Shampoo ✔️ Conditioner ✔️ Masque ✔️ What's next? Consider this your haircare cheatsheet.
Hands up if you start your day with a blowdryer in one hand and a brush in the other, followed by an array of beautiful products in the hopes of turning out cool-looking hair by the end of your styling session, or are you a towel scrunch, product swish, out the door type? You might have a method that works for you, but could it be more effective?
I doubt you would dare jumble up the steps in your skincare regimen so why would you be so laissez-faire when it comes to your hair? Layering your products is key to efficacy and much like skincare, the same logic applies when it comes to your hair. Each formula prepares your hair for the next step in the process of achieving your style. The question is, when exactly should you apply heat protectants, smoothing creams, and hair oils?
Whether you're a haircare minimalist or need extra help to control an unruly mane, we have broken down each step so you can get the most from the products you use and longevity from your hairstyle.
STEP 1: SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, MASK
It all starts in the shower unless you’re doing a pre-wash masque in which case you’ll start before you get in the shower, but today it starts under hot running water with a duo best suited to your hair type and concerns. Massage shampoo into your roots and rinse. Condition your ends, leave for 2 mins and rinse. The hair care basics.
If you’re going deep and doing a conditioning masque, use this in place of your regular conditioner. Massage, leave for the recommended time and rinse.
STEP 2: LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER, HEAT PROTECTANT & SERUM
Like the first step of your skincare regimen, it’s time to prep your hair and lay the foundations for a hairstyle that will take you from your morning coffee to washing your face clean at the end of the day.
From velvety creams and lotions to sprays and oils, there is no shortage of options when it comes to leave-in treatments. Find a formula that’s nourishing, lightweight and works for your hair type because every hair type, from fine to coarse to straight to curly will benefit from using a leave-in conditioner for that boost in moisture and to prevent breakage - this is the foundation for your hair.
If you blow dry your hair or use any heated tool for that matter, use a heat protectant. It is the equivalent of using SPF, always protect, protect, protect. This will create an invisible barrier between the hot tool and your hair, sealing in moisture and fending off frizz. After liberally spraying onto the hair, use a comb to ensure every inch of each strand is evenly coated.
STEP 3: MOUSSE, CREAM, GEL
What's your plan? Matte texture? Glossy with maximum shine? Satin smooth? Defined curls?
Your style goal is going to inform the products you select here. Foamy products are lightweight, so a mousse will add a soft hold, styling creams will provide smoothing results and gels add definition and a stronger hold.
STEP 4: OILS, WAX & POMADE
You might notice that like the order of your skincare routine, the products get heavier as you go on. Oils are ideal for another layer of hydration for thirsty hair as well as protection, and if you're after workable texturisers to help you achieve a look then waxes and pomades deliver lasting results.
STEP 5: STYLING SPRAYS
Finishing touch, it's the last step before you walk out the door. You can depend on texturizing and hair sprays to set your style in place, for as long as you need it.
Use a Dry Texturising Spray to add volume and that off-duty-model tousled effect. Reach for a hairspray if you’re wanting maximum hold. For curls, an anti-humidity spray is great to fight frizz and add a soft hold.