Keep Hair Healthy Post Halloween With These 3 Hacks & Tricks

In case you haven't heard, Jessica Alba has gone blonde as she celebrates Halloween as Romy from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. Fortunately it appears that her chunky oh-so-'90's highlights are courtesy of a wig, not bleach, and she'll soon be back to her pretty brunette bob. Wearing a wig to complete your costume is a great option to preserve the health of your hair, especially for die-hards that compulsively tick off every aspect of their costume that would otherwise be tempted to color or cut their own hair.

But let's face it: sometimes you blow your wig budget on essentials like candy corn, and then you're faced with the daunting prospect of not only styling your own hair, but scrubbing out layers of ultra-hold hairspray.

I don't know about you, but when I get home from a Halloween party at 2 a.m. the last thing I want to do is brush my hair. That is not a good decision. With all the sprays, waxes, glues, and bobby pins keeping an elaborate Halloween 'do in place, sleeping in costume is a recipe for a disaster of — wait for it — hairrowing proportions.

But fear not! I spend a significant portion of my waking hours thinking about hair (and hair puns), and I've identified three hair nightmares we're most likely to face the morning after Halloween. Unless you have dipped your head in superglue, we can get your hair tangle and hairspray-free with a little patience... and a lot of shampoo and conditioner.

Nightmare 1: Teased. Hair.

Megalizabeth9 on YouTube

Solution: Got hands? Let's put them to use! Start by gently picking apart the free end of the teased hair. Your hands are essentially gigantic wide tooth comb, so use them as such. If you encounter a knot, don't yank. Every time you yank a knot, a little part of my soul dies. Once you've got the bulk of the teasing out, feel free to move up to either a wide tooth comb or a cushioned paddle brush. Continue brushing from your ends and gradually working up to your roots until you're tangle-free. Or follow the instructions in the above video for an alternative technique.

Nightmare 2: You can't tell where your hair ends and the hairspray begins

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Whether it was aerosol cement masquerading as hairspray, spray-on hair color, or mega-hold gel, your hair is encased in a product sarcophagus. Time to hop in the shower.

First, rinse out as much of the product as you can. In the case of a mega-hold gel, it might not feel like it's coming out, because it probably isn't. Massage your hair with your hands, working from ends to scalp. Use conditioner to lube up any knots you encounter. Once you've rinsed out all the product that can be rinsed, I suggest you move on to a clarifying shampoo.

A word about clarifying shampoos: they are handy dandy if you swim or use a lot of products on your hair, but they are hair care's equivalent of a scouring pad, which is exactly what we want in this situation, but not what you want to use on a daily basis if you: color your hair, have frizzy hair, have long hair, have bleached hair, have curly hair, or have hair period.

Un-Do-Goo Clarifying Shampoo, $12, Amazon

I like Malibu C's Un-Do-Goo, but I am about to tell you a magical hairdresser secret so you don't have to run out to the store if you don't have this on hand: if you've got shampoo and baking soda, you've got a clarifying shampoo. One part shampoo + a palm's worth baking soda = clarifying shampoo, without the walk of shame to Walgreens

Mix them together and voila! Your dignity remains intact and you saved a couple bucks. Shampoo your hair until the gunk is gone. Since we want the hair to feel appreciated for all it's gone through in the last 24 hours, follow with your favorite conditioner, and let it sit in there a few minutes longer than usual. Your locks will thank you.

Nightmare 3: You were a zombie and now your hairline is full of makeup

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Since special effects makeup is formulated differently than daily wear products, it tends to be a little tricky to remove. Fortunately, this is an easy fix for your hair. (Not your skin. Your skin is very, very upset, so do it a favor and show it a little love.)

Remember that clarifying shampoo recipe I gave you? Use it here. Since clarifying shampoo is harsh, there's no reason to put it anywhere you don't have product buildup, so if the hair over your left ear is the only hair that's gummed up, stick it over there, and shampoo the rest of your hair with your regular shampoo of choice.

Want more beauty tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

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Image: Malibu C