When you’re starting a specific hair care journey or just deciding that you want to take better care of your hair, making the decision to do so is the easiest part. The harder part? Figuring out different hair products, what they’re used for, when they should be used, how they should be used – it can be super terrifying for someone who’s just getting into it!
Luckily, we’ve compiled for you a complete guide to different types of hair products. From cleansers like shampoos and cleansing conditioners to moisturizers and serums, we’ve got it covered.
Ready to learn all you need to know about the most important hair care products for your hair. Keep reading to find out more about:
You must be thinking: ‘of course I know how to use shampoo!’ But keep reading, because we can guarantee that you’re about to learn something about using shampoos that can change up your entire cleansing routine.
Most commercial shampoos are sulfate-based. Sulfate is the cleansing agent in shampoo, which makes it extremely effective at removing dirt, oil, product and odours from your hair. Some shampoos also come in sulfate-free formulas, making them gentler on hair. This is ideal for more fragile hair types like curly or Afro-textured hair, where the scalp’s natural oils have more difficulty reaching the tips of the strands.
Shampoos come in many different formulas, whether for the purpose of volumising, clarifying, colour protection, or strengthening. Choosing the right shampoo for your hair is vital, as every head of hair is unique and has its own needs. Moisture-rich shampoos add much-needed hydration to hair strands, but use too much of it and your hair may become over-moisturized. Similarly, using a clarifying shampoo too often will dry out and strip your hair.
Therefore, finding a balance between two shampoos like a moisturizing shampoo and a strengthening shampoo will cater properly to your hair’s needs.
Dry shampoo, or as we like to call it, a lifesaver! Dry shampoo is perfect for when you have no time to wash your hair or don’t want to ruin a style by getting your hair wet, like with extensions like braids and twists. It’s also great for making oily hair look less greasy, letting you go longer between washes. It can even be used to add a bit of volume to limp hair when applied to the roots!
Dry shampoo comes in both a spray and powder form. You don’t need to use dry shampoo everyday to reap its benefits, nor do you need to use a lot of it. In fact, the longer you hold off on washing your hair, the worse it may look as the dry shampoo begins to build up. Use it for one or two days max, then it’s time to give your mane a well-deserved wash!
Cleansing conditioner? That’s right! Cleansing conditioners are very different from normal conditioner. As the name suggests, this conditioner can be used as a cleanser to clean the hair and scalp in place of shampoo. It’s super common in the natural hair community, and among those with curly hair. Cleansing conditioners, or ‘co-washes’ (short for conditioner washes) as they’re also called, are so well-loved because they are so gentle and hydrating. If your hair tends to feel stripped even by sulfate-free shampoos, a co-wash might for you!
Because of their gentler nature, co-washes can be used multiple times a week with no drying out of the hair. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll have to keep up with your protein-rich products to avoid over moisturizing.
Conditioning is an integral step in anyone’s haircare routine, but yet their abilities truly are underrated at times!
Conditioning as the last step in your shower routine plays a major part in how our hair looks, feels and acts. Conditioner lays down the cuticles of the hair, smoothens the hair shaft, and can also regulate the pH of the hair. That super-soft feeling you love after you condition? That’s your trusty conditioner working its magic.
Conditioners don’t need to be applied to the scalp, as this might cause itching, buildup and irritation. Instead, applying your conditioner 2-3 inches from the scalp to the ends is best. Just like with shampoos, there are many types of conditioners for different purposes.
Typically applied before your rinse-out conditioner, your deep conditioner is your holy grail of moisture and conditioning. Deep conditioners do exactly what you think; they penetrate the hair strand to hydrate, nourish and strengthen the hair strand. Healthy hair is beautiful hair, and deep conditioners are simply a must if this is your goal.
Using deep conditioner once a week is perfect to grow healthy hair. They’re best used with some sort of heat, like a steamer or hair dryer, but you can even heat up your deep conditioners in the microwave before applying. Add an oil of your choice to give your hair a burst of shine and you’ll be astonished at how dramatically your hair will transform! Consistency is everything when it comes to deep conditioners.
There are quite a few different names that moisturizers can appear under: hair milk, butter, cream, etc. However, they all do the same thing, and that’s provide the hair with moisture and nourishment.
Some moisturizers also have added benefits, like making hair easier to detangle. These lubricate the hair strands and allow them to slide past each other easily, making them formidable in the face of knots and tangles.
Moisturizer should be applied as often as your hair needs it. Some hair types require moisturizing once every few days, while others flourish on a light daily moisturizer. Finding what works for you takes a bit of experimenting, but trying new things is part of what makes the process to fun!
