all the hair tips and tricks we can get if it means simplifying our morning routine. That doesn’t mean cutting corners, necessarily, but simply learning the worthwhile tricks that really work. We’ve collected a ton of hair ideas through our many beauty travels, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites here.
1. Easy highlights
Want subtle highlights for the summer but don’t want to empty your wallet? Squeeze out an entire lemon into a dish, dip a clean toothbrush into the juice, and gently comb it through your hair. Then, go sit in the sun for about 45 minutes to an hour (wearing SPF, of course!). Do this once every two weeks or so and the lemon juice will naturally lighten your hair in the sun.
2. Get rid of static
It’s all about dryer sheets. With one sheet, smooth it over your entire head going from roots to ends. To avoid getting static altogether, rub the dryer sheets on your brushes and combs before using them on your hair.
3. Fake a full pony
Make your ponytail look fuller by using the hair clip trick. Pull your hair into a ponytail at the back of the crown of your head and secure it with a hair tie. Separate it into two sections (top and bottom), and with a small-to-medium sized claw hair clip, clip hair at the base of the ponytail, underneath the top section. Place the top section of hair over the clip and spray a bit of dry shampoo to get a fuller texture and hide the clip.
4. Clarify in a snap
To remove all of the build up that can happen in your hair (oil and product build up can clog up your scalp and put a halt on your hair growing) mix baking soda in water to create a paste, and use that to wash your hair. Rinse the baking soda out with a mixture of apple cider vinegar for a completely natural, clean head of hair.
5. Tame those baby hairs
Baby hairs and cowlicks are incredibly annoying, but there’s a way to tame them. Spray a toothbrush with strong hold hairspray and comb down the baby hairs and cowlicks so they’ll sit with the rest of your hair.
6. Get silky
Sleeping on a silk pillowcase will help to prevent hair breakage and damage that can happen in the middle of the night as you toss and turn. Cotton and other textures mixed with your hair moving back and forth can create friction, which is what can cause the hair to break.
7. It’s all about that dry shampoo
A lot of the time, girls with brunette or red hair shy away from dry shampoo because of the white residue that is often left over. DIY your own dry shampoo for darker hair so that you can skip washing your hair! Mix 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of corn starch, and a dash of cinnamon. Apply at your roots and shake through with your fingers for a refreshed head of hair!
8. Straighten up
If it takes you a very long time to straighten your hair, you may have the temperature setting on your flat iron too low, which means you need to go over the same pieces of hair multiple times, which can cause more damage. Instead, turn up the heat (to a mid-high temperature) so that you can go for a single pass and decrease damage.
9. Don’t let chlorine get you down
Protect your hair from chlorine in the pool by completely wetting your hair and saturating it in conditioner, leaving it wet. Your hair will soak up the chlorine-free water and conditioner instead of the pool water, which will prevent the damage and color turning that chlorine can do.
10. Dry with a t-shirt
Reduce frizz by drying your hair with a cotton t-shirt instead of a towel, then blow drying on the cool setting. Regular towels can cause a ton of friction which disrupt the cuticle and create frizz, so cotton t-shirts absorb water without causing friction. Make sure to squeeze your hair, not to rub it, while drying (which can, surprise, create more frizz-making friction). Blow drying on the cool setting to keep the cuticle closed, which won’t make as much of a frizzy mess as the hot setting.
Originally published April 2014. Updated May 2017.