How to Style Greasy Hair So No One Can Tell You Skipped a Wash Day

Olaplex bun, we see you.

How to Style Greasy Hair So No One Can Tell You Skipped a Wash Day
Photo: Getty Images

It happens to the best of us — life gets busy and you skip a wash day (or two). There are certainly more stressful situations to find yourself in, but nevertheless, rocking greasy hair isn't exactly confidence-boosting when you're hyper-aware of how badly your hair needs a cleanse.

With that said, your scalp's natural oils can make some slicked-back styles easier to achieve than if you have freshly washed hair. (We see you, Olaplex bun.)

If you do want to disguise your greasy hair, either by leaning into the oilier look or concealing it, there are many ways to do so, whether you have short or long hair, and whether you want to wear it up or down. From trendy zig-zag headbands to classic slicked back updos, view eight of our favorite greasy hair looks for the next time you forget to wash your hair.

01 of 08

Early 2000s Front Pieces

"This is a great look for greasy hair, where the grease works in your favor." says celebrity hairstylist and T3 ambassador, Laura Polko. "Typically, this look requires pomade to keep hair in place, but natural oils work just as well as product!"

To get the look, she says to take fringe or shorter front pieces and use the T3 Edge heated brush to get pieces to hang the right way.

02 of 08

The Wet Look

greasy hairstyles
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Really lean into your hair's shine by doubling down and making it megawatt. The wet look is all the rage right now, and it's perfect for grunge girl fall.

To recreate the style, celebrity hairstylist and Matrix Brand Ambassador, Castillo, previously told InStyle to coat hair with lightweight oil and lightweight gel. Easy!

03 of 08

Bubble Ponytail

instyle greasy hairstyles
Rich Fury/FilmMagic

Fun, statement-making, and effective at distracting from dirty hair, bubble ponytails are a playful way to disguise grease.

To get the look, slick your hair back and secure it at the nape of your neck with an elastic. Then, space out the next elastic to your desired distance and, once secure, gently tug at it to make the bubble voluminous.

04 of 08

Zig-Zag Headbands

greasy hair hairstyles
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"This is the perfect look for greasy hair because typically the roots showcase the most oil and a headband can hide it well," says Polko.

To recreate the look, she says to brush the oils through the hair so it more evenly distributed from roots to the ends. "I like tuck the ends of the hair under with the T3 AireBrush Duo round barrel attachment for a very Y2K look," she adds.

05 of 08

Braided Ponytail

greasy hairstyles
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Whether you part your hair in the middle or to the side, a low, braided pony is the perfect way to disguise greasy hair as the top will look slick and any lingering grease from mid-shaft down to the tips will be blend in together.

InStyle previously reported that for this look, HoYeon Jung's hairstylist, Jenny Cho, created this braid inspired by traditional Korean plaits using ghd hot tools and brushes.

VIDEO: Zig-Zag Parting Is the Edgy, Y2K Trend That's About to Make a Comeback

06 of 08

Space Buns

greasy hairstyles
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If you're going for a youthful hairstyle that screams Y2K, opt for a pair of space buns. Extra points if you style your edges in swirly waves à la Yara Shahidi.

07 of 08

Snap Clips

"When your hair is super greasy, hit it with a blow dryer, like the T3 AireLuxe Dryer with Volume Boost switch on, and blast your hair upside down — this helps get volume back in the hair, which is lost with grease," says Polko.

To get the look, she says to part the front sections of your hair, showcasing the shine from oils, and then use two snap clips to keep the sections in place.

08 of 08

Slicked-Back Buns

greasy hairstyles
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

While slicked-back buns aren't a new trend, its newer name — the Olaplex bun — took TikTok and the rest of the world by storm earlier this year when users noted that this hairstyle made for the perfect opportunity to simultaneously use a leave-in treatment.

Slicking your hair back to the Gods helps disguise excess shine and, in place, makes it seem chic and intentional.

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