But don’t stop there. Before you leave the salon, ask for a demo on how to use the stuff—how much to spray, where to put it on your head, whether to work it into damp or dry hair, etc. Knowledge is power after all, and knowing exactly how to use your hair styling product will make it that much more effective.
Here are some hair styling product favorites for every hair type, recommended by the pros at Matrix:
Best choice: Lightweight hair styling mousse is the magic sauce for skinny strands—it provides airy body without crunch or stiffness. Apply to damp hair and blow dry your foam in for lasting bounce.
Try this: Style Link Volume Builder Volume Mousse
Best choice: A rich styling cream, applied before you hit your locks with a blow dyer, will help constrict swollen strands and leave hair looking glossy and polished once it’s dry. It will also help defy humidity throughout the day.
Try this: Style Link Smooth Setter Styling Cream
Best choice: Shine is the Holy Grail—it makes all the difference between hair that looks tired and hair that looks alive. A shine-enhancing hair spray or mist with camellia seed oil will produce a glossy finish—and can also protect your hair from heat damage before you blow dry.
Try this: Biolage Sugar Shine Illuminating Mist
Best choice: For you, it’s all about hold and heat protection. Modern blow-out creams are activated by heat, and when they are, they provide flexible hold and a smooth finish.
Best choice: Coax natural waves into beachy waves perfection with a salt-infused spray. You’ll get non-sticky, lightweight grip for perfect, undone wave texture.
Best choice: Curls need moisture for maximum luster. Look for a lightweight lotion that helps define coils and quenches curl thirst.
Best choice: Tame and refine coils while maintaining their full glory with a rich gel/cream formula that will keep them supple and will never become stiff or flaky!
Best choice: When hair is damaged and compromised, a leave-in hair treatment that doubles as a hair smoother and heat protection cream is the way to go.
Try this: Biolage Protecting Treatment
Best choice: Frizz is usually accompanied by dryness and exacerbated by humidity. So reach for a super-moisturizing oil/cream/gel combo that will hydrate as it locks down the hair surface to prevent humid air from penetrating and swelling strands.
Try this: Oil Wonders Shaping Oil Cream
Best choice: You need a gentle multi-tasker—one that will soften brittle hair as it adds shine. Look for an elixir with tiny fibers that will help shore up your compromised hair.
Try this: Total Results So Long Damage Break Fix
Best choice: A lightweight treatment oil is the best thing you can use before styling. Your parched strands will absorb the luxurious formula instantly, becoming softer and more supple, and emerging super shiny once they’re dry!
Try this: Biolage ExquisiteOil Softening Treatment with Tahitian Monoi Oil
Best choice: You intend to dry and style your hair, but somehow, time never seems to cooperate. So you’re usually just a shampoo-and-go type of gal. Air-dry creams will let you go in style, thanks to a dual system that pairs hard-holding latex polymers for control, with soft-holding latex polymers for body and a soft, clean feeling. Together they provide just the right amount of hold and touchability to produce natural movement, control and malleable hair.
Best choice: If frayed ends are preventing your hair from appearing healthy, try a lightweight leave-in conditioning repair cream. Since you don’t rinse it out, it will help prevent split-ends and breakage. Bonus points if the formula reinforces the hair fiber and helps hold your style in place.
Try this: Biolage Thermal Active Repair Cream
Best choice: Short strands are cool when they’re piece-y and messy with loads of texture. The right cut is a huge percentage of the style equation, but a good pliable molding paste that supplies hold and grip is essential for adding the finishing touch.
Best choice: Hair spray is a given for strands that stray, but it’s important to find a modern formula that’s super fine, dries quickly and won’t flake for a soft and natural-looking finished style.