You're Doing It Wrong: 7 Ways to Use Your Hair Products Like a Pro

Just when we thought we had this whole hair thing down pat.

Woman's hair blowing in the wind
(Image credit: Getty)

Much like blowdrying, you might think you have your hair styling routine down and that you're doing an okay job at being an adult who can take care of herself...only to realize you've been doing things wrong since the beginning. COOL. In order to save your mane and make it look great, we caught up with Jerome Lordet, top stylist and style director at Pierre Michel Salon in NYC, to finally understand how to make your hair look like you just left the salon with the products you're using at home—for real.

If you're like us, hair cream is basically something you throw into your hair to combat frizz and slick it back into a ponytail when you haven't had a chance to wash it. (I mean, what? I don't do that…often...) But while Lordet agrees that hair creams should be used on dry hair to calm frizz, the way you apply it needs to change: "A lot of people apply it all over the hair and overuse the product," he says. "Do not apply it to the roots—it will grease up the hair and NEVER use more than the size of a quarter."

Serum is, as Lordet puts it, a great product to use after blowdrying to seal the cuticle and to give the hair shine. "Apply more at the ends of the hair, not at the roots, which is a common mistake people make," Lordet warns. "If you use it at the roots, you'll wind up with less volume and heavier hair."

Don't even think about using an oil treatment on dry hair. "A lot of people apply to dry hair and wind up looking like they never even washed their hair," Lordet says. And use only a small amount when using an oil treatment. "Too much oil will result in greasy hair that does not look freshly styled—less is more here. If you are using an oil treatment that is done in the shower, such as a hot oil treatment, make sure you shampoo hair twice afterwards."

Turns out, this may not be as much of a savior as we want it to be. "Dry shampoo will only temporally remove the natural oils of your scalp and give the appearance of cleaner hair," says Lordet. Meaning you'll still need to wash your hair every once in awhile, friends. And as for application? "Apply more towards the roots and always massage in—yes, like you're washing your hair—let sit, and brush out so you do not get the white powdery build-up."

Apply directly at the roots and don't use too much—no matter how fun it is to have a big scoop of fluffy product in your hand. "You will wind up with sticky build-up and dull hair that weighs down with no shine," says Lordet.

"Use on naturally dried hair or naturally wavy hair after styled to create a messy beach look," says Lordet. "A lot of people make the mistake of applying the beach spray first, but it should be applied after hair is styled and after all other styling products. Do not apply to the roots directly—it will grease up your roots!" For best results, apply midway down the hair to the bottom of your locks, then scrunch up.

Hold that can farther away, giiirl. You're too close. "I see a lot of clients using hairspray, and they have the can right on top of their hair," explains Lordet. "Always spray around 12 inches back or you will wind up with one area of hairspray buildup."

As for hold—you're probably not being flexible enough. Literally. "When choosing your hairspray make sure to not go for anything with too much of a hard hold," says Lordet. "ESalon hairspray is a great flexible option if you need one, but you should be able to brush the hair through after spraying the hairspray."

You should also check out:

5 Things Every Woman Must Know Before Getting a Haircut

Finding My One Perfect Haircut...and Letting You Vote On It

Everything You Need to Know About Hair Contouring