THERE'S A STYLING PRODUCT FOR EVERY HAIR ISSUE. THE ORDER IN WHICH YOU APPLY THEM MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
Chances are, you have an arsenal of hair products that can take you from pre-shampooing all the way through styling. Most of them are very clearly marked: heat protectant; leave-in conditioner; hair spray; etc. But deciding how many to use at one time and in what order to apply them can cause anxiety. After all, when you’ve invested money and time in your hair regimen, you want to look gorgeous, not gunky.
The directions on the product label may tell you to work a dime size amount through your hair, but rarely do they offer a clue as to exactly when. And timing is everything. For instance, an oil seals in moisture so you want to use it alone – or at the end of your routine – because it acts as a barrier, keeping other products from penetrating your hair.
If you want soft, touchable hair, go easy on gels, volumizers and sprays that make hair stiff and sticky. Or you can mix, say, a beach spray with a styling cream to soften the look and feel of your hair. Other products may do double duty, like a heat protectant that’s also a detangler. Finally, watch out for ingredients like sulfates and alcohols that have a drying effect on hair.
Below is an order that stylists tend to agree on. Follow these steps to get the most out of your hair products. Caution: Do not use all the products on the list at one time. It would take at least three shampoos to get all the muck out!
PRE-SHAMPOO TREATMENT. Pick one that solves your problem: build up, dryness, thinning hair, dullness, etc. Use once a week. This one is good for heat-styled, chemically processed hair.
SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER. If your hair frizzes, use moisturizing products like thisandthis.
DETANGLER. This is weightless, silicone-free and also provides heat protection.
LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER. Choose a product based on your hair type: curly, natural, fine, dry, damaged, etc.Thisis a good all-around option.
HEAT PROTECTANT. Heat styling can cause damage, so make sure to use a heat protectant if you blow-dry or flat-iron your hair. Many leave-in conditioners and detanglers also offer heat protection, so check labels. You can also find heat protectants for your hair type, from natural to keratin-treated.Here’s an all-around choice.
VOLUMIZING FOAM OR BEACH SPRAY. An easy way to add texture, making your hair look fuller or tousled. Apply too much, however, and your hair gets crunchy. Stiffness can be toned down by adding styling cream. This spraycan save the day at the beach.
STYLING CREAM. A small amount helps your hair hold a style and provides hydration, but be careful not to overdo it. This oneenhances curls.
GEL. When you need something stronger than a cream to keep your hair in place. For a modern take on a hair gel, try this.
HAIR OIL. A few drops of this seals in moisture, adds shine and nourishes your hair.
HAIR SPRAY. It's more detectable than other products, but if you are going to, say, a wedding in the rain, you need help. When you’re ready to fully commit to your hairstyle, trythis.