Using the right products is essential in creating hair styles that hold. There are two types of products, styling which are typically applied prior to styling the hair and finishing, which are used after styling to finish the hair. There are so many different products to choose from that it can get overwhelming when trying to select the right ones for you. Many people choose to use one specific brand or range and that is fine to do if you know the products work well, but it’s often best to mix and match. I’m going to narrow down the products that are absolute staples to keep in your kit and recommend some great products.
Heat protectant is possibly the most important product you can use and one you will go through the quickest. Any time you are using heat on a client’s hair whether it’s curling, straightening or just drying the hair, you need to use it. Heat protectant can be used on damp or dry hair and they can come in different formulations such as a spray, cream or a serum. Different formulations can work best on certain hair types, but a spray is most common and works well for any hair type.
Heat protectant provides a barrier between your styling tool and your hair and helps to seal in moisture whilst also minimising frizz. It also works to smooth the cuticle which helps to make the hair look smooth and feel soft.
You should apply the product in sections and comb through from root to tip to ensure all the hair is evenly coated.
We Recommend: GHD Heat Protectant Spray 120ml, £18
The GHD heat protectant is lightweight meaning it will work on all hair types and layers well with other products.
Mousse is a product you’ll use in very specific circumstances for certain styles bit can be used on all hair types. Mousse combines a number of styling benefits into one product, which is why so many hairstylists swear by it. It has a lighter consistency than gels and usually gives double the volume than general volumizing product. Mousse can also help hair look shinier and give more definition to curls whilst keeping the hair feeling soft. It also provides extra heat defence.
Mousse is applied to damp hair from roots to tip and then blow-dried through.
We Recommend: OUAI Dry Texture Foam 165g, £24
The OUAI dry texture foam is a weightless, nourishing mousse that is perfect for creating a volumized, beachy look. It makes the hair look textured and defined but still allows for soft movement.
Detangling sprays are essential for easily removing knots from any hair type. They’re best applied to damp hair before combing in order to help reduce breakage as well as improving the health of the hair. They can help to minimise frizz and some even offer heat protection. They are most effective on thick and/or curly hair that are prone to tangling but are effective on hair type for easy knot removal.
Spray throughout the hair and make sure the knotted areas are coated before gently combing through with a wide tooth comb to remove most of the knots. You can then go in with a smaller tooth comb to remove any remaining knots.
The TIGI Beach Freak spray helps to detangle the hair and builds up protection from future damage whilst smoothing the hair and reducing flyaways. It also contains glycerin to moisturise the hair and leave it soft and healthy.
Texture spray, also known as a sea salt spray, perfect to use on freshly washed hair when creating an undone, messy effect when the hair can be too soft and sleek to work with. They’re weightless and matte and help to add volume and fullness to the hair as well as adding grit to prolong wear time of messier styles, without leaving the hair stiff or crunchy like a hairspray sometimes does. They are suitable for all hair types.
Spray all over the hair for general texturizing or section the hair and spray underneath to create added volume.
We Recommend: IGK Beach Club Volume Texture Spray 185ml, £23
The IGK Beach Club spray can be used on all hair types and used on wet or dry hair. It is easily buildable to enhance texture or volume whilst still keeping the hair soft and full of movement.
Dry Shampoo is a spray that is great for use on all hair types. It absorbs the oils from the hair and scalp making the hair look clean and fresh when the hair is due a wash. If your client has coloured hair, using dry shampoo is a great alternative to frequent hair washing that can strip colours, or if your client has a very oily scalp and doesn’t want to wash their hair daily. Dry shampoo can also be a great styling product to use on freshly washed hair, it can work like a texture spray to add grit at the roots of the hair to better hold intricate updos and add volume.
Dry shampoo traditionally should be sprayed in sections at the roots, left to settle for a minute and then massaged into the hair and scalp to remove any residue, as they can often leave a white cast. It can also be sprayed from a distance through the lengths of the hair to add texture.
We Recommend: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo 355ml, £27
The Living Proof dry shampoo is a great option for your kit as it’s ideal for use on all hair types, it is safe for chemically treated and colour treated hair and is paraben and sulphate free, whilst also being cruelty free.
Hairspray is a product that everyone knows about and it’s a product that has a bad reputation because it can commonly leave the hair feeling hard and crunchy, which is not a nice feeling. However, hairspray is an essential product for style longevity and pairing it with the correct products can make a huge difference to the way hair holds style. Spraying it all over the hair after styling helps to lock in the style which prolongs the wear time, meaning your client can get the most out of your service with minimal or no touch ups.
Hairspray can be used on all hair types and is really great for people who find that their hair doesn’t hold style well, or people who have very fine or very thick hair. How much product you need to use will depend on your client’s hair type.
We Recommend: R+CO Outer Space Flexible Hold Hairspray 315ml, £24.50
The R+CO flexible hold hairspray is a great finishing product to lock in style. It doesn’t create build up on the hair when used in layers and has a soft rosy fragrance instead of the usual odd scent of hairspray. It is also formulated with vitamin B5 to help condition and moisturise the hair whilst also building thickness and volume.
Hair Gel is a product a lot of people think can only be used on short hair however, it is a great product to also be used on very curly hair when wet, prior to blow drying. Gel offers a lot of hold to the hair by clumping it all together, meaning it doesn’t look the most natural but, if used in moderation, can be a great product to offer maximum hold. If a client has very thick hair gel is typically the best option to maintain style and you want a thick gel to do this but, if your client has finer hair, you need to use a lighter gel.
Be sure to start with a small amount of gel dispersed evenly between your hands before applying to the hair to get an even dispersion on product. Not doing this could cause large clumps of gel to harder in the hair. You can always add more product if needed.
We Recommend: Bumble and Bumble Sumogel, 50ml, £25
The sumogel from Bumble and Bumble creates a sleek, high shine look and can be applied to damp or dry hair. It offers maximum hold but keeps the hair flexible.
Pomade is a great option if you want a lot of texture to the hair. It is smooth and adds a natural shine to the hair but doesn’t make it feel hard. It offers decent hold but will remain flexible and textured. Pomade can be applied to wet or dry hair, applying it wet will offer a lot more shine to the hair will diminish its holding capabilities, whereas dry will have less shine but much better hold. It’s also ideal for all hair types and can be built up and reapplied throughout the day as needed, without pulling on the hair.
Start with a small amount of product and warm through your hands well before applying to the hair, to ensure there are no clumps. Build up as needed.
We Recommend: OUAI Matte Hair Pomade 50ml, £16
The OUAI matte pomade is going to offer a soft, piecey texture whilst taming unruly ends and adding definition to both long and short hair. It’s going to offer a medium hold whilst nourishing the hair with added beeswax. It is also paraben free and cruelty free.