How to Get Perfect Hair Without Using Any Products

A man with perfect hair | Source: iStock

Imagine being able to style your hair perfectly without any product. Despite what you may think, it can be done. A style that requires a ton of product is not one that you should be rocking. Who wants their hair to look like it’s been, in some way, shape, or form, plastered to their heads? And no one wants hair that’s been so hardened by products that it looks plastic. Plus, isn’t it easier to have perfectly styled hair without the need for gel, hairspray, or pomade? There are no gimmicks or tricks here, gentlemen: Either of the techniques listed in the article will allow you to style your hair perfectly — without any product.

T. Cooper, New York City hair and makeup artist and co-founder of Metro Look, demonstrates how to style your hair, no product required. Hair product haters, rejoice.

1. Use a heat tool

Cooper recommends using a straightening iron to tell your hair how and which way it should go. Don’t allow the thought of using a straightening iron overwhelm you. Some of your favorite manly men achieve their own personal hairstyles by using a straightening iron. How do you think Justin Timberlake’s hair looks so perfectly coiffed? I think you already know the answer.

Tackle this slowly if it’s your first time, or enlist your significant other or a friend who’s a girl to demonstrate how it’s done. Going at it alone? Start with one small section at a time. Grab a medium-size chunk of hair, no bigger than three-quarters of the length of your middle finger, and run the hair iron through while pulling it and your hair in the direction that you want it to fall. Your best bet is to pull your hair going backward. Do this with all of your hair to achieve your desired look.

2. Use water

A man combing his hair | Source: iStock

Water: You probably never thought you could use it as a legitimate styling tool. But it turns out that water is a great way to make your hair obey and achieve your desired look. Take a comb or brush, but “don’t use a brush on damp hair!” New York stylist Frederique Carme, from Marie Robinson salon, warns Forbes. When it comes to choosing whether to use a brush or comb,“If you have curly hair, use a wide-tooth comb while the hair is wet,” Amanda Dyer at Atlanta’s Dyer & Posta salon told Forbes. “For straight hair, use a wet brush.”

Next, after figuring out which tool suits your hair, take a spray bottle full of water and spray your comb or brush, making sure you spray enough so the tool’s styling end is thoroughly wet enough to style. Then, simply comb or brush your hair in the direction you would like it to fall. Repeat as many times as needed to achieve your desired look.

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Hairspray is a pretty common item in the hair care arsenal and there is a good chance that you have some yourself. There are so many people who depend upon it to make their hair stay in once place, and at the end of the day, sometimes it seems to be the only way. After all, how else are you going to address those flyaways? Well, there are a few ways for you to get your hair under control without resorting to spraying, and we dare say it’s even a bit better for the environment. Read on to learn some of HSI’s tips for holding your hair without chemical assistance.

HSI Tip #1: Use Accessories

When you think of holding your hair in place, a chemical solution is what typically comes to mind, but you don’t necessarily have to go that route. You’re probably a bit confused; you’ve always been told that hairspray is the best idea, but there are certain accessories that you can use to keep your hair from moving. These include:

  • Barrettes
  • Combs
  • Clips
  • Headbands
  • Bobby Pins
  • Scrunchies

All of these can be used to hold your hair in place, and one of the coolest things you can do is separate your bangs into two different sections. You can wrap the sections with their own hair, and then secure both sides with one of the implements that we mentioned above. If you want to combine this with hairspray, you’re certainly welcome to, but you will find that you do not have to use nearly as much to get the same effect.

HSI Tip #2: Use an Alternative Product

If hairspray isn’t something you want to bring to your locks, and if using accessories doesn’t really seem to be an option, then it might be within your best interest to try a different product. For example, you could try either gel, mousse, or curl booster. The idea here is to get the hairstyle that you want without looking as if you’ve just stepped out of an 80’s chick flick. If curls are what you are going for, just scrunch curl booster into your hair to stop the curls from frizzing, and to keep them soft 24/7.

HSI Tip #3: Use the Best Products

This isn’t exactly a novel concept, but HSI does strongly recommend that you use the best possible products, and keep your hair in the best possible condition each and every day. This means avoiding products that are purchased directly from drug stores as they are not only ineffective but potentially damaging to your hair. Hair care is going to go far beyond just taking care of it in the moment; your hair needs to be healthy at all times, and that means using products that are infused with Argan oil. In addition to that, you will want to check out the CareBox we offer right here in our store.

We offer a relatively small range of products, all of which are infused with Argan oil, and serve as an outstanding means to get your hair into the best shape of its life. This includes a heat protectant to help you style your hair and keep it in the best possible shape. Our products are top of the line, and will, without a doubt, give you precisely what you’re looking for in the way of hair aesthetics. Along with hair product, however, we also sell great utilities, like hair straighteners and more, all designed to give your hair the treatment it deserves.

For high hold and no shine, use fiber

Imperial fiber pomade

Walmart $25 Buy Now

It can also be applied to dry hair for medium hold and piece-y, surfy texture.

For light-to-medium hold and high shine, use pomade

By Vilain pomade

Amazon $26 Buy Now

This gives you more of a modern-day Suits finish, instead of an old-school Mad Men slickness. (Less greasy, really.)

For medium hold and light shine, use paste

V76 by Vaughn paste

Amazon $21 Buy Now

This gives you “touchable” hair that can be mussed up after work for a more Happy Hour-friendly style. (It also happens to be GQ readers’ favorite hair product.)

For light hold and medium shine, use oil

Jack Black hair, face, and beard oil

Amazon $26 Buy Now

It’s is as good for your face as it is for your hair. But, applied to hair, it’ll give you a pinch of sheen with no grip whatsoever. This is a better bet for longer styles that won’t otherwise suffer from flyaways. It’s also good to mix with cream or paste for more added control + shine.

For light hold and light shine, use cream

Fatboy hair cream

Amazon $21 Buy Now

Cream gives your hair the control and style you want, but will make it look as if there’s no product added at all.

For extra hold, use hair spray

Oribe hair spray

Nordstrom $42 Buy Now

Give your finished look a light layer of hair spray to restrict any movement (if that’s what you want; it doesn’t make as much sense if you only use a cream or oil). Point the spray eight inches from your head, to ensure that the style holds all day.

How to Slick Back Different Types of Hair

Here are a few suggestions for different hair types—since no two men will have the same results, based on density, thickness, and texture.

  • To slick back curly or wavy hair: Opt for a lightweight product, like paste, which will give you the right amount of control without compromising your texture. You probably won’t get the same effects as the straight-haired guys, but you can give yourself a nice modified version of the style. (Unless you relax and straighten it out first, à la Justin Timberlake.)

  • To slick back thin or thinning hair: Stick with something lightweight, to avoid any added strain on your hair. Again, pastes are typically a safe bet, since they are lightweight on application but that still provide enough hold. Creams will give you direction without hold, which might be a smart option for you, too.

  • To slick back thick, wiry hair: Have your stylist or barber texturize and thin the hair, which will allow it to lay flatter and cooperate with your styling. Use conditioner and leave-in hair masks to keep the hair hydrated and soft. Then, try something with higher hold, like gel or fiber, depending on the amount of shine you want. You can finish with a hair spray for added control.

GQ’s pick for best leave-in hair mask for thick hair:

Kérastase thick-hair relaxing mask

Sephora $53 Buy Now

More Tips for Slicking Back Your Hair

  1. Think about context
    Having slicked-back hair is a statement. Doing it in your casual clothes—or even your gym clothes—makes you look a little stodgy. It’s better to stick to formal occasions or a buttoned-up workplace.

  2. Try different products
    In addition to a being a statement hairstyle, slicked-back hair can also read a little intense. (Which can be a good thing, when the context is right.) So, if you like the general look on yourself, it might be wise to modify it for different occasions. Use gel or pomade for really formal occasions. Use paste or fiber for more casual settings.

  3. Keep your edges clean
    You need clean lines with this cut. That means you need to visit the barber once a month to keep a neat perimeter and neck.


This post may contain affiliate links.

Meant to control hair static and frizziness, hair cream is that basic styling product that also comes packed with a lot of moisturizing ingredients that will nourish and hydrate your strands for a healthier look. Hair cream for styling needs almost no introduction, but in case you haven’t heard about it, we have all you need to know, right from what styling cream is and how to use it to the best hair cream to get.

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Your hair needs just as much care as your body and when to comes to taking care of it, you need to be careful with the kind of product you use. There are indeed a lot of hair products on the market that promise you all you have always wanted for your hair, but some of them contain harmful ingredients that will only end up causing hair breakage and loss.


However, you can trust that hair cream for styling doesn’t belong to this category. You can get a boost and shine in your hair by using this excellent product and you don’t need to worry about any side effects.

Guide to Using Hair Cream: Contents

  • 17 Best Hair Cream Styling Products for Women to Buy
  • What Is Hair Cream?
  • Benefits of Using Hair Styling Cream
  • How Is Styling Cream Different from Hair Paste, Pomade and Wax?
  • How to Choose the Best Hair Cream for You?
  • How to Use Hair Cream to Style Your Hair?

17 Best Hair Cream Styling Products for Women to Buy

You know you can always trust us to recommend only the best hair care products for you… and in this category, we have just what you need. Here are 17 best hair cream styling products to relieve you of the stress of searching for one online or in beauty stores.


