Cocktailing and Layering Styling Products
"When building the foundation for your hair style, product layering is so important."
- Melissa Stone, Stylist at Juan Juan Salon in Beverly Hills, CA
"Cocktailing" and Layering Styling Products
Like fragrance, food or the perfectly blended Bellini, superb styling is all about mixing. Combining products in your hands before applying or layering them throughout your styling process will produce different results. No two heads of hair are identical so why feel bound by convention or one-size-fits-all instructions on the bottle? Let creativity and customization be the secrets to your styling success. It's cocktailing time.
- DO take a chance. Creativity is key! Don't be afraid to mix it up. Trial and error will lead you to the right product combo that works for your specific hair type and style. And if you're really not happy with the results, Folica has a 30 day guarantee.
- DO evaluate your hair length, thickness and texture before choosing products. Determine what your hair needs. Moisture? Shine? Volume?
- DO decide what style you want to create. Do you want to encourage texture, or create sleek straightness? Considering your style ahead of time helps you pick products that will support it - from your shampoo to finishing spray.
- DO use a heat protectant when heat styling with hair dryers, flat irons or curling irons. Some products do double duty and offer heat protection with styling benefits. (A fave: the Sedu Anti-Frizz Polishing Treatment with Moroccan Argan Oil.)
- DO remember: less is more. For liquid styling products, a good rule of thumb is to start with a dime size amount for shoulder length and shorter styles. Try a quarter size amount for longer hair. You can always add more (but it's hard to undo product overload).
- Start by reading a product's directions. You don't have to follow them but it's good to get an idea of a product's intended use, and to be aware of any warnings.
- Think Chem 101: Oil and water might not mix well. Check each product's ingredients and if you're getting odd effects, (the products separate or clump rather than blending) this could be why. In particular, silicone or oil products can get goopy and make hair look greasy if they're mixed with water-based stylers.
- Be hair-color conscious. If your hair is highlighted or dyed, use products that nurture and protect your hue while styling your 'do. Look for products that are designed for color-treated hair and read reviews to see if other people with color-treated hair have tried it too.
- Avoid alcohol based products if your hair is dry, damaged or very curly. Alcohol can dry hair even further, causing damage and frizz.
House specials from the Folica headquarters:
Recipe for Sleek & Straight
Hair Type: Naturally wavy, some frizz, medium thickness, shoulder length
- Start with a shampoo and conditioner that smooth and add shine like the Rusk Deepshine Keratin Care Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.
- Get rid of knots gently by using a detangling comb in the shower when conditioner is still in your hair.
- Towel dry hair gently and apply an anti-frizz serum. (The Sedu Anti-Frizz Polishing Treatment with Moroccan Argan Oil is also a heat protectant.) On top of that, apply got2b Crazy Sleek Hot Smooth Flat Iron & Blow Dry Lotion.
- Blow dry while finger combing.
- Then, flat iron small sections with the Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron (1 1/2"). Using a straightening hair comb ahead of the flat iron makes a huge difference. It'll ensure no kinks or snags, and allow you to straighten sections in a single pass.
- When you're finished, smooth flyaways with another light application of anti-frizz serum and then add shine and set style with a misting of TIGI S-Factor Chic Shine Hair Spray.
Recipe for Beachy Texture
Hair Type: Naturally wavy, thick, long
- Shampoo and condition in the shower. Try Macadamia Natural Oil Rejuvinating Shampoo for well-moisturized texture.
- Spray Sedu Beach Beauty Sea Salt Spray all over damp hair, concentrating at the middle and ends.
- Let hair air dry halfway or blow dry (halfway) using a diffuser.
- Midway through your dry, spray hair all over with a styling spray. Tousle at the roots with fingers. Flip head upside-down and shake hair - mess it up! Spray all over again with a thickening spray.
- Finish with a medium hold hairspray. (I've found that non-aerosol will add more texture, aerosol is better for polish.)
Recipe for Full Volume - Three Twists
Hair Type: Medium thickness, wavy, long, highlighted
Lizzy's fave way - If hair is dry and slightly dirty (already has a few layers of product in it):
- Combine Kerastase Resistance Volumactive Mousse and a root lifter (Blow Blow Up Root Lift Concentrate or Sally Hershberger Supreme Lift for Thin Hair) and distribute evenly.
