The dirty trend that will change your whole look.

Zoe Foster


No one really knows where beauty trends come from, although some suggest they come from a small cave in the Pyrenees, and a man with a beard down to his toes exits the cave every third month and leaves an envelope on a rock by the road for a St Bernard who distributes them by mouth.

Others maintain they trickle down from the runways of Chanel and Stella McCartney and Alexander Wang and cool celebrities, but what would they know?

In any case, trends will always come, and we will try them, and some will stick, and some won’t. One beauty trend that has stuck is the ‘fake dirty hair’ trend, which also comes under the labels: bed head, second-day-hair, textured hair, and for those keen on filthy acronyms, JBF hair.

This is where the hair is meant to look like you put no effort in; it’s scruffy and dishevelled. It looks like you had it styled for an event the night before, then slept in it. It makes curls and waves look fantastic, and balayage really come into its own. I love it personally; my goal every time I wash my hair is essentially to make it look like it needs a wash again. This seems stupid, but in fact it’s a fresh and modern look, and the perfect way to balance out and sex-up update an overly polished, prim, girly, elegant or fancy outfit.

When the hair is too perfect, the curls or waves obviously created at the hand of a ghd, or the hair is unnaturally straight, it can look dated. But when your hair has movement and a bit of soft, tousled texture – this is NOT crunchy beach hair – and some imperfections, it looks fresh and sexy and like you might ride a motorbike or be related to one B. Bardot.

Here are the ‘fake dirty hair’ celebrities Australian women tell me, via email/Twitter/Tumblr/carrier pigeon and also their hairdressers, (“One more bloody Alexa Chung request…” they mutter) they want their hair to look like:

If you’ve never tried this look, it’s really very simple, and I urge you to give it a go. It might feel foreign to you, because you’re used to having salon blow dries or doing your hair up in a pony every day, or allowing your natural curls to sit flat against your head, or straightening your hair to perfection, but it can REALLY refresh your whole look.

These three photos of Jessica Biel act as a great of example of the evolution from straight and sleek… to slightly textured with some piecey-ness…. to all out sexbomb tousled.

Tips and prodz!

A terrific starting point is to wash your hair at night, apply some mousse for smoothness and body and let it air dry, or blowdry roughly. When you go to style your hair the next day, you will literally have second day hair, and a much less fluffy, slippery base to work with.


Here are three ways you can get that disheveled, scruffy look. Don’t use ’em all at once though – or else you’ll just have an actual dirty look. Ew.

Option 1: Sea salt spray or beach spray

The building block to so many hairstyles and certainly to intentionally messy hair. Mist lightly from roots to tips on dry hair (clean or dirty) and flip over. Blast with high heat for 30 seconds for instant grit. Or, spray on sections from the mid-lengths to the ends and twist and tease gently with fingers for spot texture. Don’t go overboard or you’ll have crunch, not texture.

Option 2: Hair powder*.

The new generation way to get instant matte texture, and an really incredibly popular product right now. (You can bet your bulldog Chungy uses this gear every day.) Terrific for boys, too, because it’s invisible to the eye, but hair just looks … cooler. Sprinkle some onto your fingers, and massage into the scalp all over. Go gentle; less is more. And try not to apply to the top layer of the hair around the fringe area as it can make it look actually dirty, instead of fake dirty. Stick to the underneath layers.

*This is what I used on my clean, boofy, blow-dried off roughly hair to get it like it is in the photo.

Option 3. Dry shampoo

One of my top three beauty products of-all-time-ever-and-always-amen, dry shampoo is perfect for making super-clean hair look a bit lived-in, and gives a bit of oomph and lift to literally dirty hair, to make it look like ‘cool’, contrived dirty hair.

I realise that telling women to create and fake dirty looking hair is ridiculous when a couple of days without a wash will do the job, only it won’t, because ACTUAL dirty hair is oily and lank, and fake dirty hair has texture and lift. Think of it in the same way we love seeing exposed brick walls and the filament in light bulbs and the beams above us in trendy cafes and restaurants: sometimes deconstructing things and making them look a bit unkempt and raw can be a lovely thing indeed.

Or, just do as I do, and think of your hair as spaghetti bolognaise. Sure, it’s nice on the day it’s fresh, but it’s OUTSTANDING on the second day.

Zoe is an author, columnist and porridge fan. Her books include the beauty bible Amazing Face, dating and relationship guide Textbook Romance, and three novels, Air KissesPlaying The Field and The Younger Man. Find more info on her here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.

Please understand that Zoë cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.

What is the hair product that you cannot get enough of?