Hair styling products have become commonplace, yes, but very few of us know what to use when and that's perfectly alright too, 'coz not all of us have a Master's degree in hairstyling. We do have a tendency to binge on these products (thanks to YouTube style channels!), but more often than not, most of these 'miracle potions' stay stacked on our dressing tables and wait out their expiry date. At best, we use the humble hairspray or hair gel to shape and style our mane and take pride in our efforts. But what about all those pomades, hair waxes, dry shampoos and volumizing serums that remain unused? Then there's another bunch of us, who crave after salon-styled looks but have little idea about how to get them (DIY anyone?).
If this sounds like you, we'll unravel the mystery that envelops popular hair styling products and tell you what each one does so that you know exactly what to put in your hair to create perfectly coiffed hairstyles at home!
1. Styling Gel
Styling gels are the most popular hair styling products on the market. With hair styling, shining and texture-enhancing properties, they can transform any average hairstyle to a fabulous one. Styling gels range from light to extreme and can be used to lend a natural shine to the hair or create an ultra-slick look with maximum hold for both wet and dry tresses.
Most gels contain mild ingredients and are specially formulated for everyday hair grooming. They don't cause stickiness, don't leave any residues and don't cause any damage to your strands. However, using too much product, especially on unwashed hair, can make your tresses look super greasy.
Whether you want to lend a polished texture to your pixie or are after a slick wet look hairstyle, a styling gel will help you achieve your desired look in a matter of seconds. For best results, start with a pea-sized amount of product and add more if needed to get that perfectly glossy, mess-proof finish.
Recommended Products: Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Clean Style Gel ($4.99), Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Extreme Style Gel ($4.99)
2. Volume Inject Mousse
A terrific product for those with fine hair, volume inject mousse amps up the volume in your mane and makes the strands easy to sculpt and style. It also cements your hairstyle for longer wear and ensures that every strand stays in place, even in strong windy weather. Use the product on damp hair to create a sleek, wet look hairstyle or work it through your dry tresses to mold them in place with a more natural look.
Volumizing mousses are also great for those with straight, limp tresses or curly hair that has a tendency to fall flat. Use the product to create big, chunky hairstyles. Opt for a lightweight, aerated volume inject mousse to boost your hair at the roots and lend a strong, long-lasting hold to your tresses.
Recommended Product: Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse ($4.99)
3. Deconstructing Gum
Deconstructing gum is the go-to product for styling choppy pixies, shag cuts and lived-in waves – basically, just about any short to medium-length hairstyle that banks on texture. The product is less goopier than your average styling gel, but you'll be amazed to see how a dime-sized amount of deconstructing gum can change your hairstyle game!
A deconstructing gum has strong hold sculpting properties and is specially formulated for the purpose of shaping and reshaping hair. At the same time, the product is lightweight, has a low shine, and therefore does not make your hair look greasy or loaded with products.
For best results, emulsify the gum in your fingers and use it to style individual hair sections and achieve your desired look.
Recommended Product: Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Deconstructing Gum ($4.99)
4. Strand Smoother Serum Spray
This magic hair styling product does exactly what its name suggests – it makes your strands smooth and manageable. Available in micro-diffused spray form, the product should be used on dry hair to make it sleek and shiny instantly. With its smoothening properties, the serum also helps to detangle knots and tame flyways and lend a neat and polished finish to your hair. A good quality product has humidity resistant properties, which restricts the appearance of frizz and prevents your mane from looking like a ball of fuzz, especially in winters.
Recommended Product: Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Strand Smoother Serum Spray ($4.99)
5. Frizz Remover Cream
Come winter and our hair starts resembling a stock of hay. No matter how much we oil and deep condition our tresses, the stubborn frizz refuses to go! Enter frizz remover cream – a product that is specially formulated to combat our mane's biggest winter enemy.
Frizz remover creams help to calm down the messy fuzz of hair that pops up on our heads from time to time. They settle the outer layer of our cuticles and make our strands look flat and smooth (and our hairstyles more shapely!)
While choosing a frizz removing cream, make sure that the product does not contain alcohol, as the ingredient will parch and damage your hair even further. Massage your hair with a dime-sized amount of cream and comb your tresses out to spread the product evenly throughout your mane. If needed, you can also smooth over a tiny amount of cream on the top layers of your hair to tame loose strands of hair, flyways and cowlicks and lend a smooth, polished finish to any hairstyle.
