Achieving a great hairstyle is no easy feat—but when you're saddled with 3,403 products to use with all very explicit instructions that make no mention of *other* products in your beauty arsenal, it can get downright confusing. That's where we come in. We caught up with three hair experts to get the definitive, pros-totally-do-it-this-way order of products. Disclaimer: You don't need to use *all* of these products—but make sure to note the order of the products you *do* use.
All three experts agree—you should start with freshly cleansed, out-of-the-shower hair that's been towel-dried.
"Applying products to very wet hair makes it hard for any product to absorb," says Mara Roszak, L'Oréal Paris Celebrity Hairstylist. "Towel dry your hair really well before applying any product so that they don't get diluted," agrees Joey Maalouf, co-founder of TheGlamApp.
Next up: Apply blow-dry cream or straightening cream. "For short to medium length hair, apply a quarter-sized amount—for longer hair, you can double the dose—and comb through with your hands, starting from the back of the head to the front, ensuring all strands get coated," says Maalouf.
If you'll be using heat tools, you will want to make sure your styling cream protects from heat, says Jasmine Anna Galazka, Artistic Educator for Kérastase and stylist for Warren Tricomi Salon. "Think of this step as your primer before you apply your foundation," she says. (Try: Nectar Thermique by Kerastase, $43.)
Next, if you want volume, dispense a marshmallow-sized amount of mousse into your hand and rub between your hands to liquefy, massaging it into your roots and down using your fingertips.
If adding shine serum, this is where it comes in. Apply a dime-sized amount to your hands and apply *only* on the ends of the hair. (Using at the roots? Get ready for a greasy mess.)
Finally—time to blowdry. If using salt or sugar spray to add some texture to the hair, wait until it's dry (or mostly dry) before applying. (Try: L'Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle TXT It Tousle Waves Spray, $5.) For added shine, you can apply a dime-sized amount of dry oil to the ends.
Finish with gel or pomade to tame flyaways, and hairspray to set the look. Look in the mirror. Admire your 'do.
Design by Jennifer Baumgardner