15 products we rely on to turn bad hair days around - from $7 serums to $160 styling tools

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  • Frizzy, greasy, flat, matted - no matter what your version of a bad hair day looks like, it probably doesn't look great.
  • There are countless of products out there promising to help your hair on days when your locks have a mind of its own, but it can be hard to know what's actually worth trying.
  • That's why I asked my co-workers to share their bad hair day hacks - products, tools, and accessories they actually use to manage those seemingly unmanageable locks.
  • Below you'll find 15 products we actually use to deal with our locks on bad hair days.

We've all had our fair share of bad hair days - and if you haven't, please share your secrets. For most of us, it's unusual to wake up every single morning with naturally shiny, healthy hair. Some days, our locks look a little more "bed head" than "beach wave." Plus, on busy mornings, dealing with our hair isn't usually on the top of the priorities list.

Luckily, there are so many products out there promising to tame frizz, absorb grease, add texture and volume - it's just a matter of finding the ones that are actually worth spending your money on. As a team of reviewers, we've all tried plenty of products, including ones for our hair. That's why I asked my co-workers to share their own bad hair day hacks - the products, tools, and accessories they rely on to tame their own hair when it's at its most unruly. When you feel like there's no way you can manage your next bad hair day, hopefully one of these products can help you out.

Keep reading for 15 products, tools, and accessories we count on to make our bad hair days better:

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A spiral-shaped hair tie that adds volume to your ponytails

A spiral-shaped hair tie that adds volume to your ponytails
Invisibobble Slim Hair Ring, $8, available at Sephora

This hair tie has come to the rescue when my hair is not so worth of being out in public. I only wash my hair once every few days because it doesn’t get greasy, but I run into the issue of flat hair when I don’t rinse it for a while. This hair tie has been an awesome solution to lack of volume because the coils separate individual sections of your hair while it’s in the hair tie, making your ponytail look larger and more voluminous. — Megan Foster, intern

A teasing brush that adds some extra oomph

A teasing brush that adds some extra oomph
Drybar Texas Tease Brush, $18, available at Sephora

When I have a “bad hair day” it typically stems from a lack of volume. Since approximately the seventh grade, my go-to for this issue has been using a teasing brush to introduce volume back into my hair. This one from DryBar works wonders when you use it to tease the hair closest to your scalp. After teasing, I smooth down the top layer with the same comb and it gives my hair a just-washed look. — Megan Foster, intern

A thick styling paste that adds texture and body to dull hair

A thick styling paste that adds texture and body to dull hair
Redken Rewind Style Paste, $13.64, available at Amazon

The Rewind 06 has a more glue-like consistency than most hair pastes for men, but I love that a little goes a long way. I simply place a small dab on my hand, rub it to activate, and just massage it into my thick, straight hair (which stands up in all manner of ways when I don’t put anything in it) and play with it. What I like is that it lets me create either a messy look for play or something more subdued for work. — Les Shu, editor

A sea-salt mist that turns bad hair days into beach hair days

A sea-salt mist that turns bad hair days into beach hair days
OGX Sea Salt Spray, $7.22, available at Amazon

Before I use any product, I relax my hair with a salt-based spray. While I love the more expensive Surf Spray from Bumble & Bumble, my everyday go-to is the Sea Salt Spray from OGX because it doesn’t have an obnoxious scent, is relatively inexpensive, and is available at most stores and online. — Les Shu, editor

A translucent dry shampoo that helps you extend the time between your washes

A translucent dry shampoo that helps you extend the time between your washes
Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, $22 - $46, available at Nordstrom

As I train my hair and scalp not to degrade into a lank, greasy mess by not washing it every night, this dry shampoo has been an effective way to make the transition look less bad. It doesn’t leave any residue that tells everyone I used dry shampoo today, and it re-pumps my hair with natural-looking volume and lift. — Connie Chen, reporter

A lightweight spray that helps create beachy waves that'll hold all day

A lightweight spray that helps create beachy waves that'll hold all day
Ouai Wave Spray, $26, available at Sephora

Every day is kind of a bad hair day for me unless I heat-style my naturally wonky waves into something that looks somewhat decent. But when I don't have time to heat-style, I scrunch the IGK coconut oil gel all over my hair, twist for definition, hit it with this wave spray, and air dry. — Jada Wong, editor

A frizz-taming oil that's lightweight enough for all hair types

A frizz-taming oil that's lightweight enough for all hair types
OGX Renewing Argan Oil, $7.99, available at Ulta

This oil is lightweight so it can be used on most hair types. I have thick, curly hair that does whatever it wants. This Argan oil leaves my hair feeling light and smooth, and tames my frizz. — Francesca Rea, content producer

A water-resistant cream that minimizes frizz even in serious humidity

A water-resistant cream that minimizes frizz even in serious humidity
IGK Blocked Water-Resistant Hair Shield, $29, available at Sephora

I bought this after wandering into a Sephora on a muggy summer day with baby hairs so long they looked like TV antennas. Before I'd finished asking, an employee was bee-lining it to this: a "swim cap for your hair" that can thwart frizz even in swamp-like conditions.

