5 Reasons Why You’re Having a Bad Hair Day (and What to Do About It)

Bad hair days: They happen to the best of us. They can really bring you down and make you want to reach for that baseball cap for cover. Unfortunately, bad hair days can have an impact not only on how you view yourself but on your mental health. Research out of Stanford Graduate School of Business shows that appearances have an outsize effect on our behavior. In other words, that bad hair day actually matters.

Not to worry though, because with every problem comes a solution and preventative measures for the future. Whatever the reason for your less than stellar follicular presentation, here are five reasons why you’re having that proverbial bad-hair-day to begin with, and what you can do to salvage your strands.

1. Blame it on the rain

Woman touching her hair in bathroom

Your bad hair day could be from the weather. | iStock.com/RyanKing999

This is not just a Milli Vanilli song. You may not realize this, but humidity is almost an instant hair killer. It’s an almost universal catalyst for frizzy or uncooperative locks, regardless of your hair type. During periods of high humidity, even people who normally aren’t susceptible to frizzy locks might be combating dry, unmanageable fluffy ends. Although moisture-laden air alone can create bad hair days, often those unpleasant frizzy or limp and unappealing effects are caused by the combination of humidity and other dynamics. If you have curly hair, humidity can change the curl pattern, and if you have straight hair, it can leave your hair frizzy and full of flyaways. Regardless, the higher the humidity, the more you want to consider using a wax-based product, which will do much better at keeping your hair as close to normal as possible, no matter how much moisture is in the air.

2. You’re shampooing way too often

man washing his hair in the shower

Don’t shampoo more than necessary. | iStock.com

You should not be washing your hair every day, no matter how clean it makes you feel. Washing your hair too often strips your hair of essential nutrients and the oils that it needs. Those nutrients and oils are what makes your hair look so fantastic. Washing too often simply makes your locks much more susceptible to more bad hair days.

Senior stylist Luke Kalat of Seagull salon in New York tells Birchbox that washing your hair every day actually accelerates oil production, which can counteract that clean feeling of shampooing and leave your hair looking oily. Kalat recommends shampooing twice a week in this explanation:

After about a month, your scalp will adjust and not produce as much oil. If you’re someone who works out every day, washing twice a week might sound like a bad idea. Similarly, if you have thinner hair, oil can make it look even thinner. But instead of shampooing each time you shower, I tell a lot of my customers to rinse their hair thoroughly with warm water and massage in a light conditioner to break up oil and sweat.

Following this advice will allow you to maintain a healthy level of natural oil without too much buildup of grease on your scalp. As with everything else in life, it’s all about balance to help fight those bad hair days.

3. You haven’t gotten your hair cut in a while

man getting his hair cut

Keep up with your hair cuts. | iStock.com

Generally speaking, if you don’t remember the last time you cut your hair this could be a pretty big reason why you’re starting to have more bad hair days than good. You probably have split ends, dry hair, and loss of a discernible shape, therefore it’s harder to style. That said, to ensure you avoid bad hair days, according to Beverly Hills hairdresser Nick Chavez, the answer to your hair woes begins with a great haircut. “Get the very best haircut you can afford, because in the end, it’s the cut that determines how easy your hair will be to style. And a good one can go a long way in helping you avoid a bad hair day,” Chavez tells WebMD. He also adds when the cut is good, your hair will naturally behave under all circumstances and will allow you to style it to your heart’s desire.

Conversely, If you’ve recently changed your hairstyle, you may have some trouble working with it at first. Get some ideas from the stylist before leaving the salon.

4. You haven’t embraced the blow dryer yet

young man drying his hair

Embrace the blow dryer. | iStock.com

We’re not saying that your bad hair days are caused by you not using a blow dryer — rather, it’s that you’ve used other damaging methods, like towel drying or combing your hair while it’s wet. While these sound pretty mundane, these other drying methods can completely sabotage your hairstyle. Your hair is very fragile when it’s wet and all this pulling, friction, and any other stress you place on it will increase breakage and frizz, while also adding static electricity. All of this together makes it much harder to style, so consider blow drying your hair. Not only will you be able to direct the way you would like your hair to flow, but it will make it much easier to apply product.

Grooming guru Eric Neher tells Birchbox that not only is blow drying your hair a great way to de-frizz, but it lays the groundwork for using pomade and hair paste, as these products will only adhere to/shape your hair if it’s completely dry. Think about it this way: If you’re into styling your hair with product, using a blow dryer can help you cut down time in your grooming routine. Blow drying your hair can take less than a minute, whereas air drying it can take significantly longer.

5. You’re using the same shampoos and conditioners for too long

two bottles of shampoo

Switch up your shampoo. | iStock.com


If you’ve ever wondered why your hair tends to look fresher and healthier after using a new shampoo and conditioner, only to find that after a couples of weeks of using it your hair starts to dull, subsequently causing bad hair days, there’s a simple reason for this: Your hair’s texture gradually becomes accustomed to the products you’re using. Once this happens, your hair reaches it’s peak “good” style, if you will, and it’s basically all down hill from there. There’s a simple solution for this: Avoid bad hair days by switching up your shampoo and conditioner every month or so. You’ll see the difference in your mane, plus, you’ll feel like you’re giving yourself and your hair a refresher, which should make you feel great.