Help me tamp down flyaway hairs
June 19, 2017 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I have long hair that I frequently wear in a ponytail or bun to keep it out of my way. When I do this, inevitably a halo of short hairs escape the ponytail and stick up around my face.

Headbands hurt, so I'm looking for cruelty-free products or pinning suggestions that will keep my hair lying flat on my head without looking lacquered or feeling greasy to the touch.

posted by delight to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
When you say headbands do you mean just hard plastic ones? Because there are these soft ones that are just a loosely stretchy fabric that work nicely and don't hurt me at all.
posted by greta simone at 10:36 AM on June 19, 2017

I generally always did this (and still, even though my hair is short, I have flyaways) by running a bit of gel through my hair, just a dab rubbed briskly between my hands just before I make the ponytail. Any gel will do. Alternately, a quick mist of hairspray just before you pull it back should give you just enough tack to make hairs stay closer to each other (and hairspray, generally, also reduces static, which can make the flyaways worse). You can even just spray it on your hands, or do the pony first and then mist and smooth down.

Any product marked "touchable" shouldn't be stiff or crunchy.

Alternately, I like the kind of headbands with the elastic back or made from stretchy-lycra-y fabric. These are critical to being able to do any sort of exercise as I can't stand even a strand touching my face, and I have a huge noggin.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:42 AM on June 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Little bit of gel or molding paste just above the forehead helps a lot.
posted by zippy at 10:53 AM on June 19, 2017

Any moisturizer, including your usual handcream, will help with this. You can just smooth your hands over your hair.

Use sparingly, of course.
posted by tel3path at 11:15 AM on June 19, 2017

You might try a soft pomade. I don't know what your budget is but I've used and liked:
Explicitly cruelty-free:
I love pretty much everything LUSH makes. Here's their styling page.
BLOWPro Mane Tame.
Kenra Platinum Grooming Pomade.

I'm currently using ENJOY texture cream, which I use a pea sized ball and rub it fast between my fingers til it turns white, then run it along my hairline. It's mildly sticky, but doesn't dry hard or greasy. They are also cruelty-free, and make a pomade that I've not used, but might work just fine too.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:19 AM on June 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

You aren't using rubber bands on your ponytails, are you? The problem with those is that while they do hold your hair, they also BREAK your hair, resulting in strands too short to be gathered into the ponytail.
posted by easily confused at 11:23 AM on June 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

A more long-term solution is to stop wrapping your hair up in a turban after you shower (if you do that?)
I can't find it now, but someone posted a link to a video about this a few years ago--apparently it causes the little hairs around your face to break off. I switched to the method in the video back then, and now no more flyaways! It does take a while to grow out, though.
Absent the video, I will try to explain what to do instead:
1. Hold the towel up with the long edge parallel to the floor.
2. Fold over about an inch along the long edge.
3. Tilt your head back and swoop the towel around so the middle of the folded edge is on your forehead, and the rest of the towel covers your hair.
4. Tuck one side of the towel under your hair, then the other.
5. Gently squeeze along the length of your hair.
6. That's it!
posted by exceptinsects at 11:24 AM on June 19, 2017 [6 favorites]

this stuff is good.

Hair spray is also extremely effective at making specific pieces of hair stay where they are supposed to be. Try spraying it in your hand and then smoothing your hair back to your ponytail, instead of spraying it directly onto your head.
posted by redorangeyellow at 12:34 PM on June 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

I have always had these and they're not broken hairs from bands or towels. I spray hairspray on my hands and smooth them back. Or, I wet my hands with water, smooth back the hairs, and then spray with hairspray. If you don't use extra hold hairspray and use a lighter hold formula instead, your hair won't be crunchy or look wet all day.
posted by quince at 1:02 PM on June 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

anti-frizz serum
posted by Jacqueline at 6:03 PM on June 19, 2017

I cut all of my baby hairs/"shitty little hairs" off recently. Admittedly this is a drastic option, but I feel so, so much better for having done it.

I have a bunch of sensory issues, and the sensation of having tiny shitty little bits of hair in my face or touching my ears/neck is hugely distracting and irritating to me, to the point where I can't really concentrate on anything else if the hair is touching me (the same sensory issues also make gel/wax/other leave-in product an issue). The ones growing out at my sideburns were particularly bad - they were long enough to get greasy more quickly than the rest of the hair but not long enough to be contained within a ponytail, and they felt like stupid antennae sticking out of the side of my head whenever I tied my hair back. I felt immediate relief from this sensation as soon as I cut them off.

The goal was twofold: a) be able to tie my (curly, between-chin-and-shoulder-length) hair back without having a halo of frizz around the front & sides of my head, and b) be less irritated by the same hairs when my hair is down (my hair texture is pretty dry, so the shitty little hairs get very frizzy and flyaway easily, and don't sit right with the rest of the curls).

I isolated the offending hairs by tying my hair back and then trimming everything that looked super wispy and was clearly coming from the front of my hairline or the sideburns. I trimmed it back using scissors, as close to my head as I could get it while still having it lie flat (and not so short as to look stubbly, as my hair is super dark and my skin is super pale and it and tends to look like dirt rather than short hair when there's a stubbly patch). I also lifted my hair up at the back and got my partner to trim/buzz the hairs on the back of my neck, and I took out most of the bottom layer at the back because that was the hair that was more likely to fall out of a ponytail within minutes of me tying it up. I then repeated this a couple of times - tie it back and trim anything that doesn't sit neatly in the ponytail.

I am fortunate that my hair falls over this area naturally anyway, so you can't really see it at all when it's down, and when it's up it's hard to see anything unusual because it all looks neat and even; ymmv depending on how your hair sits.

It's been amazing so far, and I have zero regrets. I also noticed a coworker (more fashionable than me, much straighter hair type) keeps the same hairs trimmed short and it looks good on her - I wouldn't have noticed at all had I not just done the exact same thing myself.

I put off doing this for at least six months because there was so little information on the internet about it, and what there was basically sounded like bullshit - the overall advice was "OMG NO!! do not cut off those hairs!! you will regret it massively, because [not really actual reasons, like 'Kim Kardashian did this and then regretted it']". I do not regret it at all; in fact, I regret not doing it sooner because it's been such a huge relief.
posted by terretu at 3:24 AM on June 20, 2017

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