1. Alterna Haircare CAVIAR Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Cream

Hair cream is an excellent hair care product, and it adds so much nourishment to your hair. Well, Alterna Moisture CC Cream does just this and more. The product comes with ingredients that are clinically proven to reduce hair breakage, protect the hair from UV rays and infuse any type of hair with perfect features. With just one styling cream, you get about 10 benefits for your hair. Get one today at Sephora, or Amazon!

2. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

This is one of the best hair styling creams you can get, and it works for all hair types. It comes with healthy ingredients to add volume, smoothness, strength, and shine to your hair. You also don’t need to worry even if you have color-treated hair, as the product is silicone-free and is perfectly safe for you. For instant healthy hair with no stress, choose this hair cream, available at Sephora, and Amazon!


3. Aveda Smooth infusion Styling Cream

Humidity can be a very terrible thing for your hair, since it can cause frizz when intense. This is why you need a profoundly nourishing hair cream like Aveda’a styling cream. Infused with organic cupauacu and shea butter, the product fights all form of frizziness in one styling. Parabens, sulfate and any other harmful ingredients are also absent, so just get yourself one at Nordstrom, or Amazon!

4. Devacurl SUPERCREAM Coconut Curl Styler

Coconut oil has been researched by a lot of hair care product manufacturers simply because of its nourishing effects. It also acts as a moisturizer and makes the hair bubble with so much life. And this is the vital ingredient that comes with this styling cream. You can have smooth, shiny, frizz-free hair and a boost in your hair volume just by trying this hair cream. Pick it up online at Sephora, or Amazon!

5. Oribe Imperial Blowout Styling Cream

Here is another excellent styling cream that won’t leave you disappointed with the remarkable result. The hair cream has what it takes to add strength, style, density, and softness to all types of hair. You can be guaranteed that your hair will end up looking shinier and much healthier right from the root to the tip. One of the other perks you get to enjoy is a fuller look with much more transformation that takes days to wear off. Get this styling cream at Net-a-Porter, or Amazon!


6. Redken No Blow Dry Just Right Cream for Medium Hair

Dry polymers and flex polymers allow the hair to air-dry faster and make sure that any style you want to give to your hair can last for much longer. These two ingredients are present in this styling hair cream. Take that needed break from hair styling tools that can be harmful to your hair in the long run and switch to the much healthier choice that this hair cream offers. The cream also firms your hair and gives you an effortless it-girl look. You can find it online at Ulta Beauty, and Amazon.


7. Bumble and Bumble Bb. Curl (Style) Defining Creme

Some of the hair styling creams on the market make use of silicone and other ingredients that are not so safe for your hair. But you can trust this hair cream that comes with healthy and highly moisturizing ingredients. The cream gives your hair strength, flexibility and creates soft-looking waves for you. One of the major components is the HydraSculpt blend for more styling benefits. Pick a bottle for yourself at Sephora, or Amazon!

8. Phyto Moisturizing Styling Cream

Formulated with a blend of rice wax and quinoa, this hair styling cream is an excellent product for moisturizing your hair and giving you that deep shine that you have always craved for. Your hair strands will definitely be stronger and shinier after using it. And what more can you ask for when you have hair that is easy to manage and feels great? This hair cream is available for purchase at Nordstrom.

9. Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream

Whether your hair is straight, coiled, wavy or curly, you can still use this styling hair cream. This brand is one of the best makers of hair care products. Their products are known for extreme safety and effectiveness. This hair cream is right from their top shelf, and it adds so many benefits to your hair. It is infused with argan oil to hydrate your hair and tame any sort of frizziness. You can also use it to refresh your hair after you have styled or treated it. Pick up a bottle at Sephora, or Amazon!

10. Ouai Finishing Crème

This is another styling cream that has to be on our list of the best hair creams. One unique thing about this hair cream is that it is quite lightweight and doesn’t weigh your hair down. When you use the cream, you can be sure of a lustrous finish and hair that is free of frizz and reflects light so beautifully. There is also the French-inspired fragrance that leaves your hair smelling so lovely you don’t want the experience to end. This hair cream is sold through Sephora, and Amazon.


11. Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment

If you want healthy-looking hair that is silky, soft and shiny, try this hair styling cream. The product works for all hair types and comes with nourishing ingredients. You can already tell the product is safe with Sephora’s clean seal that it comes with. It’s also vegan-friendly and has a rich blend of 16 special oils to enhance your hair volume without weighing it down.

There are no glutens, silicones, sulfates or parabens included to have any long-term side effect on your hair. Try it out today, and that’s all you need to fall in love with the product. It can be found online at Sephora.

12. Amika First Base Moisturizing Styling Cream

Hair styling creams are famous for all the benefits they have on your hair. With Amika’s styling cream you can have all those benefits and more. The cream features ingredients like sea buckthorn berry, vitamin C, and over 190 biologically active compounds to give you the freedom to style your hair in any way that suits you. Light protection, moisture, and smoothness are all also part of the perks of using this hair cream. Buy yours today at Revolve and start using it for shinier hair!

13. Pureology Hydrate Air Dry Cream

Heat styling products can hurt your hair in the long run. But here is a no-blow-dry heatless styling cream for you. Made with AirDry technology and AntiFade complex, the product has a record dry time, enhances your hair body and tames every single frizz. You can be sure your hair will be so radiant when you style it with this hair cream. It can be found online at Adore Beauty.

14. Verb Sea Texture Cream

You must have read about those shampoos that give you a tousled, beachy look. But here is a can of the best hair cream that does the same thing effortlessly. Using it can give you instantly fresh hair waves with excellent texture and firm hold. The product can easily refresh your hair and amplify any style you create. It works for straight and wavy hair, no matter the length. Pick up a jar online at Sephora!

15. Tigi Bed Head Small Talk

Are you looking for the best hair cream that can add volume to your hair quickly and still allow you to control frizz? This product adds shine and gives your hair a light to medium hold. You will also love the fragrance it features that will allow your hair to smell better. All that UV flying around won’t be able to touch your hair, and even if you have had limp hair all year long, be ready for the burst of energy your hair has always needed. Get this lovely bottle of hair cream at Ulta Beauty, or Amazon!

16. Neuma NeuStyling Smoothing Crème

A hair cream with all-natural ingredients is what you get when you use this styling cream. With a blend of fruit oils and natural botanical extracts, it will give you the gorgeous glossy look that will follow. While the sunflower seed adds UV protection, the rosehip fruit extract makes your hair smooth and soft. You can’t go wrong when you use this hair cream. So why not get one today at Amazon?

17. O&M Style Guru Styling Cream

Shea butter, amino acids, and a lot of essential vitamins and minerals are all captured inside this bottle of hair styling cream. And that is what will give your hair a soft texture, smoothness, great volume and will control the frizz. It works for wavy, curled and coiled hair. The packaging is recyclable for a green environment, and there are no unsafe ingredients used for making it. Get this excellent hair cream online at Sephora!

What Is Hair Cream?

Hair cream is a hair product that helps to add natural shine to the hair while leaving it smooth and frizz-free without any form of greasiness. You can use it to tame frizz and style your hair without having to spend too much time rinsing it off. One fantastic thing about using hair styling cream is the fact that it brings your hair to life and contains a lot of nourishing ingredients that won’t damage your hair.

One thing you won’t have to worry about when using hair cream is maintenance, and you can even style your hair right before you go out. The product is also a perfect way to keep your hair healthy and with full volume in between salon visits.

Just like other hair care products, hair cream primarily works with the type of ingredients that it is infused with. But generally, this awesome styling cream comes with natural ingredients that control static, frizziness and give each strand a silky shine for a better look.

Hair oils are one of the base components of hair cream, like rosemary oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and some other oils. It is the oil that goes to each strand and coats it, as well as goes to the scalp to deeply moisturize and keep at bay dandruff while also protecting from any sort of chemical or UV damage.

Hair cream works so well to hold your hair body and give it more strength without leaving irritating grease. Finally, unlike some of hair gels that may not be suitable for one hair type or another, you can use hair styling cream no matter your hair type or the treatment you have previously used.

Benefits of Using Hair Styling Cream

There are so many benefits packed inside a bottle of hair styling cream, especially if you choose one of our picks of the best hair creams. Here are some of those benefits:

• Hair styling cream helps to add moisture, shine, and nutrients to your hair.

• It works as a quick fix to give you a well-groomed look when going out.

• You can use hair cream to create different styles for your hair and remove frizz.

• Try it in between hair styling for better maintenance.

• Unlike gels, hair cream doesn’t contain grease so your hair won’t feel oily afterwards.

How Is Styling Cream Different from Hair Paste, Pomade and Wax?

Hair wax, cream, paste, and hair pomade are usually confused to be the same thing. Most women just pick any of these four when they get to the store without knowing what exactly they do. Well, they are different, and we are going to tell you why.

• Hair styling cream creates shiny looking hair by using natural oil-based ingredients to infuse moisture and nutrients into your hair.

• Hair pomade is also used for styling the hair, except its base component is wax, and your hair will look kind of wet, sleek and shiny. Also unlike hair cream, using too much hair pomade makes your hair greasy and oilier.

