Who you going to call when…
…the normally reliable staying power of your style fails you?
…the weather, be it wind, humidity, or sudden downpour, swoops down on the unsuspecting (that would be you) and at the worst possible time?
…your otherwise well-mannered strands declare a wildcat strike and go crazy for reasons known only to them?
Look. Stuff happens.
When it does your painstakingly put together style can go south in a hurry.
Leaving you stuck with whatever your hair wants to do for the duration unless you have an emergency kit to bring order to the chaos and end all the drama.
For those reasons no self-respecting hair diva should ever leave home without ready access to one. Be it in her purse, way in the back of her desk’s bottom drawer, or in carry on luggage when traveling– TSA permitting obviously.
Such a “magic bag” that you can pull solutions out of can be a real life saver when the unexpected happens and wrecks-havoc on our manes.
So don’t be a damsel in distress. Be prepared so you can strike back with confidence.
You must be wondering, so what say we skip the suspense and reveal
Your Emergency Kit Basics
At a bare minimum you should be packing these at all times.
- Bobby Pins
- Hair Elastics
- Travel Sized Hair Spray
- Travel Sized Texturizer or Dry shampoo
- Clear Eyebrow Gel
- Clean Mascara Wand
- Dryer Sheets
- Compact Brush
Now safely armed and dangerous here’s some tips on how and when to use them. Or some examples of could-be-harrowing hair situations that can be easily handled minus the panic.
Fly Away Without Me
It’s really easy to fix any unwanted flyaways that have developed a mind of their own. Or to tame baby hairs feeling frisky that you unexpectedly find yourself facing.
Emergency Essential: Clean mascara wand
If your hairline is home to a clan of rogue strands it’s time to break out an old mascara wand (or toothbrush). Spritz the dry wand with shot of hairspray and run it through the trouble spots to bring those strands to heel. This trick will lock them down on contact.
Even better, using a tiny mascara wand insures no snagging of your hair like the more traditional comb might.
As an alternative there’s…
Emergency Essential: Clear Eyebrow Gel
This is a little known way to rein in any wild wisps threatening your look.
Or another good idea in a small, convenient package.
And it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Clear eyebrow gel really can bring any rebellious strands in line quickly and no one will guess how you did it.
That makes the decision to include this an easy one.
Make the Static Go Away
Oh no! Your hair looks like you’ve got a hand on Van de Graff ball.
Sure that’s an entertaining parlor trick. But it’s not so great when you were hoping for something more smooth and ultra-sleek.
If there was ever a time to send out a hair distress call, this is it.
Emergency Essential: Dryer sheets
Did you know dryer sheets can do more than handle the static cling plaguing your socks?
In fact they are one of the oldest hair hacks in the book. That’s because they can take the “static” out of static electricity helping to calm down hair pronto. (Especially smart to have handy during the winter months.)
It’s an unexpected bonus that they also fix nicely into your purse without taking up much space.
Their reputation as static killer is why many will simply lightly rub one along the top of their mane.
They work because they are coated with a special wax with magic static killing properties.
Of course there are those dryer sheet snobs who will tell you to invest in some high priced anti static sheets designed specifically for hair.
Yeah right. Let me get right on that. Because I can get 240 sheets of Bounce for like $9. Or, if I’m in a coma or unconscious I can order 15 NS Anti frizz sheets for $18.
Now I’m not necessarily great at math. But this is such an obvious difference even I can see you’d have to be outta your mind to spend over a dollar a sheet for what’s basically the equivalent of Bounce just because they happen to be Khloe Kardashian’s favorites.
Or am I the only one who thinks that?
Besides even if dryer sheets are not specially formulated for use on your hair, if you’re going to use them only occasionally, what’s the diff?
Unless of course your skin reacts to some random chemical in the laundry room variety and gets all red and gnarly. Then sorry for you luck. Seems you’re stuck with the high priced alternatives.
Otherwise stick a few Bounce sheets in a baggie you can seal tight. Cram that in your emergency kit and call it a day.
Oh and as a preventative a little Static Guard sprayed on your scarf or inside your hat can neutralize static before your hair is sticking straight up.
Also don’t forget brushing staticky hair is a definite no-no.
During your last face to face with your mane in the mirror at home things looked voluminous enough. But upon arrival at your destination not so much. Leaving you to ask:
Where Did the Volume Go?
To turn a style that fell flat into something with more lift and body you’re going to need some professional help.
Emergency Essential: Travel size texturizing spray
This is not kit optional. Or at least shouldn’t be.
Obviously you know how to use this stuff. Flip your hair upside down and spray liberally into your roots. Take it to the next level by massaging the product in with your fingers.
Can you say instant, maybe even insane, volume? (Okay maybe not insane but for sure more than you had.)
There. You can breathe big sigh of relief?
Awwk! It’s a Frizz Out
Okay so you get to work only to discover your mane has made a new friend along the way with someone who goes by the name off Frizz.
Emergency Essential: Baby Wipes
Wipe gently over your hair and prepare to be amazed. They can smooth down a bad case of the frizz in no time.
Emergency Essential: Hand Lotion
Another frizz quick fix is hand lotion. Who doesn’t have some of that in their clutch?
