Styling your hair can be one of the best parts of any beauty regime. There's nothing better than stepping out of the house knowing you look fabulous and that you achieved the look yourself.

While mastering a signature do can take time, it's well worth the effort and can easily be achieved with the help of the amazing range of products on shelves today.

Hair styling products are an essential part of any hairstyle and can make the difference between your hairdo lasting all day and night, or flopping before you get out the door!

To bring some care to your hair, and to make sure your hairstyle always looks (and holds) it's best, give these tips a try.

Hair Styling Products

  • Products that contain silicone will temporarily smooth your locks and add shine to your hair.
  • Handle any styling wax with warm hands to make the product easier to control and use.
  • The most important hair products to use are shampoo, conditioner, a heat protector and a finishing product.
  • Use serums, glosses and waxes in blonde hair whenever styling products are necessary as they won't dull the color like matt-effect products.
  • Use the right product for your hair type. For more info, see our hair care article, The Best Hair Products for Your Hair.
  • If you suffer from dry or damaged hair try to avoid any hair styling products that are spirit based as they can cause further dryness.
  • For shine without the thickness of a serum, use shine gloss. It's sprayed into your hair just like hairspray and will give you glossy locks without the weight.
  • For a natural look, use light hair styling products that are sprayed on instead of products that require you to coat your hair strands.

Applying Hair Products

  • If you have fine or oily hair make sure to add any silicone products just to your ends to avoid an oil overload.
  • If you're applying styling products after washing your hair then always make sure your hair is only slightly damp to receive the full benefits of the products.
  • When applying hair styling products you should always start with the smallest amount possible and then add more if needed.
  • Wax can be used to add shine to your hair if applied evenly and lightly.
  • To avoid ruining your style with too much product, start where you have the most hair at the back of your head and then move to your front section of hair.

Hair Styling Help

  • To keep static strands at bay, spritz your hair brush with some hairspray and then brush through your locks.
  • Using leave in conditioner is a great way to care for your curls and transform them into manageable ringlets. Just apply to damp hair and twist your curls into shape.
  • Always match your styling products to your hairstyle. If you're going for super straight locks then use straightening cream. After a mass of curls or textured waves? Try frizz reducing products and curl boosters.
  • Use wax and gel products for hairstyles that require definition. They're great for twisting curls into shape, creating dreadlocks, or achieving a choppy look by piecing straight sections of your hair together.
  • To keep an upstyle in place, hold a can of hairspray at arm's length and then circle your hair three times for 10 seconds at a time.
  • Try to set very curly hair when it's wet for a better result but make sure your hair isn't dripping wet (gently blot with a towel to remove excess water) so your hair styling products can set firmly.
  • Never apply gel and then blow-dry your hair or you'll end up with a flaky residue.

Whether your bathroom cupboard is full of the latest and greatest products, or you've only just started to build up a collection, these tips about specific hair products, how to use them in your hair, and what works best with certain hairstyles are sure to help you out!

To help you sort through the hairstyling product maze, THS has put together a glossary of the styling products you'll need to pull off any fabulous look.


Description: a foamy, lightweight product.
Hold strength: 6 out of 10.
Uses: gives hair body, bounce and volume. Reduces static.
Great for: curly hair, fine hair and limp hair that needs lift.
Perfect For: creating body and movement and defining curls.


  • A small amount when blow-drying will give the hair volume and a soft hold.
  • Work mousse in your hands before applying to your hair.
  • Mousse can leave the hair sticky and crunchy if not dried with a blow-dryer or if too much is used.


Provides a soft, more natural looking hold than gel.

Product Placement: can be used throughout the hair to give strands lift and volume. Can be applied to freshly washed, damp or dry hair. In damp hair mousse will combat frizz, in dry hair it will reshape a style without adding a 'sticky' feel. Mousse will add volume to thin hair, making it appear thicker. Apply directly to the roots of damp hair to create fullness and lift.



Description: a clear, heavy, goop-like substance.
Hold strength: 10 out of 10.
Uses: is great for making hair texture messy, holding spiky hair in place and keeping short hair flicked out.
Great for: contouring short hair and taming fly-away locks. Gel will add definition to short curls and is not recommended for fine or flat hair as it will weigh it down.
Perfect For: mohawks, curls and slicked back styles.


  • Using too much gel can be lethal for your look and too little will be less effective.
  • Roughly around a tablespoon of product is all that is needed. To re-active gel, mist your hair with a little water and scrunch again.
  • Most gels come in different strengths to provide a harder or weaker hold depending on your hair type and the style you wish to achieve.


Stronger than hairspray but weaker than wax. Gel will stiffen your hair into place and provide a wet looking finish.

Product Placement: apply a small amount of gel to the roots of your hair for extra volume. Applying gel to the ends of your hair will weigh your hair down.