• Let’s not forget hair paste, which is a styling aid that gives a natural-matte finish to your hair that resembles hair clay. It comes with water-based ingredients and works best with fine or wavy hair, giving it a messy flat-hair appearance.

• Lastly, hair wax also creates a disheveled but professional look while allowing your hair to be firm with more flexibility. Hair wax comes in a paste-like form and can be used all day long.

From the definition of these four hair styling products, you can see that they have different roles and aren’t made with the same base ingredients. So you need to know the exact result you want to achieve before going to the store to get one.

How to Choose the Best Hair Cream for You?

If you have been reading our article from the very top section, you must have seen that hair styling cream is universal, and you can use it for any hair type. Well, while it is universal, there are still certain types that come with other ingredients that will be much more beneficial for you than others. So how do you know what to look out for when buying a hair cream.

Here are some of the factors you should consider when looking for the best hair cream:

The Ingredients

Oils are the main ingredients in a lot of good hair creams. But since there are different types of oils, here is a guide to what each of them can do for your hair.

• Argan oil treats frizzy hair as an anti-oxidant and protects the hair from UV rays or pollutants.

• Hemp seed oil is rich in omega 3 and has essential amino acids with other vitamins and minerals to rejuvenate your hair.

• Jojoba oil helps calm, regenerate and soften your hair while acting as a natural skin conditioner.

• Rosemary essential oil improves blood circulation to the scalp and strengthens hair follicles with a soothing and cleansing effect on the scalp.

• Peppermint oil gives your hair pleasant fragrance and has anti-microbial properties. It also improves blood flow.

• Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer with enough nutrients to keep your hair healthy.

Your Hair Type

While lots of hair creams are for all hair types, there are some that specifically work for you. For example, there might be a hair styling cream that will help you boost your hair volume if you have fine hair. And some might just come to help those that have outstanding hair volume to maintain great texture and shine.

How to Use Hair Cream to Style Your Hair?

You can either use hair cream at home to style your hair or use it as a hair mask to get a great spa experience. Luckily, we have instructions on how to get the best from both of them.

Using Hair Cream for Hair Styling and Conditioning

You can use hair cream as a great hair conditioner after shampooing your hair as well, and this is how you should do it:

• Gently dab the shampoo and massage it into the roots of your hair.

• Make sure you apply it uniformly all over your head and gently massage it for a minute a two.

• Then leave the hair cream there for 30 minutes, before applying your shampoo and washing the hair. This will make your hair stronger and stimulate hair growth.

But if it’s after shampooing your hair for styling purposes, then follow these steps instead:

• Make sure your hair is damp when applying the hair cream.

• Cover your whole hair with the cream, using your fingers to massage it all over the damp hair and using a tiny amount of product only.

• You can use a hair brush to get the desired style or just use your fingertips to create it.

Using Hair Cream as a Hair Mask

• Before going into the shower, apply the hair cream and massage it softly into your hair roots.

• Put on your shower cap, and then cover your hair with a warm towel.

• Leave it in for about 40-50 minutes, which will allow the nutrients to go deeper into your scalp for a luscious look.

• You can still apply the cream after taking a shower for taming frizz and conditioning.

Photos via @kayluhskolors, @lilyytay, @natalieannehair


Hair Products: What, Why, and How-To

There are a lot of questions in this life that seem to be largely unanswerable. Is there such a thing as ‘fate’? Why do ‘good’ people do ‘bad’ things? What rhymes with orange? (Note: “door hinge” does not count.) Is there such a thing as listening to too many episodes of NPR’s RadioLab and WILL I OVERDOSE? Will anyone ever agree with me that House of Cards was kind of overrated? Why do every attractive pair of shoes make my feet hurt? Why me? (/Why not?)

Happily, friends, today is not about these questions. Today is about questions that are all too easily answered, and which, as a result, seem to so often not be asked. I’m guessing it’s collective embarrassment, so, you’re welcome, because I took all that on the chin. (I’m supposed to be a beauty editor, for chrissakes. I’m supposed to know things…:-/) Which brings us right around to the point: what the hell are we supposed to do with all of the hair styling products out there? Back in the day, the hairstylist Danilo waxed philosophical with me for a minute: “I really don’t think most people have any idea what to do with product,” he said. “They use too much and think it’s heavy and horrible or too little and don’t think it does anything.” Consider that an idea planted in my mind-soil, which is now coming to sprout into a big bountiful tree of knowledge with fruit for everyone (…mind-fruit?), myself included. Let’s eat, shall we?

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF HAIR PRODUCTS (cue rapturous applause), gleaned from a few people who, well, know:

1.** Know Thyself (and streamline your arsenal): “Regardless of how simple or elaborate the hairstyle you want may be, using too many products, most of the time, is a disaster,” Serge Normant says. (Sidenote: he has one of those GREAT phone voices; I tried to keep him on the phone for an awkwardly long time.) “What is most important is knowing what kind of hair texture you have, and what you want your hair to look like as a result. Do you want frizz control? Do you want volume? Do you want shine? Is your scalp very dry? Is your hair very broken by highlights and color? You have to get to know your hair and evaluate its qualities and what you need. And then you just need one to two products**. I usually say if you feel like you need more than two hair products to actually do something with your hair, chances are you’re using the wrong products.”

2.** Know Thy Products: A quick cheat sheet for your viewing pleasure :**

Mousse: Everyone can use it, in quantities ranging from a tennis-ball to softball-size puff depending on your hair length. It’s an equal-opportunity boost in a can (it’s lighter than a cream, and you’ll end up using less hairspray as a result), when distributed evenly throughout your hair. Brush it in and blow dry for weightless, root-lifting magic. (We like Color Proof’s LiftIt Foam.) Wax: Being maximum hold, and, you know, wax, it’s best for those with choppy pixie or shag-length cuts. It can be tough to wash out, but, on the upside, won’t disappear by the end of the day. Pomade: You might recognize it as a slightly ‘goopier’ (i.e. ‘greasier’ or ‘creamier’) version of wax—if you o.d., just imagine (: Pomades, like American Crew’s version, give weight and impart texture (piece-y-ness) like a wax but also pack a bit of shine. Don’t use more than a penny-size drop, and remember to rub the product between your palms before applying it. Ye Olde Volumizer: Available in many shapes and forms (sprays, foams, etc.), the basic idea of a volumizer is to add height at the roots. They’re best for those with straight, limp locks or curly hair that tends to fall flat (so, saturate your roots at the scalp). People with fine or slightly wavy hair looking to amp up volume can look to texturizers— those’d be your salt sprays (Julien Dy’s DIY or Bumble’s), your gritty creams (Sumotech), your styling products that advertise a change in, well, your hair’s texture. For those with medium to thick hair that lacks luster, rub a pea-sized drop of a shine serum or spray (Sachajuan has a greaaaat one; Tigi Headrush is an excellent spray; and Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime is the gold standard) on in. If you blow dry your long curls or waves straight, you’re going to want a ping-pong-ball-sized amount of straightening balm, post-bathing (like Bumble’s Straight Blow Dry), from the ends up—it can protect your strands from heat damage and frizzy texture. Hair lotion (a.k.a styling lotion, and we love Pantene’s Ultimate 10 BB Crème) is for thick and straight, or coarse and curly hair to produce a light, softer hold (and is usually alcohol-free). You can use a whole palmful, depending on your hair type—warm it in your palms and work it into wet hair from roots to ends. Hairspray is for all y’all (should you choose to accept it) if you want to lock in your style —and, after all this effort, why the hell wouldn’t you? Depending on the hold (soft, medium, strong) hairspray can be brushed out later, if you feel like you’re going to want to go from updo to beach waves within a five-hour period. (I’m all about Pantene’s Touchable Volume spray). If you want long and strong, well, snuggle on up to some Elnett.

3. Scrub Smart. “I always say, two shampoos, one conditioner,” says Janelle Chaplin, the creative director of cult Aussie brand Original&Mineral. “The first shampoo is to exfoliate the scalp and remove the world”—so really get in there and get all ‘90s Herbal Essences ad with it, which not only feels amazing but is scalp-stimulating—“and the second, to treat your type of hair . The conditioner is to moisturize, from your mid-lengths to your ends. You don’t need to put conditioner on your roots.” Normant, on the other hand, is more of a one-and-done type of guy, but advises keeping a brush in the shower for even distribution of both shampoo and conditioner, and using about a quarter-size of both products—almond-sized if your hair is fine and shorter. (Ed note: Sulfate-free shampoos don’t foam, so you might need to adjust your method/amounts accordingly. Also, here ‘s a pair we like, and we love Phylia de M.)

4. Step by Step: “There are three stages to styling your hair,” Chaplin explains. “Step one: hydrate. That’s when you apply a product straight out of the shower—a leave-in conditioner, a detangler, or something like that to seal-in the moisture. Then, you leave your hair to air dry or blow-dry it until it’s about 80% dry, which brings you to step 2: Your foundation product, such as a mousse or a volumizer, which all should be used a little closer to the scalp. You can be relatively heavy-handed with these ,” She continues, “Step 3 includes your hairsprays, texturizing products, and sea-salt sprays or any shine serum or paste, applied from the ends to the mid-lengths of your hair. Style and go!” (She makes it sound so easy.) Why that order? Think of it like makeup, or skincare: you’re building from lightest to heaviest, to ensure the best blend. Try to also keep that in mind when you’re siphoning out portion sizes; the heavy, strong stuff is always used last and in the smallest quantities.

