Finding a hair product that works for you can be akin to conducting a chemistry experiment: it takes trial and error to find the right products to be a part of your repertoire, especially when there are so many options. If reviews and testers aren’t helping you make your decision, we asked the hairstylists that tend to your favourite celebrities to tell you their purchase process.
On the three things to ask yourself when deciding on your next hair purchase
Do you actually need the product?
Do you own something that already fulfils the same purpose?
Will you actually use it?
On testing new products
“I have some products I love but I’m also constantly trying new ones since it’s what we do and with the number of new products coming on the market, we have to be open to them. However, I always tell my clients to finish everything they have before buying new products as we all tend to store up little cupboards full of products.”
On his go-to source for reviews
“When my clients tell me they like certain products, that’s it: I listen. Any marketing is typically placed, and it’s typically placed for a reason. Industry reviews are more powerful to me than anything else.”
On pre-purchase prep
“I’m a hair tool and product junkie. Whenever I read about something interesting, I want to buy and try it out. This is what I care about.”
Is it friendly to the hair—not too heavy, doesn’t cause damage and offers some sort of protection?
Is it efficient, easy to work with and will give me the results I want?
Is it as eco-friendly as possible?
On trying something new
“I never fall for what the product says it does, I always want to try for myself. Advertisements usually promise a lot but that doesn’t mean they deliver on everyone’s hair. Factors like different hair textures, climate conditions, water intake, diet, all impact your hair.
On whether higher price points ensure efficacy
“Not always. I’ve used products I bought at the pharmacy or supermarket and they worked perfectly well and also used very expensive ones that didn’t do exactly what I thought they would. When I’m buying something online, I’ll definitely take the reviews under consideration, but I usually ask a couple of my hairstylist friends if they’ve used the product. It is better when coming from people I know.”
On testing out new tools
“Before I buy a new tool, I am looking at the quality, durability and of course, the result that a product or a certain tool will give. How comfortable a tool will feel in my hands and in its use is important as well. There is a saying that an artist is only as good as his tools, meaning every artist will find his or her favourite tools and products to achieve a better and faster or longer lasting result. Another important factor is not damaging the hair in any way, so I take that into consideration as well.”
On comparing drugstore products to luxe ones
“There are some amazing products that I love using on the cheaper side but in saying that, more often than not, quality is pricier, so usually certain products are a must have, even if they are expensive. I am more of a minimalist—I don’t like to use too many products. Some basics are a must and then it’s about experimentation and finding what works for the specific results you are trying to achieve.”
On the most important things to keep in mind before every hair purchase
The technology and ingredients of any product since they play a vital part in order for it to work for you.
Understand your hair type and the weather conditions you live in, whether hot, humid or cold. A humid climate can make your hair frizzy easily and the texture that you create in the morning might not last the entire day. If it’s a colder climate, your hair will need less product as it generally behaves well.
I prefer using and recommending products that are water soluble if it’s for styling purposes. That way the product can be washed out easily. Water soluble products are also very light and easy on the hair as they don’t cause a lot of build-up on your hair and scalp.
On reading labels and getting second opinions
“When investing in hair tools, never compromise on the quality of the product. There are tools which are specifically designed to take care of your hair even while styling at 180 degree of heat. The technology used in such products fully consider the possible damage, so they protect your hair at the same time. Do not fall for hair tools that are half the price in market compared to the others. The math is simple—the quality and technology of the product determines the cost involved to make it, so that it protects your hair.
“I suggest not just picking up a bottle from a store that’s meant for dry hair. The most common mistake that clients make is that they all feel their hair is dry and that they need to use a product to tackle the dryness. Consult with a hairdresser and only then decide which product to buy.”
On product reviews
“I actually don’t judge a product by someone else’s review. If it did not work for someone, it’s not necessary that it will not work for me. Maybe it’s meant for me and my hair type. So, I try it, use it, let it live in my hair for a while and then judge it.”
On choosing products that align with your morals
When purchasing a product for everyday use, opt for milder products, as chemical-free as possible.
Be mindful of the environment, too. I don’t promote products that support animal testing.
I prefer using water-based, water-soluble products that come off easily with a rinse and products that brush out easily too. Use more malleable products, especially while styling; your hair must still have a natural flow and movement.
On picking products that work for you
“I genuinely don’t believe that a higher price tag always ensures a better product. For some people, an off-the-shelf product may work the best for their hair. Every hair and scalp type is different. You may use a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, serum, oil and styling products all from different brands and different price frames. Figure what combination works the best for you and the weather conditions where you live.”
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