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7 Styles That Look Even Better With Second-Day Hair

We can all appreciate the kind of wash day that leaves hair looking oh so fresh and clean. But has your hair ever looked a little bit too perfect? As it turns out, you might find your favorite up-do not cooperating or your curls not bouncing enough with just-shampooed hair. That’s why we’re here to show you how second-, third- and even fourth-day hair can serve as the optimal template for styling. Even better, with many stylists advising against daily hair washing, there’s no reason not to get more life out of your last shampoo with these approved looks!

1. Super High Top Knot


Do you have shoulder-length or longer hair? And are you looking for a style that can carry you through day four completely worry-free? This is it. Whether you opt for a trendy and messy top bun or something smoother, this look will have you out the door in no time.

Need some quick tips on styling? “I personally like to keep these in a neater state. A little baby hair around the edges or a few fly aways here and there is cool,” says Shaddah Elyse, professional hair artist and owner of The Platinum Studio in Baltimore, MD. And if you need a bit more help forming the bun, try using a bun shaper ($6, Nordstrom) to add more oomph to your likely-flat unwashed hair. “When the bun gets a little roughed up and still has a lot of definition, that’s perfect!” Elyse says.

To achieve this look, gather your hair in a high ponytail, slide on your bun shaper and begin to wrap your hair around. Use bobby pins to secure the ends of your hair and conclude with a finishing spray. 

2. Sleek Ponytail 


How about we channel our inner Beyoncé with this low and sleek look? Overall, ponytails are an easy, low-maintenance style that can easily take you from casual daywear to a night out on the town, and second-day ponies are no exception.  

“This can be worn higher up on the head or lower,” says Elyse, but “[m]ake sure the back and edges are sleek and the ponytail is polished.” Here, the natural oils and any product build-up from second-day hair will work to your advantage, giving that shiny, smoothed-down look you’re craving.

Related: 6 Ways to Make Your Ponytail More Interesting

3. Days-Old Wash-And-Go


A wash-and-go almost always looks better the second day, thanks to lived-in, soft curls with the perfect amount of natural frizz. But how exactly can you make your wash-and-go last without falling flat? “This style is great on the second day because you get to sleep on it and rough it up a bit. This will make the look nice and big as the days continue,” Elyse says. Simply enjoy rocking your huge second-day locks!

4. Flexi Rod Styling


Thought your second-day hair would turn out great, but the exact opposite happened with no time to wash? Using a flexi rod set ($14.49, Target) will have you looking brand new in no time. “This is a style I do for my clients for low maintenance and longevity. This style is cute the first day but way better the second and third day. The style gets a little looser but still has definition. It has a more natural look by the second day instead of looking like neat Shirley Temple curls. We don’t like those!” Elyse says.

Start out by de-tangling an old hairstyle, then choose your favorite lightweight hair cream and oil. Next, section off your hair and smooth the products in. Finally, take each section and wrap your hair around the flexi rod toward your face or away from your face—just be sure to keep all curls in the same direction! Overall, this style is very simple and the results will give you the shine and bounce that you need to revamp your second-day hair. 

5. Crown Braid


You may act like royalty, but do you look the part? This style is perfect for any French-braiding whiz, and the crown can help hide any oily patches that arise from leaving hair unwashed.

“Create a French braid or cornrow along the perimeter of your head, starting by either ear,” Elyse says. It’s as simple as that! And with its regal feel and compliment-worthy finish, this style is one of the best ways to switch your bad hair day into a trendy and dramatic style that will have everyone staring for the right reasons. Best of all, your semi-dingy hair will hold the braid far better than newly-washed locks.

6. Waves


Waves are great when you want to keep your unwashed hair from looking flat. Achieve the look by using a large curling iron, a sea salt spray and the scrunch technique, or by sleeping in two to four braids. No matter what, the style will give your second-day hair a great textured look. “Who doesn’t love a beachy tousled wave or braid out? Everything that gives off a little frizz to it is always good,” Elyse says. And what better way to show off some frizz than with second-day hair? Save yourself from the hassle of using too many hair products by relying on your natural oils to bring out the shine and hold in your hair strands, and leave it to your semi-dirty hair to maintain that loose curl hairspray-free!

7. Fishtail Braid


Channel your inner bohemian princess and rock this sexy over-the-shoulder fishtail. The loose and messy texture is perfect for an effortless look, and imperfect second-day hair just emphasizes the care-free vibe of this braid.

But if you’re worried about achieving this more complicated style, we are here to help! First, take all of your hair and pull it to the back or one side of your face. Then, after you secure your hair in a ponytail, start braiding. “Divide hair in two sections. Alternate taking a slither of hair from the outside of both sections. Tease the braid with a comb or pull the sides of the braid to give it a more edgy look,” Elyse says. Still confused? Take a look at this tutorial and remember that the more loose and tousled the braid, the better!


On days without a wash, you can either leave your dirty hair down in all of its glory or take advantage of its versatile texture and try something new! Either way, these hairstyles are sure to spice up second-day hair, leaving you looking styled and sassy (not unclean and undone). 

Logan is a senior at the University of Maryland - College Park. She is a Communication Studies major, focusing on Public Relations. She truly believes that you have to be bold enough to make the world the way you want it. She desires to inspire women from various backgrounds around the world and would love to have you along for the journey! Find her on Instagram @logantylerr
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