Hair Products 101: Everything You Need To Know
Have you ever wondered what exactly dry shampoo is and how it works? How about what the difference is between pomade and hair oil? The best way to use your shampoo and conditioner to keep your ‘do fresh?
Your hair products are the first and most important step to achieving a desired look or hairstyle. Without the correct hair care products, you can kiss that beachy boho look or sleek chignon goodbye!
In this blog post, we’re going back to basics to give you the run down on 10 everyday hair products every girl should have and know how to use to its fullest potential, to ensure lovely locks and healthy hair.
1. Shampoo – are you using the right one?
We all know what shampoo is – simply put, it cleanses the hair. But here’s where it gets tricky: there are tons of different types of shampoos out there. From clarifying shampoo to volumizing shampoo, straightening and smoothing, sulfate-free, and shampoos for color treated hair, it’s important to choose the type of shampoo that is best suited for your hair.
Clarifying shampoo roughens up the hair cuticle and gets the roots extra squeaky clean. This can be used when you feel that there is too much product buildup in your hair or before getting a chemical treatment done like coloring or perming.
This kind of shampoo is designed to open up the hair cuticle and make it thicker, however, in order to get your hair nice and fluffy, try to pick a shampoo with a lightweight conditioning ingredient that rinses off well and doesn’t weigh the hair down.
Shampoos that straighten and smooth the hair usually have silicone or oil in them to coat the hair strands. When the hair is styled with a straightener, the result is magical!
Shampoo for colored hair
If your hair is colored, we recommend to go for a shampoo specifically designed for color treated hair. Check the product’s pH level and ensure that it is between 4.5-5.5 to prevent color from fading. Great hair products for dyed hair will also include ingredients like oils, sea kelp or algae, in order to lock in color.
Alcohol and sulfate-free shampoo
Alcohol and sulfate-free shampoos are our favorite! Sulfates are detergents with long names that we can’t even pronounce. While sulfate-based shampoos are great for cleaning oil and dirt from your hair, they can seriously dry out your hair and cause damage like split ends. We prefer things au natural. Organic and sulfate-free hair products can lock in moisture and natural (good) oils, retain hair dye, and reduce scalp irritation.
Whichever shampoo you choose, be sure that it’s right for the texture of your hair. If you choose a shampoo that’s too clarifying, you could strip the hair of its natural oils, and lead to additional oil being produced. If you choose a shampoo that’s too moisturizing, you could end up with product buildup at the scalp. If you’re not sure what type of hair you have, you can always consult your hair stylist for a recommendation.
Also, be sure to choose two “go-to” shampoos that both have different ingredients and benefits to rotate between, to maintain balance in your hair. Switch your shampoo every 4 to 5 washes to remove product buildup and restore cleanliness to your hair shafts.
Hair conditioner is designed to smoothen, restore moisture, and help you say goodbye to frizzy hair. There are three main types of conditioners you can use to reach Rapunzel level #hairgoals.
Rinse-out conditioners are the most common type of conditioner, worked through the ends of your hair, left in for a few minutes, and rinsed out. Avoid applying conditioner to the roots of your hair, as this could result in extra buildup and weigh the hair down.
Leave in conditioner
Leave in conditioners are great for smoothening and de-tangling. These conditioners are light-weight, and can be used as a styling product to get your tresses silky and glossy.
Hair mask and deep conditioner
Hair masks or deep conditioners are perfect for repairing dry and damaged hair. Hair masks contain ingredients like waxes, oils and emulsifiers to get down to the root and repair the hair from its source. Most masks should be applied from root to tip and left in for at least 30 minutes before rinsing out thoroughly. Here are some DIY hair mask ideas.
Be sure to avoid the common mistake of only rinsing out half of the conditioner! We all love that glorious, silky, smooth feeling conditioners leave, however, this means you haven’t rinsed out all the product from your hair and you’re actually weighing your hair down!
3. Hair oils and serums
From argan oil to avocado oil to coconut oil, hair oil is a must for those with ‘problematic’ hair. They tame frizz, add shine, promote growth, and give your hair a luxe, polished look. If you’re stumped on which oil is best for your hair type, check out our five favorites! For best results, use hair oil on dry or almost dry hair…and here’s a fun tip: if you have excessively dry ends, rub some hair oil from the mid-shaft to the ends BEFORE washing your hair. This will ensure that you don’t dry out your ends even more when shampooing!
4. Dry Shampoo
This product is a must-have for any girl on the go! Dry shampoo comes in either a powder or spray form, and is designed to absorb excess oil at the roots of the hair. Don’t have time to wash your hair? No problem! Simply rub some dry shampoo into oily spots and watch your hair transform. Washing your hair too often is not good for your hair anyway (check out tip #2 here to find out why). You can also use baby powder (hack #3 here) if you don’t have any dry shampoo available to achieve similar results. Not only does dry shampoo get rid of excess oil, it also provides lift at the roots for extra oomph. Beware though, this is not a replacement for washing your hair so try to only use dry shampoo for a maximum of two days before giving your hair a good wash.
Another option is to embrace the oil and use it to your advantage to create slick looks as shown in this video hair tutorial for oily hair:
5. Hair wax / Pomade
Hair wax, or pomade, is amazing for providing texture, smooth flyaways, and giving the hair extra hold for intricate hairstyles. That stuff Mimi always uses when creating detailed braids? It’s hair wax! You can also mix a drop of hair oil with hair wax and work through your hair after styling to give extra gloss and hold. Check it out in action in this video:
6. Hair mousse
Do you love VOLUME in your hair? If you answered yes, this one’s for you! Hair mousse is amazing for providing extra lift and pizzazz to your hair. Work the mousse through towel dried hair with your fingers before blow drying, and watch your hair come to life! Hair mousse is available in different levels of hold, from volumizing mousse to styling mousse to give your hair the perfect finish. If you have curly hair, mousse can help you get more defined curls. Check out a video tutorial on how to style curly hair with mousse here:
7. Heat protectant spray
If you ever style your hair with hot tools (don’t we all though), heat protectant spray is an absolute must-have in order to protect your precious locks from the damage of direct heat being applied with a curling iron or hair straightener. Simply spray your hair from the middle to the ends before heat styling. Once styled, the product doesn’t leave any reside on your hair.
8. Sea Salt Spray
Seal salt spray is just what is sounds like – a spray that gives your hair that beachy, gritty look from spending the day by the seaside. It’s great to use on fine hair to provide extra texture. For hair that is more coarse, some sea salt sprays come in an oil based form to boost shine and gloss. Cool thing is that this spray can be DIY, and we’ve got a great video to show how to do it here:
“What gives a girl power and punch?” Hairspray! The uses are endless for this versatile product. It provides hold, sets style, tames flyaways, achieves volume, adds texture, and more. If you usually shy away from using hairspray because you feel that it roughens up or tangles your hair, you’re either using too much or holding it too close to your hair! Hold the spray above your head (about 8-10 inches) and let the product fall to your hair, rather than spraying it directly on. To smooth flyaways, spray some product on your hands, and then lightly smooth down any problematic hairs.
10. Curl Enhancing Cream
Who doesn’t love a good curl? These creams can be used on either straight hair to provide texture or on curly hair to enhance natural curls and tame frizz. For best results, divide towel tried hair into a few sections, then twist the product into the hair or use a scrunching motion. By the way, we have some great videos for those of you have curly hair – check them out here.
And there you go! With these 10 products, you’ll never have a bad hair day again. What are you favorite go-to hair products?