5. Go Slow, Start Small: Less is more. “If you want a smoky eye,” Normant says, “you don’t start out with full raccoon-eyes, you gradually build. It’s the same thing with hair. Use a little bit of a product and build up. If you don’t know the product that well and it’s some kind of a paste or a cream, start on the ends and go up towards the roots. Most of the time, your roots are the healthiest part of your hair, so, anything that is too texturizing, or too greasy should be kept away.” This doesn’t apply to volumizers and mousse, which are intended for use all over your head, in a thin layer. “People have a tendency to apply hair product like they would apply cream to their face—they just slap it on and rub it all over. But that’s a mistake. You have to start from the bottom up, and if, at the end, you feel like you haven’t used enough product, you can add more—if you’re hair is still wet, you still have time to add more product.”

6. Read the Rules: I have never been good at dry shampoo, which I always assumed to be largely idiot-proof (and subsequently, proof of my idiocy). I like ‘day-after hair’ as much as the next girl, but spritzes of the dry stuff always left me feeling like I had grimy strands, producty and clotted. This, Normant told me, while not entirely my fault, was a casualty of my inclination to take bottle directions more as “suggestions.” “This sounds really cliché,” he says, “but you really have to read the directions. Dry shampoo is not the easiest product to use and it never was—often the bottle says ‘shake before using,’ and you have to do that, to mix its elements. Use it underneath your hair and focus it on the roots and just a little bit on the lengths. There’s a distance that’s specified on the bottle and there’s a reason for it—ten inches or so away from the head is optimal for the product to diffuse itself. Then, brush it out and use a blow dryer to remove the excess powder. And don’t expect your hair to feel squeaky clean, because it isn’t. Dry shampoo is meant to extend a blow dry for a couple of hours, maybe a day,”

7. There is, Sometimes, a Need for Speed: I wouldn’t say that I’ve always avoided hair gel, because I don’t think I ever thought about it enough to avoid it. There’s the whole There’s Something About Mary thing , for one, and the peaked prows of boys heads in the early 00‘s (when that whole flipped up “perma-hair-visor” thing was hot), but sure, there’s a time and place for it. It’s one easy way to get that enviable rocker girl texture look, or the so-sleek-you-could-bounce-a-quarter-off-it pulled back pony or chignon. Gel is all about control, friends. It’s like your slightly overbearing boyfriend who might be bad for you in the long run but sometimes really does have your best interests in mind. And when the occasion calls for it, Normant noted, time matters. “A gel dries faster than other products, and if you don’t apply it evenly everywhere you could have a bit of an issue,” he said. “With long hair, it usually gets deposited right away on the front part, which is where most people start”—for the shorter of ‘do who are looking for a polished pixie, it’s easier, just try to spread it evenly—“you have to be quite fast to dry your hair after you apply it, otherwise it gets crunchy and you have to slightly re-wet it in order to style. But sometimes when your hair is really flat and has a really hard time to lift, a gel can be great.” But be aware, it can flake (yeesh).

8.** Some Things Are “Classic” for a Reason: **Reconsider hairspray. Sure, it may remind you of your mother/grandmother/ballet instructor, and sure, what about the ozone layer/aerosols?! And sure, there’s the charm of the insouciant, rumpled, sexy bed-head thing we all know and love, but guess what? Hairspray does not equal helmet head. Hairspray lines the counters backstage at every single fashion show. It’s in the kit of everybody who works with hair. It’d be a ‘secret weapon’ but it’s so obvious that we can’t even pretend it’s a ‘secret.’ “Nowadays people don’t use it as much,” Normant says, “ but I LOVE IT! I work all day on set, and from the first picture in the morning to the last of the day, you want the hair to look fresh, so I use quite a bit of medium-hold spray, and I just keep brushing it out and spraying it again. The key is to not spray it too close to the head, to keep the distance dictated on the bottle, and if it has a little UV protection? Perfect. In the summer, it gives you a little humidity control, and in the winter, you spray it on a brush and quickly, quickly whisk it through before it dries and no more static. It’s a very good tool.” Ya heard.

9. Your Hair is Part of You, and It Should Move: “One reason to not go overboard when it comes to the products is that you want your hair to be gorgeous and healthy and have that movement to it,” Chaplin notes. Way back when, the one-and-only Julien D’Ys told me hair “should always be touchable.” (Seems we’re all big into ‘touch’ in this hair game.) Normant concurs: “More than anything else, I’m into hair that you can see moving around and being alive. ‘Wanna touch’ hair is an important thing.”

10. Ask an Expert: Clueless? Whipsawed by your wandering eye in the beauty aisle? When all else fails, grab a glossy magazine and hightail it to the salon. “Find an image in a magazine of someone with hair that’s similar to yours, and do not hesitate to bring it to a hairstylist,” says Normant. “It’s helpful!”

Or, you know, you could always ask us. No such thing as a ‘stupid question,’ and all that—or, anyways, we’ll always ask one for you.

—Alessandra Codinha

Illustrations by Karleigh Sherman.

If you ask any girl what they want for Christmas, most of them will say for their hair to grow. If you’re like me and you’ve dyed your hair more times than you can count – you know a thing or two about damage. My hair has been every single color in the book – red, orange, brown, blonde, gray, blue, black – you name it, I’ve done it. But, now, I’ve hit a wall in hair growth. When you constantly dye and damage your hair – or use heat on it too often (didn’t we all go through the “only straight hair phase” with Laguna Beach?) it can be hard for it to recover. And, when you need to get it healthy again – hair stylists will insist you cut off all the dead ends. But, how do we grow our hair out to be long and luxurious like a Disney Princess? Products, of course.

There are tons of products on the market that say it will fix your damaged hair – but not all of them really do. I’ve spoken to dozens of hair stylists, beauty bloggers and friends throughout the years looking for a way to grow out my locks and here are the top products they recommend.

1. Castor Oil:

Castor oil is thick but, it’s great for helping grow out your hair – or even your eyelashes and eyebrows. Most people insist that sleeping with it on your roots and ends overnight is the best way to go – but because my hair is so thin, I only use it as a 20-minute mask before I shower. After you use it, only shampoo – if you condition, your hair will get greasy.

Grab it on Amazon.

2. Vitamins:

Ensuring you’re getting the right vitamins is important to your health. Some foods can give you the vitamins you need, but if you’re not eating right – you can take a supplemental vitamin to help your hair, skin, and nails. The gummy ones are great because – I’m a child and they taste good.

Grab them on Amazon.

3. Wet brush detangler:

Whenever I brush or comb my hair after a shower, I’m shedding all over the floor and then my boyfriend screams at me that there’s hair everywhere. The thing is, I don’t want to lose any more hair than I already do – so, I grabbed this “wet brush” from Amazon that helps brush my hair when it’s wet without ripping my hair out.

Get it on Amazon.

5. Mane ‘n Tail:

Mane ‘n tail was one of those old wise tales that everyone used when we were kids to grow out hair out. But, I still use this shampoo regularly. I rotate it with a “replenishing” shampoo so that it doesn’t kill my hair completely – but, this actually works. Since using it, my hair is thicker and definitely has grown. Plus, the bottles are huge so it’ll last you a really long time.

Get it on Amazon.

6. Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is great for a lot of things, but I use it a ton for my hair and skin. For my hair, I do a 20-minute hair mask like I do with castor oil, or sometimes, I’ll use it as a conditioner. For your skin, it’s a great way to replace lotion to ensure maximum hydration.

Get it on Amazon.

7. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Treatment:

I’ve used this product for years. Right after you shower, use a tiny bit (dime size) on your ends. It makes your hair soft and healthy, without having to weigh it down too much. It also has Keratin which helps grow your hair out, too.

Grab it on Amazon.

Choosing natural hair products should be simple, right?

Now it is. You can use our research to find the best natural hair products for your regimen.

Whether you’re an experienced natural or a new natural, at the end of the day, you have two primary goals as it is related to natural hair products: (1) To find hair products that work for your hair and (2) to use them in the way that’s best for your hair.

That’s it.

It doesn’t matter how well the product works for another natural if it doesn’t work the same way for your hair.

If you’ve been following us for a while, then you probably know that we do tons of research and read just about every natural hair book that’s released.

A few months ago, I was about to purchase a copy of a hair book when I read the following statement advertising the book:

“Get a secret oil mix that grew my hair extremely fast and also cured a bald spot and thinning hairline. You won’t find it in your local beauty supply store, but I will show you where to get it. The results of this oil have been miraculous and I continue to use it and see results.”

Does anyone honestly believe the statement above?

These types of claims should make you raise an eyebrow and lead you to ask several questions.

If it is so easy to use this secret oil mix and grow your hair extremely fast, then why aren’t they selling the oil mix, instead of a $25 book that will reveal the secrets? You could make substantially more money with your secret oil mixture.


