Hair-Care Tips

Here’s the *Exact* Order to Apply Styling Products Based on Your Hair Texture

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Like your wardrobe, it's all about layers.

With a seemingly endless amount of clean hair products now available (dry conditioner! cleansing water!), figuring out the ones you should be using can get kinda confusing. The key is homing in on those that are right for your particular texture, according to Maria Antoinette Loggins, global artist for Cantu Beauty.

"You should be using different types of formulas and ingredients depending on how dry or porous your hair is," she says. What's more, order counts, too—no matter your hair type, the final styling product you use should be some kind of sealant to ensure your locks are as soft, shiny, and healthy as possible. And while there's no one-size-fits-all miracle worker when it comes to natural mane tamers (if there was, I'd definitely tell you), there are some smart strategies worth trying.

Scroll down to learn exactly what you should be putting in your hair (and when) based on its texture, according to style pros.

Girl wearing hat holding coffee
Photo: Unsplash/Pete Bellis

If you have straight hair...

Volumizing spray then mousse

Straight hair is both a blessing and a curse: While it's entirely impervious to the enemy of many women known as frizz, humidity can cause it to fall flat. And dry air in the winter, according to Liana Zingarino of Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in New York City, will make straight hair static-y too. Remedy this by first misting a volumizing spray, ideally with conditioning benefits, such as Josh Rosebrook Lift Hair Texture and Volume Spray ($24), combing it through your strands to ensure even distribution. If you're looking for extra lift, follow it up with a golf ball-sized amount of mousse, rubbed in at just the roots. Our pick? Yarok Hair Care Feed Your Roots Mousse ($15).

Young woman smelling flower
Photo: Unsplash/Katy Belcher

If you have wavy hair...

Styling cream followed by sea salt spray

There are a slew of different combinations you can work with on wavy hair because of its styling versatility; however, to make the most of your natural texture, Zingarino suggests first using a quarter-sized amount of a styling cream that's loaded with frizz-fighting ingredients, such as Reverie Rake Styling Balm ($36). Follow up with a generous spritzing of a sea salt spray, gently scrunching your hair as you go—I'm currently obsessed with Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray ($28) for that extra *sparkle*. Once you hair's dried, give it a few more pumps for an extra-beachy vibe.

Woman with curly hair
Photo: Unsplash/Ariana Prestes

If you have curly hair...

Leave-in conditioner then curl cream

"No two curl patterns are alike, so ultimately what styling products may work for one person may not work for another," explains Zingarino. Still, one combination that pretty much always proves to be successful is a cocktail of leave-in conditioner with a curl-defining gel. "The leave-in will hydrate the hair, giving it softness and shine," she says, "while a non-sticky gel formula will help curls from falling flat or losing shape while keeping all frizz at bay." Go for a leave-in that's light in weight but heavy hitting with its hyrdators, such as Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Strength and Moisture Leave-In Mask ($28) before raking something like Rahua Control Cream Curl Styler ($26) evenly through strands.

Woman sitting in windowsill
Photo: Unsplash/Eloise Ambursley

If you have coarse hair...

Leave-in conditioner then hair oil, followed by styling cream

This trio of products, better known as the L.O.C. method, is intended to maximize coarse hair's moisture retention, according to Loggins. Start with a water- or milk-based leave-in, she suggests, to hydrate hair off the bat, such as Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer ($8). Follow with a lightweight oil—Earth's Nectar Hair Gloss ($19) is a great option—and finish off with a super-rich styling cream. Loggins loves Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream ($6) for its crazy-good sealant abilities. "By using an oil and then following up with a thicker, heavier, butter-based moisturizer, you're ensuring that as much moisture as possible remains on the hair shaft," she says. Consider it the best way to seal the deal on your style.

Now that you know how to layer your hairstyling products, learn the exact order in which to apply your makeup and your skin care, too.

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