- Blow dry with round brush and the ionic generator off, or use hot rollers.
- Finish off with L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray for Supreme Hold for hold, or Sebastian Originals Shaper Plus Hairspray if you really want it to stay in place.
If hair is clean and dry:
- Add a dose of dry shampoo and then mist all over with light hold hair spray before proceeding with the steps above.
If you simply must wash:
- Shampoo with Tigi Bed Head Superstar Shampoo 8.5 oz.. Condition roots only with Tigi Bed Head Superstar Conditioner 6.76 oz. and add a mask to the ends. (I switch between Kerastase Reflection Chroma Reflect Masque 16.9 oz. and It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask.)
- Towel dry hair gently.
- Then, mix Kerastase Resistance Volumactive Mousse or Sebastian Thickefy Foam 6.8 oz with Nick Chavez Plump 'N Thick Leave-In Thickening Mist and distribute throughout.
- Blow dry with round brush and the ionic generator off, or use hot rollers.
- Finish off with L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray for Supreme Hold for hold.
Recipe for Shiny Flowing Waves
Hair Type: Straight, thick, shoulder length
- Shampoo with a relaxing shampoo (Kerastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Shampoo) and then condition with one that's designed to give mega shine (Barex Gloss Conditioner ).
- In your hand, mix a lot of mousse (I use ApHogee Mousse for Relaxed Hair even though my hair's not relaxed!) and a little bit of leave-in conditioner (Smooth 'N Shine Miracle Leave-In Treatment Conditioner). Distribute through hair, and add another small application of leave-in conditioner to just the ends if they look dry, matte or frizzy.
- Blow dry on a low heat setting until hair is 90% dry and then section (styling clips are a must for curling work).
- Curl sections but avoid roots for a more relaxed style. I use a clipless curling iron most often but a triple barrel curling iron (aka a waver) is my second favorite tool.
- Finish with a few drops of Maxius The End smoothed over the surface and rubbed into the ends of your hair.
Recipe for Ringlet Curls
Rachelle, Content Manager, HairJunky
Hair Type: Naturally curly, thick, color treated
- Skip the shampoo (yes, really) and use conditioner only (it's called co-washing). Curling hair conditioners moisturize and add shine.
- Spray hair completely with Leonor Greyl Algues et Fleurs 5.2 oz and scrunch with a towel.
- In the palm of your hand, mix together a curl cream like Miss Jessie's Quick Curls and a gel (don't be afraid of gels- they've improved immensely since the 80s). Pull through hair gently, always working down the hair shaft to avoid roughing up the cuticles and causing frizz.
- Blow dry on low heat with a diffuser, cupping hair as you go. Get a faster dry with more shine and no frizz by using a hair dryer with ceramic, ionic and tourmaline technologies: Sedu Revolution Pro Tourmaline Ionic 4000i Hair Dryer.
- When hair is dry and still warm, spray a section with a light hold hairspray, remove the diffuser and blow a few seconds of cold air onto the section to set. Repeat until you've got a head full of ringlet curls.
- Mist all over with shine spray. Beautiful.
More Curly Hair Cocktails
Contributed by readers at curly hair haven, NaturallyCurly.com
"Any curly girl or stylist will tell you they have become makeshift chemists, creating their own mixtures of products in their search for the perfect solution for curls and kinks. Our readers will try any combination of conditioners, gels, mousses, serums, creams and pomades." - Michelle Breyer, Founder of NaturallyCurly.com
- "For soft curls, apply Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper 8 oz. to damp hair. Then, in your hand, mix one part DevaCurl Angell to three parts DevaCurl B' Leave In. Apply and dry as desired." - CurlTalker Mrfhnl
- "For shiny, defined curls create a homemade spray-gel: In a spritz bottle, combine half DevaCurl Mist-er Right and half DevaCurl Angell or DevaCare Arc Angel. Add more AnGell for a stronger hold." - CurlTalker Banjocurl
- "To tame especially coarse or kinky hair, try layering Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam under Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding or Miss Jessie's Curly Buttercreme." - CurlTalker OctoberBaby02