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9 Tricks to make your hair look clean when it's not

Bethany Ramos is an editor, blogger, and chick lit author. Bethany works as Editor in Chief for Naturally Healthy Publications.

Tricks that make your hair look clean when you don't actually have time to wash it

There are a few reasons you may decide to skip your daily shampoo — one of the biggest being those times when you have a bad case of the Mondays and are running late. Or maybe, you fall into a growing group of “no poo” enthusiasts who believe that shampooing too often can be bad for your hair.

Right now, Pinterest is buzzing with this anti-shampoo trend, and DIY shampoo “hacks” are aplenty. While “no poo” has gathered a following with its trendy name — with help from a few news-worthy profiles of women with silky locks who have not shampooed for years — the idea is nothing new. We’ve all known a granola type or two who preferred not to wash their hair for the sake of the environment. And those of us with curly hair have known for decades that some hair types do better when you wash them less.

More: Why you should reconsider how often you use dry shampoo

Of course, we can’t forget the common denominator: Most of us are skipping shampoo because we overslept.

Tricks that make your hair look clean when you don't actually have time to wash it
Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

For those mornings when you don’t have a spare second to rinse and repeat, you’ll want to have a few “no poo” tricks up your sleeve. We’ve asked stylists to share their favorite shampoo alternatives and tips that you can use to keep your hair looking lovely in a pinch:

More: 7 Reasons dry shampoo doesn’t work the way you thought it would

1. Baby powder

This one’s easy, since you probably have an old bottle of baby powder gathering dust in your medicine cabinet as we speak. Dr. Avni Mahiji, board-certified pharmacist and beauty expert, considers baby powder a top shampoo alternative when sprinkled on the roots in the morning to absorb excess oil.

2. Coconut oil

If you’re going to ride the no-shampoo train for an entire day, it’s time to commit. On the days when you’re brave (or busy) enough to skip shampoo, it’s the perfect opportunity to go big or go home. Marc Anthony, founder of Marc Anthony True Professional, advises using what God gave you — by slicking hair back with its own natural oils, combined with coconut oil to enhance shine.

3. Cornstarch

According to Vivi Kalvig, beauty product manager and beauty and fashion blogger, dry shampoo is a lifesaver, and her DIY backup is the next best thing. She says, “Brush [cornstarch] onto roots/oily parts with a makeup brush and brush out with a regular brush (it absorbs sebum perfectly and is the base for drugstore dry shampoo).”

4. Hairdryer

As the old saying goes, there’s nothing that will make a girl feel like a million bucks more than a fresh blowout (and the same holds true for those no-poo days, too). Kalvig says spending a few minutes max with the hairdryer on medium heat using a thick, round brush can refresh hair on shampoo-free days, without the need for a wash.

5. Hairspray

For those times you find yourself at an impromptu sleepover, make sure to keep a travel-size aerosol hairspray in your purse. Dr. Mahiji suggests spraying a little bit of aerosol hairspray on your roots and then brushing through to revive flat hair when there’s no time for the full treatment.

More: To wash hair every day or not?

6. Lemon juice

If your hair is the type to show its shine after skipping even a single wash, then this citrus fruit may become your new best friend. On the days you opt not to shampoo, Dr. Mahiji advises, “Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on the greasy spots in your hair and massage in.”

7. Choose a style that disguises

If you’ve been wanting to try something new with your hair, now you have the incentive to do it. Whether you’re taking a shampoo break or don’t have time to ‘poo in the morning, Kalvig recommends trying a new hairstyle to mask messy bed head: “If you can, wear a braid, it hides unruly hair and makes it look clean and collected.” You can also embrace your unkempt look by sweeping hair into a messy bun, with the help of some hairspray. Kalvig explains, “Spray all over hair from root to tip, brush out and tie hair in a messy bun.”

8. New part

Sometimes, it really is that easy. Dr. Mahiji says that parting your hair on a different side — or in the middle if you usually prefer a side part — can make your hair look fresh and flowing, even when it’s in desperate need of a wash.

9. Sea salt

There’s one more simple solution for unwashed hair that has seen better days. With the help of sea salt — either a sea salt styling product or plain sea water in a spray bottle — you can rock textured, beachy waves any day of the year. Kalvig advises, “Spray all over hair, dry on medium heat and crunch your hair with fingertips.”

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