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Did you know that before my daughter was born I used to be a hairstylist for a hot minute?!? I still love love love the industry, but it just didn’t work well for our family life & schedule. However, just because I’m no longer behind the chair, doesn’t mean I want to stop helping people look and feel their best! I’m always testing out different haircare products and other beauty essentials so I want to share what I find.
In this new series, I’m bringing you “Tips from a Pro” where I dive into some little known tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your beauty products!
Today I want to talk about one of the simplest things when it comes to haircare and that is HOW you apply your products! This deals with both the way you apply them [like how you physically use your hands haha] and the correct order of products to get the most benefit from them.
Here is a quick video to give you an overview, but read on below if you want more detail!
Lets start with the best order…
I’m going to break this post down into two parts, because there is a LOT to be said about this very simple topic!
Have you ever heard the metaphor about the jar that you fill with rocks, then sand, then water…how each ingredient represents a part of your life and you have to go in the right order to be able to fit everything in? Well, when it comes to your haircare products, it’s very much the same thing, and without using your products in the right order, the method is completely irrelevant.
Your hair is made up of porous proteins and many layers & compounds, so you have to apply your products in a certain order or else some will block the others out! You’ll need to go from lightest weight to heaviest following your shampoo and conditioner, but also consistency matters.
Let me break it down for you:
- Start first with the most watery and lightest weight products, think your spray leave-in conditioners and detanglers. If you use a spray heat protectant though, hold off on that one for a bit. (Here is my favorite all purpose conditioning spray and I like this one for blondes.)
- Next up are your hair serums that are a cream based product. If its a little bit runny and smooth, now is a good time to use it. I like to use split end menders and anti-breakage products on this step. (Like this one!)
- Cream products that won’t run if you turn your hand upside down are the following step. This is when heavier smoothing products like blow-out balms or more intense leave-in conditioners should come into play. (This is my favorite for this step!)
- Oil products are what I reach for after the creams. I love a good hydrating natural oil or sometimes a silicone based product. They seal the hair and prevent excess moisture from escaping. Think of them like your nail polish topcoat, but for your hair instead. (My longtime fave linked here)
- I mentioned above that if you’re using a heat protectant spray to save it until later…well it is later! It is important to apply all of your actual care products first so that your hair stays healthy and manageable. The purpose of a heat protectant is to evaporate during the use of hot tools and/or blow drying. This prevents the actual moisture in your hair from escaping. So, we apply heat protectant as the very last product so that it can do its job and allow the other products to continue to do theirs! (This is my all time favorite pre-blowdry spray and my go-to heat protectant when using hot tools!)
Let’s recap shall we?
If you have a hard time remembering what order things go in, try to imagining your hair is a sponge. If you soak the sponge with paint first, then try to soak up water, two things are going to happen. The thick paint is going to coat the outside of the sponge, and when it tries to absorb the water, it won’t be able to drink in ask much as it would like AND when it does absorb water, some the of the paint is going to seep back out. So use your thin and watery products FIRST to absorb into the core of your hair and THEN coat them with your thicker, more dense products to hold in all the delightful goodness!
If you’re anything like me, you’re a nerd and love to know WHY your beauty products work the way they do! I love learning the function of each one and how it will play well with others lol. This step-by-step order should get you well on your way to having healthier, more manageable hair, just by simply giving each product its best chance to do its work! As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions and follow along on Instagram for more affordable lifestyle content!
P.S. Be on the lookout for Part 2 where I explain the correct method for applying all your favorite products!