Recommended Product: Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Frizz Remover Cream ($4.99)
6. Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoos have become quite a rage these days, thanks to our hyperactive lifestyles. A dry shampoo is a water-free product that instantly absorbs the oil and other gunk that sticks to your hair, refreshes your tresses and makes your mane look and smell great.
There are many good reasons to use a dry shampoo – whether you don't have time for a leisurely shampooing session, want to get the post gymming sweat off your mane or want to create a lived-in, grungy hairstyle. The best way to use the product is to spray it lightly on dry hair, while concentrating on the roots and brushing out your tresses to spread the product.
Always choose a good quality product that is talc-free, contains no synthetic dyes or silicones and is virtually invisible, and carry it in your purse at all times for a quick touch up whenever needed.
Recommended Product: EverStyle Texture Series Energizing Dry Shampoo ($6.99)
7. Blow Out Heatspray
Love sporting blowouts? Invest in a good quality blow out heatspray to protect your hair from the damages of heat styling, boost your strands, lend a lasting volume to your mane and achieve a perfect salon-styled look.
A blowout heatspray also makes your style last and look fresh between washes. Spritz the product on your damp hair and blow dry your tresses using a round brush for best results. Use the product to create gorgeous, celebrity-inspired straight or wavy blowouts at home and make heads turn wherever you go!
Recommended Product: Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blow Out Heatspray ($4.99)
8. Tousle Waves Hairspray
Since sea-swept, beachy waves are all the rage these days (Yay, Karlie!), you can actually leverage the natural wavy texture of your hair and with a little help from a good quality tousle waves hairspray, flaunt gorgeous tousled bobs at or outside of work.
The product is actually a sea salt spray that lends a gorgeous matte-finish texture to your hair that lasts all day. You can spray it on damp hair sections before twisting and blow drying them using a diffuser to create sultry, carefree, tousled waves. Or, spritz the product on your dry hair to create instant lift and added volume and scrunch your tresses with your fingers to define the undone texture that befits choppy bobs and lived-in hairstyles.
Recommended Product: Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Tousle Waves Hairspray ($4.99)
9. Curl Taming Cream
Don't we all just envy women with curly hair? But ask them how difficult it is to manage their lovely locks!
While curls are much coveted, they are also high maintenance and without the right TLC have a very high chance of going completely out of whack. Thankfully, with the right hair product you can soften, shape and define your pretty curves and kinks without breaking a sweat.
A curl taming cream helps you maintain your gorgeous curls and makes them shine and bounce from root to tip. Besides defining the structure and shape of your curls, the product also helps to fight frizz and makes your mane look gorgeous. So, now you know that if you have curls, this is a 'must-have' hair product for you, period.
Always apply a walnut-sized amount of cream to damp hair, spreading the product from the roots to the tips. Scrunch your hair with your fingers to define the structure of your curls. Use a diffuser to blow dry your lucky locks or let them to air dry.
Recommended Product: Advanced Hairstyle CURL IT Curl Taming Cream ($4.99)
10. Hairspray – Fine, Strong and Weather Control
As the perfect finisher for just about any hairstyle, a hairspray is our absolute favorite product. It helps to lock in any style for longer wear, tame flyways and cowlicks and lend a smooth finish to our mane.
The fine control variation allows you to brush out and style your hair and is therefore perfect for medium-hold styles such as blowouts, half-ups and a host of other loose hairstyles where natural movement is key. The strong control hairspray, on the other hand, lends a firmer hold and is ideal for vintage hairstyles involving bouffants and beehives. Weather control sprays are more versatile in the sense that besides securing your hairstyle, they also lock out humidity and make your style last for over 48 hours.
Given their immense importance, it makes sense to invest in a good quality water-free hairspray that does not dampen your hairstyle. The best way to use any hairspray is to spritz your hair with a gentle mist from a distance. Also, avoid using too much product, as that will make your strands very stiff and look odd.
Recommended Products: Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Fine Control Hairspray ($4.99), Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Bold Control Hairspray (44.99), Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Weather Control Hairspray ($4.99)
It's amazing to see what the right product can do to your hair (and your personality!), but while using it, do remember an important thumb rule – less is always more.