I am looking for a word to describe uncombed and messed-up hair. The kind of hair you might have after waking up. I am sure it does not happen to a lot of people, but when I get up in the morning, it takes me 10-15 minutes to fix my hair.

I think scattered might fit the context, but that does not necessarily mean that your hair is really messed up.

2 Answers 2


A common colloquial term for what you are describing is morning hair:

How to Tame Messy Morning Hair. Isn't it "just fantastic". You wake up, head to the mirror, and just stare at the worst nightmare of hair EVER: Tangles and knots,and random strands sticking out where they are not supposed to. If you go through this every morning, follow these tips. —wikihow.com

If you would like something a little less slangy, I suggest tousled, from the verb tousle:

[with object] (usually as adjective tousled)
make (something, especially a person’s hair) untidy:
Nathan’s tousled head appeared in the hatchway.Oxford Online Dictionaries

Touseled, as FumbleFingers points out in the Comments, is used almost exclusively of hair; another good word, disheveled, is probably used more often of clothing, but it won't raise any eyebrows to use it with hair:

verb /dɪˈʃɛvl/
make (a person’s hair or clothes) untidy:
he ran one hand through his hair, further dishevelling itOxford Online Dictionaries

A third term is unkempt, originally a variant of "uncombed"; the literal sense is no longer consciously present for most people, and the word is more often used of persons than specifically hair, but you may certainly speak of "unkempt hair":

(especially of a person) having an untidy or dishevelled appearance:
they were unwashed and unkempt

  • Disheveled is good, but I think tousled is significantly better. I'm not going to trawl Google Books, but I'd bet any money that tousled is far more likely to specifically reference hair, whereas disheveled often references general appearance, clothes, etc. Jun 9, 2013 at 14:15
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Yup, and OOD says as much. I'll add a sentence to underline that. Jun 9, 2013 at 14:20
  • 3
    There is of course bed head to describe it in the specific context of waking in the morning that the OP mentions!
    – WendiKidd
    Jun 9, 2013 at 15:54
  • @WendiKidd That's a new one on me. Showing my age I guess. Jun 9, 2013 at 16:51

The most obvious and simplest way to describe it (for me, at least) would be messy. See http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/messy_1?q=messy

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