New Mom Beauty Survival Guide: 14 Ways to Make Dirty Hair Look Amazing

Before you put effort (or dollars!) into washing and drying your hair, have a plan in place to make that sleek look last as long as possible. These strategies will blow you away.

Woman Blow Drying Her Hair Shutterstock
1. Wash with purpose Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to help maintain your hair’s body. And only apply the conditioner to your ends, so the oils in it don’t weigh down your roots. Try Éprouvage Gentle Volume Shampoo and Conditioner.

2. Invest in a powerful blow-dryer It may sound counterintuitive, but the higher the heat, the less damage you’ll cause, because you won’t have to keep repeating sections. Try the Remington Tstudio ThermaLuxe Dryer.

3. Lay off the styling aids After you get done blow-drying, don’t apply heavy styling products like hairspray or shine-enhancing serum. They create buildup that will cause your hair to fall flat too soon. 

4. Do not touch No running your fingers through your hair or playing with it when you’re bored. Every time you do, you increase stimulation to the scalp, triggering unwanted oil.

5. Create a pile-up Never sleep with your hair down, as you’ll lose body and fullness. Gather it up high on top of your head, using a scrunchie. Try Scünci Hair Scrunchies.

6. Sleep on silk A pillowcase, that is. Hair doesn’t stick to satin the way it does to cotton, so by making the switch, you’ll wake up less flat. The mē Glow Beauty Boosting Pillow Case is infused with copper ions for skin benefits, to boot.

7. Wear the right kind of shower cap Plastic ones can allow moisture to seep in and also make you sweat, which can cause frizz along your hairline. Get a terrycloth-lined cap, or even use a loosely wrapped cotton towel, to keep your hair completely protected from the humidity of your shower. One to try: Drybar The Morning After Shower Cap.

8. On day two, rely on texture spray Hold off on dry shampoo and apply texture spray, which is a combo of hairspray and dry shampoo, to revive hair without overdrying it. Lift top pieces of hair and spray at the roots. Try Not Your Mother’s Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray.

9. Roll it up For gorgeous body, mist the front section of your hair at the roots with texture spray, then wrap wide pieces onto Velcro rollers. Apply another spritz of texture spray all over and add a blast of blow-dryer heat. Leave rollers in for at least 20 minutes. Take out and give hair a good shake. Try RickyCare Self Hold Thermal Rollers.

10. Use the right brush A ceramic thermal round brush will work quickly to smooth out any flaws from sleeping or a shower without flattening. Don’t use a paddle brush.

11. On day three, break out the dry shampoo Wherever your hair gets the greasiest first (typically in the front) do a spritz of dry shampoo at the root, then massage it in with the pads of your fingertips. This will soak up any oil and add volume to your hair.

12. Exercise wisely Of course you don’t want to miss your spin class! And you don’t have to trade great hair for it as long as you spray dry shampoo on your hair before working out, even if it’s on day two or—horrors!—day one. It will help absorb oil before you start sweating. After applying dry shampoo, put your hair into a braid or bun, securing it with a soft elastic. Postworkout, let your hair down and, with a blow-dryer set to cool air, comb through your hair with your fingers to dry excess sweat. Then massage your scalp to work in the dry shampoo you applied before exercising—don’t add more.

13. Call in some hot-tool reinforcements On day three, use a flat iron to smooth out your hair, then on day four, switch up your style with a curling wand to add waves that are polished but not too perfect-looking.

14. On the last day, you can go without a wash... Whether that’s day 3, 4, or 5 for you, coat your hair in a conditioning serum and pull it back into a slick bun or ponytail. Or, if you want to wake up with beachy waves on your last dirty day, apply serum the night before and make two braids. Take them out in the a.m., and voilà! Try Salon AKS Serum.