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How to: Get Your Head Around Hair Products
Wed, 18 July 2012 8:15AM
Up until December 2011, I lived life with long hair. Leave-in conditioner and several elastic bands were all I knew.
Now I am growing out my short haircut, I am constantly confused about which product to use.
Welcome to my Hair Soap Opera. If you’ve missed season 1, let me recap:
Episode 1 – 5: chronicled waxes that don’t wash out until next Wednesday.
Episode 6 – 12: saw clumsy application of serums that made my waves about as smooth as a tsunami.
And the clincher – the current episode – focuses on gel and the uncomfortable fit it has on my hair, resulting in a look only Jermaine Jackson would be jealous of (and we all know Tito is the one that is really fun to copy. So I can’t even get that right!).
In an attempt to cut some drama out of my daily life and press “pause” on my poor hair product choices, Mandy Kingsman, Artistic Director for TONI&GUY, is here to explain what product is right for mine – and maybe your – hair type.
Tousle Whip 04 Soft Texturising Cream Wax, $29.95, from selected salons
Best for: “It’s good for thick to coarse hair as it won’t weigh the hair down. It will also add a little bit of moisture to dry hair.”
Best applied: “Now we have some waxes that can be applied straight to the head because they are in a stick form. Others you do need to warm in the hand to get an even distribution throughout your hair.”
Care factor: If you use a wax quite frequently, it’s going to build up in the hair so make sure you have a good detoxifying or deep cleansing shampoo,” Mandy advises.
Rockaholic Groupie Texturising Spray Pomade, $29.95, 02 9439 9666
Best for: “When it comes to pomade, I immediately think wet-looking shine and sleekness. This kind of product is best for a polished quaff (think the movie Grease), 1920s groomed or barbered flat, side-parted hair. Perfect for what is on trend at the moment.”
Pomade vs wax? “Pomade doesn’t dry out. It stays wet in the hair until you wash it out creating a high shine,” says Mandy. “Wax gives the hair a drier finish with low sheen.”
Best applied: Start with a very small amount and work it through the hair with your fingers, she advises. “Comb the product through for a more styled effect.”
TONI&GUY Forming Spray Gel, $15.99, from pharmacies
Should these be left in the ’80s?
“Gels have changed a lot since their first introduction. They aren’t as alcohol-based anymore, resulting in gel being much more conditioning on the hair. The finish of gel is also not as stiff,” says Mandy.
Can they be damaging on hair?
Mandy says not, even though they contain alcohol as an ingredient. “You would assume that it would be damaging on the hair, but the amount used is minimal and other ingredients are combined to combat thermal damage and inhibit UVA/UVB rays,” she says.
Best styles for gel?
Mandy doesn’t think gels are only for short hair. “It can be used to blow-dry into long hair for more texture, or to expand the hair. I use gel a lot for fringes and to tame cowlicks.”
Do you need to wash hair daily?
“Most gels these days are water soluble, meaning the will wash out very easily. But, as with a wax, if you do get build up a detoxifying shampoo or deep cleansing shampoo will work. You should use this once a week,” she says.
ghd Smooth and Finish Serum, $22, ghd
Treatment or styling product?
“Some salon professional serums can work like a treatment, in the fact that they can bond the ends of the hair together. BUT serums are mainly used as a finishing product on the ends of hair. They have the ability to seal the ends and promote shine.”
Who can use serums?
“Anybody with mid to longer length hair, who feels like the ends are dry and splitting but don’t want to cut much off,” says Mandy.
“If your serum says apply 2-3 drops, only apply 1-2,” urges Mandy. “We have the knack of over using products, and serums are definitely not one to over use. Work the drops through the palm of your hands and apply mainly to the ends. If you have residue on your hands you can work it a little higher into the mid lengths. Make sure you avoid the root area at all costs!”
Primpettes, are there any hair products you swear by?
Do you use a wax, pomade, gel or serum?
Got a fave?
Posted by: ecb