Which styling product is best for your hair?
There are so many different types of styling products, it's difficult to know which one is right for your hair. Trial and error is all very well, but what if you've invested in a great big expensive tube of something that turns out not to suit you? When it comes to mousses, gels etc, there are a few things you need to know.
Often, brands will combine formulations - a gel/cream for instance - to create a multi-tasker. Also look for added extras like conditioning ingredients or UV protection, especially if you have coloured hair.
The important thing with any styling product is you shouldn't be left with stiffness, stickiness or lankness. The product should be washed out of hair completely when you shampoo as build-up will cause dullness. Waxes and silicone-based products can be particularly tough to remove and you may need a clarifying shampoo to detox hair naturally.
Gels. Available in various formulations, gels are popular for short styles, but since they give hold and movement they also work well on midlength, flicky looks. Use on wet hair and then blow-dry, otherwise they can go a bit crunchy.
Mousse. Try a mousse if you want to add body and volume. They're super light and don't weigh hair down. They can also be ideal to set curls.
Waxes, pomades and pastes. A shinywax adds texture to coarse hair that's cut in a choppy, layered style. If you have naturally shiny hair, then go for a matte wax or else you'll end up with a lank look. Waxes and pomades are also good for temporarily taming split ends.
Serums and smoothing creams. Great for smoothing frizzy hair you want to blow-dry straight and for taming flyaways. Silicone-based serums will lock out moisture to help prevent hair frizzing up again during the day.
Shine sprays. Use sparingly once you've blow-dried to add extra shine to hair. You can mist on directly but I prefer spraying onto a brush to avoid overdoing it.
Hair spray/lacquer. Use after styling for hold and definition. Heat protector. If you're using hair irons or tongs, then a protector will help roll the heat down the hair shaft and minimise damage.
What's your favourite styling product?