The Best Texturizing Products for Every Hair Type

Victoria Moorhouse
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A curling iron isn’t the only secret behind a perfectly tousled, messy look. Texture products are key in scoring the look that almost all your favorite stars embrace on the regular. But what product you choose (and there’s quite a few) can change based on your hair type. Not all formulas are created equal and what works for your best friend might give you a seriously bad hair day if you have different hair types—and seriously, who has time for that? To spare you the indignity, we caught up with a hair care pro to find out exactly how to find the best texturizing products for every hair types.

nichole richie texture

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Fine Hair
What to Look For: The most important thing when dealing with products for fine hair is to ensure it won’t weigh you down. Jo Blackwell-Preston, the founder and master stylist of Dop Dop Salon, says that you should be looking for products that are weightless, aren’t too heavy, but still add texture. OK, so that’s a lot of qualifications and that can be a difficult check-list to complete with creams and mousse, especially. Blackwell-Preston says she reaches for Kerastase Mousse Bouffant ($37, kerastase-usa.com), a formula that’s buildable, flexible, and holds a heat protectant.

In sprays, we opt for Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Perfect Texture Finishing Spray ($28, ulta.com)—you can barely feel it in your hair.

Essential Styling Tip: “It’s really important with fine hair that products are applied to regrowth area because that’s where you get movement, direction, and volume,” Blackwell-Preston says.
salma hayek texture

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Thick Hair
What to Look For: “Thick hair usually needs to be controlled volume wise. It needs to be brought down, not picked up,” pJo told us, suggesting products that control frizz and volume if that’s an issue. First, she opts for blowout out the hair with oil and creams, suggesting products like Shu Uemura Essence Absolut Oil ($69, shuuemuraartofhair.com). After blowout out the hair, she’ll add in a “lightweight spray” like L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Infinium 2 (lpsalons.com for prices) and shake the hair while spraying to create the textured look.
Essential Styling Tip: Don’t discount your dry shampoo. Blackwell-Preston says this can be a great texture alternative for those with thick hair—we love Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow-Dry Two Day Extender ($18, ulta.com)
connie britton texture

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Wavy Hair
What to Look For: Those that already have waves to work with can enhance them with sea salt sprays, explains Blackwell-Preston. There are so many on the market to choose from, but if you want something with extra staying power, try Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($6, ulta.com). If you’re worried about dryness, opt for a formula that is infused with hydrating oils to make up for the salt, which can do a number on hair when applied in excess.
Essential Styling Tip: Before applying sea salt spray, Blackwell-Preston likes to apply a blow-dry serum and then diffuse the hair. After blow-drying, she adds in the salt spray to add texture and separate the hair.
kate hudson curls

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Curly Hair
What to Look For: “Curly hair needs a curl-forming cream, not a texture spray, as it already has plenty of texture,” says Blackwell-Preston. But our expert explains that what may be missing is natural moisture, so be sure not to use products with alcohol. She recommends saturating the hair with an oil-based or cream product, combing it through so it’s thoroughly distributed and hits all your hair. Our expert’s calls out buys like Kerastase’s Oleo Curl Creme ($42, kerastase-usa.com). “They are specifically designed to wrap around each curl and give bounce, movement, and definition,” she says.
Essential Styling Tip: “When styling curly hair, I like to comb through the hair, lightly scrunch once or twice, place into a diffuser and dry 90 percent of the way,” she says. “I always stop drying at 90 percent to prevent frizz and give more control.”
kerry washington hair

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Natural Hair
What to Look For: Blackwell-Preston suggests using creme or oil cremes, “which promote shine and luster and moisture” when working with naturally textured or tightly curled hair. DevaCurl’s latest styling line holds super hydrating coconut oil to shape curls while providing them with nourishment to ward away frizz—check out the SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler ($28, devacurl.com).
Essential Styling Tip: When working with natural textured hair, Blackwell-Preston opts for products in Mizani True Texture line, which hold shampoos, conditioners, and curl creams enhanced with nourishing ingredients like coconut, olive, and marula oils.
jennifer aniston hair

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Straight Hair
What to Look For: “Straight hair is the most difficult to add texture to and poses the most resistance to products,” explains Blackwell-Preston. Bummer, right? She says that because the cuticle is sleek and often closed, texture products may even slide out!” Blackwell-Preston likes to use L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Beach Waves (lpsalons.com for prices) on straight hair—it adds in that natural beachy texture with a light hold. We also like using pastes on naturally straight hair, it helps create a moldable grip you can add to. Try Leonor Greyl Baume Bois de Rose Modelling and Sculpting Balm ($49, saksfifthavenue.com) after curling your hair.
Essential Styling Tip: You need to give texture spray, balm, or creme something to work with. That’s why it’s crucial that you curl your hair before adding in product. Blackwell-Preston suggests curling small sections of hair for about 5 seconds each, curling in opposite direction as you work through. “By shifting the curl patterns, you create more separation and movement in the hair,” she says.
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