When it comes to haircare, gotta think beyond the brush. There's a whole world of products to explore, from volumizers and texturizers to smoothers and finishers. Here's what you need to know, plus faves and tips straight from the reviews at Ulta.com.
VOLUME / THE BIG STARS
First, to clear the air: Volume doesn't mean thickness; it means height. That's why you should always apply volumizing products straight to your roots to give it lift. There are simple ways to get more volume, like switching your part or changing to a round brush, but the best way is to look for natural ingredients (like wheat, rice and corn), which rinse, clean, and add volume to the hair without build-up.
FAN FAVORITEREDKEN GUTS 10 VOLUME SPRAY
User Tip: "Applies easily — gives volume all day!"
–Jan H., McHenry
SMOOTHING / THE CALMING CREW
Yes, the battle against frizz is real — and nearly everyone fights the fight. Frizz usually happens when your hair lacks moisture. Smoothing products come to the rescue, tackling the effects of humidity, taming flyaways and conditioning your strands. Once you find your favorite, apply it evenly from the roots to the very bottom of your hair for smoothness and shine.
FAN FAVORITEPAUL MITCHELL SMOOTHING SUPER SKINNY SERUM
User Tip: "I use one and a half pumps after I shower—and it works amazingly! I strongly recommend this product for someone who bleaches their hair or uses heat tools frequently."
–Audrey, San Jose, CA
TEXTURE / THE MANAGEMENT TEAM
If you want to be super exact, texture is defined as the circumference of the hair strand itself. If you want to be super simple (yes, please!), there are six basic types of hair texture: fine, straight, wavy, coarse, frizzy and curly. And texturing products can do it all: hydrate your hair, define your curls, fight frizz and get you get the beach look you love. Texturizing sprays or foams surround every strand, creating invisible, firm, flexible support for styling (and restyling!) perfection.
FAN FAVORITEREDKEN CURVACEOUS WIND UP
User Tip: "I have fine, wavy hair and I spray this on immediately after washing/conditioning and using the Devacurl microfiber towel. I scrunch while my hair is really wet and then I use a diffuser to dry for about five minutes. When completely dry, I scrunch again."
–Barbfrank, Pitman, NJ
HEAT PROTECTION / THE BODYGUARDS
Whether it’s a spray, cream or gel, heat protection products work by adding a barrier between your hair fiber and your heat tool, resulting in less damage and breakage. Plus, you get a much faster drying time. With most of these products, you'll apply to wet hair before you grab the blow dryer. Others work better on dry hair before you curl or straighten. No matter when you apply, the difference in your hair will be quickly noticeable.
FAN FAVORITEREDKEN PILLOW PROOF BLOW DRY EXPRESS PRIMER
User Tip: "I always spray this in my hair after the shower before I blow dry. It makes blow drying time so much faster and it smells amazing too. I love that it's not greasy and it's very lightweight so you don't feel it in your hair throughout the day."
FINISHING / THE CLOSING TEAM
You put a lot of work into your hair, so finish with a flourish. Hairspray is the main finishing product, but mousse, cream and even foams can help set you look. And they all share one goal: Make your hair look great all day. Style, spray & go!
FAN FAVORITESEXY HAIR BIG SEXY HAIR SPRAY & PLAY VOLUMIZING HAIRSPRAY
User Tip: "My usual routine is to dry my hair, spray my head all over with a fine mist, and then briefly dry it again. It keeps my hair looking great all day, even in the Alabama midsummer heat."