Must-know tricks for styling your strands. 

By Kathleen Braine
Updated December 28, 2015
Don't have time for a full wash and blow? Sprinkle baby powder on roots and brush through.
James Wojcik

This article originally appeared on MIMI.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not exactly an organized person (I think the scientific term for what I am is actually "a hot mess"). I'm usually running out the door holding an iced coffee and talking on the phone without realizing I've forgotten my keys, my wallet, or my shoes. However, I am extremely obsessed with my hair (like, seriously), and as such, I've developed a number of tricks that allow me to get away with being such a Type B person, without sacrificing the health and style of my strands.

Therefore, I present to you, in full detail, my 10 hair hacks for people who actually need hair hacks. You won't find any complicated hairstyles masquerading as "easy and quick" on this list. Nope, this list is for all of us hot messes. Why shouldn't we still have awesome hair?

James Wojcik


You know, the kinds of braids you practiced on your My Little Pony back in elementary school—simple, quick, and pretty. Whenever I need to go to work (or a weekend brunch) and I don't have time to blow my hair dry, I do a quick 2-3 minute blow dry to get rid of any excess water and create the illusion of dry hair, then I throw my hair into a side braid, French braid, or two pigtail braids [Note: I will never stop loving pigtail braids].

Your hair will look pulled together, and as a bonus, once it dries you'll be left with beachy waves for the rest of the day.


Usually, I always have a hair tie stashed somewhere—around my wrist, in my purse, at my desk, in my shoe, etc. However, in the rare cases that I don't, and I'm starting to face some serious greasy roots at the end of the day, I've been known to use my pen as a quick fix to hold a bun or a topknot in place. This tip seems obvious, but I've also been known to use chopsticks, an eye shadow brush, a ruler, and even a straw to do the same, so I guess the lesson here is never count out a possible hair solution. (Oh, and try not to fall asleep with a pen in your hair. You'll totally draw all over your pillow.


The topknot is a go-to for a reason, it's the absolute holy grail of hair looks for the hot mess persona in all of us. It still manages to look effortlessly chic, all while actually being super easy to do. You can throw dirty, greasy, wet, matted, or woefully fried hair into a topknot in seconds, and you'll instantly look less tired/messy/hungover. It's science.


If your hair is feeling super dry and brittle, but you have no hair oil or treatment cream on hand, you can always use your body oil or lotion in a pinch. It will quench thirsty ends and smooth your hair. Some body oils— like ones made with keratin or coconut oil—are even formulated to work well on both body and hair. I love Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Body ($68;


Mayonaise, raw eggs, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, honey, milk, bananas and beer (okay, beer isn't natural, but then again neither is mayo)—you can actually put all of these things in your hair (just, not all at once!). If you ever need a great DIY moisturizing mask, I love mixing honey, milk, and coconut oil (in equal parts) to create a hair mask that makes my processed hair feel and look better in just 30 minutes.


While great for pregnant ladies, these vitamins are also great for those of us who sometimes don't have time to deep condition our hair. Taking them every day will make your hair strong and shiny, even if you're not looking to have any kids any time soon.


Don't get me wrong, I love salt sprays—R+Co's Rockaway Salt Spray ($25; is literally everything. However, if you're out of your favorite product and want to look like you just came from South Hampton, you can always make your own. Just mix a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of sea salt (or rock salt, or epsom salt, whatever you have on hand) and a tablespoon of coconut oil, pour into a spray bottle, and generously spritz on your hair. You'll look like you just came from the beach.


Whenever I need to get my highlights redone, and I'm between paychecks, or I'm looking for a less-pricey keratin treatment, I hit up Salon Apprentice or Lifebooker. You can find great deals from reputable salons and colorists-in-training that will help you achieve perfect hair on the cheap.


Okay, so this one may just be for the blondes. Baby powder may be the old standby, but I've also used all kinds of setting powders and perfecting powders in a pinch. Make Up Forever's HD Microfinish Powder is particularly good.


This last hack is pretty embarrassing, but it REALLY DOES WORK. If you're running late and haven't fully blown your hair dry, take a cab, open the window, and ask your driver to take a highway. Your hair will be much drier by the end of your ride, and you'll have achieved some incredible volume. Note: You'll want to run your fingers through your strands upon exiting the cab to fully achieve the "sex hair" look.