How to Fake Second-Day Hair

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

My hair is a sassy bugger, let me tell you. But, to be completely honest, I both love and hate that my hair is so finicky — as in, dry some days, flat on others, straightish and fine sometimes and wavy and thick-feeling the next minute — precisely because it’s given this beauty product junkie an excuse to put together a veritable wardrobe of styling products. Never knowing what my hair might be doing on a given day is a bummer, sure — but, variety is the spice of life, right?

Here’s the thing: my ultimate hair goal is to somehow achieve that perfect Alexa Chung bedhead. You know the kind: shiny yet still textured, like a girl with natually straight, healthy hair, simply sprayed in some salt spray (that she made herself with real seawater from the beach — she’s Californian, of course), hit the hay with damp locks, and woke up looking vaguely French, and vaguely like a badass surfer chick. That’s not so much to ask, right? Well, here is where my arsenal of hair-perfecting supplies comes in.

Ahead, check out a few of my favorite cool-girl-hair fakers. If you think it’s ironic that I go through the trouble of shampooing this head of hair, drying it, and then spend so much time just trying to make it look dirty again — well, you would be smart. But, our search for beauty doesn’t always make sense, which is precisely why I love it. To each her own!

featured image via free people


Alterna Bamboo Volume 2-in-1 Volumizer

This stuff is super, duper cool — but I still don’t even know what it is. Styling cream? Texture paste? Pomade? It comes out of the tube as a light cream, but feels really weird and chalky as you rub it in your hands. But, applied to hair, it is magic: all of the second-day texture, without the literal gunkiness of truly dirty hair. Score.

Alterna Bamboo Volume 2-in-1 Volumizer, $25

Sachajuan Ocean Mist

So, I never realized this, but there are actually different degrees of salt spray, from very salty to only lightly salty. I’ve used, and really love, Ocean Mist by Sachajuan, but this stuff is seriously salty — spray with caution, lest you end up with hair that literally feels as if you were assaulted by an ocean wave.

Sachajuan Ocean Mist, $28

Redken Fashion Waves 07 Texturizing Salt Spray

If I’m looking for a more subtle boost of texture, I turn to Redken Fashion Waves. I was shocked at how light, yet powerful, this stuff was when I first used it. Perfect for fine and flat hair that rebels from too much product by becoming…even flatter.

Redken Fashion Waves 07 Sea Salt Spray, $17.99

Verb Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo on clean hair? Believe it; I worked with an editor once who swore that brushing dry shampoo through freshly washed hair gave her texture and prevented her hair from becoming oily. And yes, she had amazing hair. So, believe it.

Verb Dry Shampoo, $14

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil

The unfortunate thing about dry shampoo? It leaves your hair matte…almost too matte. (I know, you’re starting to question my sanity at this point, aren’t you?) For a dose of shine that’s so light that it won’t weigh down your hard-won texture, apply a pea-size drop of this weightless oil.

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, $38

Rahua Hair Wax

If I need a bit of extra oomph (or if all of this messing with my strands has caused more than a few flyaways), I turn to this awesome, silky, all-natural hair wax. It gets everything exactly the way I want it — and it smells divine, too!

Rahua Hair Wax, $32