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Dirty Hair Tips for the Perfect Updo

How Dirty is Dirty?

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Dirty Hair Tips for the Perfect Updo
Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Should my hair be dirty for my updo? This is likely the most asked question and the biggest source of confusion in the wide world of special occasion hair.

The easy answer is no. I know, I know! That goes against everything you've ever heard about getting an updo, but let me explain!

Freshly washed squeaky clean hair, as a rule, is not the easiest to work with, but that definitely doesn't mean that you should go days without washing your before an updo. Trust me, no one wants to work with nasty greasy hair.

As a hair stylist, I believe that each of my clients are aware of their hair type. You know if your hair gets greasy and oily if you don't wash it daily. You know if your hair dries out too much if you wash it everyday. Everyone's head is different. The idea is that your hair not be "dirty" but that the moisture and oil in your hair should be properly balanced so that your hair will hold a style.

So here's my advice...

  • If you wash your hair everyday, then by all means wash your hair the day of your event. It's best to wash your hair a few of hours before your hair appointment.

  • If you don't wash your hair everyday, then I recommend that you wash your hair the day before your event. Overnight should give you plenty of time for the moisture in your hair to balance.
  • Please, do not sit in your stylist's hair with 3 day old, unwashed hair. Please.

Here are some other tips to ensure you get a great updo:

  • It's best to add some product to your hair after you wash it. Mousse or gel will help prepare your hair to hold a curl and the style. Work the product through your hair with a comb and dry.

  • If you know where you want your hair parted for your updo, place your part before it dries all the way. It can sometimes be hard to "replace" your part once it dries.

  • If your hair is straight, it can be helpful to blow dry your hair with your head tipped upside down to add body and volume.

  • If your hair is curly and you want to wear it curly, allow your hair to air dry or blow dry with a diffuser to preserve your curl. Use curl friendly hair products to ensure that your curl behaves itself and does not become frizzy.

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