Hairstyling product

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Hairstyling products are used to change the texture or shape of hair, or to hold a certain hairstyle in place. Applied properly, most styling products will not damage the hair apart from drying it out as most styling products contain alcohols which can dissolve oils. Many hair products contain chemicals which can cause build-up, resulting in dull hair, a change in perceived texture, dandruff, and itchy scalp.


Types of hairstyling products[edit]

Hair wax[edit]

A small pot of hair wax

Hair wax is a thick hairstyling product containing wax, which assists in holding hair in place. It does not harden as some products like hair gel would, but leaves hair pliable. Hair wax has been used for many years. In fact, a waxy soap-like substance was invented by the ancient Gauls as a hair styling agent and was not used as a cleaning agent until many years later[citation needed]. Hair wax is currently experiencing an increase in popularity[according to whom?], with many manufacturers releasing versions, such as pomade, putty, glue, glypto, whip, and styling paste.

Hair mousse[edit]

Hair mousse is a toiletry added to hair for extra volume and shine. It often comes in either spray or cream form. It adds volume without any clumps or buildup.

Apply to hair when hair is wet or damp, not dry. Apply all around and comb hair afterwards to make sure that the mousse is evenly spread.

Hair mousse is purple inside the can, but when released the isobutylene makes it an off-shade white.


Pomade (also called pomatum) is a greasy or waxy substance that is used to style hair. Pomade makes hair look slick and shiny. Unlike hair spray and hair gel, pomade does not dry and often takes several washes to remove - a special shampoo, though, may be used. Other de-greasers include olive oil, dishwashing liquid, and lemon juice. Most pomades contain petroleum jelly (and in fact petroleum jelly can be used alone as a pomade) and mineral oil, and many also contain some sort of wax. They may also contain perfume and coloring agents. A plethora of pomades are still in production today and vary in factors such as weight, shine, and scent. The stiffest will have a higher proportion of beeswax while the lightest may have a higher proportion of oils.

Hair gel[edit]

Hair styled with hair gel

Hair gel is a hairstyling product that is used to stiffen hair into a particular hairstyle. The results it produces are usually similar to, but stronger than, those of hair spray and hair wax, and weaker than those of hair glue.

Hair spray[edit]

Hair spray (also spritz, or sticky water) is a common household aqueous solution which is used to keep hair stiff in a certain style. Weaker than hair gel, hair wax, or hair glue, it is sprayed to hold styles for a long period. Using a pump or aerosol spray nozzle, it sprays evenly over the hair. The product may leave hair feeling "crunchy" unless brushed out. Hair spray was first developed and manufactured in 1948 by Chase Products Company, based in Broadview, Illinois.[citation needed]

Its active ingredient is the chemical elastesse. Elastesse is a form of liquid elastic that keeps the hair stiff and firm without snapping.

The solvent used was once a compound of carbon, fluorine, and chlorine (a chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC). CFCs are nontoxic, nonflammable, and make almost ideal aerosol propellants. However, when it was learned that they cause destruction of stratospheric ozone, they were replaced with other solvents, like alcohols and hydrocarbons.[citation needed]

One of the polymers used is polyvinylpyrrolidine. A non-water-soluble polymer called polydimethylsiloxane is added to make the hold last a bit longer (the polyvinylpyrrolidine is water-soluble). Pytocalcious chemicals are another family of ingredients in hair spray, which increase the amount of minerals in the hair's root causing the hair to become stiff.

Other polymers used in plastic-based hairsprays are copolymers with vinyl acetate and copolymers with maleic anhydride.

Some hair sprays use natural polymers and solvents like vegetable gums dissolved in alcohol. One popular ingredient is gum arabic, which is made from the sap of certain species of the acacia tree. Gum tragacanth is another herbal gum that is used to stiffen calico and crepe, as well as hair.

Hair Volumizer[edit]

Hair volumizers are used to temporarily add volume, body, and shine to thin or flat hair. Hair volumizers are also used by balding men to make their hair mass look dense. They come in many forms like shampoos, conditioners, sprays, pomades and lotions.

Hair volumizers contains humectants, which work by attracting moisture from the surrounding areas to the hair strand, thereby swelling the hair and making it look thicker. Various polymers present in the volumizer coat the hair strand, making it look thicker and shiny.

Shampoo and conditioner forms of the volumizers are used just like ordinary shampoo or conditioners. The spray and lotion form of volumizers are used in damp hair, near the roots of the hair. In use, the person flips their head downward and gradually blow dries the hair, with the air being blown along the shaft of the hair until the hair is dry.


Other types of products include serums, leave-in conditioner, clays, hair tonic, hair dry powder shampoo, and heat protection spray.

See also[edit]