This article comes from Shape.
If you’ve ever gotten a fabulous cut and watched it deflate the next day, you’ll know what we mean when we say it’s the hair products—not the scissors—that can make or break your look.
Find out what works best for you with these helpful tips.
Hair mousse helps define curls or straighten hair (when used with a hairdryer).
Who should use hair mousse: All hair types.
How much to use: A tennis ball–size puff of hair mousse is best for short hair; use a softball-size one for long strands.
How to use mousse: To straighten your locks, use your fingers to rake this through dry hair from roots to tips. Then flatten out the curl with a big, round brush and high heat. To create soft waves, comb it through wet hair and then diffuse—or simply let your strands air-dry.
Wax is the best hair product to create rocker-girl texture and pieciness.
Who should use hair wax: Those with choppy cuts, like a pixie or shag.
How much to use: Lightly coat your fingertips with a thin layer of product.
How to use wax: Twist the wax into your ends—and go. (Applying it anywhere else, like your mid-shaft or roots, can make locks turn limp, greasy, and dull.)
Pomade is the best hair product to add texture like a wax, but with a touch of shine.
Who should use pomade: Short hair or long layers.
How much pomade should you use: A dime size drop; it’s a little oily and can weigh hair down.
How to use pomade: For long hair, pinch it onto your ends. For shorter styles, apply it from back to front to avoid product buildup near your hairline.
Spray gel is the best hair product for locking in curl and taming frizz. Spray gel is a modern update on a traditional gel. This formula distributes evenly without making hair crunchy.
Who should use spray gel: People with kinky, frizzy hair who want well-defined ringlets.
How much spray gel should you use: Enough to douse your curls; the amount will vary from person to person.
How to use spray gel: Spray liberally through sopping wet hair, from roots to tips, then comb through. Air-dry, or run a diffuser over curls to dry them.
Volumizer is the best hair product for building height at your roots, where you need it most.
Who should use volumizer: Fine, straight, limp locks or curly hair that tend to fall flat.
How much volumizer should you use: Enough to saturate your roots.
How to use volumizer: Spritz it on wet or dry hair, as close to the scalp as possible. Then, using a hairdryer and a big, round brush to lift locks, aim heat at the roots. (This product needs a blast of heat to work: If it air-dries in your strands, it won’t provide lift.)
Texturizer is the best hair product for adding texture and builds allover volume. Hair texturizer is sometimes called salt spray.
Who should use texturizer: People with fine or slightly wavy hair looking to amp up volume or get a relaxed, beachy style.
How much texturizer should you use: Do a few quick sprays, blow-dry or scrunch, and reassess. It can take up to 15 seconds to see the product’s full effect; add more to hair as needed.
Shine drops are the best hair product to seal the cuticle and create sheen.
Who should use shine drops: Medium to thick strands that lackluster.
How much shine drops should you use: Apply a pea-size drop to wet or dry hair. For those with curly locks, add three to four pumps to sopping wet hair for frizz control.
How to use shine drops: Rub it between your hands and clamp them onto your hair mid-shaft, then smooth down to the ends.
Straightening balm or serum is the best product to weigh down curls so you can achieve a slick, straight style.
Who should use straightening balm: Those who blow-dry their curls or waves straight.
How much straightening balm should you use: Start out with a ping-pong ball–size amount; use more if hair is thick.
How to use straightening balm: Smooth onto your strands starting an inch from the roots; applying it any closer will flatten your do.
Hair lotion, which is also called styling lotion, offers more hold than a mousse but isn’t as stiff as gel can be.
Who should use hair lotion: Thick, straight or coarse, curly hair.
How much styling lotion should you use: A golf ball– to softball-size blob, depending on hair length.
How to use hair lotion: Warm it in your palms, then work it into wet hair from roots to ends.
Hairspray is the best hair product to freeze your style in place.
Who should use hairspray: All hair types.
How much hairspray should you use: Spritz liberally. Hairspray contains alcohol, so it evaporates quickly.
How to use hair spray: Spray onto your hair, holding the container 10 inches from your scalp.
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