Gel Wax

Gel Wax
Description: Looks like a gel, yet styles like wax.
Hold strength: 5 out of 10.
Uses: gives hair a soft and messy look without making it rock-hard.
Great for: shorter hair and will benefit longer styles that need volume, body, and hold without being weighed down.
Perfect For: short and curly hairstyles. Flicked and spiked hairstyles.


  • To get the best from gel wax, warm it in your hands before applying and make sure to spread it evenly.
  • Use only a small amount of gel wax to create a semi-wet effect.

Gel wax

Provides a drier, stiffer finish than gel.

Product Placement: gel wax can be applied to specific sections of your hair to create your look, such as in your ends to achieve flicks and spikes.

Gel Spray

Gel Spray
Description: very similar to hairspray, but has less hold.
Hold strength: 8 out of 10.
Uses: gel spray will hold hair into place without leaving a white residue or a rock-hard finish.
Great for: up-styling as it will still allow movement throughout the hair. Shorter, messier styles will hold well with gel spray and will not look wet or be weighed down.
Perfect For: curl definition and hold.


  • Mist throughout your hair lightly as a finishing tool once your style is complete.
  • Gel spray will not weigh your hair down or create a wet look.

Gel spray

Allows for a lighter, more even touch of gel to be applied to your hair.

Product Placement: spritz over your entire style for hold.


Description: a milky-like gum substance that smoothes into a paste.
Hold strength: 2 out of 10.
Uses: wax works best on messy hair and is great for achieving flicks and defining layered hair.
Great for: smoothing and twisting short locks into place and separating hair strands.
Perfect For: reducing frizz and creating sculpted styles.


  • Rubbing wax between your palms to warm it up will make it easier to work with.
  • Warm extra hard products with a little heat from your hair dryer.
  • Wax can look and feel greasy on long hairstyles, so go easy.


Provides a very strong hold, especially for curly hair types. Great for texturising.

Product Placement: use throughout your hair sparingly - a little goes a long way. Use in your ends for extra texture and definition. Use to keep your bangs side swept and in place.

Sculpture Lotion

Sculpture Lotion
Description: a clear-like gel that is runny in texture.
Hold strength: 5.5 out of 10.
Uses: can be used as an alternative to mousse for curly hair or as a styling aid when blow-drying.
Great for: adding waves to straight hair.
Perfect For: creating messy looks and adding volume to hair when blow-drying.


  • A tablespoon of sculpture lotion is enough to create a soft natural curl or body to fine hair when blow-drying.
  • Apply sculpture lotion to evenly damp hair. Hair that is too wet will dilute and hair that is too dry will stop an even spread.

Sculpture lotion

Adds a strong hold to thick hair and creates body.

Product Placement: add sculpture lotion evenly throughout your hair for best results.

Smoothing Shine

Smoothing Shine
Description: an oily liquid substance that is mainly used to give shine.
Hold strength: 1 out of 10.
Uses: can be used in any hair type to add gloss. Reduces static.
Great for: any hair type and style but is especially good for smoothing down frizzy hair.
Perfect For: straight styles.


  • Only a small amount is required as too much product will give an oily residue and make hair look like it hasn't been washed.
  • Smoothing shine makes a great finishing product and should only be applied over your roots once you've applied the majority of the product to your ends to avoid an 'oily' look.

Smoothing shine

Adds a great shine to locks and keeps fly-away strands and frizziness in check.

Product Placement: best used through your mid-lengths and ends. Too much serum at your roots will make your hair look greasy.

Hair Spray

Hair spray
Description: comes in a can and is sprayed directly onto the hair for hold.
Hold strength: 10 out of 10.
Uses: can be used as an alternative to gel spray and keeps a strong hold all day long.
Great for: curly hair, upstyles, messy hair and flicked hair.
Perfect For: Upstyles.


  • Spray hairspray at an arm-length distance and don't use too much or you will end up with a white, flaky residue which looks like dandruff.
  • Spray hairspray onto your hands and then run over your strands for a natural look with staying power.


Great for creating hold, volume and body, and controlling fly-away strands.

Product Placement: use on dry hairstyles as a finishing product to hold and maintain shape. Don't concentrate spray in one particular area or you'll end up with one stiff, artificial looking section.

Hair Texturizing Spray

Hair Texturizing Spray
Description: a no-salt texture spray that gives you all the sexiness of beach hair, without the dry, gritty and crisp texture often with surf sprays. Free of moisture zapping salt.
Uses: creates texture for a wavy hair finish that's soft and lush.
Great for: all hair trypes.
Perfect For: beach Hair.


  • a spritz here and there gives your strands a dry texture.
  • to add more body to your waves, use a curling iron or a flat iron.

Applying Hair Texturizing Spray

Great for creating soft beach hair on hot and humid days.

Product Placement: spritz on damp or dry hair and keep layering until you get a textured look.

Hair Moisturizer

Hair Moisturizer
Description: creamy or oily in texture.
Uses: tames frizz, smoothes strands and gives moisture to dry locks.
Great for: curly and wavy hair textures, or hair that is prone to dryness.
Perfect For: curly and frizzy hair.


