The Style Glossy: Hair Studio
Secrets to Getting Gorgeous Hair
By Holly Crawford for The Style Glossy
If you’ve ever been baffled by all the different styling aids available and wondered which ones you actually need, you’re not alone. “Any time someone finds out I’m a hairstylist, I end up surrounded by women with questions about products,” says hairstylist and salon owner Lisa Chiccine. Here, Chiccine and international hairstylist David Rhys look beyond the label to demystify what’s inside the bottle.
“It will put a nice hold on an elaborate style and lock in a look,” says Rhys. “It also helps refresh a look throughout the day.” Be aware that different types of hair sprays, such as flexible and maximum hold, deliver very different results. Higher-octane sprays (generally in aerosol form) are going to give you longer-lasting, stiffer hold and volume while locking out humidity. A flexible spray (in plastic bottles or aerosol cans) gives you more control and hair that still feels soft to the touch.
Style benefit: Hold, control, volume
Best for: All hair types and styles
How much to use: One to two pumps applied wherever you want to achieve hold. With sprays, you can be generous since they will disperse evenly
How to use: Hold bottle 5cm or so from head to get even distribution, and spray on dry hair
“Before a blow-dry, this will give your hair body that will sustain itself all day,” says Rhys.
Style benefit: Volume
Best for: Fine or straight hair
How much to use: Apply one to two pumps per section
How to use: Spray at the root and work into scalp with fingertips, then mist once over the rest of your hair
“A texture spray makes hair stick together,” explains Chiccine. “You don’t want to see clumps, so less is more.”
Style benefit: Defines waves, curls and reduces frizz and flyaways
Best for: Wavy, curly and/or thick hair
How much to use: Five to six spritzes
How to use: Spray damp hair evenly from mid-shaft to ends of hair, then scrunch
“This is the heaviest product there is,” says Chiccine. “It takes just the tiniest amount of wax to create texture, and it’s best-suited for thicker hair.”
Style benefit: Texture, piecey look, spikiness
Best for: Thick hair, especially shorter pieces
How much to use: A very small dab
How to use: Spread between fingers, then pinch onto the ends of hair
“Ideal for short cuts, gel is good to mix with paste for a defined style that’s not sticky,” says Chiccine.
Style benefit: Volume, hold, control, texture
Best for: All hair types, but especially short styles
How much to use: A small- to medium-sized dollop
How to use: Apply evenly to damp hair
A hair care staple for years, mousse has come a long way. “Like gel, it’s evolved into touchable, brushable, non-flaking goodness,” Rhys says. There are different formulations (some thicker and some lighter) to help you achieve different looks -- lift at the roots, all-over thickness, curl definition, tousled “scrunched” waves.
Style benefit: Volume, hold, definition
Best for: All hair types, but especially thin or fine hair
How much to use: A medium-sized dollop
How to use: Apply evenly to wet hair
“Everyone needs shine,” says Chiccine. “Serums seal the cuticle layer to deliver maximum sheen, which is great for sleek looks.”
Style benefit: Shine, curl control, heat protection
Best for: All hair types, but especially frizzy or coarse hair
How much to use: A small dab. Too much will make even clean hair look dirty and weighed down,” says Chiccine
How to use: Rub between fingers and run over wet or dry hair from midshaft to ends
Holly Crawford is a freelance writer who has contributed to numerous magazines and websites, including Cosmopolitan and Elle online.
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