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12 Bad Hair Day Hacks and Styles to Remedy Any Mishaps

When in doubt, grab the hairspray and consider a chic hat.
December 14, 2023

Sometimes you wake up and your hair decides to have a mind of its own, or even worse, you spend dedicated time doing your hair only for it to not work out how you want. Bad hair days happen to all of us, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide under the covers and cancel your plans. Instead of letting your bad hair day get to you or concealing a messy mane with an oversized hat, keep reading to discover 12 hair hacks to salvage a bad hair day without taking a toll on your overall beauty look.


1. Rock a Double Ponytail 

In the case of a bad hair day, two ponytails are better than one. This style is super chic, easy to create and offers an innovative spin to the classic single ponytail look. Pick up a few hair ties that will work for your hair type along with a moisturizing spray like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Refresh & Reshape leave-in spray to resculpt curly hair and lightly detangle strands with your fingers. 

Step 1. Create Your First Pony

Give your entire mane a little refresh with a few spritzes of Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Refresh & Reshape leave-in spray to create a little slip when styling curly and coily hair. This will make it easier to style hair without ripping at hair. Gather the hair above your ears to create a half ponytail, then tie it up with a hair elastic. 

Step 2. Flip Your Hair

Take the ponytail you just created and flip it forward, over the top of your head, to get it out of the way.

Step 3. Double Up

Create a second ponytail using the remaining bottom section of hair. Make sure to secure the second ponytail directly below the base of the first one so that it will be effectively hidden once you flip your first pony back into place. After that, spritz on a little hairspray for added hold with L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray - Unscented to finish off the style. See, it’s that easy!

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2. Tease Your Roots

If flat roots are the bane of your existence consider adding some 80s-inspired volume for a quick fix. All you need to do is backcomb your hair to amp up the volume and give your mane a bit of texture. Do this by taking your comb and teasing at the hair near the roots to add volume.  Now you have a full hairstyle that instantly looks more pulled together.

3. Twist Your Hair Into a Dutch Crown Braid

The good news is: Undone hairstyles are totally in, so you don’t have to worry about perfecting your hairstyle on days when your strands aren’t quite working with you. Try donning a messy version of a Dutch crown braid for an on-trend look. Pick up some bobby pins and a hair serum to add shine and make braiding easier. 

Step 1. Create Two Dutch Braids

Use an underhand braiding technique to create a Dutch braid on each side of your head. Don’t worry about making your braids flawless, think: perfectly imperfect. Apply L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Moisture Plump Serum, Paraben-Free to your strands before braiding to give thicker hair more slip for a softer braid that doesn’t require any excessive tugging at hair. 

Step 2. Pin the Braids to the Opposite Side

Wrap the braids around your head and secure both (using your bobby pins) at the nape of your neck. Two steps and that’s it.

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4. Try a Teased Bun

When you’re having a bad hair day, the last thing you want to do is wear your hair down. Thankfully, you can’t go wrong with putting your hair in a teased bun. Plus, this hairstyle is always on-trend. For this look grab a hair tie, teasing brush, bobby pins and hair spray.

Step 1. Create a Ponytail 

Gather your hair into a high ponytail, and use a hair tie to secure it.

Step 2. Add Some Volume

Spray one-inch sections of your ponytail with a little bit of hairspray, then go through and tease your pony in small sections. Reach for L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Weather Control Hairspray which offers anti-frizz, humidity resistant and heat protectant coverage while holding for all-day wear.

Step 3. Create Your Bun

Wrap the ponytail around its base to form a bun, and secure it in place with a few bobby pins.

Step 4. Seal the Deal

Spray your bun with more hairspray, and you’re good to go.

5. Opt for a Marley Braid Hair Bun

For the natural hair folks, quickly transform your strands with added braiding hair/hair extensions for a more voluminous look. 

Step 1. Prep Your Bun

Simply apply a hair gel like L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Clean Gel to your roots and brush your strands toward the center of your head. Gather your hair into a ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Wrap the length of your ponytail around the base to form a bun. 

Step 2. Grab Your Hair Extensions

Next, you’ll want to wrap Marley braid synthetic hair around the bun and pin the hair in place as you go. Once complete, mist hairspray evenly over your head, and you’re ready for your day.

6. Embrace a Messy Bedhead Style

Rather than fight against your bad hair day, embrace it with a messy bedhead hairstyle! This mussed-up ‘do is on-trend. Get this look easily with L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty for a one-step bad hair day hack.

Step 1. Grab a Pomade

Take a hair pomade or paste and gradually work it through your mane to create a textured look. Feel free to scrunch your locks to amp up the messy vibes. That’s it — hello, messy bedhead.

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7. Wear a Sleek Ponytail

If your strands just don’t seem to look good any way you twist them, a sleek ponytail will be your saving grace. This slick look will smooth down any unruly strands and look like a completely intentional part of your beauty look — not a bad hair day fix. Make sure you have hair elastics and a hair gel on hand for this look. 

Step 1. Slick Back Your Strands

Take a small amount of the hair gel — we recommend Studio Line Clean Gel — and apply it to the top of your mane, slicking your hair toward the back of your head in the process. Remember: less is more. Start with a little bit of product and gradually add more to create your desired look.

Step 2. Create Your Ponytail 

Grab a hair elastic and pull your hair back into a low ponytail. Make sure there aren’t any bumps before tightening your hair tie. If you have thick hair or curly hair, consider using a scrunchie that won’t tug at hair too harshly. 

8. Whip Out the Heat Tools

If you’ve tried a slew of bad hair day hairstyles to no avail, it may be time to turn to your flat iron or curling iron. Heating tools can help straighten unruly pieces or re-curl strands that lost definition. They can be a saving grace when you need to manipulate your strands. Just don’t forget to apply a heat protectant like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Leave In first. This lightweight heat protectant shields hair from heat damage up to 450 degrees while reducing frizz and hydrating strands. 

9. Switch Up Your Part

Sometimes all it takes to turn your bad hair day around is to switch up your part. If you’re a stickler for a middle part or obsessed with a side part, experiment with a different way to section your hair. This may help you find that your hair has more volume or a better shape to work with.

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10. Reach for Dry Shampoo

There is a reason why dry shampoo reigns supreme in the beauty world. Not only does it come in handy when you don’t have time to give your strands a nice wash, but it can save your mane from the bad day hair blues. Simply spray dry shampoo to the greasy parts of your scalp onto your hair to soak up oils that are making your hair look greasy.

11. Put on a Hair Accessory

On the days you’ve tried it all, save yourself time by throwing on a giant headband or cute hat to hide frizz and any hairs that are out of place. From a solid-colored headband to a bedazzled beret, there are plenty of options to choose from.

12. When All Else Fails, Wash Your Hair

If you can’t rescue your hair and you don’t want to deal with it anymore, turn your bad hair day into a good hair day by starting over. Hop in the shower and wash your hair of any residue or bad vibes that are responsible for your hair woes. 

Use a moisturizing shampoo like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Restoring Shampoo which is formulated with castor oil and a blend of vitamins to add hydration, lock in nutrients and refresh hair for your next good hair day. Complete your in-shower routine with L’Oréal Paris Dream Length Super Detangler Conditioner to add more moisture for easy detangling and manageable hair. 

Next: The Best Types of Bangs for Every Hair Type and Face Shape

Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Evan Mann, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producers: Becca Solovay and Hannah Lee, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Daniel Lutz, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Serena Orlando, Model: Dara Woo

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