How to Pick the Right Products for Your Hair Type

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You want your hair to look beautiful, healthy and alive. But how do you know what hair products will work best for you? How many times have you purchased hair care products that sounded (or smelled) fabulous, only to discover that they didn’t make your hair look the way you hoped they would?

Different hair types require different care and treatments to look their very best. Find your hair type below to see what will work best for you.

If your hair is:

Fine and Straight

Fine hair is naturally silky and smooth and responds to heat styling easily. To make fine or wispy hair look thicker and fuller, here are some tips just for you.

  • Use a thickening or volumizing shampoo. This will add body and a little bounce to your hair.
  • Same with the conditioner, you want one that thickens or adds volume. Apply only on the very ends of your hair and be sure to rinse it out thoroughly.
  • Using dry shampoo on occasion will also help add texture and bulk. You can try adding a bit more throughout the day for an additional lift but be sure to wash it out within a few days, as too much build-up will ruin the volume.
  • Apply a heat-protecting spray halfway down the length of your damp hair to the ends. Comb some mousse through to add more body and control, and then you’re ready to style as usual.
  • You’ll want to avoid oils and silicone serums, as they both tend to weigh down fine hair.

Thick and Straight

Your thick, straight hair is often envied because you can do pretty much anything with it. That’s because the texture of the hair lends itself to so many possibilities. However, you may need a little patience and take a bit more time to get the results you want.

  • To style, divide wet hair into sections and begin combing a few drops of styling oil through each section. Follow this up with a little styling cream throughout, working your way from the back of your head forward to avoid weighing down bangs and face-framing layers.
  • Use shine sprays, as the bulkiness of your hair can give it a dull appearance. Use them to finish your styling, applying from mid-length of the hair down to the ends.
  • Avoid thickening and volumizing products – you know you don’t need them!

Wavy

While your wavy hair has a natural body and takes a curl beautifully, it also tends to get frizzy and pouf out. Here’s how to help add moisture and volume without losing that wave:

  • Choose lighter styling products that contain natural oils, instead of silicone. If you’re using a frizz-fighting shampoo and conditioner (most of which have silicone in the first few ingredients), pick lighter styling products that contain natural oils instead of silicone. Too many heavy products will smother the waves when what you want is to smooth them. Also, too much silicone is drying for the hair and can make your hair even more frizzy.
  • Select salt sprays rather than gels or curl creams. Salt sprays are lighter and the spray pump allows for more even control in application. 
  • Part your hair and let it air-dry; if the ends look a little straggly, you can run a little styling oil over them.

Some cautions:

  • Don’t use rich shampoos or styling products that will weigh your hair down.
  • Avoid pomades. Pomades are ointments used to make hair look wet and shiny, as well as for styling. However, they are often greasy or waxy, which will also weigh down wavy hair.
  • Avoid straightening creams, also too heavy.
  • Avoid gels because they are too crunchy for your hair type.

Curly

If you’re a curly head, your battle is against dryness and frizz. 

  • Switch to sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Sulfates are also known as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. It is the ingredient that makes a product produce lather. Sulfate also is a detergent that removes dirt and oil; however, because it is so effective, it can cause extremely dry or damaged hair and irritate your scalp. 

Sulfate strips away the natural moisture that keeps your hair shiny and soft, and some even carry hormone-disrupting agents such as dioxane, a known carcinogen.

Instead,

  • Use a rich conditioner that contains panthenol or silicone, which seal in moisture. However, if you have fine curls you need to be careful not to overdo it. Those gorgeous curls of yours can easily fall flat if you give them too much moisture.
  • If you like a heavy conditioner, the kind that comes in a tub, be sure to balance it with a lighter, water-based styling product. You’ll know it is water-based if the first ingredient listed is water.
  • Avoid shampoos that have added fragrance. Unless the product says that it is from natural essential oil, avoid any product that has the term “fragrance” listed as an ingredient. This term is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients used to create the fragrance. So, choose fragrance-free products.
  • To keep curls in place without drying and potentially harmful gels (think of the crunch they produce), use a curl-refreshing mist, one that contains water and light conditioners, as needed throughout the day.
  • And finally, on the days you aren’t shampooing, you can easily refresh your curls by getting them wet in the shower or using a water-filled spray bottle, and then running a conditioner from the middle of the hair length down to the ends.

Final Thoughts

Every woman wants their hair to look healthy and beautiful. But with so many choices, choosing the right hair product can be daunting. Whether it’s tiger hair products, sessions, or other salon quality products, knowing what will work best with your hair type is a great place to start. 

If you stick with products that work best for your hair type, you won’t go wrong. 

When you find what works for you, you will fall in love with your hair and stop wishing you had someone else’s.

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