hairstyles for dirty hair buns

37 Easy Hairstyles for Dirty Hair

37 Easy Hairstyles for Dirty Hair

“What Hairstyles can you do with dirty hair?” You might have asked yourself.

Here are 37 easy hairstyles for dirty hair that you can wear to work, the gym, even for everyday.

hairstyles for dirty hair buns

What qualifies hair as dirty?

Second or third day hair is usually what qualifies as dirty hair. When it just begins to look a little oily.

It’s hard to wash your hair often, and quite honestly, washing too frequently is more damaging to the hair and skin than you might think.

You should be washing your hair once every three or four days. Even going a week between washes is okay!

Is it Okay to Wash Your Hair Once a Week?

But what do we do with our hair in the in between days, when it’s not quite fresh anymore and we have to hide the oil?

Dry Shampoo.

Dry shampoo is a great tool to use when you want to stretch out a few days between washes but when you use dry shampoo for more than two days in a row it will start to buildup on your hair and scalp.

I recommend, at this point, to begin training your hair to not need dry shampoo every day that you don’t wash it and use some of these styles instead.

How to Train your Hair to Not Get Oily

With that being said, let’s jump into these 37 styles shall we?

Hairstyles for Dirty Hair – 9 Buns to Try

Buns are great for work, the gym, at home, just because, special occasions, and for dirty hair.

hair buns

There are innumerable variations of the ideas below. Feel free to mix and match these different styles and even positions on the head.

You can place buns High, Mid, or Low for different looks and for different purposes. You would wear a completely different bun to the gym than you might to work.

Experiment with these styles and see which one is better for you, easiest for you to style, and looks the best for what you are looking for!

The top knot has been THE STYLE for years now. But let’s add some more style to the top knot and make it less of a go-to term. The top knot is just a bun on top of the head and can be done with any of the buns listed below, which is why it is not listed as a style on this list.

  • Braided Bun

Tie your hair into a ponytail at whatever height you want. High, Mid, or Low, and implement a three strand braid (if you need help with the three strand braid, see directions below in the braid section).

Once you have your basics and foundation for this style down you can now wrap the braid around itself

  • Rope Braid Bun

Establish where you would like your bun, high, mid, or low. Then split the ponytail into two and begin twisting the two in the same direction (either both to the right – clockwise- or to the left – counter clockwise).

At the same time start twisting the two twists around each other, creating a rope.

Do not twist all the way down and then twist the two together, you will loose the tension at the top if you do so.

Once you have twisted the entire rope tie it with a tiny hair tie. Then wrap the rope around the ponytail. This will make the bun look super complicated but really, it only took you a few minutes!

The rope braid is tricky for those with a lot of layers or short hair.

A smaller rope braid bun looks like a rose! It is so pretty on flower girls, space buns, and half-up buns. But more on that later.

  • Space Buns

Piggy tail buns.

Space buns are so cute! These are either done high or low, not in the middle or else you’ll look like princess Leia from Star Wars.

Accessories are excellent to use with this style.

You can also do space buns half-up. But more on that below.

  • Messy Bun

A classic around the house-easy go-to but also worn regularly in weddings. There are a variety of messy buns out there.

The messy bun is easiest on curly hair because the curls are bouncy and give the mess a prettier look rather than a straight-haired messy bun (like mine).

If you have straight hair you can quickly and easily create a messy bun by tying a loose braid and pulling out pieces just slightly so that the braid is messy. Then twist it up into a bun. Voila! a cute messy bun on straight hair!

The messy bun is a great one to accessorize (see below).

  • Side Bun

The side bun is usually worn low, below the ears to one side or the other. You can do a messy, braid, two strand twist, or a regular ballerina style classic bun to the side.

When I style my hair in a side bun it’s usually the end of a diagonal french braid across the back of my head. I’ve worn this style to and in weddings as well as just because.

  • Accessorized Bun

Personally, I have a cute little flower clip accessory that I will add to the side of my bun just because it adds a little bit of my personality to it.

You can use a variety of different accessories to the bun that you choose. There are plenty of options out there! Jeweled clips, pins, flowers, or even headbands to wear with your bun.

