You don’t need a PowerPoint presentation to sell you on the merits of a good shampoo and conditioner. But a post-shower product line-up? Is it excessive or essential? And what would make the most sense for your hair? Hair creams? Oils? Hair spray and mousse? Or circle D for none of the above?
Here is a quick crash course.
The basics: Why would you need post-shower products?
There are certain tasks shampoo and conditioner simply cannot accomplish. Shampoo is here for when you need a cleanse. And conditioner has your back when you want to restore and protect…to a certain extent. The elements are quick to wreak havoc on your pampered mane. That’s where these post-shower, pre-hangout products come in. Depending on your hair and desired look, they can combat the humidity that causes frizz, seal in the necessary moisture for soft and shiny hair, or hold a style in place. Follow our guide on which products are idea (and not so ideal) for you based on your hair profile.
Have fine hair? Bet on the lightweight.
Avoid heavy, waxy products like pomades, butters, and pastes if it’s volume you seek. However, these products do a fantastic job holding hair into place if you’re trying to create a slicked back top knot à la J. Lo.
Also, steer very clear of hair oil. Better for thicker hair, these are usually aimed at making hair softer. But with its fewer layers of cuticles, your hair tends to be naturally soft and silky. So opt for products like texturizing sprays and volume enhancing products that add height at the root of the hair.
Lightweight stylers are ideal for you because they skip the wax that typically weighs your hair down in favor of silicones like dimethicone and phenyl trimethicone. These guys create a smooth, shiny layer that acts as a water-impermeable sealer on your hair strands and can even protect against damage during heat styling. Another ingredient to write home about? Hydrolyzed quinoa. Yes. Quinoa. It offers your hair extra strength, partially thanks to its having essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own.
On wet hair: apply to your ends before blow-drying or air-drying.
On dry hair: put a very thin layer on the palms of your hands and lightly smooth your top layer and ends.
Got thick hair? Think moisture.
Volumizing products like mousse and texturizing spray might not be what you’re looking for if your hair is already wild at heart. And any product that markets itself as “weightless” won’t do much for you.
Cream stylers, on the other hand, have a unique combination of dimethicone/dimethiconol (more silicones) and a non-silicone oil balanced with the emollient PPG-3 Ether Myristate to coat AND penetrate through the cuticle to lubricate and up the shine. That’s a really science-ey way of saying come get this moisture and manageability.
On wet hair: apply generously before air-drying or heat styling.
On dry hair: distribute on palms and comb through ends with fingers. Repeat if necessary.
And curly hair? You’ll also want a curl cream.
More often than not, curly hair is high porosity. That means the cuticle has large gaps that give moisture a VIP pass to enter. The downside is those gaps are so big that your hair can’t keep enough moisture to penetrate the hair fiber. Enter annoying frizz.
That’s why curl cream stylers, also known as sealers or cream-based leave-ins, are a no-brainer for your strands. Their molecular structure adds an extra barrier to keep that moisture locked in.
(Psst. We are currently developing a curl cream. Want to be a beta tester? Leave a comment below!)
No matter what hair type you have, you’ll want to stick to these rules:
Don’t use too much!
You definitely don’t want to end up looking greasy, especially given that you just showered. Start with a pea-sized amount and work your way up.
Exfoliate that scalp
Remember—post-shower products, by default, cause buildup. Massage your scalp with our Scalp Balancing Bar to start with a clean foundation every time. Plus, ingredients like eucalyptus, ginger root, and tea tree oil not only clarify, but also feel super freaking good.
To sum it up
Stylers are a key staple in a hair routine. But don’t just reach for your partner’s random gel. Choose formulations that moisturize, protect, and seal the good-hair-day deal. Luckily we just launched a couple of those. Take the quiz to find out which one is right for you.