How To Understand Hair Products Without Looking Like An Idiot

You know the feeling, you've run out of gel and need to get some more stuff to make your barnet look acceptable in public again. Only to get to the shops and see a thousand different shiny products that scare the kidneys out of you. you literally have no idea what to buy so you panic and snap up some weird orange wax, a wet look gel and some 'new technology' powder.

You do your hair and you look like Justin Timberlake. When he was in N-Sync. And if the 90s had literally thrown up all over him. And then pushed him down a hill.

We caught up with super hair expert for Shockwaves, Michael Douglas to find out where we're going wrong...



Hair products can be split into two categories: ones used to style and ones that you use to get the finished look.

Style products are generally resin-based and should be applied to wet hair. Products like gel or mousse, these will hold your hair in place and make it go hard or stiff.

Finishing products will not give you the same hold and should be applied to dry hair. These are silicon based and include anything like a wax, cream or putty.

I deally you should use both a finishing product and a style product. Something to use as a base to get the initial hold and then something to give your style extra texture or shine.

Add a gel or mousse first and blow-dry it in,  and then add some wax or clay. Allow your finishing product to dry naturally, as blow-drying will just leave you looking greasy.



The breakdown…
A gel will always look harder and give your hair a hold. A lot of men just buy the strongest gel they can find which is a mistake. In actuality, you need to take into account what kind of hair you have. The thicker your hair, the stronger the gel is that you should use.

Mousse is essentially just a wet form of gel. Because it’s a wet product, it’s ideal for longer hair – perfect if you’re a Jim Morrison-style rock star. For shorter hair, try looking more towards gels.

Cream, wax, clay, putty and gum have almost no hold at all and are for creating texture or extra shine. They should always be applied to dry hair. For an idea of how the product will dry on your hair, check out how hard, matte or shiny it is when it’s still in the tin. It will be the same on your hair.