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Hair Stylers 101: How to Use Different Types of Styling Products for Your Hair

How To Get Smooth Hair: Everything You Need To Know

Hair Stylers 101: How to Use Different Types of Styling Products for Your Hair

Everything you need to know about hair styling products.

Your hair arsenal is probably filled with styling products, but do you really know what each does and how best to use them? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Hair stylers—hairspray, mousse, gel, etc.—aid in the styling process by adding structural support, but with different consistencies and multi-use stylers, it can get confusing on which does what. Hair type and desired hairstyle both play a major role in what stylers you should pick from, too. 

Below, we’re breaking down everything you’ve ever wanted to know about styling products, including how to use them on different types and our favorite stylers.


Hair spray is one the most common hairstyling products traditionally used for a flexible hold. The quick-drying liquid is sprayed on the hair to keep it in place, protecting strands against humidity and wind. It comes in numerous strengths (case in point: Matrix’s Vavoom Freezing Spray Extra Hold and Extra Full Freezing Spray) and varieties to choose from, depending on your desired style. The nozzle on the bottle can help target specific areas that need product.

Shop Our Favorite Hairsprays


Hair gel is used to harden hair into a particular hairstyle and is most often useful at providing a “wet look” and holding more structured looks in place. It’s available in different consistencies—gel, liquid, and spray. Gel can be used to slick back hair, tame flyaway pieces, mold curls (try Matrix Total Results A Curl Can Dream Light-Hold Gel!), and overall aid in the styling process of many different hairstyles.

Shop Our Favorite Gels


Mousse is known for its versatility. Depending on the formula, the styling foam can give light hold and definition to strands, as well as protect and tame your hair and give unruly curls definition. In some cases, it can also provide lift and volume. 

Application depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. Blowout? Comb through hair and blow-dry in. Curls? Work in from roots to ends using a diffuser to scrunch curls.

Shop Our Favorite Mousses

Curl Shapers

Curl shaping products are made to activate and restore curls defining your natural pattern. The right product will provide light hold, moisture, and shine so that you’re left with bouncy ringlets or coils. These types of products usually come in a spray or gel bottle and are applied after washing hair or to rejuvenate curls that have lost their shape.

Shop Our Favorite Curl Shapers

Blow Out Cream

Blow-out creams are multi-use and are typically applied before blowing out hair. They can reduce blow dry time, provide heat protection, smooth frizz, add body, add shine, and make hair more manageable overall. Make sure you pick up one for your specific hair type and concerns.

One of the latest innovations in this category from Redken is Spray Smooth, an all-over aerosol spray that cancels unwanted frizz and provides up to 48 hours of silky smooth results. This ultra-fine mist delivers a shiny finish without weighing down hair. Discover this and more of our blowout favorites below.

Shop Our Favorite Blow Out Creams


Texturizing sprays, waxes, and pastes are great for creating the roughed-up, lived-in, imperfect, or full and thick looks that so many of us crave— but not everyone has naturally.

Whether you want your look airy with grit (texturizing sprays like Redken Dry Texture Finishing Spray are perfect for reviving a blowout on the second day) or messy and frozen stiff, depends on what consistency you use. 

Shop Our Favorite Texturizers

Everything you need to know about styling products for your hair.

What The Pros Say:

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*Note: Some of these products have been rebranded, but contain the same or updated great formulas to achieve results you’ll love.

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