  • Apply after washing, conditioning and drying hair for an extra moisture boost.
  • Use during styling to keep your strands smooth and nourished.
  • Don't apply too much or you'll risk overloading your hair and weighing it down.


Will combat frizz and control dryness.

Product Placement: use throughout your hair.

Hair Lacquer

Hair Lacquer
Description: a spray product that is stronger than hairspray.
Hold strength: 10 out of 10.
Uses: can be used in any hair type for a strong, rock-hard hold.
Great for: styles that need an extremely strong hold.
Perfect For: upstyles.


  • Only a small amount of lacquer is needed and should be sprayed at an arm-length distance.
  • Unlike hairspray, hair lacquer also adds shine to your hair as well as hold.
  • Unlike hairspray, hair lacquer also adds shine to your hair as well as hold.


Gives a firmer, stronger hold than hairspray.

Product Placement: spray over your entire finished 'do for great hold. Spray directly into roots to create volume.

Moulding Cream

Moulding Cream
Description: an alternative to wax that has less of a glossy finish.
Hold strength: 2 out of 10.
Uses: moulding cream is perfect for creating soft curls, flicks, waves and soft up-styles without weighing the hair down.
Great for: defining layers and hair length.
Perfect For: texturising, especially short hairdos.


  • For an even finish, styling products work best when warmed slightly with your hands before being applied to your hair.

Moulding cream

Allows you to twist, mould and sculpt your hair into different looks.

Product Placement: use on dry hair for a great finish. Use on damp hair for texture.

Dry Shampoo Powder

Dry Shampoo Powder
Description: powder that absorbs excess oil in your hair.
Uses: instantly creates Bardot-worthy body, extends the life of a hard worn hairstyle, beefs up braids and helps updos hold up.
Great for: boosting bangs, lifting roots and keeping updos up.
Perfect For: plumping up fine hair and preserving curls.


  • Apply to hands first and then massage into dry hair.
  • blow-dry it in with a flat brush to create volume.

Applying Dry Shampoo Powder

Its most popular use is to maintain straightened strands as long as possible between washing.

Product Placement: lift up hair, puff it through and massage it in.

Heat Protectant

Heat Protectant
Description: a foamy, lightweight product.
Uses: Whether you have curly hair or straight hair, thick hair or fine hair, adding a form of heat protection to your regimen can prevent split ends, halt breakage, and smooth flyaways that usually result from a lack of moisture from constant heat styling with a blow dryer.
Great for: preventing split ends and halting breakage.
Perfect For: smoothing flyaways that usually result from heat styling with a blow dryer.


  • style with a blow-dryer and brush, or set hair and let dry naturally before styling.

Applying Heat Protectant

Your style will last all day without feeling crunchy or stiff.

Product Placement: work evenly through damp hair. By using the product on slightly wet hair, the heat protectant can better seal the cuticle and help lock in moisture before you blow dry.

Lift, Volume Spray

Lift, Volume Spray
Description: a spray product.
Uses: this root lifting spray helps hair follicles rais the root, plump up a ponytail, or add a little "starch" to lock in shape when heat styling.
Great for: locking in a hairstyle shape when heat styling.
Perfect For: creating volume.


  • spray on a brush, comb or hands, for touch ups anytime.

Applying Volume Spray

Your style will be smooth and weightless without leaving your hair or sculp damaged

Product Placement: Mist your hair, lift and heat then smooth out with a brush.

Hair Balm

Hair Balm
Description: runny, styling product like hair conditioner.
Uses: Hair Balm takes skincare and applies it to your hair: It comes to the rescue in case of over-processing.
Great for: fine, wavy or curly hair that is frizzy and uncontrollable.
Perfect For: curls.


  • More hair, more Balm.
  • Use on dry hair to touch up your frizz or flyaways.

Applying Hair balm

Great for straightening and adding shine.

Product Placement: work through damp hair with fingers or comb, and let air dry.

Straightening Balm

Straightening Balm
Description: runny, often clear, styling product.
Uses: prepares your hair for straight styles using styling tools, and helps to enhance naturally straight hair.
Great for: keeping your locks smooth and frizz free while straightening with an iron or blow-dryer. Will also help to speed up styling times when using heated styling tools to get a straight look.
Perfect For: straight, smooth styles.


  • Start with a small amount of product and only add more if needed.
  • Work it through the underneath and end sections of your hair, where it's likely the product is needed the most.
  • Use a straightening balm that also doubles as a heat protector to look after your locks when using heating tools.

Straightening balm

Great for straightening and adding shine.

Product Placement: run throughout your lengths before straightening your hair with a blow-dryer or straightening iron to give you straight, smooth locks with less time and effort.

Need a hairstyle to try these products with? Take a look at's library. We have 1,000's of hairstyles for you to chose from, including, straight, wavy, curly, short, long, upstyles, medium length, men's, salon and celebrity styles!