I Tried TikTok's Most Popular Hair Hacks, and Here's What Happened

Some are worth the hype. Others? Not quite.

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Photo: Wendy Gould/Olivia Barr

TikTok is basically the capital of beauty hacks. Take even a quick visit and you'll walk away with something new and intriguing to try. Some of them just might change your life! One of the most popular TikTok rabbit holes is hair—the platform made us buy all kinds of styling tools and hair accessories, plus a bunch of hairstyling hacks to go along with them. But if there's anything I know about the internet, just because it's hyped doesn't mean it's true. Lucky for you, I decided to put five to the test so you know which ones are worth trying.

Barbie Ponytail Trick

As someone who rarely wears their hair up, I was excited to give this hack by renowned hairstylist Chris Appleton a try. The concept is simple. You pull half your hair up into a high ponytail, then divide the bottom section in half and wrap it up and over the existing pony.

The goal is to create the illusion of longer, fuller hair by adding instant volume at the top while still keeping length. Does it work? Absolutely, and this is officially my new go-to style any time I want to add a bit of glam to my otherwise boring ponytail. Best of all, you just need two elastics and you're good to go—though I did add a fluffy scrunchie for a bit of extra texture and pizzazz.


Heatless Hair Curlers

You've probably seen this TikTok hairstyling hack everywhere—a bunch of brands have their own variation. It's essentially a soft, extra-long roller that you drape across the top of your head and then wrap damp hair around. The idea is that you sleep in the curler while your hair dries, then unwrap in the morning for effortless curls.

I so wanted to love this hairstyling hack, but the second I began wrapping my hair, I knew I was in for disappointment. First, it's impossible to get consistent curls around your entire head because the hair in front is going to be wrapped around at a higher point on the head (and more tightly wrapped, as well). After unwrapping, my hair looked half decent in the front, but the back was a disaster.

Second, my frizz-prone hair looked extra frizzy when I woke up, especially in the back. My hair just rarely looks good when I sleep on it wet. I even added some expensive anti-frizz styling cream before wrapping. Add the fact that it wasn't the most comfortable to sleep in, and I won't be trying this again.

Dental Floss as Hair Smoother

I was pretty skeptical of this hair hack shown by TikTok user @brylkaproject, but because of its simplicity, I figured it would be worth giving a try. All you have to do is run a piece of taut dental floss down the length of your hair for some instant de-frizzing, de-puffing action.

I pulled my hair back into a low ponytail for this. Though the results were subtle, there was a notable difference in the shininess and smoothness of my hair. It also worked when I just had my hair down. I'll definitely whip this TikTok hair hack out for those days when I want uber-sleek hair.


Automatic Curling Device

This TikTok hair hack requires a futuristic looking device by CHI called the Spin N Curl ($109.99), which is supposed to create perfect ringlets. I'm always skeptical of hair gadgets that make grand promises, but as someone who struggles to get consistent, beautiful curls with a curling iron, I'm officially hooked.

To use it, you just place your hair across the opening and click the button. The device gently twists your hair into the barrel and then beeps when the curl's set for a gorgeous ringlet.

I also like that the tool allows you to adjust the temperature setting and that it has a safety guard put in place to prevent damaging your hair. (It will beep and say "reset" if you grab too much hair or if it begins tangling.) And it's definitely way less spendy than other automatic curlers out there.


Apply Dry Shampoo Before Bed

While some people enjoy washing their hair every day, I'm more of a twice-weekly kind of shampooer. It's partly because I have so much hair—which takes forever to air dry and blow out—and partly because I'm admittedly lazy. That said, I always have a fresh bottle of dry shampoo at the ready.

A viral TikTok hair hack by @lacey.kube recommends applying dry shampoo before going to bed instead of as a morning refresh. The idea is that the ingredients help prevent oil, so applying at night means you'll wake up looking like you just had a fresh blowout. I can confirm that this trick does, in fact, work! And another pro tip from me to you: I tried applying dry shampoo pre-workout to see if it would have a similar effect. I was still sweaty, but my hair looked notably better.

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