How to fix a bad hair day: 4 Beauty Panel tips on going from “meh” to “yay!” in a flash

bad hair day fixes intro
bad hair day fixes intro

We’ve all been there. Your alarm didn’t go off, you overslept and now there’s no time to wash and style your hair. Or maybe you were a little too enthusiastic with styling products and you’re starting to resemble Beyoncé at the Grammys—and not in a good way! When it comes to having a bad hair day, it can be hard to beat the inevitable pity party that arises when your hair falls flat. But, considering that even celebrities experience the occasional bad hair day (thanks, gossip magazines!) there’s no reason to fret when things turn critical. Instead, you just need to get a little clever.

Challenge 50: How do you fix a bad hair day in a flash? See the answers now! »

To help you out next time your hair decides that cooperating isn’t in the cards, we turned to the Beauty Panel. Forget booking a last-minute blow out—these tricks are all you need to take your hair from “meh” to “yay” in a flash. Amanda Raponi from Vanity Presse not only has tricks to salvage uncooperative hair, but an easy trompe l’oeil makeup manoeuvre to distract from flat hair. Meanwhile, Maggie Ng from Beauty PhD has a plethora of hair products to try out if your hair is particularly flat and staid. With all these easy and quick remedies to fight a bad hair day, you’ll never have to reach for that old baseball cap again.

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at [email protected]. Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


bad hair day fixes gerry

Gerry Xun
Vancouver | The Bunnie Hole

I’m the type of girl who likes to get as much of her beauty routine done at night as possible and while it works great for manicures and skincare, sleeping on your freshly smoothed locks can result in some major frizz the next morning. Here’s how I deal with one of “those days”.

Start by detangling your hair with a wide toothed comb or a brush until all the knotty bits from the night before are smoothed out. If hair is feeling a little greasy, refresh with a few spritz of dry shampoo, massage into the scalp then brush through.

Then mixed a pump of smoothing cream with a half pump of shine serum into your palm and spread evenly between your hands and fingers. This combination will help to calm hair while giving a healthy soft shine.

Divide hair into left and right sections, then starting from the inside or underside, with one hand for each section rake your fingers through your hair to distribute the product. Use gentle strokes as not to over saturate one particular spot of hair but do make sure to concentrate on the ends where frizz can make hair look extra messy. With what is left on your hands, run it over the topside of your hair to smooth the surface.

Shake your hair out a little and you’re ready to get on with your day.

Products used: Pantene BB Cream, Pantene Smooth Serum, Batiste Dry Shampoo

Alexa Lowe
Montreal | Stealing Beauty

These are my two go to hairstyles when I’m having a bad hair day. If my hair is dirty, I like a sleek ponytail or bun up-do. However, if it’s clean and unruly, I usually opt for a classic French braid or side braid. The great thing about braids is that they leave the hair with a beautiful wave when you take them out.

Products used: Moroccanoil Boar Bristle Classic Brush, FHI Heat Runway IQ Dry Hair Spray, Matrix Biolage Exquisite Oil Tamanu Blend Strengthening Treatment and Wide Tooth Comb and standard hair elastics

bad hair day fixes maggie

Maggie Ng
Toronto | Beauty PhD

What do I do on a bad hair day? Hmm…Sometimes I feel like everyday is a bad hair day for me! All joking aside, for people whose hair has gone extremely flat, I’d recommend Schwarzkopf Osis+ Dust It Mattifying Powder or Kevin Murphy’s Volumizing Powder Puff. Sprinkle a little near the roots of your hair and tease it a bit with a comb and va-va-va-voom, you get instant lift and volume. The powder also helps to absorb some of the excess oil, in case you skipped washing your hair due to a busy busy day! You can also opt to use a dry shampoo, like the one by TRESemme. It helps volumize fine/oily hair and the mineral clay and citrus extract helps to absorb oil and odour!

If I’m looking for an easy go-to style on those days when my hair just won’t cooperate, I like to keep things quick and simple. For my featured look, I decided to use a couple of hair products from The Detox Market. I threw in some Rahua Conditioner, which does double duty as a styling cream into my hair to help tame them crazy flyaways and did an easy side braid. I finished off with some alcohol free Rahua Voluminous Spray to set my do and all good to go!

Products used: Rahua Conditioner/Styling Cream, Rahua Voluminous Spray, Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Longevity Concentrate Serum, Annabelle BB Cream in “Light/Medium,” Makeup Forever HD Pressed Powder, Makeup Forever Kabuki Brush #124, Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in “Universal Light,” Marcelle 2-in-1 Retractable Eyeliner in “Azurite,” Marcelle Xtension Plus + Prolash in “Black,” Rimmel London Wake Me Up in “001 Flush of Pearl,” OCC Lip Tar in “Memento”

bad hair day fixes amanda

Amanda Raponi Hart
Oakville | Vanity Presse

This might seem overly simple, but there are two things I always do when my hair is looking less than great and I need to look presentable quickly: a little, wispy bun and a bold lip. The bun takes care of any lank strands or flat roots and you instantly look more polished.

If you have some dry shampoo or hairspray on hand, even better. Bumble and Bumble’s Dryspun Finishing spray is great for creating windblown volume. Spray with your product of choice, flip your head upside down, then create a ponytail. I remove the front portion of my hair (sort of where your bangs would be, then re-place them on top after I’ve already created the ponytail. This creates a bit of volume. Then twist the pony, and wrap in a circular motion until it becomes a bun. Secure with a few bobby pins. I think that this bun looks best when a bit wispy and loose, but if you want to look more polished, you could always pull it tighter.

Then, to distract the eye away from my locks, I create a diversion with a bright lip. This brings the focus somewhere else, and it always works–believe me. One time I was at work and my hair was sucking, so I threw on a matte, red lip and someone asked if I had been at an event. Works like a charm.

Products used: Dior Airflash Foundation in “100,” Lancome Effacernes Concealer, Cle de Peau Concealer, Urban Decay Naked Palette, Clarins Crayon Khol Eye Pencil in “Intense Brown,” Clarins Be Long Mascara, Nars Laguna Bronzer, Chanel Joues Contraste in “Accent,” Aerin Lipstick in “Red Velvet”

More Beauty & Grooming