Play with different accessories to see what you might like to add a little more personality to your hair.

  • Ribbon Bun

Tie a ribbon to the ponytail -whether it be high, mid, low, or to the side- and twist or braid it into the bun you were going to do in the first place. It adds a little pop of color to the bun and you can bobby pin it just like you would hair!

Silk ribbon works the best for this style.

  • French Braid into a Bun

Starting at either the center of the top of your head and twisting the braid into a bun low at the nape, or having a diagonal french braid wrapping from the side of the head and twisting the braid into a bun on the other side of the head.

This creates an elegant and chic style that is great for weddings, special events or for work!

  • Chignon Bun

Twist a ponytail through itself to create a V twist. Do it again with the ponytail, by bringing the tail through the twist and secure with a clip or bobby pins once tucked in.

This creates a super cute chignon bun that looks complicated but takes a matter of minutes to do to your dirty hair.

  • Classic Ballerina Bun

The simplest of them all! Just take a ponytail at mid or high height and twist it until it is a single firm rope and it begins to twist on itself.

At this point begin to evenly wrap it around the ponytail tie so that it begins to look like a cinnamon roll. Depending on the length of the hair you might want to secure it with bobby pins as you go along, or you can just pin it once it is entirely twisted.

8 Braided Hairstyles for Dirty Hair

Braids are a classic! And there are so many different kinds of braids to experiment with!

Feel free to mix and match these braids below into styles of your own that suit your personality and that you will enjoy while hiding oily second-day hair.

hairstyles for dirty hair braids
  • Basic Three Strand Braid

There are so many different ways to use a three strand braid! It can be worn by itself, as an accessory to other styles and updos, you can twist it up into buns of all sorts! Or you can wear it at home, or even to sleep to keep your hair out of your face.

How to do a Three Strand Braid

  • Start by practicing with string, or straw papers at a restaurant. Begin by making sure all three pieces are tied at their origin (like hair is connected to the head, or by a ponytail).
  • Next, you hold two strands in one hand and only one in the other. This is the same for both Left-handed and Right-handed individuals.
  • Simply turn your wrist, so that the middle strand is now on the outside of the three strands.
  • After the center strand is on the outside, then take the new middle strand with the opposite hand (now THAT hand has two strands and the other only has one). And the process starts over again.

By turning your wrist, making the other side’s outside strand is in the middle. Trading again with the opposite hand so that now you have one strand in one hand and two in the other. And once again it’s the other hand’s turn to twist the outside strand in the middle.

Voila! a basic three strand braid!

  • Basic French Braid

A basic french braid takes a little practice to master. Like the three strand braid you begin with three strands but add a piece of hair to each outside strand every time you twist it to the outside.

A french braid is beautiful in updos, to use when camping, and to blend into other styles, like ponytails, buns, half-up styles.

A Dutch Braid is the same as a french braid except you twist your wrists the other way so that the center piece is twisted on top of the outside strand.

  • Three Braids into One

Exactly as it sounds, three braids into one is three braids then braided into another braid.

This can be done to finish a french braid or as a style of its own.

  • Fishtail Braid

A fishtail braid is a different style of braid but is elegant and looks complicated enough to distract from dirty hair.

After some practice a fishtail braid is simple and fairly quick to do.

Split the hair into two parts (for beginners, start with a ponytail) we’re going to call them A and B for the sake of simplicity.

Take one tiny piece from the underside of piece A and wrap it around the outside of side A and hold it in place in the middle with the thumb of the hand that is holding side B.

Repeat with side B. Take a tiny piece from the underside of side B and wrap it around the outside of the strand to side A.

Hold where the pieces cross firmly with your thumb. Switch to the other side again.

Continue until the entire braid is complete.

  • Piggytail Braids

Everybody knows what piggytail braids are, two braids on each side of the head.

Piggytails can be worn by themselves, as fishtail braids, or even as space buns!

  • Piggytail French Braids

Pretty self explanatory, two french braids on each side of the head starting at the crown, creating a braid crown in the process.