This isn’t an article about how you should take things slow and keep it simple, because eventually, you’ll figure it out. You’ve heard that strategy before (and that strategy does work), but it’s not the approach that we recommend.

If you want to speed up selecting the right products for your hair, then you should focus on finding hair care products that work well together and addresses two critical needs: moisture and protein.

Keep the following point in mind; there is really no right or wrong way to determining your natural hair regimen.

If you ultimately find natural hair products that work well for your hair, then you’ve accomplished your goal.

You will likely notice that even if you do find the “right products,” that the effectiveness of these products may change from time to time.

This is why you hear many naturals talk about their winter regimen or their summer regimen. If you live in an area where there are extreme fluctuations in humidity or temperatures, there may be a need to adjust your regimen during these periods.

This can often make building a complete natural hair regimen more difficult, especially for new naturals.

You will likely notice that even if you do find the “right products”, the effectiveness of these products may change from time to time.

This is why you hear many naturals talk about their winter regimen or their summer regimen.

If you live in an area where there are extreme fluctuations in humidity or temperatures, there may be a need to adjust your regimen during these periods.

This can often make building a complete natural hair regimen more difficult, especially for new naturals.

The Natural Hair Regimen That Works

If you’re a regular reader of Curl Centric, then you know that we’re about taking action (and if you’re new, welcome) – and please be sure to check out our natural hair basics article prior to proceeding with the information provided below.

You will need to consider protein-based products and moisture based products for your regimen. There are several product types that you need to consider when you start your natural hair regimen.

Depending on how the needs of your hair change over time (and during various seasons), you may need to select more than one product from the various categories shown below.

Disclaimer: Don’t take this information as the only way to create a great natural hair regimen. You may currently have a regimen where you utilize fewer products or different products.

Please don’t change a hair care regimen that works for you, on account of the information provided below.

However, if your current regimen doesn’t work as well as you would like or if you’re newly natural, the information provided below will help you create a regimen with natural hair products that work.


Selecting an effective shampoo or shampoos will be critical to the success of your natural hair regimen.

For new naturals, I generally recommend that you wash your hair once per week and over time you will be able to determine whether that works well for you.

You will need to make adjustments based on your schedule and as you learn more about your hair and the needs of your hair. The products that you use, your level of physical activity or many other things may influence how frequently you decide to shampoo.

There are two types of shampoos that you’ll need to consider: moisturizing shampoos and clarifying shampoos.

Moisturizing Shampoos (also referred to as Conditioning Shampoos)

When selecting a moisturizing shampoo for natural hair, it is usually ideal to look for a product that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate.

Your moisturizing shampoo should be a gentle cleanser that you use consistently throughout your regimen. Typically, we recommend using this product once per week if you’re newly natural.

As you learn more about your hair, you may determine that using this product more or less often is more appropriate for you.

Several women within the natural hair community look for shampoos that are sulfate free.

You will notice that several product manufacturers have created natural hair products that are free of sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS-free or ammonium lauryl sulfate-free.

There are many other variants of the “SLS-free or ALS-free” advertising, but there are a couple of things that you need to consider.

Shampoos often contain sulfates because they help clean the hair. The presence of sulfates allows the shampoo to more easily remove product buildup and dirt from the hair.

If you decide to utilize a shampoo that contains sulfates, there is one thing to consider. There is an inverse relationship between sulfates and the moisturizing ability of a shampoo.

Typically, a shampoo that contains multiple sulfates won’t be very moisturizing. Since the desire to retain moisture is a primary goal for many women, often naturals look to avoid sulfates altogether when selecting a moisturizing shampoo.

The specific ingredients that you should avoid are outside of the scope of this article.

When you consider the creativity of product manufacturers with respect to listing ingredients, maintaining an updated list of ingredients to avoid becomes an exercise in futility.

When selecting moisturizing shampoos look for a product that doesn’t contain sulfates, this is probably easiest for a new natural.

More experienced naturals can utilize products that contain a relatively small percentage of sulfates or contains milder sulfates once you learn more about the purpose of the various ingredients included in a shampoo.

Moisturizing Shampoos:

  • SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  • Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil 4pc Combo
  • Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo
  • Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting Shampoo
  • Giovanni Smooth As Silk Moisture Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoos

Clarifying shampoos should be used when the product build-up is evident because they strip the hair – making it squeaky clean.

When we talk about clarifying shampoos, we often compare them to a painter working on a fresh, white canvas. This is actually a very good metaphor to describe how clarifying shampoos work conceptually.

Clarifying Shampoos:

  • Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo
  • Giovanni 50/50 Balancing Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo

Shampoos (Cleansers)

Effective shampoos are critical to the success of your natural hair regimen. We normally recommend washing your hair once per week for new naturals who are trying to create a natural hair regimen.

However, once you get to know your hair, you may need to modify the frequency as necessary.

The group of natural hair products that you use on your hair may influence how often you need to shampoo.

If you are a real product junkie and use several different types of products, you might have to shampoo more frequently than someone who is more of a minimalist – who decides to use very few products.

Some hardcore do-it-yourself ladies have even started making their own natural hair shampoos – shikakai shampoo, African black soap shampoo, and soapnut shampoo are examples.


When you want to deposit moisture or protein into your hair strands, you can choose from a few different types of conditioners.

Generally, conditioners provide a temporary remedy or cosmetic fix for hair that appears damaged or feels dry. It’s important to note that conditioners have limitations and can only mend the hair to a certain extent.

Conditioners are generally available in three categories:

  • Leave-in conditioners: Leave-in conditioners are generally used after you wash your hair. This product is applied to the hair and not rinsed out.
  • Rinse-out conditioners: Products that are worked through the hair and then rinsed out.
  • Deep conditioners (also referred to as treatment or repair conditioners): These are penetrating conditioners that add moisture and protein to the hair strand. Often times it’s recommended to utilize heat when applying deep conditioners. It is important to note that adding heat to a conditioner doesn’t make it a deep conditioner.

The conditioners that you use consistently within your regimen should be moisturizing conditioners. You should only incorporate protein-based, deep conditioners into your regimen on an as-needed basis.

When selecting moisturizing conditioners, some women avoid cones or silicones like the plague.

The thought is that if a product contains a high percentage of cones, the product will eventually lead to dry hair due to the moisturizing effect of the product being mitigated.

Since listing every ingredient that you should avoid isn’t practical, here are some general guidelines:

When selecting a moisturizing deep conditioner the ingredients list should contain water, fatty alcohols, and humectants at a minimum. The idea is to avoid ingredients that will coat the hair strand and mitigate the moisturizing effectiveness.


Multi-purpose conditioners are worth their weight in gold. Many conditioners can be used to co-wash, detangle, style and deep condition.

Moisturizing Conditioners:

  • Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner
  • Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner
  • Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting Conditioner
  • Giovanni Smooth As Silk Moisture Conditioner

Protein Conditioners:

  • Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancer (GPB)
  • Frederic Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Conditioner


  • Kinky Curly Knot Today
  • Mizani D’Tangle

The Best Non-Flaking Hair Gel for Natural Hair

We receive a fair amount of questions from ladies looking for flake-free hair gel or non-flaking hair gel.

It’s difficult to make a specific recommendation since the best non-flaking hair gel for natural hair really depends on your overall natural hair regimen.

The most likely reason that your hair gel is flaking is because it likely doesn’t combine or blend well with the previous hair products used on your hair. We most often see this issue caused by your hair conditioner.

So, the next logical question is should you apply conditioner or a leave-in conditioner before using your hair gel?

The primary purpose of applying hair gel is to encourage the hair strands to “gel” together. The use of a hair conditioner or leave-in conditioner, especially water-based products, before applying hair gel helps to keep your hair moist during the drying process.

In short, we recommend the following process when applying hair gel:

• Lightly wet your hair. We recommend using a small mister, spray bottle.
• Next use a little water-based hair conditioner.
• Finally, apply the hair gel.

Individual hair gels, based on the product’s formulation, are likely to work well with a particular set of conditioners.

Some conditioners will have active ingredients that react when mixed with certain hair gels that result in creating flakes.

The issue cannot be solely blamed on the hair gel or the conditioner. This is effectively just a chemical reaction from mixing ingredients in two hair products that don’t work well together.

Fixing the Problem

If flakes appear when you apply the gel, then it will always create flakes when you combine this specific hair gel with the specific conditioner. You can attempt to use less conditioner, which may help to some extent.

Although, the flakes are forming because of a formulation conflict between the two products.

The problem can be fixed by either changing your hair conditioner or by using a suitable hair gel that works with your hair conditioner.

Oils and Butter

Moisturizing the hair is a critical component of each natural hair regimen. We tend to answer many questions each month about maintaining moisture-protein balance.

While it is important to incorporate water-based moisturizing products into your regimen, it is also important to seal the moisture into your hair strands.

We recommend using oils or butter to accomplish sealing in moisture within your regimen.

Oil and Butter Sealants:

Oils and butter, like safflower oil, neem oil, and emu oil, are multi-purpose and are wonderful additions to use on your body as well as your hair.

If you have fine, thin hair, you may find that butter weighs down the hair. If that is the case, starting with oil may be best.