A dollop about the size of a dime rubbed between your palms and then run lightly over the affected parts of your tresses can tame the frizz for the day. And if you don’t go crazy with how much this shouldn’t make your hair greasy either.
This works because it adds a blast of moisture which works to smooth down the frizz.
One more? Dryer sheets can also be an option for taming frizzy hair.
Hair Gone All Wonky
Any time you face general hair craziness you need to be able to put down the rebellion.
Emergency Essential: Bobby Pins
If due to no fault of your own your hair is going multiple directions at once when you arrive at your desk it’s bobby pins time.
They are an emergency kit essential and live for situations like this.
Better still these style savers don’t take up a lot of space but they can rescue you from a lot of problems.
I can’t imagine facing crunch time without them.
Here again there’s an ordinary girl solution or the celebrity wannabe alternative.
Me, a true non-celebrity, well, I stick a stash of bobby pins in a handy dandy empty amber pill bottle. Lots fit perfectly in a small one with room to spare for your elastics and everything.
But here again you can splurge and get something more cool girl adorable like “Bumble and Bumble’s Pin Tin”.
Sadly I could only find rumor of said tin as it seems no one who actually sells it. Major bummer. (Although my determined efforts did turn up something close for only $11.95.)
Have to admit the missing in action pin tin strongly suggests to me that too many found the empty pill bottle option was all they really needed – uncool as that might be.
Of course you may have no other recourse than to throw your less than stylish strands into a ponytail or messy bun for the day.
In that case it’s of utmost importance that you stashed some elastics.
Emergency Essential: Hair ties
Just stick some of these super tiny hair saviors in with the bobby pins and move on.
Having extras on hand gives you style saving replacements should one snap in the line of duty.
And like I said they’re indispensable should you need to pull a hairstyle out of a hat on the spur of the moment.
Without these no can do.
But with a ready supply all options are open to you from salvaging a ponytail to a quickly done French braid to a thrown together topknot.
Emergency Essential: Hair Spray
Another pretty obvious pick for mane “may days”. A travel sized bottle can save the day should a style start to unravel or curls choose to uncurl.
Emergency Essential: Dry Shampoo
Maybe not a “must schlep” but still something smart to have hidden away in your desk drawer or locker.
Especially if you tend not to shampoo daily then don’t you dare leave home without this multi-purpose solution.
It can effortlessly add lift and fullness or sop up any greasy roots that appeared out of nowhere when trying to go one day too many between shampooings. (Not judging – just saying)
If that’s you then you should always be packing some of this – travel size obviously.
Or at least stockpile a little cornstarch (in another medicine bottle) as an alternate way to deal with an oily condition you’d rather others not see.
Granted these little helpers just listed may not leave you looking red carpet ready exactly. But at least you won’t look like you spent the night dumpster diving either.
A Word About Travel Sized
Super tiny travel sized is great for being conveniently small. Just know you pay a price for something so Munchkin appropriate. Often you can snag the adult size for about the same money. Of course that won’t fit in any handy pouch you’re got hidden out of sight. Just know there is a price to pay for stealthy SOS smallness.
Anyway say you’re denied access to your emergency kit.
Time to improvise.
Weird, Wacky, Off Beat Fixes
Yeah sometimes you have to make do with what’s handy. Here’s how.
Unexpected Hack: Foaming Hand Soap
If you have no other alternatives the foaming soaps found in many public restrooms can work like styling mousse in a pinch. So should the need arise squirt then scrunch. You can re-style from there best you can knowing that the soap will provide some surprising hold.
Unexpected Hack: Toothbrush
If your poofy ponytail suddenly isn’t you can use a tooth brush to tease it back to life. Instant volume.
Unexpected Hack: Hand Sanitizer Packets
Uh oh, a glance in the mirror reveals a previously undetected oil spill in your hair.
The alcohol in these sanitizers, whether from a bottle or packet, can quickly take out a budding oil slick up there.
Spread on the target areas and let the alcohol vaporize the oil.
Your strands will not look as good as just washed but still a great way to freshen up hair that’s taken on an oil slick like sheen or shiny just not in a good way.
Unexpected Hack: Clean Toilet Seat Cover
Also readily available in public restrooms. They make for yet another useful way to contain a mane oil spill in progress.
Works like blotting paper to sop up excess oil.
Unexpected Hack: Lip Balm
While lip balm doesn’t officially qualify as pomade it does in an emergency. You can use this bring order to curls gone wild. Just swipe some across your finger tips and after warming up in your palms swipe where needed. Instant smoothness.
This hack works because lip balm contains beeswax just like pomade. Sometimes, but not always, that’s all you need to bring the situation back under control.
Pretty nifty, right?
Unexpected Hack: Wet Wipes
Another good to know trick for greasiness.
These are more commonly used to wipe baby’s bottoms but can also ward off a budding grease attack for the same reason hand sanitizers do. Alcohol.
They can pretty much instantly turn around a greasy roots situation rapidly escalating out of control. Blot on your scalp to soak up the excess oil then give the alcohol time to evaporate.
Maybe not perfect. But again, better than doing nothing.