What type of products should I use?
Have you read the “WHAT TYPE OF HAIR DO I HAVE?” article, yet?
If not, you should probs do that right now.
OK, you done? Fantastic!
Once you understand what kind of hair sits atop yer brain-meats, it’s much, much easier to determine the right products for you.
I tell my clients that haircuts are skeletons--I can give them a good, sturdy framework--but products are muscle--you need both things working in tandem to have a fully-functioning head of hair.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a lot of products, and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to spend tons and tons of money on products--it just means you need the right products, applied in the right amount, in the right places.
So without further ado, here’s my crash course on favorite products for general hair types and length:
SHORT, FINE HAIR:
Aveda Thickening Paste or Crew Defining Paste--both beef up finer strands and give you hold and texture without overwhelming fine hair.
When applying, take a dime-sized amount, emulsify it evenly over your hands aka NO WHITE CHUNKERS, and here's my trick: flick the ends on top first (think: making Guy Fieri hair), smash down the sides second, and then use the rest of the product on your hands to go through the top and arrange it how you like it. Works like magic.
SHORT, THICK HAIR:
Mitch Clean Cut
If you want a teensy bit of shine
(BONUS: it makes your hair look AMAZING in photos--alwaysALWAYS use this for weddings, staff photos, etc.)
Mitch Reformer, if you want a flatter finish.
Take a dime-sized amount (you can always take more, if necessary...but if you take too much, you have to jump right back in the shower), emulsify it and make sure it’s evenly distributed on your hands, and then APPLY WHERE YOU NEED HOLD MOST. That’s usually the sides, dude...but either way, always remember to deposit the most product on the hardest to control places.
LONG, FINE HAIR:
Mitch Construction Paste
NO CONTEST, HANDS DOWN.
Use about an inch-long blob from the tube, emulsify (really work it through your hands, rub rub RUB!), and then run it through your SIDES and ENDS first! Once you hit those areas, THEN run it through the top.
LONG, THICK HAIR:
Crew Forming Cream
This stuff isn’t fucking around--it came here to chew gum and smash shit into place...and it’s all outta gum.
USE YOUR RING FINGER to dip into the puck (you won’t apply too much pressure and take out too much product that way), emulsify, emulsify, emulsify, and APPLY WHERE YOU NEED HOLD MOST. Evaluate the hardest to control place and put your first distribution of product THERE. Then run it through the next hardest place, then the next, and so on.
Aveda Control Paste
So...this rec may seem strange to others in the hair industry, but I SWEAR: this stuff is magic on soft curls. It controls just enough, doesn’t overwhelm the curls, and gives hair a beautiful sheen.
Dime-sized amount, emulsify it over every inch of your hands (make sure there are NO white chunkers left!), smash down the sides if you need to, then gently scrunch the curls all over the head...maybe do some spot-smashing with your fingers in some places, but focus on scrunching and scrunching and gently coating those curls with this shit.
Aveda Be Curly
This stuff needs to be applied when the hair is wet--it's made with wheat protein that constricts as it dries, which helps shape whatever wave/curl pattern your hair has. It was a revolutionary discovery when it came out and for decades has been a Holy Grail product for those of us with curls. If I don't have a full bottle in my stash, I get sweaty.
Dime- to nickel-sized blurp of Be Curly, evenly distributed through hair when it’s wet (but make sure you START at the mid-length, run it through the ends, THEN pull it through the roots--don’t want too much up there, bogging things down.
Crew Light Hold Texture Lotion
I use this stuff frequently as a leave-in conditioner for some of my finer-haired clients, but it also works amazingly well as a gentle smoother/definer for DRY curls. Once your Be Curly works its magic, take a dime-sized blop of this stuff, run it over your hands, and gentlygently smooth it over your curls, starting mid-length to ends, finishing with roots. If a whisper was a product, it would be the Light Hold Texture Lotion and sometimes, a whisper is exactly what you need.
Aveda Be Curly, mixed with Aveda Confixor.
Amanda told me about this combo for highly-textured hair a while back and I'm pretty sure I accused her of being on angel dust. It sounded preposterous--Confixor is one of the gentlest gels on the market and what with Be Curly being equally gentle and soft...there was no backbone behind the combination! But after lots of grumbles, I tried it out...and then grumbled some more, 'cause she was right. As I said above, Be Curly constricts as it dries to define curl shapes and the Confixor--because it's so gentle--defines without sucking out moisture, like other gels. This is one product application I’m gonna go ahead and say very definitively: THIS ONLY WORKS WELL WHEN APPLIED TO WET HAIR. You're welcome to try it out on dry, but please trust the industry veterans...just use it on wet. Even if you quickly give it a rinse under the faucet, that works.
Blurp about a dime-sized amount of each product into your hands (maybe a liiiiiiiittle less), rub them together, and work through hair. Beautifully defined and controlled curls, ahoy.
This is a product that deposits moisture into the hair and then SEALS IT OFF...like a freaking top coat. It is no joke. A TEENYTINY amount not only repels humidity and static, it's also got a light weight sheen and makes your hair look like an old-school jerry curl!
OR Aveda Humectant.
This stuff does the opposite of the Anti-Humectant (duh): it draws moisture INTO your hair. If your hair wears well in humidity, this is the path you want to go. It's oil-based, so it adds a nice sheen and it even has a bit of gel form to it. Honestly, it's always reminded me of K-Y jelly and I've used it the exact same way: as hair lube.
BUT JUST SO WE'RE CLEAR: PLEASE DO NOT PUT IT ON YOUR GENITALS.
With either of these products, you want to start off VERY small (pea-sized), 'cause it's dense as fuck and really packs a punch. Distribute it across the entire surface of your palms and deliberately work it through your hair. Start with small sections of hair and start at the ends, working your way up the curls until everything is perfectly glossy.
And one last time: please do not use Humectant as sensual lubricating jelly, I bear NO responsibility for inflamed, itchy nether-regions, my god--I regret the day I ever compared it to K-Y...