  • 100% Yellow Shea Butter
  • Burt’s Bees Nourishing Baby Oil
  • NOW Sweet Almond Oil

Oils for Sealing (Heavy Oils)

  • Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  • Jojoba Oil

Oils for Pre-shampooing or Oil Rinsing

  • Apricot Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Protein Treatments

Protein treatments can vary greatly in potency. It is critical that you read and follow the instructions provided on the product’s label.

Misuse can possibly do more harm than good. The hair is roughly 70% keratin protein. Using protein-based products on your hair can help to reinforce or strengthen the hair shaft.

This will provide additional support to your hair strands as you try to combat breakage. These products are generally used for rebuilding the hair strand.

How often you utilize protein treatments will depend on the amount of damage that you intend to mend. The amount of protein needed will likely be different for each person.

You will have to experiment some to determine exactly what your hair needs, but we can give you some general guidelines: protein treatments should be performed on an as-needed basis.

The goal is to truly understand your hair, what it needs and when it needs certain products.

Protein Shampoos:

  • Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo

Protein Reconstructors (Remember to always use a moisturizing conditioner after each treatment)

  • ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment
  • Nexxus Keraphix Reconstructor
  • Dudley’s DRC 28 Hair Treatment and Fortifier

Protein Conditioner

  • Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner
  • Palmer’s Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pak

Protein Leave-Ins

  • ApHogee Pro-Vitamin Leave-In Conditioner
  • Infusium 23 Leave-In Protein Conditioner

Learn How to Read the Ingredients Label on Hair Products

For shampoos, leave-in conditioners, and hair conditioners, it’s critical that you understand the first five ingredients.

For example, the water content of shampoos and conditioners vary from one manufacturer to the next, but will usually range from 50% to 80% of the product’s total weight.

If you buy a hair conditioner or shampoo and the list of ingredients doesn’t start with water, then you should be suspicious, and check with the manufacturer to ensure that their list is accurate.

Why Are the First Few Ingredients Are So Important?

As you review the ingredients label on your shampoos and conditioners, it’s likely that a significant percentage is simply water. Consequently, there isn’t a lot of room for adding much else.

This is where consumer marketing becomes vital for the product manufacturer.

These companies design attractive labels and claim that their product contains an essential blend of jojoba oil and wheatgrass (as an example) and makes your hair looks stunning. In this instance, a few drops of jojoba oil is added so that the product will be ready for consumers.

In many cases, when you search for the jojoba oil that convinced you to purchase the product, you will discover that it is buried somewhere near the bottom of the list of ingredients (since it’s actually mostly an irrelevant ingredient added for consumer marketing purposes).

Briefly put, if you check out the first five or six ingredients of a product (either excluding or including water), you see what the main ingredients are that actually affect your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it important to read beyond the first five or six ingredients?

If you happen to be allergic to something (such as coconut oil) or are trying to avoid a specific ingredient (such as protein, sodium lauryl sulfate, or silicones), then it is especially important to read through the complete list.

It isn’t necessary to study each ingredient that’s on the list.

Although, you will want to determine if any of the ingredients that you’re trying to avoid are contained in the product. After you have scanned the complete list of ingredients, you can go back to focusing on the first five or six ingredients.

What if there are ingredients that you like further down the list?

It’s common for hair product manufacturers to include certain ingredients for marketing purposes. Consumers like seeing natural ingredients in hair products, so the manufacturer includes a few natural ingredients.

What if the first ingredient isn’t water?

This is technically possible, but highly unusual from our experience. The hair product might work for you, but the ingredient list is very questionable if it doesn’t include water as the first ingredient.

If there are items such as thickeners (cetyl alcohol) or surfactants (behentrimonium methosulfate) listed first, then the conditioner’s feel and consistently should be very strange.

It would likely have a particle and waxy feel to it. In situations like these, we recommend checking with the manufacturer to verify that the ingredient list is accurate.

Why do some products work differently when they have the same ingredients?

The reason for this difference is what the industry calls formulation. This is the process that determines how much of each ingredient is included in the product (in addition to the actual mixing process that is used).

For instance, one product might have 3% of a particular surfactant, and another product will have 2.5% of the same surfactant.

Although these differences might be subtle, the subtle difference in formulation could be perfect for one individual’s hair, but cause the product not to work at all for another person’s hair.

The manufacturer usually lists the ingredients in descending order which means that the ingredients might appear in the same position on two different bottles, but that doesn’t tell you precisely how much is contained in the formula.

The best advice that I can give you is to read all of the claims on the product’s label very carefully.

If you like the ingredients, but the label says that the product is designed for color treated hair and you’re looking want a product for dry hair, then don’t buy that product.

Search for a hair product that is formulated for the proper purpose.

Can a label have secret ingredients?

To omit ingredients from the label, the FDA has to approve the omission. The process needs to be considered a “trade secret” according to the FDA’s guidelines.

Usually, the FDA will not agree to exclude widely known formulation methods (for instance typical oil mixes) or if there are allergy concerns, which is often the case with cosmetics.

If you were to search through the hair products that are currently on sale at your local beauty supply store, it would be hard for you to find any that have certain ingredients declared as trade secrets.

Are organic hair products really better for your hair?

Several years ago in Germany, Clairol created a curling iron called the “Mist Stick”. The funny thing is – in German – the English word ‘Mist’ is slang for manure – like cow manure.

Needless to say, Clairol didn’t sell many Manure Sticks in Germany and eventually had to drop the campaign.

There are many other branding blunders that I could share from popular companies that we all know and love. However, the truth is that most companies have gotten pretty sophisticated when it comes to writing marketing copy and producing creative concepts.

In the hair industry (and several others), there is a recent trend that is highly effective because of the implied meaning of the phraseology.

Check out this sample marketing phraseology from a hair product manufacturer:

Note: The slogan has been tweaked slightly to maintain anonymity – because the intent of this article is not to call out a product manufacturer.

“Organic hair products are purely manufactured with all-natural plant ingredients which nourish, stabilize, and moisturize your hair while not damaging your hair follicles.”

That marketing slogan implies a very specific meaning to many people, but actually means something completely different. I’ll explain.

Many people believe that organic hair products are automatically better than other hair products – therefore, you should only use organic hair products.

The following statement might surprise you: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have an official definition of the term organic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages a “National Organic Program” that includes some basic defining characteristics of the term organic.

In order for a product to be considered “organic”, it must be produced using approved methods (organic production methods) and not contain synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge (yuck!) or irradiation. It is important to note that genetic modification is also prohibited.

Here are a few notes about organic products that might surprise you:

In order to use the slogan, “Made with Organic Ingredients” – only 70% of the product must be made using organic ingredients. To use the official USDA Organic Seal, 95% of the product ingredients must be organic.

Finally, the term “100% organic” means exactly what it implies; all included ingredients conform to organic production methods.

Hair products that use organic verbiage can still contain very harmful ingredients that are bad for your hair.

The primary takeaway from this article is that “organic” ingredients are NOT always better for your hair than ingredients made from non-organic sources.

The real truth is a substance that is harmful to your hair is still harmful, regardless of whether it was prepared using organic production methods or not.

Hair Extensions

Extensions are hairpieces designed to add length and volume to your natural hair. These can be made either of genuine human hair or of synthetic materials.

Human hair extensions are sold under a range of different names; examples include hair weaves and artificial hair integrations. Hair extensions can be attached in many different ways.

Clip-on extensions and clip-in extensions are common, as are weave-in and tape-in extensions. Micro rings, netting, and products that blend extensions with traditional wigs are also available.

Learn more by reading ‘The Curly Girl’s Guide to Hair Extensions‘.

Wigs and Hairpieces

Modern women have such a wide range of wigs to choose from today that picking out the perfect one can be almost overwhelming. Potential choices include human hair wigs, lace front wigs, and many other types of hairpieces.

Selecting a wig is a process that can get every bit as complex as buying a diamond. Just as with precious stones, you’ll need to understand the specialized vocabulary of the product before making a commitment.

Check out Wigs 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Wigs and Hairpieces to learn more about how to choose a wig.

Flat Irons

We’ve assembled a complete flat iron buying guide possible in order to help you pick out the ideal flat iron to suit your hair type. Think you know everything about the world of flat irons?

Think again!

Curly hair is great, but you don’t have to make a 24/7 commitment to keeping your hair curly.

The pace of technological change in the flat iron market has made it surprisingly tough to select the right flat iron. We’re here to help.

Get started by reading our reviews of the best flat irons and hair straighteners.

Hair Dryers

Price is typically the number one concern we think about when buying a hair dryer, and that’s really kind of a shame.

There’s a much wider range of features to consider, and you might be surprised to learn just how versatile modern dryers can be!

Learn more about hair dryers with our comparison of the top hair dryers and blow dryers.

Hair Cutting Scissors

Proper hair cutting shears are designed expressly and solely for cutting hair.

These purpose-built tools are also known as hairdressing scissors or barber shears. They’re quite a bit better than ordinary scissors.

Besides being much sharper, they have a number of design features to make trimming hair as simple as possible.

One common example is the brace or tang typically attached to one of the shears’ rings. This allows the user to exert a higher degree of control while trimming.

to learn more about our recommended hair cutting shears.

Some Additional Considerations

There are many things that you should consider when you’re putting together your natural hair regimen.

