Top 5 hair products (and what EXACTLY you do with them).

Zoe Foster







Sometimes we buy fancy new hair products that look exciting, but we don’t know quite what to do with them. Other times, we buy hair products we are convinced we know what to do with, but in fact do not.

And so, at the risk of offending those who know all of this and a bag of kale chips, I offer five humble hair product tips, uses and how-to-uses.

1. Mousse

The underrated superstar of hair styling and a backstage/photoshoot staple. Use a golf ball size amount (up to baseball-size for long hair) run through from roots to tips, on damp hair. Can be freshly washed damp hair, or dry but sprayed wet, damp-hair. Either way is fine, because mousse is a terrific styling re-setter: use it with damp hair and a hair dryer, and you can re-style your hair any way you choose. This is how they do it backstage at runway shows when the same models need eight completely different hair looks in as many hours. Choose your mousse according to your needs, i.e.: volume, body, hold, shine or curls (Pantene Curl Defining Mousse is especially good for this.)

Tip: Never dump your mousse ball onto the top of your head; start at the lengths of the hair and move up to the front. This stops a greasy, lank scalp and that product-overload look and feel that, let’s be honest, is a real shit.


2. Hairspray

We all need this guy. We do! It’s the magical do-it-all of hair styling. Gone are the days when hairspray simply kept our French rolls and teased fringes neatly in place, now they come in a host of different formulas so they can be used to hold bounce and volume (like TRESemme’s 24-hour body finishing spray), give shine and structure for curls and waves, or flexible, lightweight hold and a glossy non-sticky finish that can be brushed out and re-styled several times (cue the marvellous and cult L’Oreal Elnett, obviously).

Tip: For a neat, shiny finish and hold, spray your hairspray onto your paddle/cushion brush not your hair, and then brush over your hair. Keeps the hair light and prevents too much build up.

3. Frizz serums

These guys are terrific for keeping hair obedient, shaping curls and giving shine but can VERY quickly weigh the hair down, especially fine hair, if you use too much. Be sure to only use on damp, freshly washed hair, and use a pea-sized amount, starting at the mid-lengths to the ends to avoid that greasy looking scalp.

The Tangle Teezer

Tip:  Squirt your product onto your palm, then run a Tangle Teezer or Denman style brush (i.e: one that is suitable on wet hair, so NOT a barrel or ceramic brush) over your palm so the serum gets on the bristles. Now brush your hair, starting a few inches below the scalp on the first run through.


4. Hair oils
By which I mean styling ones (not deep conditioning ones) like Moroccan oil, which contains silicone – just like a frizz serum – and as such should be used sparingly for the best benefits. The key with these (like frizz serums) is to use a teeny amount on damp hair, and comb through before heat styling or allowing to dry naturally. As with most hair products and paragraphs above this one, I will advise not dumping the oil on the top of your hair first. Start at the mid-lengths and ends.

Tip: You can also use a little on dry hair before heat styling or going swimming, or in the sun/wind/snow as protection. Kind of like lip balm for your hair. Fine haired dames should use the lighter versions available.

5. Dry shampoo

As I showed in my video earlier in the year, you gotta use a fair amount of this stuff for it to have an effect. And get it right up close to the scalp to get benefits. Flip your hair up, over, under, all around to get in everywhere, and then let it soak up the oil for a good 30 seconds before either massaging in with fingers (lazy way) or blow-drying and brushing it through the hair (proper way.)

Tip: Use it (lightly, like a hairspray except still on the scalp) on freshly-washed, too-perfect hair for some volume and light texture/bedhead-ness. Do not use as talc all over your body post-shower even though a girl I know did this very thing with Klorane and it gave me months of laughter.

Zoe Foster is an author, columnist and porridge fan. Her books include the beauty bible Amazing Face, dating and relationship guide Textbook Romance, and three novels, Air KissesPlaying The Field and The Younger Man. Find more info on Zoe Foster here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.

Please understand that Zoë Foster cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.


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