How to Wear Unwashed Hair without Anyone Noticing

Devon Windsor Messy Hair

Taylor Hill / FilmMagic

The truth is that not all of us have the time, money, and energy to make sure that our hair is on point 24/7, and that's okay. In fact, working with second-day (or older) hair adds an effortlessly cool texture to our strands. So if you're down to embrace a more chill approach to your hair game and have about 10 minutes to spare in the morning, then you're in luck. These tips are especially helpful for those of us who can work from home and want to look like we at least put some effort into our appearance during video meetings. Ahead are four easy-to-follow steps that will help refresh your dirty hair quickly. 

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Minimize Shampooing

Imaan Hammam wears her natural curly hair


If you're committed to your daily workout or your hair tends to get greasy, then daily hair washing may be your thing. While it can be helpful to rinse away all the sweat and oil from your dirty hair, it's not always realistic. If you're feeling low on time or don't want to deal with keeping up with your lengthy hair care routine, then you can skip your daily wash without anyone knowing. 

The more you wash your hair, the more sebum, or oil, your scalp produces to compensate for the shampoo stripping your hair of its natural oils. Once your hair settles into a more natural sebum-producing cycle, then you'll find going a day or two between shampoos is doable. 

Another benefit of waiting to shampoo your hair is that you can help preserve your hair color. Frequent washing can also weaken your hair, which results in breakage. If you want to preserve your overall hair health but can't go too long in-between washes, then try cleansing your strands every other day. 

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Cool Off

Jasmine Tookes wears tousled wavy hair


As soon as you leave the gym, you can nix that greasy hair look by making sure your head gets a cool down of its own. If you're hopping into the shower post-workout, pop on a shower cap and run some cool water over your head to slow down any sweating.

Once you finish washing your body, your hair will still be dirty, so it's time to pull out the hairbrush. Using a boar bristle brush (like the Brush Strokes Oval Cushion Boar Bristle Brush, $6) will help evenly distribute the oils in your hair from roots to ends. As weird as that sounds, your hair's natural oils will act as a conditioning agent. If your hair is still feeling a little damp, flip your head over and turn the blow dryer on its cool setting. Then, focus the nozzle on drying the roots.

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Use a Dry Shampoo

Zendaya wears a messy bun with loose curly pieces


Dry shampoos are an excellent way to rid your hair of grease, grime, and sweat. You can buy dry shampoo in two different forms: powder or aerosol spray. Both types work to absorb oil, but depending on your hair type, you should experiment to see what works best for your hair.

After your hair is cool, lift it in sections and spray the dry shampoo directly onto the root of your hair. Try to avoid your scalp, since dry shampoo can dry it out, making it feel tight and itchy.

Sometimes the formulas can leave a powdery look behind. If you have dark hair, try Redken's Powder Refresh Aerosol Dry Shampoo ($25)—it's made for all hair colors and will dry without leaving your hair white. If you want to try a dry shampoo in a powder form, try the Klorane Dry Shampoo Powder with Oat Milk ($20). The pump makes it easy to squeeze the powder directly onto your roots. 

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Massage, Then Brush

Danielle Herrington wears her natural curly hair


After applying your dry shampoo, use the tips of your fingers to massage it in. This step is essential to distribute the dry shampoo throughout your roots evenly. Try not to touch your head for the next three to five minutes to let it absorb all of that sweat and sebum. 

After letting the dry shampoo sit for a few minutes, brush your strands thoroughly and style as usual. Your hair might not feel silky and clean like it does after a shower, but the grit added by the dry shampoo can be a great help if you want your style to have some extra volume or if you have trouble getting your hair to hold a curl.

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