For example, it may be beneficial for you to create hair goals that include protective styling options and incorporate parameters for heat styling (ex. no heat usage or once per quarter).

However, one of the most important things that you can do is create a killer natural hair journal.

It’s important that you learn and adjust to the specific needs of your hair. There are several natural hair websites that will tell you to do this once per week or that once per month.

Please don’t follow this advice. It’s fine to use generic advice as a guide when you first go natural but don’t continue to follow generic advice because you will have hair problems and not understand how to deal with them throughout the course of your journey.

You will need to select several products for your natural hair journey.

We suggest that you place your products into two categories – moisture-based products and protein-based products. You will need to find shampoos, conditioners, sealants and protein treatments for your hair.

Some Final Thoughts on Purchasing Natural Hair Products

It’s critical that you find natural hair products that work well for your hair.

One of the most important resources for having and maintaining healthy natural hair is a source of natural hair products that you can buy from reputable, reliable companies.

Fortunately, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars and the stress of poor customer service by using proven companies with low prices and a large selection of natural hair care products, accessories, and supplies.

A Guide on the Side Part: A Men’s Hairstyle That Will Never Let You Down

Last updated on April 16th, 2019 at 06:43 pm

While I am not a fan of the classic hairstyles for men, I do have to say that they really are suitable hairstyles for just about any man. Among all the classic hair styles for us guys, the side part is, without a doubt, the most popular men’s hairstyle. And it’s for a reason.

You can pretty much side part any kind of men’s haircut. From a neat taper haircut in the likes of a businessman haircut to the hip and clean Ivy League haircut; you just can go wrong with parting your hair. Because a side part encompasses the styling of the hair to the left or to the right (in a perpendicular fashion to the parted line), this particular hairstyle acts as the parent hairstyle for derivative styles such as the side fringe, messy top, quiff and even the slicked back hairstyle. Thus, it’s in your benefit to be able to give yourself an epically-parted style.

Tips for the side part hairstyle

The main things to take into account when wanting to get a side part hairstyle are the length of the hair and the hair products to use.

With regards to the styling of the side part, it’s actually very intuitive and most men were taught how to part their hair when they were kids. Simply visualize going from either of the sides of the forehead (i.e. temple) right till the back of the top of the head. The line should be as straight as possible, and you can choose whichever temple you want for our side part. Do bear in mind, however, that, in some countries (most notably Spanish-speaking countries), parting your hair to the left (i.e. the line at the right temple) is a sign of being gay and being interested in meeting up with someone. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but just beware of your side parting if you happen to go to Colombia or any other Spanish-speaking contry!

Length of the hair

A side part should be performed at a hair length ranging from short to medium length. While a side part can still be achieved on long hair, I suggest that you opt for a middle part or slick back for your lengthy tresses instead of the side parting as the latter can be a bit annoying to keep still and secured.

A classic side part also works best on tapered sides and back. Simply ask your barber or hairdresser for a taper haircut, and tell him whether you want a shears-only haircut or clipper-over-shears cut. Don’t ask for a clipper taper only as then you’d move on to a fade haircut, and a side part tends to not look very good with a fade.

As for the hair on the top of your head, it’s short hair that yields the best results as the longer the hair is, the messier it gets and the less formal it gets. The only exception to this is if you’re going to wear your side part laying low on the scalp. Such as style can be achieved with a strong-hold pomade (see the next point) and will look classic and formal at any length withing the short to medium length range.

Hair products for the side part

The great thing about a side part is that you’re free to use pretty much any hair product you like. However, the best hair products to use for a side part are a hair pomade, a styling wax, hair mousse and hair gel. Another great thing of the side part is that the same hair products that you use to style it can be used for just about any other men’s hairstyle. So by buying hair products for your side part, you’re also getting a great bang for your buck as you can use those products for many more male hairstyles.

For a classic look with the hair parted flat, go with a pomade. The pomade must have a strong hold and you’re better off choosing a water-based pomade instead of an oil-based pomade as the latter can easily create a big greasy chaos on your hair. Water-based pomades work great for classic hairstyles for men, including the slicked back hair style.

  • For a great pomade for the side part, go with this hair pomade.

For a more modern look, go with either a styling wax or with hair gel. A modern side part has the hair parted with some volume (as much as you want), which is achieved by parting your hair with your fingers and by using a hair dryer. To use the hair dryer, simply point it to your hair and blow warm air to the hair as you style your side part with your fingers.

  • For a neat styling wax to shape and style your side part, go with this styling wax.
  • For a hair gel that will secure your parted hair and keep it shaped, go with this hair gel here.
  • For a great hair dryer that will not cause frizz and enhance your side part (or any other hairstyle), go with this hair dryer here.

For men with curly hair, a hair mousse is the best hair product for your curly side part. It goes without saying that you must style your curls with your fingers only and not with a regular comb. You can, however, use a wide-tooth comb to lay your curls on your scalp so that they are ready to be parted to the side with your fingers.

  • When it comes to hair mousse for your curly hair, grab this hair mousse for great parting results.
  • For a high-quality wide-tooth comb, go with this wide-tooth comb as it will last you years.

Conclusion to side parting your mane

The side part is the quintessential men’s hairstyle. It has been used for decades and it even was at its popularity Everest in the 1930s and 1940s. Back then, only really oily pomades existed, so men could only part their hair with low-laying flat hairstyles (and thus why such a hairstyle is deemed a classic hairstyle).

Nowadays, the range of hair products that you have available is huge, so you can pretty much customize your side part as you wish. Likewise, these days we have plenty of skilled barbers and hairdressers in every medium-sized city, so you certainly can be picky when choosing a skilled barber or hairdresser to cut you a great haircut for your side part hairstyle. Not to mention that you are reading this blog of mine, which is against the generic BS that abounds in the men’s hair field and that you also have available my bestselling book on men’s hair, The Men’s Hair Book, which is a 260-plus-pages book covering absolutely all you need to have awesome hair, be it classic or modern or whatever.

All the best, gentlemen.


For your male grooming needs, visit the Barbershop Forums, the mens style and fashion community with some epic male grooming stuff thrown in!

Side Part Hairstyles: How To Get A Barbershop Finish

The world of fashion is dominated at the moment by throwbacks in all their various forms. The 1950s reigns strong with Cuban collared shirts and pleated trousers while boxy 1980s styled suits look set to sweep in soon. When it comes to hairstyles though, modernity still prevails with short, textured crops a la Becks the favoured go to, which sort of goes against all of the vintage vibes given off by our newfound love for dressing like Cary Grant running around at Club Med.

A style that Grant himself was a particular pro at was the side part, with his lacquered waves flowing from the prominent parting on the right-hand side of his do. While the side parting and its associations with timeless elegance are evident (see everyone from Don Draper to Clark Kent), the origins of the style are less clear, but it is thought to emanate from the military.

This high and tight side part style originally fashioned for soldiers picked up again in popularity at the beginning of the 2010s (think Macklemore – remember him?) but it can also be worn less severe and in rotation with other styles, as a side part is less reliant on the cut and more on the products and tools you have at your disposal. Here we trace everything you need to know to perfect it like a Hollywood icon from sitting down with the barber to preparing it right out of the shower.

In The Barber Chair

“A side parting can smarten up most haircuts, from a skin fade to a tapered scissor cut,” says Dan Glass, a senior barber at the Covent Garden branch of Murdock barbers. The key rule would be to ask for the sides shorter than the top, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be shaven.

A classic 1920s styled combover as sported most regularly and recently by George Clooney requires more hair than the undercut military side parting (see: Brad Pitt). For this more vintage style, have it cut to a grade 2 or 3 on the sides or even just trimmed down with scissors and choose a grade 4 on top for the contrast. You may also opt for a hard parting, which is when a line is shaved to emphasise the parting of the hair – a modern creation that sharpens the distinction between sides further.

When it comes to deciding which side your parting is, according to Tom Baxter, award-winning barber and ambassador for OSMO hair products, you should follow the spiral of your cowlick (that frustrating bit that flies up at the back). If the hair spirals clockwise go left. If it turns the other way choose right. “Personal preference plays a role but if the part goes against your cowlick, it could be slightly harder to style.”

As for how high the parting should sit on the side, Glass recommends placing it at your recession point “where the hair naturally divides between the top and sides”. This section is usually where men first start losing their hair so if you are one of the unfortunate ones bear in mind that a parting here could expand this bald patch.

All hair types and shapes will suit a side part – it’s a very open and loving hairstyle – but if you’re looking for something to sharpen a round face, Baxter suggests you combine it with a fade or undercut to give more structure to the face. “Parting to the temples and close to your forehead will give your face a squarer shape and make it look less round.”

How To Style At Home

You’re going to need a lot of product – we’re talking about more gunky goop than Nickelodeon went through in the 1990s, only less green.

According to Glass, you can whittle the necessary items needed down to four key products. “Sea Salt spray, a hairdryer, either pomade for a sleek classic finish or a matte mud for a more modern twist and a sharp, fine-toothed comb.”

Start with freshly washed hair and spray three pumps of the sea salt spray directly onto the top before scrunching it all in. The sea salt will prevent frizz and give your hair some hold while keeping it from looking greasy.

