The Correct Order to Apply Your Hair Products

Just like a makeup regimen, hairstyling commands a specific order of product application. You wouldn’t apply eyeshadow before priming your eyelid, would you? As if! The same goes for your mane. Use the right products, in the correct order, and you’re promising yourself a pretty hairstyle with solid staying power—one that won’t slide off like an un-primed smoky eye. Here we spell out the importance of layering hair products, and the chronological way to do so.

layering hair products brunette model with healthy hair

(via iStock)

In Shower

Shampoo before conditioner sounds like an obvious one but if you’re looking for maximum hydration, skip the shampoo altogether and start with conditioner, for what’s called “co-washing.” If you’re sticking with good ol’ shampoo and conditioner, remember that you can replace your conditioner with a leave-in. We love the OUAI Treatment Mask or Tigi’s Color Goddess Mask—leave it on for five minutes in the shower, while wearing a shower cap to lock in moisture, then rinse with cold to lukewarm water.

Post-Shower

After you’ve T-shirt-dried your hair, spritz a detangler from mid-lengths to ends and brush. Unless it’s your tried-and-true method, never apply a detangler on dry hair before heat styling–otherwise you’re asking for oily, flat hair that calls for another wash soon.

Pre-Styling

Your hair is washed, dried, and ready to dance with a heat tool (or blowdryer). Before you start styling, apply an anti-humidity or anti-frizz spray—we’re looking at you, frizzy girls. If your hair tends to get oily fast, skip the anti-frizz and go with a heat protectant spray, like Oribe’s Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Hair Spray.

Post-Styling

After the heat tool turns off, it’s ready to set. To lock in the look, spritz a setting hairspray from mid-lengths to ends so the elements can’t knock it down. High hair-lovers, reach for a volume or texture spray and apply it to your roots only. Then flip your head upside down and juuj. We love us some Kevin Murphy Bedroom Hair Flexible Texturizing Hair Spray. Lastly, work a quarter-size amount of your favorite hair oil or pomade onto the ends for a healthy glow.

Check out our list of MA-approved 2-in-1 products that actually work (and won’t damage your hair).

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