Hair styling is something of a mystery to many of us, so we thought we’d put together an introductory course of sorts — a compilation of “golden rules” that you can use no matter what hair type or texture you might have.
The first person we thought of to help us with this was Boris Oak, the founder of EVOLVh: he always has great advice, and it’s no wonder. Boris grew up in the hair salon industry before starting EVOLVh in 2010, and since then, EVOLVh has become a leader in the development of good-for-you haircare and hair styling products that emphasize performance to a degree that most others can only dream of. (That salon heritage makes a difference!)
I chatted with Boris last week about this topic and this is what he had to say. Read on for his golden rules of hair styling — they’re excellent.
Four golden rules from Boris1. Your hair wants to stay in the position in which it dries.
This is the most important tip of all! It’s super important to know this, whether you’re air-drying or heat styling: If you want to have a certain result from your styling, it’s important to apply your styling product while your hair is still wet.
Once hair is dry, it’s very hard to change its position; if it dries flat, for example, it’s hard to encourage it to get some lift later. So if you wash your hair and you walk around for an hour or so and then remember, “Oh!” — a lot of us do this — it will be a lot harder to style. By the way, if you wash your hair before bedtime, I recommend putting some product in before you go to bed.
2. Approach hair styling in a way that’s similar to the way you approach skincare.
Layer your products, starting with a leave-in conditioner spray chosen for your hair type:
This base product ensures you’re starting with the healthiest hair. Then, use a styling product depending on your goals:
- If you want hair to be smoother or less frizzy, use a serum or balm like WonderBalm or SuperFinish Polishing Balm.
- If you want to add volume, follow with a volume product like InstaVolume Mousse or TotalControl Styling Crème. Air-drying with one of these products will give you a lot of fullness and manageability. To further boost volume, you can blow dry hair away from the scalp, either with a brush or with gravity (flipping your hair upside down with your head): those are two good ways to get lift.
- If you’re going for a certain shape, shape your hair with something that has hold (see below). If you’re air-drying, try not to touch it so that it dries in that position.
3. If you want to shape your hair with a product that has hold, choose your product by hold strength. If you want hair to look more “formed” — a firm shape without too much movement — go for a moderate to strong level of hold. If you’re looking for more movement, and a flowier shape, go for moderate to light hold. Here’s a list of our styling product by level of hold:
- Strong – DreamGel
- Moderate – InstaVolume Mousse, TotalControl Styling Crème, UltraFlex Hairspray
- Light – Ultimate Styling Lotion, SuperCurl Defining Crème
- Ultra-light – SuperFinish Polishing Balm, WonderBalm
4. Don’t forget that you can use styling products to help refresh or revive your style. Any of our styling products can be reapplied to dry hair to refresh their look on day two, or even day three.
- Absorb excess oils: Some of our stylers have excellent oil absorption properties. Our InstaVolume Mousse can be applied to dry hair at the root: this will re-wet the hair but absorb excess oils, so hair looks cleaner than it did before. The UltraFlex Hairspray can be used like this, too.
- Refresh fine hair: SmartVolume and InstaVolume Elixir are great for refreshing fine, oily hair.
- Refresh coarse or thick hair: SmartStart and SmartCurl are great refreshers for these hair types. Apply it at the root and/or all over to refresh curls.
- Smooth dry ends: SuperFinish Polishing Balm is a miracle worker for dry ends. It’s also great for those embracing their grays, since it can soften gray hair, which tends to be coarse, without heaviness.
- Rebalance the scalp: Better Roots Serum is also great for keeping your scalp calm and balanced, and reducing excess sebum production.