What Should I Consider When Buying Hair Styling Products?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

When you’re in the market for hair styling products, start by considering your unique hair type. It is wise to choose products designed to cater to and nourish your hair. For example, if your hair tends to be dry and brittle, you’ll want to gravitate towards products that infuse moisture and protect hair against damage. On the other hand, if your hair has a tendency towards natural oiliness, lighter moisturizers are usually best. There are hair styling products that are specifically designed for damaged, permed, relaxed, or color treated hair; use them if your hair fits any of these descriptions.

Home hair toner products.
Home hair toner products.

Gel is one of many popular hair styling products. Gels are well suited to shorter hairstyles, as well as those intended to have a very precise look. Use them when you want to encourage your hair into a particular shape or set and have it dry in place. Be careful with gels that contain alcohol; they tend to dry the hair. Pick a gel if you want something you can simply apply, comb through, shape and go.

A gel might be best for someone with short hair.
A gel might be best for someone with short hair.

Mousse is another hair styling product that enjoys a certain level of popularity. It can be used for holding your style in place or giving your hair lift. There are many types of mousse, making it possible to find one that works well with just about any hair type. Read the ingredients list on the mousse you are considering and skip brands that contain alcohol if your hair is dry or damaged. With mousse, you can apply some to the roots of your hair, comb it through, and style it as you wish.

Opt for a styling spray if you want a product designed to coax your hair to behave as you wish. These hair styling products aren't designed to hold your hair in place. Instead, they are usually employed to encourage hair to be curly or straight, as well as to control frizz. Many styling sprays also contain conditioners.

If you like your style and want it to stay in place, choose a good hairspray. Once you’ve coaxed your hair into that to-die-for style, you don’t want a windy, rainy, or humid day to ruin it. Spray on some hairspray and you’re ready for the world. As with other hair styling products, look for a hairspray that is designed for your hair type and carefully review the ingredient list. You don’t want something that will over-dry your hair and leave it vulnerable to breakage.

No matter what type of hair styling products you need, remember that price doesn’t always indicate the worth of a product. High-priced products may not help you style your hair any better than bargain options. It is the ingredient list that counts. Don’t be afraid to ask your stylist for suggestions concerning ingredients to avoid or look for in your hair styling products. He or she should be able to offer guidance for keeping your hair healthy and fabulous.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


@dega2010: Yes. Not all hair types focus on damaged hair. If you want to increase gloss, shine, volume, or strength in your hair there are types for that too. You can find these in your shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, mousse, gel, hair spray, spray gels, frizz pumps, etc.


My hair isn't damaged, but I'd like to enhance my look. Are there any hair-care products that do that?


@grumpyguppy: Many products have a wide variety of different hair types and solutions. You can ask your beautician which one best fits you. If your hair is dry, you'll want hair repair products such as damage control, dry-hair, split ends, etc. These solutions can also be found in your shampoo and conditioner.


How do I know what products to buy to fit my hair style?


Depending on your hair style and type, hair styling products vary. Many thin-haired women tend to stay away from mousse because it doesn’t hold as well (same goes for straight- sleek hair). However, you may find that it works for you. I find that hair spray is essential to almost any hair style I choose for extra support with my styling technique. Leave-in condition is a great product if you're looking for extra shine and volume. Although, many leave-in conditioners vary in hair types to fit your needs. I try to (if my budget permits) use professional hair styling products that are best suited for my type of hair.

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