Zenna De Paz modeling using straws to curl hair, one of several TikTok life hacks

Which Viral TikTok Life Hacks Actually Work, and Which Are Busts?

From curling your hair with straws to turning FaceTime off with your head, which viral tricks from the social media app are the real deal?
May 13, 2020
7 mins read

TikTok is an inescapable rabbit hole we’ve all been down. But how many of us have reached absolute boredom and found ourselves testing the numerous hacks out there, only to be left feeling stupid for thinking they might have actually worked. Unapologetically, I will be the first to admit that I have been there time and time again, and due to recent circumstances, I have had all the time in the world to test these groundbreaking or not-so-groundbreaking TikTok life hacks.

1. Transforming a Rock Into a Gem

This TikTok hack is complete tomfoolery, but indeed, many of us have still attempted it. It is said that by adding water, a drop of food coloring and sprinkling in some pepper, you can turn any rock into crystal. Though these so-called results look mesmerizing — how else would you describe transforming a dull rock into something new and shiny? — this TikTok has deceived us all. In fact, transforming a rock into a gem is quite an extensive process and one that most individuals do not have the tools for. Rock tumbling, which is the term for turning rocks into gems, requires multiple steps, all of which can be found here.

2. Color Your Hair With Concealer

With everything going on, all of America has experimented with new hairstyles without the consequences of having to be seen in public if all goes wrong — and in most cases, all does go wrong. Whether you’ve tried bangs, shaving your head or indulged in hair coloring, none of these have worked quite like we’ve imagined and unfortunately we are stuck with these semi-permanent catastrophes.


For those on the brink of trying any one of these most regrettable decisions, pump the brakes because TikTok users have introduced the best reversible hair trends you won’t even have to think twice about before doing — the most popular being concealer layered with eyeshadow for the most fun pop of color in your hair. Whether your hair is blonde, brown or red, coating your hair with concealer creates a blank slate that will then allow you to streak any colored eyeshadows over the strands of hair.

However, if you’d rather not waste your combined $80 worth of makeup concealer and eyeshadow on a not-so-permanent, experimental hair coloring treatment, throw it back to 2016: hair chalk. Now, that’s the multimillion-dollar idea that won’t break your bank and still give you the innovative look you’re desperately wanting to try without the commitment.

3. How To Hang Up on FaceTime

How any of this makes sense, I cannot answer, but nevertheless this unusual hack actually works. Slap yourself twice on the forehead with your hand, and you can hang up on a FaceTime call. Though you’re probably reading this with disbelief, give it a try and see for yourself (although it might make for an awkward goodbye to whomever may be on the other end). As far as we know, this hack only works for those with AirPods — yet another unsolved mystery.

4. Curl Your Hair Without the Heat

We’ve seen girls curl their hair with straws, pencils and, now, by using the belts to their robes. While some have found it to be the best alternative to heating products like straighteners and curling irons, others have not had the same luck. Depending on your hair type, it’s difficult to say if this hack is for you, but there’s no harm in giving it a whirl. If it works, you’ve saved your hair from future damage from frying it. If it doesn’t, ditch the wonky curls and stock back up on your cabinet full of heat protective serums or rather, embrace the all-natural (we all have nowhere to go).

5. Genius Saran Wrap Trick

Giving your dog a bath is no easy task, but what’s worse is nail clipping. Neither dogs nor humans enjoy this task, but there is a way to make it tolerable and fun for both. Dog owners across TikTok have shared the ultimate secret in getting your pup to sit still just long enough for you to pamper their paws. The secret? A peanut butter spread on the forehead. Wrap your head in saran wrap and then dab peanut butter on the forehead. Your dog will be so busy indulging in this treat that he will pay no attention to the clippers, making it easier on you. Although you may feel silly, you will be forever thankful to TikTok.

6. Freeze Water

Maybe there’s black tape out there that can make this frozen effect, or maybe this TikTok is a complete bust: Users have shown that by applying this “black” tape to a balloon filled with water, you can pop the balloon so that the water pours out, and at a certain point it will look frozen in mid-air. After several attempts with different brands and kinds of “black” tape, I have failed miserably. Through friends of friends, I’ve heard this works, so what I am doing wrong I have yet to figure out. In which case, if anyone can provide any tips, it would be greatly appreciated.

Though few of these TikToks were major busts, others resulted in life hacks that proved useful and worthy of trying. All, however, were nothing less than amusing and if I’m being quite honest, in all the free time I have, I will definitely begin tackling more.

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