Good Dirty Hair

Emmanuelle Alt

Have you ever noticed how the European fashion darlings always look like they have good, dirty hair? It’s part of the sexy, nonchalance that they do so well. Everyone from Alexa Chung to Emmanuelle Alt to Hanneli Mustaparta have mastered this just-rolled-out-of-bed look. It’s no accident, trust me — it’s a well-crafted look.

Hanneli Mustaparta, photo: vanessa jackman

Some of us don’t have the time or desire to wash, blow-dry and style our hair every day. I mean, eons of time could be lost to this single endeavor. I’ll easily stretch a good blow-out from my stylist for three days, no problem. I almost feel obligated to preserve her artful work, rather than wash it and replace it with my hack job. After becoming a mother, figuring out how to have good, dirty, day-old hair was a necessity and besides, it’s healthier on my hair anyway. That said, there’s always wacky bangs, mashed up bed-head and flatness to deal with the next morning. Rather than pulling out the default hair elastic + ponytail drill, I started using dry shampoo and I really love it.

Alexa Chung, photo:

If you haven’t tried dry shampoo in a while (or ever), the technology has far surpassed what was available just 10 years ago. Products like Pssst, used to just soak up excess oils in your hair, but the new generation dry shampoos are infused with styling ingredients that help with volume and texture.

And here’s some good news: clean hair can be too sleek and smooth for certain hairstyles like big, full 80s-hair, beachy waves and up-do’s. You’ll really need that texture and dirt to pull them off. Here’s a quick rundown on some ways to take day-old hair + dry shampoo to equal a good hair day:

  • Bangs: Prevent your bangs from looking flat by sprinkling or spraying a big of dry shampoo at the roots. Rub it in with your fingers and then lightly brush out or finger style after a minute or so. This also keeps them from looking round-brush, blowout perfect and a bit more relaxed.
  • Big Hair: Pump up the volume of your 2nd hair by flipping it over and dividing into a 2-3″ sections with your fingers and spraying with a little dry shampoo. Wait five minutes (or as long as you can without passing out) and flip your head back over. Massage your fingers through to disperse the shampoo a bit and marvel at your volume. Touch up with an iron as necessary.
  • Up-do’s: Sleek, smooth hair is like kryptonite for up-do’s. You’ll need texture and a bit of grit for it to hold well. Hair gurus say to first use a thickening spray all over on damp hair, dry it and mist on dry shampoo apply from roots to end to get an even texture. This will give a good base to hair to hold bobby pins in place. Also works wonders for messy ponytails, braids, fishtail braids or a teased 60’s look.
  • Beachy waves: Day-old, beach hair is one of my favorite looks and it’s easy to extend a day. This assumes that you have wavy or curly hair to begin with or created a similar look yesterday. Just grab a volumizing spray like MOP C System Texture Spray and spray through hair from about mid-way down to the ends to reactivate the curl. Scrunch hair gently with your hands or a towel to keep it from frizzing. Take dry shampoo and lift up hair at the crown and lightly spray roots for added volume. Tame any frizz with a few shine drops rubbed into palms and gently twirl through hair. Touch up with a rounded flat-iron or curling iron where you need extra curl.

Products (all tried and tested by me)

Dry Shampoos

For the price, I like the TresSemme (at $5), but the Oscar Blandi product is excellent too. The Ojan shampoo was fine, but got really messy around the nozzle after multiple uses so, not my favorite.

Volumizers: Tried and tested by me

The C-system spray is the one to use for the wavy, beach look. The texture is thicker and rougher than the other two.

Enjoy your dirty hair!


3 responses to “Good Dirty Hair

  1. Always love the product indorsements! Don’t much care for the term “dirty” hair but know what you mean!

  2. Oooh, I am going to have to try some of these products! Love,Love, Love second (and third) day hair! I usually use the TIGI Rockaholic dry shampoo. It is amazing, but it tends to evaporate after just a few uses:-P Right now I have the KMS California dry shampoo, but it leaves my hair flat and lifeless. I swear dry shampoos are the best invention in the world, still searching for the perfect one though … Thanks for the leads Laura!

  3. Pingback: Why is Everyone 35? « Buckle Button Zip

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