If you've watched any of my hair tutorials you've probably noticed by now that I am a fan (like, a big one) of layering products into my hair based on how I'm styling it. Still, I get asked all the time if they are "really necessary". Let's put it this way... that picture of Jennifer Lawrence (or Jennifer Lopez, Julianne Hough, Michelle Williams, etc) on the red carpet you took to your stylist on the day you cut your hair saying "this is it, I love this look, this is what I want to recreate" well, there's about a 99% chance that the red carpet look you love so much- that look was created with at least 3 products.
Don't get me wrong, there are some people who just have naturally perfect hair. We all know 'one of those' girls who can literally walk out of the shower, get dressed, not so much as comb through her hair and within 30 minutes it is dried to perfection and has you convinced Disney Princess hair really does exist. I, however, am not one of those people and neither is the other 99.9% of the population so relax and read on- I've got your back ;)
While styling tools and technique are a very important step in styling hair, the products you put in it is what really gives you the foundation to build on. What kind of hair do you have- is it fine and gets greasy easily? Is it thick and wiry (what my sister lovingly calls her own "hay-hair")? What type of look are you going for- do you want rock star texture or sleek and smooth? My favorite thing about playing with products is that you can change up your whole look with them.
I have very fine hair, with a LOT of it (meaning a ton of follicles per square inch of scalp). Because it is fine, it can get greasy easily and certain products can weigh it down. If your hair is on the finer side, I would stay away from creams or lotions in the hair as they can add more weight to it which will work against the volume- for this reason I usually stick to mousse and sprays like salt or thickening spray. On the other hand, my sister has wicked thick, coarse hair AND a ton of it. In her case, a volume cream will help smooth while at the same time giving the foundation at the root some more strength. If you have thick or coarse hair I would stay away from a salt spray as it gives the hair some 'stick' to it.
Sleek and Sexy
The best thing to start with for a smooth look is soft hair, and for me the easiest way to achieve that is with a leave-in conditioner- this goes for everyone and all hair types. Those with finer hair may want to be careful with the oil and serums (they have a way of making fine hair go from shiny to greasy in a hot minute). Concentrate the serums and oils on the mid-shaft through the ends of your hair, avoiding the roots. I like to use a smoothing cream pre-blow dry and save shine serum for afterwards so I can put it just where I think it is needed. As for fly aways, you can either embrace them and put some glossy wax to weigh them down a bit, or secure them with a shot of hair spray.
Rock Star Chic
When I think of Rock Star hair, all I imagine is 'idgaf' hair that just happens to accidentally look incredible. Here's a secret- it isn't an accident- no, not ever. Mousse or gel is a must in this look. I like to rough dry (blow dry using my hands instead of a brush) for some extra texture too. If you have thick hair already, you may want to skip the salt spray again on this one and instead opt for a good textured finishing spray. I always, always ALWAYS spray my hair with a finishing spray (whether a texture spray or hair spray) while my hair is in motion- i.e.- pick it up and drop it, spray it mid drop or flip my head upside shade and shake while spraying :) It just helps to avoid the 'helmet head' look.
It's no secret that I am a pretty big fan of R+Co Hair products- I haven't met one I didn't like, and no I'm not paid to say that. I do understand that salon-quality products can be a tad on the pricier side though so I've included below a Splurge and Drug Store brand from each of the product types I've recommended.
Live Long and Have Awesome Hair
xo - Sarah