Pigtail french braids can also be wrapped into a single big bun at the bottom, into a ponytail, or into space buns as well!

Pigtail french braids that start at the front hairline can meet in the middle in the back for a half-up half-down crown affect as well.

  • Side Braid

The side braid is easy if you have a hard time reaching all the way to the back of your head.

My personal favorite and go-to style when I have second or third day hair, or ran out of time and need a quick style that looks cute but finished at the same time.

The three braids braided into one is great when worn to the side. Or a side braid can also be a french braid to the side.

  • Messy Side Braid

Think Princess Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen. A messy and full braid that has been pulled loose but is stunningly elegant.

dirty hairstyle fishtail
Fishtail Braid

5 Half-Up Half-Down Hairstyles to Disguise Dirty Hair

  • Half-Back Braid

At my wedding, one of my bridesmaids wore her hair this way. She brushed her hair smooth to the back as if to tie it half up and half down but instead she braided it in a simple three strand braid.

It’s simple but elegant.

I like to do this when I have a headache and want to get my hair out of my face but avoid heaviness in the back.

  • Half-Back Fishtail

Exactly same as the above but the idea is to spruce it up just a smidgen by doing a fishtail braid instead of a three strand braid half up style.

  • Half-Up Bun

Either a top knot or low towards the nape but with half of the hair still down.

The bun can be messy, braided, or even halfway pulled through.

  • Half-Up Space Buns

Super cute! This is great when you have so much hair that the weight of your hair simply cannot stay in space buns so you have to leave half of the hair down.

These can also be braided, messy, or twisted.

  • Waterfall Braid

A waterfall braid is a two strand or three strand twist that has pieces falling through it down to the rest of the hair that is being left half down.

Like a french braid, you take the beginning of the braid and add a piece that wasn’t there before, but instead of adding it to the braid, just weave it through so that it continues to fall.

This is a beautiful style to distract from dirty hair and great for straight, wavy, short, medium, and long lengths.

If your hair is curly and has a tendency to be pretty full the waterfall might blend right into the curls. But test them out anyway just in case.

5 Ways to Hide Dirty Hair with Ponytails

The ponytail! A classic!

If a ponytail is done right, it can be just right for any occasion!

Work appropriate, good for moms, the gym, even date night!

Any of the below ideas for ponytails to hide dirty hair can be worn low, mid, or high, or sky high on top of the head.

hide greasy hair with ponytail
  • Sleek

The sleek ponytail has become an envious style with a long straight ponytail flowing down the back.

Flat ironed or curled. Even natural, just air dried it works great!

Sleek means that the ponytail is tied in the back but the front is smooth all the way to the tie.

  • Messy

A messy ponytail is when it’s not sleek and smooth but just quickly tied back with bumps.

This style works great for curly hair because you don’t have to worry about it being completely smooth.

The messy ponytail looks best when it is tied higher on the head.

  • Wrapped

Once the ponytail is tied, whether it be smooth or messy, long or short, a piece of the ponytail is wrapped around the tie giving the appearance that the hair has been tied by its own hair.

If you want to give it a different twist you can braid the wrapped piece before securing it.

  • Twisted and Tucked

The twist and tuck is when a ponytail has been pulled through on itself.

You can do this by first tying your ponytail, but make sure that it’s loose enough that you can reach two fingers between the tie and the scalp.

Next you split the hair closest to the scalp and reach the two fingers up from beneath, grab the ponytail and pull it through the middle.

You now have the twist and tuck!

  • Accessorized

Accessorize your ponytail by adding a ribbon, scrunchy, scarf or bandana. Sometimes, I like to add that same flower clip to my ponytail.

You can also get jeweled or pretty pins that you can slip into the hair next to the ponytail just to help it not look plain.

How to Wear a Hat to Cover Dirty Hair

A hat is a great way to hide dirty and greasy hair. Just like Rosie the Riveter wears a bandana to protect and cover her dirty hair, a hat can protect hair from wind, sun, and even more dirt in the air.

Below are a few hats that you can wear to cover your oily hair or even if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to blow dry or curl your hair, these are the hats you can use and the styles from above that are compatible with them.

