Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Surviving a Bad Hair Day

Experts share their tips for taming hair that's out of control.


Among the most frustrating: static flay-away hair. The best solution: rubbing your hair with a dryer sheet (like Bounce). Much the way it keeps your undies from sticking to your socks in the dryer, Chavez says it will also keep hairs from sticking together -- making styling easier.

For even more protection, try a tourmaline comb, made from a mineral that neutralizes the static charge. What can also help: Toss those nylon bristle brushes and opt for all-natural bristle brushes.

Another source of hair care woes -- environmental assaults. This includes sun, wind, and temperature changes, as well as indoor heat in winter and air conditioning in summer. Experts say all those can dry hair, bring out the frizzies, and generally make it harder to control and style. If hair is color treated, you'll feel the impact even more.

"From a technical standpoint, there's a protective coating on hair called the hydrolipidic film. If you have dry hair, that film is broken down somewhat anyway. When you color it, it breaks down a little more - but when you add sun, salt water you can destroy the film altogether," says Melissa Baker, national training advisor for Rene Furterer hair care products in Paris.

While sometimes a conditioning treatment will do the trick, when it doesn't, the next step is to incorporate a hair mask into your regimen -- a treatment that does for your tresses what a facial does for your skin.

"A mask is loaded with emollients that will coat the hair and help close the cuticle," says legendary celebrity stylist Peter Lamas, director of, and author of Beauty Basics. He saysthis lets you add moisture, then trap it inside, so styling is easier.

Hair Styling: Quick Tips

If your hair is truly stubborn about holding a curl or even a wave, a few quick product switches may be all you need. Boston salon owner Marc Harris says start by using a styling creamfor a styling gel.

"This will add moisture to your hair, make it more pliable, and increase elasticity," says Harris.

If your hair is dry or damaged, avoid styling products with a high alcohol content, he says, and never spray fragrance on your locks.

"The alcohol content can make hair brittle and much harder to style," says Harris, owner of Salon Marc Harris on Newbury Street.

Most importantly: Limit time under the blow dryer. Harris says towel-dry hair first to remove at least 20% of the moisture, then hit with the dryer on low heat. And, he says, "Stop the minute your hair is dry. Don't use the dryer to style it."

If there's no time for your normal shampoo/blow-dry routine, experts suggest a dry shampoo -- products that use dry, oil-absorbing ingredients like cornstarch to clean hair without water. You simply spray in the dry shampoo, fluff with your fingers, and brush it out. You'll get a root lift and your style will look refreshed.

Brush Up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site HONcode Seal AdChoices