Then blow dry the hair to create volume if you’re looking for something more natural and carefree or just towel dry it if you’re trying to keep it flat before applying your chosen product.

Both paste and wax are matte and thick so difficult to comb through, but add some much-needed lift and volume to shortcuts and work well with fine hair. You can get a glossy look with gel but it will also go crispy in the day, so not great if you want to keep running a comb through your hair in the day to keep the part on point.

The best option is a pomade, which works especially well with medium-length to longer hair and has a distinctly wet look without all the crunch and clumps you get from a gel. Remember to buy one which is water-based or else you’ll wake up with a terrible mess on your pillowcase. Pomade is also the easiest product to use for the next step – combing the parting into shape.

“Take your narrow toothed comb,” says Glass, “and follow the parting back from the recession towards the rear of your head. Once you’ve created a clear, defined parting, comb the hair on the exterior of the parting downwards and the hair on the interior upwards and across. The more often your barber gives you a side parting in the barbershop, the easier and more naturally your hair will sit comfortably into a side parting.”

And there you have it. For a more natural, less tightly controlled look you can use your hands, but nothing beats a comb for that classic side parting definition. Then you’re just a grey Kilgour suit away from making like Cary Grant. Only watch there are no crop duster planes tailing you in the sky as you head into work.

20 Best Side Part Hairstyles for Men

You can’t go wrong with a side part. The classic and low-maintenance hairstyle is versatile and timeless; it suits anyone and is a great way to style your hair. The side part takes many forms and flatters all textures and lengths. Whether your style is smart, trendy or ready for rock, there is a cut that will look great on you. If you’re unsure about how you can incorporate this sophisticated and sleek ‘do in your daily routine, we’ve got you covered.

1. Classic Side Part

Nothing says “gentleman” quite like a classic side part. Sported by icons such as Cary Grant, David Beckham and Mad Men’s Don Draper, this hairstyle remains one of the most stylish out there. To achieve this look, make a side part and comb one side over, leaving the remaining to fall naturally. Secure it in place using gel for a wet-look finish or pomade if you’d prefer a matte texture. A look this classic won’t be going out of fashion any time soon; get rocking.

2. Side Part Wavy Hair with Low Fade

Hair inspired by the ocean just got easier thanks to these effortless waves. Carefree and low-maintenance, this side part looks best when paired with a low fade. The fresh and edgy take on a classic hairstyle is ideal for the modern man and is suited for any occasion. Keep your hair textured with the help of matte pomade and styling gel. The fade contrasts against the soft waves, establishing an edginess to the subtle mop on top.

3. Side Part with Volume

A combination of a classic side part with a high volume finish looks great on anyone. Start by creating a section and flipping your hair over to one side. To add extra volume to your locks, opt for some dry shampoo; this will create depth and height to your hair. Lock the height in place using a strong hold gel. This stylish and handsome hairstyle is so sleek, it will turn a few heads.

4. Side Part Pompadour

Keep the hair out of your face and styled into a trendy pompadour. Unlike the traditional side part, the pompadour sweeps your locks out of your eyesight and subtly to the side. This hairstyle is an excellent option for those who work in an office or for a night out. Ideal for those with medium to long hair, grab a firm hold gel and lock the side-swept style in place.

5. Side Part and Disconnected Undercut

Switch things up with a side part and disconnected undercut. Ideal for the man who likes to take a risk, this hairstyle pays off. The traditional side part paired with a rebellious undercut is the perfect match for a modern guy. Whether you’re in a desk job or on a construction site, this style is timeless and contemporary all at once. Using a regular or hard part, make an undercut beneath the hair on top, leaving the length on your crown significantly longer. Despite this style being quite edgy, its neat and tidy appearance offers a sense of sophistication.

6. Afro with Side Part

Men with natural hair look fantastic with a clean side part, so don’t be afraid to ask for one when you see your barber next. Suited best for men with shorter hair, the side part is a great way to add dimension and flair to your natural afro without looking like Bobby Farrell from Boney M. Keep your hair healthy by applying nourishing oil frequently and keep the side part in effect by combing your hair when needed. Cool and sophisticated, this hairstyle will keep everyone’s eyes locked on you.

7. Side Part and Quiff

The side part with a quiff is the perfect style for men who wish to keep their hair refined, with height. Unlike the pompadour, the quiff is excellent for men with any hair length and looks great for any occasion. Using a gel or matte pomade, sweep the hair off your forehead and upwards. When paired with a side part you’ll fit any setting, whether it be a professional atmosphere, black tie event or if you’re heading down to the pub. This is a versatile and everlasting hairstyle, so don’t be afraid to rock it!

8. Hard Part and Burst Fade

Rebellious and edgy, the hard part and burst fade is for the man who makes his own rules. The burst fade typically begins behind the ear and breaks outwards into a soft fade upwards. A hard part is a thick and sometimes shaved part, significantly sharper than a regular or soft part. When these two styles combine, you’ve got yourself an appealing rockstar hairstyle, perfect for anyone who’s feeling a little defiant.

9. Side Part and Fauxhawk

Akin to the rebellious nature of the hard part and burst fade, this hairstyle isn’t for the faint-hearted. Although you don’t have to go full mohawk to get some heads turning, a fauxhawk does the trick just as well. With shorter sides and a longer top, create some drama by parting your hair on the side and sculpting the remaining mop upwards. Secure the spikey ‘do with heavy-duty gel, ensuring it stays in place all day. This is a great hairstyle if you’re down for experimenting with different looks without committing.

10. Side Part with Curly Hair

Those with wavy tops, rejoice. There’s nothing that looks better than someone rocking a side part with their curly hair. Wild and effortless, messy tendrils and a classic side part are a match made in heaven. Whether you have naturally kinky hair or you need a bit of help with a curling iron, you can achieve this look effortlessly. Amplify your corkscrews with an enhancing mousse; locking it in all day and creating the perfect bounce with every step.

11. Hard Part and Slicked Back

This hairstyle will bring out the ’50s rockabilly star in you. An edgy hard part and a preppy slicked back finish is the perfect combination to make you a rebel without a cause. The section doesn’t have to be too thick to make a statement; sometimes a subtle part is all it takes to create drama. Using a comb and strong-hold gel, slick your hair backwards, creating a smooth and sleek finish to an otherwise rockstar-esque hairdo.

12. Long Hair and Side Part

Get ready to whip your hair and feel an eye of envy from everyone around you. For those with long, luscious locks, don’t be afraid to mix things up in the way of parting your hair. Whether you have a shoulder-length or waist-long mane, you can add instant volume by merely creating a deep side part. This simple change can also add a beachy feel to your overall look. For textured waves, apply some sea salt hairspray and scrunch the ends of your hair; this will add an extra dimension.

13. Side Part with Asymmetrical Fringe

Who says you have to keep things symmetrical? A lopsided fringe is a great way to disguise a broad forehead, add a rocker edge to a traditional haircut and keep things looking cool every day. When worn with a side part, you’ll be the freshest guy in the room. This hairstyle is best suited to those who have a sharp jawline and suits all textures and lengths.

14. Side Part with High Fade

Similar to a skin fade, this hairstyle offers a close shave, creating a sleek and sophisticated look. A high fade with a side part is a fresh and perfect style to choose if you’re heading out for some drinks with friends or heading into the office. Choose from a soft, regular or hard part; when coordinated with a high fade, is sure to get people talking.

15. Side Part and Slick Back

Sleek and polished, a side part with a slick back finish is the best way to tie an outfit together. This retro style is a great go-to for a night out and is easy to maintain. For a wet look, use a strong-hold gel and a comb to sweep the hair backwards. It is the perfect classic hairstyle with an edgy twist.

16. Side Part with Straight Hair

A side part with straight hair is a killer combo. Despite having curls or waves, you can still achieve a textured mop in a traditional style. For a non-glossy texture, opt for a matte pomade; this will keep your hair locked in place. It is an essential haircut for those who wish to present a professional front, for the office or date night.

17. Side Part and Slick Over

The combover just got cooler. This side part and slicked over combo is the answer to anyone’s retro dreams. Ideal for men with medium length hair, this hairdo looks best when slicked back with gel and a comb. If you’re not after a wet look finish, grab a clay or pomade and create texture using your fingers. Be prepared to get some looks when rocking this hairstyle; you’ll stop traffic.

18. Soft Part

A soft part is a handsome addition to anyone’s hair, as it’s subtle but still worthy of attention. To get this look, use your fingers to determine where you’d like the part, and casually move the hair into its designated spots. Don’t feel the need to create a well-defined section; the beauty behind this style is in its ultra-fine detail.

19. Side Part with Thick Hair

Creating a part looks excellent when seen with thick hair. Using freshly washed hair, comb your locks into one place, developing a longer-lasting part. For a polished look, apply gel to secure the sections; this is ideal for those in an office setting or who wish to pull off an instant professional aesthetic. For a casual and laidback feel, use wax or pomade to texturise the ends, creating some extra volume and height.

20. Side Part and Skin Fade

The ultimate “bad-boy” hairdo, the skin fade and side part combo is an easy way to grab attention. Starting at the very near top of the head the fade contrasts to the longer mop on top. This tight and pristine hairdo looks fantastic with all textures and its best with short or medium length hair.


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