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What Are Hair Cosmetics?

Article Details
  • Written By: S. Reynolds
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Hair cosmetics are products that help people manage or style their hair. These products may include such items as mousse, gel, hair spray, shampoo, conditioner, heat protectants, silicones, or pomades. Cosmetics are temporary, so people must reapply the products daily to get good results. Thousands of hair cosmetics are available for purchase, but most of them contain many of the same ingredients.

Pomades and waxes are similar products, but waxes tend to be for longer-lasting hold and for shorter hair. Anyone with short, dry hair can use these products to sculpt his hair into a style. Pomades provide hold as well as shine, but waxes usually harden the hair temporarily without providing much shine. Silicones also fall into this category and tame frizz while providing a little bit of sheen to dry, dull hair.

Heat protectant spray is another big seller in the hair care market, especially for women. Blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons tend to be very damaging to the hair and can cause it to look dry and dull after repeated, regular use. Applying a heat protectant spray on the hair before using heat styling tools can help people preserve the integrity of their hair. Heat protectants coat the hair shaft with a temporary layer of product to keep heat styling tools from burning hair or boiling the water inside the hair shafts.

Other popular hair cosmetics include gels and mousses. Hair gel is sticky and viscous, and hardens on the hair after it dries. It is very good for keeping frizzy hair down and for shaping short hair. Mousse is very similar, but it starts out as a sticky foam in a pressurized aerosol can that hardens once it is dry. Both gel and mousse can dry out hair if used too often.

Leave-in conditioners are applied after shampoo while the hair is still damp, and unlike regular conditioners, these product are not rinsed out. People with very thick or dry hair can use leave-in conditioners daily, but those with finer hair or oily scalps should not apply these hair cosmetics. Too much leave-in conditioner can cause the hair to look greasy and dull.

Some products claim to re-grow, thicken, or nourish the hair roots to speed up growth. This is also a type of temporary hair cosmetic, as it must be applied daily to see real growth. Both men and women can use hair growth products and see similar results. Some products also claim to grow longer, thicker eyebrows and eyelashes when applied every day.

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