Now, I use it to minimize frizz, lock in moisture, make hair "waterproof" on drizzly days and to slick down stubborn baby hairs for sleek ponytails. It works best if you put an inch-wide strip of this on the skin immediately before your hairline and push it back into the hair with your fingers, like you’re putting your hair up into a ponytail. Follow up with a fine-toothed comb to drag the rest of the product through to the middle of your head. — Mara Leighton, reporter

A styling tool that gives hair the look of a professional blow-out

A styling tool that gives hair the look of a professional blow-out
T3 BodyWaver Professional Ceramic Styling Tool, $160, available at Sephora

If I wake up with bad hair, I usually give up and put it in a bun. But, if I have the time, I use this hot tool for 30 minutes for the look of a round brush blow-out at home without the effort. Check out a picture comparison of this versus a salon blowout here. — Mara Leighton, reporter

A silk pillowcase that helps prevent bad hair days in the first place

A silk pillowcase that helps prevent bad hair days in the first place
Celestial Silk Pillowcase, $35.99, available at Amazon

I know, I know — this is proactive rather than reactive, but I think it’s worth mentioning how much of a difference sleeping on a silk pillowcase has made for my mass of habitually frizzy hair. I’d say it has cut my bad hair days by 70%. Less friction, a softer material, and better moisture retention makes for happy hair. — Mara Leighton, reporter

A texturizing salt spray that prevents matted locks

A texturizing salt spray that prevents matted locks
Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray, $24, available at Nordstrom

My hair is (almost) humorously non-complacent some days. I have exactly 14 cowlicks that are downright unmanageable unless I go for the full-on crop-top or the full-length Yanni mane — I’ve tried wearing both over the years, but neither is up for debate at this juncture, thank you very much.

In these moments, on my way out the door, under great duress and distress, I reach for something like Captain Blankenship’s Mer[man] Sea Salt Hair Spray. It doesn’t tame my cowlicks; it accentuates them. This way, no one section of my scalp goes too flat or matted. — Owen Burke, reporter

A styling cream that slicks hair back without looking greasy

A styling cream that slicks hair back without looking greasy
Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme, $26, available at Sephora

And if, for one reason or another, I’m headed somewhere formal and a messy, if consistent head of hair might be unacceptable (societal norms and whatnot), Bumble & Bumble’s Styling Cream works to slick my hair back without feeling too greasy or shellack-y. — Owen Burke, reporter

A beanie that hides a bad hair day altogether

A beanie that hides a bad hair day altogether
NEFF Daily Beanie, $14.40, available at Amazon

Waking up to messy hair on a rushed morning is less than ideal. When I don't have time to try to fix my hair by experimenting with different products, I'll just throw a hat on it and hide the bad hair day altogether. Unfortunately, this method is pretty much only useful during the winter, or whenever it's cold enough to warrant wearing a knit beanie. When it's too hot for a hat in the summer, I'll quickly tie my hair up into french braids instead — the style does a great job of masking grease and frizz. — Remi Rosmarin, reporter

A lightweight oil that protects against heat and smooths out frizz

 A lightweight oil that protects against heat and smooths out frizz
Kérastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum, $50, available at Sephora

Whether I let my hair dry naturally or dry it with heat, it's bound to get frizzy at some point in the day. I've tried an absurd amount of frizz creams and serums, but this is my favorite thus far. Since my hair gets greasy very quickly, I'm always a little hesitant of putting straight oil into it, but this lightweight formula adds shine without that greasy look. You can use it to protect hair against heat before a blow dry or to smooth your locks and minimize frizz on dry hair. Plus, it smells delightful.

I have naturally thin, wavy hair, but my waves can get pretty wonky, especially with humidity. If I wake up to a mess of these wonky, misshapen waves, I'll wet my dry hair from root to tip, run a few spritzes of this oil through it, and let it air dry — it takes a few more minutes than throwing on a hat, but it gives that just-hopped-out-of-the-shower look. — Remi Rosmarin, reporter

An all-natural baby powder that sops up grease

An all-natural baby powder that sops up grease
Burt's Bees Baby Powder, $7.19, available at Jet

There are plenty of dry shampoos out there that are meant to extend the life of your washes, but I've found the best solution to be a classic you probably already have in the cupboard: baby powder. The powder works wonders for sopping up grease — just give your roots a light dusting and brush through. If hair seems flat, tousling it with your fingers will help add some volume and further disperse the product.

If you're planning on using this to get rid of grease, give yourself some time for the powder to absorb — otherwise you may be left with some white residue along your roots. I haven't found this to be an issue, but I'd recommend taking a quick look in the mirror before you head out to check for yourself. — Remi Rosmarin, reporter

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