Whether you’re new to the no-poo lifestyle or haven’t washed your hair for years, you know there are countless benefits to giving up traditional shampoo: saving money, less exposure to chemicals, and healthy, gorgeous hair to name a few. Many no-poo devotees end up forgoing hairstyling products as well, because they disrupt your hair’s natural oil levels and are difficult to wash out without harsh cleansing agents. This is not a problem 90% of the time, but when you’re having a bad hair day that you know a nice coating of hairspray would fix, or find yourself lusting after hairstyles on Pinterest that require copious amounts of mousse to execute, it can be frustrating.
Luckily, a few simple hair accessories can do the work of a whole bathroom cabinet’s worth of hair products, no shampoo required. Read on for some fun styling shortcuts for no ‘poo believers, or just anyone who’d like to cut back on hair products while still looking fabulous.
These simple headbands are great for holding your hair back at the gym or while you take your makeup off at night, but they can also be used as a hairstyling shortcut for easy, pretty looks that don’t require product.
How To Use It: One of our favorite styles to create with a thin elastic headband is an undone tuck. Here’s a great example. Just put the headband on around the crown of your head, and then twirl 1-inch pieces of hair around it and tuck the ends between the headband and your head. You can tuck the top layer of hair and leave the rest down as shown in the link, or if you have shorter hair, you can tuck all your ends in, which creates a gorgeous, vintage-y rolled bob that’s flattering for all face shapes.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, as the cliché goes, but did you know that a spritz of hairspray is worth five mini bobby pins? It’s true. Pretty much any hairstyle tutorial that ends with “mist generously with hairspray” can be finished just as effectively by securing with a few extra mini bobby pins.
How To Use Them: For all kinds of buns, tucks, twists and chignons, use mini bobby pins to secure flyaways and hold the style in place without hairspray. For a sophisticated take on a classic ponytail, wrap a half-inch piece of hair around the base of your ponytail to hide the elastic, and secure underneath with a mini pin. For a fun, bohemian look, braid a piece of hair just behind your ear, then pull across your head and pin on the other side. Choose pins the same color as your hair so you can use as many as you want and they’ll (mostly) blend in.
Don’t worry — no one’s suggesting that you wrap a scrunchie around your ponytail and call it a day (although hey, if your signature look involves a scrunchie, we’re not here to judge). Scrunchies might be a little outdated as daily hair accessories, but they’re awesome as a hairstyling tool. Their soft fabric texture means they won’t damage your hair in the same way hair elastics can, which makes them ideal for styling wet hair that’s prone to breakage and split ends.
How To Use It: Shower and rinse hair at night. Towel dry, and then twist hair back into a swirled bun. Really focus on getting a good twist from the top of your hair to the bottom before you twist it all up into the bun. Secure twisted bun with a scrunchie and get started counting sheep. You’ll wake up with soft waves in the morning — no mousse or curling product necessary.
Again, not suggesting you wear a stretchy fabric headband out on the town. Instead, use it to train unwieldy bangs or a cowlick to lay flat without using hairspray, gel, or damaging flatirons.
How To Use It: Pull headband down over the top of your head and over bangs so your bangs are flush against your forehead underneath the fabric. Adjust the direction of your bangs accordingly (slide them slightly to the right under the headband if you want them to fall to the right, or vice versa), and leave on while you put on your makeup, do the dishes, listen to a podcast, etc. After 15 minutes under the headband, your bangs will be much better behaved. For extra crazy cowlicks, aim a blow dryer at the area 30 seconds to a minute before taking off the headband.
READ MORE: Is It Really OK to Stop Using Shampoo?