Hair Styling Hacks — How to Deal with Common Hair Problems

Woman getting her hair styled

Problem hair? You’re not stuck with pulling your hair back everyday! Sometimes the trick to getting the hairstyle you want on a budget is being creative with your hair products. Our friend Melissa, a professional cosmetologist, recently gave us these fabulous tips for getting the hair style you want by combining hair products, including those found in your cupboards.

Note: We originally published this post in 2008. We’ve just revamped it and updated it. 

Problem Hair: Thin, Fine Hair

You have thin, fine hair and you want thick, full hair.

thick hair
How to style your thin, fine hair

While your hair is still damp, mix volumizing mousse in your hands, flip your head upside down, and rub throughout your hair beginning with the roots, coming out to the ends. Run a wide-tooth comb through your hair to distribute the mousse evenly.

Recommended hair product

Volumizing mousse

Try Garnier Fructis Sky-Hi Volume volumizing mousse. You can find it at your fav drugstore, and it will set you back a whole $4.

The Swavy Hair Problem

You have straight and/or wavy hair, but you really want some big, bouncy curls.


How to style your swavy hair

While your hair is slightly damp, divide it into sections and roll it up into small curlers. The smaller the sections, the more volume you’ll get. Let your hair dry and take out the rollers. Use hairspray on each curl and at the roots for added lift.

What you need

Head to your local dollar store or beauty supply store and look for plastic rod rollers (the kind they use for setting perms). You can also use plastic straws, but these take a bit of practice to use properly. Just take your damp hair, twist it around the straw.  Using bobby pins, pin the ends of the straws under the rolled part.

Dry, Damaged Hair

Your hair is fried from chemical processing, straighteners, curling irons and/or blow dryers. You crave strong, luxurious, healthy locks.

How to style your damaged hair

Shampoo hair with a moisturizing shampoo and follow with a deep conditioner. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for up to five minutes and then rinse. Style your hair as usual, and then follow with an even coat of protective sheen spray. Avoid spraying your roots.

Recommended hair products

Queen Helene conditoner

You can’t beat Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream for less than $4 at the drugstore. To amp up the conditioning power, add an egg and a tablespoon of olive oil to your conditioner before applying.

Isoplus sheen spray


To get that all-day shine, try Isoplus oil sheen hair spray. Find it at Walmart for less than $2.

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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on, and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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