We’ve all been there: your hair’s due for a wash but you’re running too late to stop and style, thus resorting to either two frumpy solutions: tying your dripping hair up (hello, breakage!), or worse, stepping out with your hair sopping. First of all, never tie your wet hair up with an elastic; it bends your hair in ways that are painful for your fragile, freshly-washed strands and is a major cause for breakage and hairfall. Not necessarily a headache, like we were told by our grandmas, but most likely a cause of!
Second, never step out the house like you’ve just stepped out of the shower, even if well, you have. Dripping, uncombed hair is equal to a bad hair day, plus seeps a puddle down the back of your clothes—not very chic, not very presentable. So, we rounded up ways to fix up your hair right after a shower or a good towel dry so that it looks good in a damp updo and when you unravel it. Think of it as a double-duty updo: pre-style and set for good style when unraveled. For hair that’s just been under the shower, we rely on two major tools: the right products and good ol’ hairpins. Here’s for you, perennially late Preview girl: six ways to style your wet hair the chic way.
1. The space cadet/Three low buns
For the long-haired who need some even waves, three low buns do the trick: it sets your tresses into waves, but it’s a more sophisticated look than the twin buns which may look a little too Miley sometimes. To make this style work for you, towel-dry your hair until no longer dripping. Spray generously and evenly with a good sea salt spray, without forgetting to give your roots some love too! When your sea salt spray is absorbed, mist a fine, medium hold hairspray–avoiding the roots!–down the middle to the ends of your hair, and let air dry for 30 seconds. Then, when absorbed, section the hair in three equal parts. Twist the sections into buns and secure at the nape of your neck.
Tip: Use bun pins to avoid breakage that elastics and bobby pins often wreak on the tresses. Another pro tip: twist the sections framing the face away from the face so when you unravel it, it curls the flattering way.
2. Fishtail braids
A bit complicated at first, but when mastered, you can totally do it while in the car, even! First, spray your damp, towel-dried hair with holding product of choice–hairspray, sea salt, texturizer, gel, etc. as long as it doesn’t flake – then, split down the middle into two ponytails. Secure one side low under the ear. Work first on the section that’s untied, and start by splitting it into two sections as well. Hold these two in both hands. Then, with your right hand, take very thin strand from under the outermost side of the right section, and cross it over to the left and combine with the large section. Do the same with the left and cross over to the right. Keep crossing over til you’ve reached the end and secure with a hair tie that’s covered with fabric.
3. Air dried volume
Hair cut above the neck? Lucky, lucky you. Girls with bobs get away with not styling their wet hair, also known as simply air drying. Make this look work for you better by leaving in a product that will let your hair dry better, with great texture. If you want silky, shiny strands without effort, spray with a blow-dry helper spray as this helps hair dry quicker by evaporating moisture and frizz away and leaving a conditioning oil in your tresses that gives it a boost of shine. For a bit–or a lot!—of texture, use a sea salt spray or dry shampoo even on damp (not drenched) strands. It’ll dry with a bit of a bend and texture in it for that cool-girl, lived in look.
4. Scarf-tied bun
This one is super chic and super easy, plus takes the frizz out of damp/drying hair. Take a scarf–ideally silk, ideally matches your outfit–and simply tie it at the base of a simple ponytail–height of the ponytail is up to you. Then, take the part of the scarf that dangles and the tail and twist them as one section. Once done twisting, twist into a bun and secure by taking the ends of the scarf that peek out around the bun and knotting the ends. Voila! Chic and easy.
5. Slicked back
A bit of a cop-out, but it’s okay–it’s a hair-mergency. If you’re a bit pressed for time between your day errands and an evening affair, here’s your hair savior: that fashionable gelled-back look. Pack a fine-toothed comb and a good old hair gel or hair wax with a bit of shine with your change of clothes. Towel-dry the hair and run the product through your strands, keeping the application at the roots, through the crown, but not past or below the ears (even if you’re long haired!). Then, with your fine comb, slick back your hair over your head and behind your ears, a la Bella Hadid. If you’re long haired, the rest of your hair will typically dry out with a natural, model-esque texture that’ll give your ‘do a cooler vibe. Just make sure you stay out of humidity!
6. Non-French twist
It’s not a braid, it’s not a ponytail, it’s a twist. A lazy way to style wet, short hair, this doesn’t even require a brush. Start by parting your hair down the middle into two sections like you’re tying them into pigtails. Secure one tail with a large styling clip. Begin styling the loose section by twisting at the top, nearest the hair part. Twist it in an outward direction but close to the root; do this until you reach the end of the section. Secure with a clip, then do the same for the other side. Once done, make the ends meet and secure with a tie. Then, twist the remaining hair into a bun at the middle of the back of your head and secure with bun pins.