Baseball Cap

  • Braid
  • Ponytail
  • Down
  • Messy Bun

Easy to slip on a baseball cap and if you have a ponytail, braid, messy bun, or even wearing your hair down works with this style because

Ladies Fedora

The latest style when it comes to stylish hats as a fashion statement.

Beautiful and sassy, but subtle at the same time.

The ladies fedora is usually worn when the hair is down, but you can wear it with a side ponytail or a braid as well.

Other Ideas for Hairstyles for Dirty Hair

  • Bubble Ties

AKA Bubble Braid. A ponytail that is tied every few inches and the space between each tie is pulled out to look like a bubble.

  • Headband Twist and Tuck

An elegant but classy easy style that only takes a headband and a few minutes.

Slide the headband over your hair on top of the head like a hat. Twist hair in sections through the headband as if its wrapped around the headband until it is all twisted though. In the back with the rest of the length roll it and tuck it into the headband as well.

  • French Twist

A classic french twist secured with headbands or even with chopsticks is a great style to use with second day hair.

  • Clip the hair back

Whether you use a large clip or small clip to hold up all of the hair or some of the hair, this is also another good style for dirty hair.

Accessories to Wear With your Hairstyles


Headbands can be plain or fancy to make ponytails, buns, even half up and half down.

Cute Clips

To hold back stray frizzies or add a bit of dazzle to half up and half down, a ponytail, and buns.


Excellent accessories to add to updos for weddings, date night or anything else.

Buns, half up and half down, and even braids.

Chop Sticks

Buns and twists can actually be secured by chopsticks while giving you a careless look.

What are these styles good for?

Gym Hairstyles for Dirty Hair

  • Ponytails
  • Braids
  • French Braids
  • Messy Buns -but for high impact / cardio buns need to be more secured

Best Hairstyles for Dirty Short Hair

  • French Braid Crown half up style
  • Half up ponytail
  • Hats or headbands

Dirty Hairstyles for Long Hair

  • Ponytail
  • Buns
  • Braids of all kinds
  • Half up and half down

Best Hairstyles for Curly Dirty Hair

  • French braids
  • Messy bun
  • Space buns
  • French twist

Dirty Hair Hairstyles for Work

  • Sleek ponytail
  • Buns of any kind with or without accessories
  • Side braids
  • Accessories
  • Half up and half down

dirty hairstyle for work

How to Use Dry Shampoo on Second Day Hair

  • Section out your hair from the middle part in horizontal sections.
  • Use the spray and quickly spritz the dry shampoo across the parted section
  • Continue using horizontal sections, about an inch apart, and spritz in the same way until you are about two inches above your ear. You won’t shouldn’t have to use dry shampoo that low on the head.
  • Repeat this process on the other side of the head, using horizontal sections, about an inch apart.
  • After spraying both sides of your head, flip your head upside down and shake out those roots using your fingers. Almost like you’re scrubbing shampoo in the shower, except it’s dry and you’re upside down.

Your hair might still feel like there’s thick and dry product on it and might not feel silky and squeaky clean, but it looks cleaner. And there is less dirt and oil sitting on your scalp than before.

FAQs About Hairstyles for Dirty Hair

What is the Best Hairstyle for Dirty Hair?

If you don’t want to use dry shampoo, a quick bun or braid is the best hairstyle for dirty hair to distract from oil that is sitting in the hair from the roots.

Does Hair Style Better when its Dirty?

Usually no. But sometimes second day hair does hold curls done with a curling iron better or braids. But if the hair is dirty because it hasn’t been washed in a week or more, it will be too dirty to hold a style or updo.

I prefer to do updos on clean hair. If the hair is to greasy, protective products and styling products will do not good to help hold the style.

How to Style Greasy Hair Without Washing

Use a little bit of dry shampoo on the roots to soak up the oil in the hair before doing a style. However you don’t have to use dry shampoo before styling it.

Sometimes a little bit of dry shampoo or a push powder will help hold the style a little bit. better.

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Is it Okay to Wash Your Hair Once a Week?