Serums and oils do not moisturize hair, contrary to popular belief. They do not contain water as the main ingredient, and as such are ineffective at hydration. However, they are excellent sealants.
A sealant is a product that locks moisture into the hair to prevent it from evaporating too quickly. Serums and oils work well to do this, as their base is perfect at creating a barrier. They also add shine, smoothness and softness, and tame frizz. That glossy look? You can achieve this with a serum or an oil!
Oils are perfect if you prefer a natural sealant. Try light oils like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil for finer hair, or heavy oils like castor oil or shea butter for thicker hair.
The world of styling leaves tons of possibilities for products to be used. Here are the most common!
Mousse is a foam-based product that can be sided for a variety of purposes. Some are volumizing products, while some are used to hold a style in place.
Mousse works well on wet, damp or dry hair, making it quite a versatile product.
Curl Enhancing Creams
Curl enhancing creams or curl creams are used to bring out the texture in a certain hair type. When used on straight hair, they can build a lovely wavy texture, like beachy waves straight out of a magazine photo shoot. On curly hair, curl creams reduce frizz, make curls pop and give hair beautiful shine. They’re usually also quite hydrating, making this product a double whammy!
Unlike gels, which can dry with a hard cast and even dry out hair over time, curl enhancing creams are cream-based, allowing them to dry with a soft but firm hold.
When applying curl creams to straight hair, scrunching it into large sections works well because of the structure of the hair. However, for curly hair, shingling or smoothing the product into small to medium sections is the best method to create the most gorgeous results.
Here’s a product that should definitely be on your shelf if you use heat in your hair care routine! Heat protectants are cream/spray-based products that utilize silicone to create a barrier between your hair and heat during styling.
A little heat protectant is all you need to ensure your hair is well secured, and just by adding one extra step to your beauty routine, you can avoid heat damage, fried hair and the many other potential horrors of irresponsible heat use.
Heat protectants also give hair a super desirable softness and shine without the greasy look and feel of heavy serums. They don’t leave any residue behind either, so your curling or flat ironing session will be one hundred percent worry-free!
Some thermal protector sprays also contain oils such as argan oil, which help restore hair health, reduce the side effect of heat styling tools.
Sea Salt Spray
Want something simple to add some texture and grit to your hair? Try sea salt spray!
Sea salt spray is a handy product to have in your bag on the go. Just a few spritzes of this can refresh hair, boost your ends and have your hair looking absolutely perfect.
Wet hair is preferable for applying sea salt spray, but dry hair also works pretty well if you’re on the go. If you haven’t yet tried or heard of sea salt spray, give it a try! We promise you’ll adore the results. Adding this to your routine is a definite win.
Permanent Hair Colour
Enjoying your hair is all about experimenting with different styles and treatments, and even colours! If you’re thinking of switching up your usual hair colour for another, using a permanent hair colour like the ones by Nice n’ Easy by Clairol.
A well-known permanent hair colour, Nice n’ Easy has received the Good Housekeeping Approved badge of endorsement. The formula reduces damage to hair as well as the chance of irritation or allergic reaction to the dye. Out of 54 beautiful shades of brown, red, black and blond, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you.
Those with shorter hair can definitely benefit from pomades. A pomade is a thick, heavy paste used for keeping flyaways at bay, as well as for holding styles in place.
For a bit more movement, adding some oil to your pomade can make it a lot less heavy while adding some brilliant shine. Long hair can also enjoy the effects of a good pomade to smooth flyaways for a sleek bun or ponytail.
Hairspray has a horrible reputation for drying out hair or making it stiff, but its abilities are quite commendable.
For one, hairspray isn’t a moisturizer – it’s a styler! Moisture isn’t its strong point, but it does do a great job at what it’s supposed to do, which brings us to our second point: making hair stuff is exactly what hairspray is supposed to do! Like a pomade or mousse, it’s meant to give hold to a particular style and keep the hair in place.
If you feel like hairspray makes your hair look too wet or greasy, then it’s likely that you’re using a bit too much! Here’s a tip – spray the hairspray onto your palms first before applying it to your hair when using it to smooth flyaways.
So there you have it! A list of the most common hair products, along with tips on how and when to use each one. You’re sure to feel much more confident and knowledgeable with this guide at your side, so what are you waiting for? Take the leap and embark on your journey to healthy and beautiful hair.
Every hair type is beautiful, and there’s no better way to show your appreciation for your tresses than to give them the pampering they deserve.